Moving Day Checklist

Keep a cool head with this list that does the thinking for you

“Help me help you” is the catch phrase when the movers arrive, so do yourselves and them a favor: follow these tips.

To keep moving bedlam at a minimum, we’ve created this to-do list. Print out this page, and check off the tasks, item by item. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized the day before. Come moving day, you’ll be ready to supervise the whole affair, without worry or distraction.

Task One: Clearly Mark and Set Aside Items You Don’t Want Loaded
This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walkthrough. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn’t get packed and shipped with your household goods.

Task Two: Pack Special Items for the Kids
Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items, things that they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you all arrive at your new home. Point this box out to the driver so it’s one of the first to be unloaded.

Note: You may want to arrange for someone to take care of the kids (and pets) while the movers are packing and loading your items. Have the caregiver bring the kids back home prior to the truck leaving as it important for young children to understand where their belongings are going.

Task Three: Get Rid of Trash and Flammable Items
Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last-minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with a neighbor to use their trash container for your last-minute debris.

Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver and crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck with trying to get rid of them on day of loading. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can’t transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Also remember to remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.

Task Four: Reserve a Parking Space for the Moving Truck
If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your house, the better your chances are of not incurring an additional charge.

Task Five: Clear Walkways
Make it safe and easy for your movers to get in and out of your house by removing all obstructions.

  • Move potted plants and planters from front porch, walkways and driveways.
  • Remove all door and floor mats.
  • Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip.
  • Remove low hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants.
  • Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process.
  • If you had the moving company pack for you, work with them to keep walkways clear for the driver and crew.

 Task Six: Point Out Special Items
Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walkthrough. All your items will be handled professionally but take a moment to show them which ones need the most special care. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items, or your children’s toys.

Task Seven: Take Care of Your Driver and Crew Members
Consider the needs of your driver and crew members! It is not necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It is a nice gesture and will be warmly received.

  • Keep water and pop on hand for yourself and the crew. On hot summer days, provide Gatorade or some type of sports drink. These men and women work hard, handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help.
  • Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time.
  • Advise the driver and crew which restroom you want them to use.

Task Eight: Decide on Tipping
Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let him disperse the portion to the crew that they think is appropriate. You decide!

Task Nine: Before the Driver Leaves …
Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. If there is something that is confusing to you, ask your driver to explain it before you sign it.

Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide such as his cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last he/she will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home. Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence.

If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date and time, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try to remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time) understand that you can and may be delivered on any one of those days.

Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets, shelves, in the garage, attic, crawl space, storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any place else things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver has left, that something was left behind.

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