Professional moving companies will handle most of the stress when it comes to moving, but they won’t do everything. There are some tasks you’ll need to accomplish before their arrival. Preparing your home for the movers will make the process faster, more cost effective and easier for everyone involved.
Donate & Declutter
Once you’ve decided to move, decluttering should be the first major task you take on. There is no sense in paying professional movers to pack and transport items you do not want or no longer need. Go room by room and sort belongings into three piles: keep, donate and garbage. This can be a daunting task if you wait until the last minute so get going as soon as possible.
Whether you are packing yourself or hiring the movers to do it, there are still several items you will need to move yourself. Federal law bans moving companies from transporting hazardous materials. There are also some items companies are not comfortable moving and will recommend you transport yourself.
- Hazardous Materials
It is illegal for movers to ship hazardous materials like propane, paints, gas, ammunition, aerosols, cleaners, antifreeze, batteries and fire extinguishers. That includes items that have gas in them, like snow blowers, lawnmowers and grills. You will need to move these items yourself.
- Food items
Movers will not package and haul many foods. That includes all perishables like produce and meat along with opened food packages and open containers of liquid, including alcohol.
- Living Things
It is your responsibility to move all pets and plants. Moving trucks are not designed to house them. The temperature of the trailer can vary from stifling hot to bitterly cold, and the airflow is not ideal. Pets and plants should be kept with you during transport.
- Personal Treasures
Take all valuables and mementos with you. That includes cash, jewelry, photographs, documents and records. The rules on valuables vary from company to company, so make sure you ask your movers before moving day. A rule of thumb: if it’s an item that you feel is irreplaceable, relocate it yourself.
- Overnight Bag
Pack a bag that includes a change of clothes, pajamas, toiletries, medication and any other essential. After a long day of moving and traveling, you will not want to be fumbling through boxes to find your toothbrush, PJs and prescriptions. Take those items with you separately.
Before you begin packing, ask your moving company for a full list of items the crew will not move. That way you aren’t in for any surprises moving day. You will be responsible for taking care of all belongings the movers cannot take with them.
Even if the movers are packing and boxing your items for you there are steps you can take to prep your belongings and make the process faster and easier. Most moving companies are paid by the hour, meaning the more you do ahead of time, the more money you’ll save.
Clear off counter tops, tables and desks so your furniture is ready to go the day of the move. Empty your dishwasher, laundry machines and refrigerator. Clean everything, including your appliances, and allow your fridge and freezer to defrost.
- Labeling System
Use a dark marker to label boxes by room and item. Make sure it’s visible and easy to read. Communicate your labeling system with the team of movers, especially for fragile items.
- Sort Small Items
Go through desk drawers, bathrooms and jewelry cabinets. Place small, loose items in plastic baggies to avoid losing pieces and disarray.
- Clear all Pathways
Keep items and furniture away from doors, hallways and stairways. Create a clear path so the movers can move swiftly and easily throughout the home and garage. Keep the driveway clear so the crew can park and easily access the back of the truck.
- Create an Inventory
Document your items (especially electronics) so you know what you have before and after the move. Remember to back-up all computers, phones, tablets and MP3 players as a precaution.
If you are paying the movers to pack, do not pack any boxes they will be transporting. It is likely the movers will not be held responsible for the boxes you packed yourself.
Be on hand the day of the move to answer questions and direct the movers. Also, keep track of your children and pets so they are not in the way and do not get injured while the movers are lifting and loading.
Finally, take care of your movers. You expect them to care for your belonging, so care for them. Have some cold beverages and quick snacks on hand. Schedules are tight and your crew may not have time to break for lunch. Snacks and drinks keep your movers fueled and going.
US Cargo Control is a leader in the cargo control industry, specializing in professional moving supplies, cargo control and rigging equipment. The company focuses on providing quality products, timely delivery and excellent customer service.