There are a lot of steps to check off in between deciding that you want to relocate and successfully executing it. From packing and planning to figuring out how you’re going to unpack and organize everything once you’re finally done, you’ll have to juggle quite a hefty to-do list before you can finally sit back and relax in your new place. Even the best of planners can find moving day to be overwhelming and exhausting. Fortunately, there are ways to make it go at least a little bit easier. Follow our moving day tips for advice on how to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Moving day most likely won't be a complete cake walk, but it doesn't have to be totally awful either.
We hope that you choose to use Husky Moving. But whether you choose us, another company, or choose to take on the task yourself, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at 781-354-5924 if you have questions! If you've decided you want to move yourself, check out our Blog on the subject here. If you are in the process of trying to choose a moving company, check out our Blog with helpful tips on how to do so here.
Below, we’ve compiled some of our most helpful tips for moving day to help you get it done fast, seamlessly, and (hopefully) with as little stress and anxiety as possible.
Get organized early. Avoid leaving anything until the last minute. Unless you have to pack up and leave in a hurry, chances are you have between 30 and 60 days to make a plan and ensure that moving day runs smoothly. Create a countdown list and itemize everything you need to accomplish week by week.
Figure out your move strategy. How are you going to get from point A to point B on moving day? For shorter moves, you might assemble some very nice friends with trucks or consider renting a truck for the day. If you have a big family to move or you'll be moving a long distance, you'll want to price out moving companies.
Pick Your Date Strategically
Moving at the end of the month, when renter’s leases turn over is usually going to be more expensive because of increased demand. Weekends are also pricier, especially three-day ones like Labor Day or Memorial Day. Summertime is by far our busiest time of year, with the weekends that the local colleges go back to classes being the absolute busiest. Last year we had college students calling looking for trucks the day of move in weekend. We were booked solid three weeks before that.
Create a Moving Day Plan
Don’t just start throwing things in the truck. Load large items first, starting from the front of the truck and putting your heaviest items lowest on the truck and lighter items on top. Human nature usually causes people to pack the easiest furniture and boxes first but as a general rule in the moving business you want to do the hardest heaviest items first and get them in the truck and then work backwards. Boxes are super easy to pack. Gardening equipment, tools, and snow shovels are not. Get them in the truck ASAP.
Seize the opportunity to purge.
I cannot stress this strongly enough! Moving is a great chance to organize your belongings and get rid of items you no longer use. If the time of year permits, hold a yard sale. Try scheduling a free donation pick-up with a local charity such as Goodwill, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. Having them pick up your donations will save you from having to haul everything yourself, which means you’ll have more time to focus on the move.You can put furniture up for sale on a site like craigslist.org, recycle old magazines and shred old documents. Husky Moving regularly does disposal jobs.
Save donation receipts for tax season. Donating household items to charities such as Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity? Save those donation receipts! Come tax season, you should be able to claim a deduction on your income taxes using these receipts.
Clearly Label Your Boxes By Room
Unloading boxes in the right room the first time, means less shuffling for you in the long run.
Use Colored Packing Tape
Even easier to spot than a marker is different colored packing tape for each room, so you’ll know at a glance where each box goes.
Know Whats Inside Each Box
Write down a brief summary of the contents on each of your boxes. You might want to immediately access your everyday dishes, instead of trying to remember exactly which box you put them in. You can also photograph contents with your smartphone before taping them up. Then number the box and take a photo of that too, that way you know which photo goes with which box.
Don’t Make Boxes Too Heavy
Even if you hire movers, they aren’t supermen. Put dense, heavy items like books in small boxes to make it more manageable to carry.
But Pack Them Full
Fill empty spaces with packing material so your items don’t shift, which can lead to breakage, Peterson advises. You can also pack light items like towels, pillows and blankets to fill empty space without adding extra weight. Whenever the box isn't packed to the top it means the box is more likely to be crush when another box is placed on top of it.
Take Photos When Taking Furniture Apart
We often see people struggle with putting back together their cribs after disassembling them. Use a smartphone to take pictures so you remember what goes where. Make sure to label all the pieces. Take pictures of electronic set-ups too so you can get back to your latest Netflix binge ASAP. The easiest way to do this is to take painters tape and label connecting pieces "A" and "A", then the next set of connecting pieces "B" to "B". When you get to the unload all you have to do is line up the letters properly. Don't assume you are going to remember everything. You most likely won't. Idiot proof absolutely everything. It will save you time and money.
Pack Breakables Together
Pack items such as pint glasses and tea cups as pairs, oriented like shoes in a shoe box. Wrap each individually, then use larger sheets of packing paper to draw the breakables together into a tightly packed brick shape, which makes the breakables more durable.
Use Towels and Blankets In Place of Bubblewrap
Wrap breakables in your own blankets, towel, t-shirts, linens, socks, towels, or comforters to do double-duty and save on packing and padding materials.
Get Good Boxes (For Free if You Know Where to Look)
You don’t want your boxes to fall apart on you. You can get free boxes from liquor stores or groceries.
Change Your Address
Fill out the “change of address” form at the U.S. Postal Service, so the post office will know to forward your mail and inform the senders of your new address.
Update magazine subscriptions and important financial services, such as credit card or insurance statements, to make sure you continue to receive important mail.
Get a Better Deal on Insurance
Before you move, find out if you are still covered by your current insurance policies, both auto and home. This is a good time to shop around, as your new zip code could offer new savings.
Visit the DMV
If you’ve changed states, you’ll need to register your car, but even if you’ve just moved a city over, you’ll still need to get a new driver’s license and register to vote. If you are lucky, you live somewhere that you can request a new ID online.
Transition Your Other Services
Make a list of all the services you receive at your current residence — Internet, satellite or cable provider, electricity, trash collection, and so on. Call to cancel them and then reactivate at your new home, typically a week or two before you are planning to move. There is nothing worse than being without power for a couple days because you forgot to call.
Use foam pouches for plates, bowls and glassware.
Covering items in plastic wrap and cushioning takes time and a lot of packing tape to secure. Instead try using simple foam pouches to hold everything from dinnerware to glassware. All you have to do is slip the item inside the foam pouch and place it inside a box.
Create a Schedule or Timetable First
It’s all too easy to put things off until you realize with a panic that you’re not ready for moving day. Plan out how much time you have, how long you think it will take to pack each room and create a schedule with adequate time built in.
Only Pack What You Need and Want in Your New Place
Take a long hard look at your closets and other stuff to see what you can donate. Get rid of items that haven’t seen the light of day in years.
Pack an “Open Me First” Box
Pack one box with all the things you can’t live without to survive the first night in your new home. Include personal items, and then other necessities like toilet paper, bed sheets and blankets, prescriptions, eyeglasses, contact lens solution, and maybe that book you are almost done reading—really anything that you might be tempted to haphazardly tear through all of your boxes to find in a crisis. Consider putting this in your car so it doesn't get packed packed into the moving truck.
Don’t Choose Movers Blindly
Check Yelp and other online review sites to make sure the moving company treated other clients well, as well as ask friends and family members for referrals works the best. If you keep seeing a couple of names over and over in reviews of workers who clearly are well liked by customers, ask for those guys by name. If your sister loved the Crew Chief Dan and his crew of Bill and Scott, ask the person answering the phone if you book if they can send the same crew. I've been in this business a long time and I can testify to what a difference the crew makes.
Ask to Be First
Otherwise, your crew is bound to be tired from the earlier jobs, which might make them move a little slower, as well as be more accident prone. Plus, you won’t be waiting around if something holds them up during their first job.
Choose the Right Size Truck Or Storage Unit
Pick the right transportation. If you're moving a short distance, you may be able to get away with making more than one trip. But if you don't have that luxury, you'll need to make sure you have the right size truck to cart your belongings in one go. Choosing the right size is particularly important when moving farther away, as making several trips could be a problem.
10 ft. truck = studio or small 1 bedroom
12-14 ft. truck = 450 cu. ft. or 1 to 2 bedrooms
16-17 ft. truck = 800 cu. ft. or 2-3 bedrooms
22-24 ft. truck = 1,200 cu. ft. or 3 to 4 bedrooms
26-27 ft. truck = 1,400 cu. ft. or 4+ bedrooms
If you are renting a storage unit our guidelines might help you out a bit.
Know Your Contract
Typical fees include a charge per day for the truck, including mileage, but may also include additional fees for packing supplies, dollies, insurance and more. You should commit these details to memory so you don’t get caught off guard but anyone worth his salt should have everything in writing way ahead of time
Put together a packing kit.
If more than one person is packing, stay organized by establishing a system. Have blank inventory sheets prepared so one person can tackle each area or room. Arm each packer with a pen, black marker, and packing materials, like newspaper, a packing tape dispenser and boxes. Label everything. Mark clearly on all sides of the box which room the movers should put the box in. Whoever is carrying in your boxes might not make sure all labels are facing one way for your easy retrieval. Try labeling each side in marker so you can easily find what you need in a stack. Moving day tends to be chaotic so the quicker the movers know where every item goes the more money you save.
Reuse your old boxes.
From the TV to the blender, most electronics and small appliances come delivered in cardboard boxes. If you happen to still have these boxes, we recommend reusing them for the move. Not only does this ensure that your items will fit perfectly in the box, but it also saves you from having to spend money on boxes. If you decide you'd prefer new supplies you can purchase them at our Store
Don’t hire the first moving company you interview.
Instead, try to obtain quotes from at least three companies to compare prices and services. When interviewing a moving company, make sure they are properly licensed and insured. Do they make you feel comfortable? What do they seem concerned with? Profit? Telling you what you want to hear? Helping you decide your best course of action regardless of how it affects them? Remember that ultimately the moving company is there to figure out how they can help YOU, even if that means suggesting that maybe their company isn't the best fit for what YOU need. I absolutely love making money, but I tell potential customers all the time that there are more cost effective ways to do certain things than to hire us. Ask a potential company their thoughts on ANOTHER company and see how they react. The reality is that you most likely cannot move a piano, but you CAN wrap dishware, so figure out whether cost or convenience is more important to you and then if you want to save the money, handle the tasks you can handle on your own. Even if you choose to use another company, if you have questions about how to make your move as efficient as possible, email me at email@example.com or call or text me at 781-354-5924.
Find out your condo rules.
Moving into a condo isn’t as easy as pulling up to the front door and loading your boxes onto an elevator. Be sure to check the moving policy before scheduling your moving day. For example, some condos don’t allow move-ins on Sunday. You may need to book a service elevator and a time frame for moving in. Sometimes your condo will ask for a security deposit in order to book a service elevator. That can range from $100 to $500 depending on your condo rules.
Keep your movers in the loop. Boxes are one thing, but when you get to the big, heavy stuff, it's important to let your movers know what to expect. Communicate with your moving company and explain all the requirements and expectations prior to booking. Your mover has to be aware of all those minor details in order to estimate your total move time and cost, and have proper equipment available. That includes informing the company about any overweight items (i.e. a piano or fridge), access restrictions (small elevator, walk-up only, narrow driveway) and whether you’ll need help with disassembly or assembly of furniture. I cannot stress this enough: the more info you give the company the better.
Green your move. Moving day can generate a great deal of waste like cardboard, bubble wrap and newspaper. For items you’ll be storing even once you’ve moved in, opt for the reusable plastic bins you can purchase at stores like Home Depot or Solutions. These can be labeled to go directly into closets until you’re ready to deal with the contents. You can avoid cardboard by renting plastic bins from a company like Uhaul. You might also consider using older linens to wrap breakables. Oftentimes customers ask us if we take waste or empty boxes. We do for a fee.
Be thoughtful about how you pack.
Keep in mind that smaller boxes are easier to carry when facing stairs and narrow pathways. Small boxes should also be used to transport heavier items like books, records or fragile items.
Try to manage packing prior to moving day.
One of the things we hear most often is "I didn't realize how long this was going to take." Packing is not as easy as you think, so educate yourself and read some packing tips online prior to your relocation. If your belongings are not packed properly, they may be severely damaged, especially valuables such as electronics and antiques. Some household items may need special handling. Consult with your movers before you start packing. Moving experts will give you the needed guidance. If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can provide packing or unpacking services for you at our normal hourly charge. If you need packing supplies please visit our online store. Make sure all the boxes are properly labeled and sealed. Use descriptive labels so that you will save time while unpacking in the new place.
Pack in things you need to pack.
You need to take your luggage with you. Why not use it as a box? The same goes for dresser drawers. You may need to remove them for transport, but if you don’t have too far to go, they can be helpful for light items. For delicate apparel that you don't want to fold, using a portable wardrobe box is the way to go. You have to pack your t-shirts anyways so why not use them to protect your fragile items and kill two birds with one stone?
Be ready for your movers.
Whether you have family or professional movers showing up at your door, be ready for them when they arrive. With a moving company, unless you hire packers, be ready and packed before the crew arrives. Scrambling for boxes will delay your move and increase your cost.
Packing everything closely together reduces the chance of items shifting in transit and potentially breaking.
Check cabinets, drawers, appliances and closets before moving out. When moving out, it’s easy to leave things behind. We recommend double checking all kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets, drawers and appliances (think: your fridge) before handing over the keys. Did the check the warming tray of your oven? I can almost guarantee you didn't and you have pans stored there. ; )
Play nice with building managers and front desk personnel.
These people can help you tremendously OR make your move a nightmare if you don't play by their rules. There is a real art to navigating the challenges that go into moving into high end real estate. Boston rental buildings in particular are notorious for having highly particular specifications because they want to protect their expensive investment as well as keep their currents tenants happy. Know ahead of time what the rules for your building are. Typically more experienced movers will know that soft tones, relaxed body language and a desire to let the front desk personnel know you are there to work with them to get out of their hair as quickly as possible goes a long way towards a successful move.
Be mindful of how many workers are at your house during the move.
Nobody values efficiency more than I do but try to be realistic about how to best achieve this goal. We recently did a move where the owners scheduled a stairwell carpet installation during the move. It meant the customer paid for us to wait around for 45 minutes as the stairwell was our only access to our unload area.
Have cash handy if you plan to tip your movers.
Tipping movers isn’t required, but it is highly appreciated for a job well done. Check out our blog post if youd like some guidelines
Don't schedule the cable guy to arrive during the move.
We understand you want your internet and TV up and running as quickly as possible but more often than not this puts unnecessary stress on both the movers and the cable company.
Don’t mistake belongings for trash.
Try to avoid packing things in garbage bags. Well-meaning friends or family could accidentally throw them out on moving day.
Find a pet sitter for the day.
If you have a pet that could be traumatized by a move, consider leaving your four legged friend with a pet sitter (after I get to play with them of course!!!) If you’re hiring movers for a long-distance move, be sure to arrange your pet’s safe transport to your new home.
Make nice with your new neighbors.
Start off on the right foot by informing your immediate neighbors that you’ll be moving in and what kind of moving vehicles you’re using. Make sure your truck isn’t blocking anyone’s exit.
If it’s wintertime, clear your driveway and all walkways the movers will need to use of snow and ice. This is not the responsibility of the moving company.
Make sure the moving truck has a parking spot. Without it, you could end up ticking off your neighbors and getting a parking ticket. Also, don’t forget that time is money. If your movers waste valuable time searching for a spot to park their over-sized truck, then your move will ultimately cost more in the end. Longer walks to your new house will also increase cost. Husky Moving can pull a permit for you with your city for a fee. Oftentimes the cost of the parking permit can be offset by reduced labor charges guaranteed by front of the house parking. It can also just be well worth the cost due to reduced anxiety.
Wake up early on moving day.
Plan your time so you can get up early in the morning on moving day. It will be a long and tiring day and you should be fresh and alert.
Wear appropriate clothes for the work you will be doing and the weather you will be doing it in.
A good friend of mine once told me there is no such thing as bad weather. Only poor clothing choices.
Fully charge your cellphone.
Make sure everybody has their tasks assigned.
If you are getting extra help on your moving day, it tends to be chaotic so try to assign duties to specific people.
Plan your food out.
Do not leave everything for the last moment. Consider sandwiches, pizza, even some sweets. Also, be prepared to offer food to the movers. If the packing and the loading take more time than you have planned, you will have to take a break, so it’s a good idea to have some refreshments around. If it is cold outside, count on hot drinks – coffee, tea.
Moving day and kids.
Moving with youngsters is quite a challenge. If you have the ability, consider asking a friend to keep an eye on your children on moving day.
Clean after the movers finish.
Whether you have hired a company or you are going to clean yourselves, you will most likely need to clean your old home when you leave. Buy the proper cleaning products in advance, so you can start cleaning after everything is loaded.
Usually, moving companies ask for a moving deposit fee when you are hiring them and the rest of the sum is paid on moving day. Husky Moving requires payment at the end of every day for that days work. Remember that many moving companies, including Husky Moving, do not take credit cards. Make sure you have your payment method ready at the end of the job.
Take all personal documents and jewelry with you.
Since moving day is a busy and tense one as a whole, make certain that your personal documents, money, and jewelry won’t go with the rest of your belongings in the moving truck
Confirm the route to the new location.
Moving locally or long distance, check the route twice before setting out for the new location. If you are driving and moving by yourself, the last thing you want is to get lost in the middle of nowhere. Discuss the route with your movers. Please kindly keep in mind that many roads in Massachusetts do not allow trucks, which you would have no way of knowing unless you drive trucks. Specifically getting in and out of Boston can be challenging as moving trucks are not allowed on Storrow or Memorial Drive.
Always do a final walk through.
Always, always go back through each room of your home for a last look before you leave it for good. Check every closet and cabinet, and the attic and basement. And don’t forget to check any outdoor spaces as well. If you brought it with you when you moved in, you should be making sure that it gets on the truck with you when you move out. Anything you leave behind could be difficult to acquire later on, especially if you are moving out of state.
Take pictures during your walk through when renting.
We have all heard horror stories of landlords who try to claim damages or cleaning costs after move out that end up costing renters their security deposits. To cover your bases, take pictures all around your unit showing the state that you left it in. If there are any unwarranted complaints later on, you’ll have photographic evidence.
Have lots of water bottles on-hand when moving.
Given the sheer number of tasks involved when moving, it’s easy to forget the simple things – like the fact that you and your movers will need a lot of water on moving day (especially during the summer). So come moving day, we recommend bringing a pack of bottled water with you to the new house. Trust us – your movers will thank you.
Use an iPad track your move.
Hiring a moving company to handle your long distance move? Depending on how far you’re moving, it could be a week or more until your belongings are delivered to the new house. To keep track of where your stuff is at all times, try placing an iPad inside one of the boxes that’s loaded onto the truck. You should be able to use the “Find My iPhone” tool to track where your iOS device is at all times, which will also tell you where your belongings are located.
Bring a door stopper with you.
You’ll need to keep the front door open on moving day in order to bring items in and out of the house more easily. You may also need to keep a back door or interior door open throughout the day.
Flatten boxes after a move and store for later. Planning on moving again in the next few years? Once you’ve finished unpacking, we highly recommend flattening all boxes and saving them for your next move. This will prevent you from having to purchase or find boxes later. Or you could donate your boxes to another person on a website like Freecycle.org.
Re-key your new house as soon as possible. From handymen and cleaning services to friends and family, there’s no telling who was given a copy of the keys from the previous owners. For safety purposes, we recommend re-keying your entire house prior to moving in. All you have to do is call a locksmith to come out to the house to change the locks. They should be able to do so in a matter of hours.
Keep Important Items Off the Moving Truck
Keep your “Open First” box, along with any vital paperwork and other important items (like your keys or the payment check) with you. If something is super fragile and important to you, consider transporting it in your car. Cars offer smoother rides and you can keep an eye ion it during the ride. Trust me, we won't be offended.
Protect Your Stuff
Cover all furniture with protective pads both to protect the items and keep drawers closed. Consider removing drawers. Lighter items mean less chance of damage to your furniture and walls. Sofas and chairs should be wrapped. TVs can be wrapped in a blanket or shrink wrap and stored upright. The TV stand tends to be the most fragile part so pack accordingly.
Unpack Kids Stuff First
The best way to make kids feel at home is to set up their rooms right away. Let them decide where to put their furniture, within reason, to make it truly theirs. Plus they’ll have a place to hang out while everything else is unpacked.
You Don’t Have to Cook
Eat takeout the first few nights rather than cooking. It’s also a great way to sample new local restaurants and de-stress.
Take Your Time
The best way to unpack is to thoughtfully figure out where everything should go. If you don’t know about a certain item, put it in a separate “decision” box to decide if it really goes in your new place. Put that box in storage, and then as time goes on, consider whether those items should be donated. Husky Moving can provide unpacking services at your request.