You have probably heard or read a few stories telling about smooth and trouble-free relocations and even more accounts of problematic and stressful moving experiences. Home movers who encountered no difficulties when moving house were either fortunate enough to come across competent and trustworthy moving companies or had enviable organizational skills in planning and providing for all kinds of unexpected situations. If you want to follow their example and organize a successful relocation, you should start the moving preparations well in advance and pay meticulous attention to all the seemingly small details that have substantial consequences for the entire moving process. Besides choosing an appropriate new home, making an efficient moving budget, getting several estimates and hiring the best cross-country movers for your case, there is something else you can do to give considerable momentum to your own moving adventure – prepare well before the movers arrive. Even if you have booked a full-service move, there are a number of things you can do to speed up the moving procedures and minimize the risk of damages, problems, and setbacks.
If you know how to prepare for movers and packers, you will save a lot of valuable time and splitting headaches on Moving day. Here are the 20 most important things to do before the movers arrive:
Purge your home
Sort out your belongings and declutter your home prior to your move in order to simplify it. Sell or donate all the items you will no longer need in your new surroundings to save the time required for packing them and the money for shipping them.
Know what cannot be moved
It is very important to request a list of all the items that your movers will not ship for you and make the necessary arrangements:
- Find specialty movers or plan to move your pets and/or plants yourself as they cannot be loaded on the moving truck;
- Use up or give away to friends and neighbors any perishable food and hazardous materials you may have (motor oils, antifreeze, paint, charcoal, propane tanks, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, car batteries, cleaning supplies and other flammable, explosive or corrosive items).
Choose an appropriate valuation protection plan and buy additional insurance if necessary (it’s highly recommendable in case you intend to move items of great monetary or sentimental value). Make sure you know all your options and understand all the differences and specific conditions of the different types of liability protection offered by your chosen movers.
Create an inventory
Create a detailed inventory of all the items you are about to move. It will be very useful when organizing your stuff and will serve as proof of the contents of your household shipment should something go missing or get damaged. It is a good idea to list the serial numbers of all of your electronics and appliances, as well as their brands and types.
Clean and organize
Make sure all the items that will be packed in boxes and taken to your new place are clean and in good condition. You don’t want damaged devices and furniture pieces, stained fabric or dirty appliances, etc. to come in contact with new or delicate items and ruin them. Don’t forget to do the obvious:
- Unplug, empty and clean all the electrical appliances (fridge, dishwasher, etc.). Remove the batteries from whatever devices will be transported in the moving truck;
- Empty drawers, cupboards, book shelves, etc.;
- Drain the fuel out of your lawn mower, snow blower, or other fuel-powered tool you are taking with you;
- Strip the beds and all other furniture pieces of covers, decorative cushions, linen, etc. and pack the bedding separately.
Pre-pack small items
Keep small items tidy – put them in sealable bags, so that they don’t get lost or scattered during the transportation. Actually, any souvenirs, small decorations, desk organizers and a number of other bric-a-brac will only delay your movers and get in their way. Pack them yourself even if you have hired professional packers.
Put labels, color-codes, and specific instructions to every item or pre-packed box or anything else you want to be handled with special care or to find its rightful place immediately.
Keep the items that your movers should not pack and load on the moving truck separately. You are advised to mark a no-pack/no-entry room in your home where to store everything that you will not entrust to the movers. These items include but are not limited to:
- Personal documents;
- Valuables – heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, collector items;
- Essentials box;
- Small electronic devices of crucial importance – laptop, phone, camera, tablet.
Measure doors and prepare furniture
Plan an appropriate escape route out of your home – measure the doors and see if your larger furniture will fit through them and along narrow corridors, sharp turns, and steep staircases. When you have found the easiest way to take your stuff out, make sure the path is clear of any obstacles and as safe as possible. You can even disassemble bulky furniture pieces that may cause a problem (keep the detached parts and the small hardware elements together with the piece they belong to) and wrap them in blankets or plastic warp for extra protection. If you are not up to the task, at least you will be able to direct your movers as to what pieces should be dismantled beforehand and how to squeeze them out as easy as possible.
Arrange to be present on Moving day
All the above-described preparations will come very handy on Moving day, but what matters the most is whether you will be present to oversee the process and provide relevant information, proper directions and invaluable assistance to your movers. Arrange to be in your home when the movers arrive.
Plan for pets and kids
It is recommended to leave your children and pets with a relative or a close friend until all the moving procedures in your old property are over. Away from all the tension and the chaos, they will be safe and you will be able to concentrate on the urgent matters at hand. If this is not possible, find a babysitter to look after your young ones in a separate room where they will not be disturbed and place pets in a kennel or cage, or in a fenced area for the day.
Mind the weather
Take precautionary measures according to the current atmospheric conditions – put on appropriate clothes, make sure your children and pets are inside on cold or rainy days, cover the floors with newspaper or old rugs to protect the floors from mud and dirt, cover all your belongings in plastic wrap to keep them from getting wet, etc.
Prepare house for movers
Do your best to prevent damage to your old property which needs to be in good condition, so that you can sell it under favorable conditions or receive your security deposit without problems in case you are leaving a rental:
- Protect floors and carpets with efficient coverings and place doormats to prevent some of the dirt;
- Protect walls and corners with the help of old fabrics and corner guards, wrap banisters in moving blankets, or bubble wrap, or old sheets, etc., and cover the stairs with protective anti-slippery coating;
- Use foam paddings to protect your door frames and remove doors from their hinges if necessary;
- Remove paintings, mirrors and clocks from the walls to prevent damaging them.
Take lots of pictures before the movers arrive. They will not only be a proof of the good condition of your household items and your property but will also help you remember your old place well and arrange your new one in the same way if you want to.
Secure personal data
Make sure neither the movers nor anyone else has access to your personal information – keep credit cards and bank information securely locked, protect your computer with a password, shred any old documents and do whatever is necessary to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft.
Double check everything
Before the moving company arrives, go through every corner of your old home one last time to make sure nothing is left behind. Check the attic, the basement, the garage, inside the bathroom or under the kitchen countertops – just inspect the entire place one final time.
Have bags and extra supplies
Make sure there are some extra bags and boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap for last-minute packing emergencies!
Provide snacks and drinks
Recharge your movers’ energy levels to secure an efficient and speedy job. Offer bottled water and some snacks to the moving crew and designate a bathroom they can use (it should be equipped with liquid soap and disposable hand towels).
Have cash for tips
Get some cash ready to tip your movers if you are pleased with their work. Add some extra dollars for extremely heavy items, narrow corridors and stairs, etc.
Maintain a sense of humor
Adopt a positive approach and find a way around unexpected problems. A good joke and a friendly comment will help reduce the tension and if you don’t allow stress to build up, your relocation experience will be nothing short of gratifying success.
So, how to prepare for professional movers? Prepare your household items, prepare your home and prepare your mind for an exciting and beneficial moving adventure!