Helpful Moving Tips

General Tips  I  Packing Tips  I  Moving With Children  I  Moving With Pets  I  Printable Checklist


General Tips:

Utilities & Notices:
Give a couple of weeks notice of your move to all the utility companies. Include the property you're leaving and the one you're arriving to. Keep a copy of all your last statements so you can follow up with any issues that may arise later.

Remember to give change of address, collect records or change the following: Power, water, gas, garbage, phone, forward mail, bank accounts, credit cards, doctors & vets, insurance (home & auto), schools,

Your Bedding:
Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so that you won't have to rummage through boxes for these essentials the first night in your new home.

The Fridge:
After you've thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.

Keep The Phone Book:
Take your current phone book with you. You may need to make calls to residents or businesses back in your former hometown.

Pack Heavy - Pack Light:
Pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in larger boxes.

Share Your Number:
If using a professional, before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence, give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you can't be reached.

Protect Your Memories:
If it's irreplaceable, take it with you in the car. But if you do decide to pack framed photos or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added protection.

Packing Plates & Records:
Plates and record albums should be packed on end vertically, rather than placed flat and stacked.

Bare Necessities:
Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, paper towels, and cleaning supplies are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.

Light Bulbs:
Remove bulbs before packing your lamps.

Garage Sale:
For your garage sale, tag all items and be prepared to wheel and deal. Garage sale gurus love to haggle. Great way to get rid of unwanted items and make a little extra money while doing it.

Put The Kids To Work:
Have children write their names and new address on the cartons from their rooms so they can become familiar with their new street and town.

Love Your Pets:
Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch him at their house.

Protecting Plants:
When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will scorch.

Your Computer:
Upon arrival at your new home, let your computer "acclimate" itself to room temperature before plugging it in.

Packing Supplies, Labeling & Packing Tips

Supplies - keep the following handy for packing:


Marking pen,

Bubble wrap,

Newspaper and tissue

Tape and scissors

Tape measure

Boxes & Containers: Use strong boxes and containers that can be secured tightly. Purchase proper boxes for dishes, wardrobe and other special items.

Audio & Video Equipment: Pack in their original boxes if possible. Label cables and tighten transit screws. If removing screws, tape them to the objects they are removed from.

Avoid Injury: Never load more than 50 pounds into one box.

Labeling - Mark each box and indicate the following:

(a) Which room it should go in

(b) Whether it is fragile

(c) If it should be loaded last so it will be unloaded first.

Protection: Cushion contents with packing material such as bubble wrap, newspaper or tissue. Save room by using towels and blankets to wrap fragile items.

Books: Pack books tightly on end in small boxes. If musty smelling, sprinkle talcum powder between the pages and wrap the book before packing. Leave stored for a couple of months to eliminate the smell.

Rugs & Draperies: Have them cleaned before moving and leave them in wrappings for the move.

Medicines: Pack in leak proof containers.

Valuables: Carry all valuables with you!

Plants: Check with your local U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants from one state to another. Many states have restrictions on certain plants to prevent importing bugs or pests that can destroy valuable cash crops.

Moving With Children:

Be sure to talk to your kids about moving, what the new place will be look, and what they should expect. Trying to keep it a secret is almost never a good idea.

Be reassuring- kids will pick up quickly on the fact that everyone is feeling the stress of the upcoming move. Be honest in telling kids that things will be a bit stressful and "up in the air" for a short period of time, but that things will settle down and feel normal again after the move. Remind them of things that won't be changing, whether that involves possessions, daily activities, family members, etc.

Let kids participate in age-appropriate activities prior to Moving Day, whether that's marking boxes, packing their toys or stuffed animals, organizing their belongings, etc.

Get a children's book on moving for smaller kids. Consider “The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day.”

If appropriate, let children pick their room in the place.

If possible, let kids pick a decoration (poster, light switch, name banner, etc.) for their new room. If that doesn't work, let them pick from two or three different paint colors that you pick out so that they "get a vote."

Pack a kid's sized suitcase and let each child pick out a special toy to keep with them and a special outfit to wear on "new home day."

If the child has a special dish or cup, include it in the kitchen "Open Me First" box so familiar items await them at their new place.

Consider unpacking the kids' rooms first, or at least their "Open Me First" boxes to help them settle in.

Moving With Pets:

• Make certain your household pet is wearing proper identification and any required license tags in case they get lost.

• Ask your veterinarian for a copy of your pet's medical history to take with you, and be sure all shots are current.

• Double check boxes before you seal them. Many pets, especially cats, like to find there way into them.

• Shortly before the move, your pets may become nervous because of all the unusual activity. Keep a close eye on them; stress may cause them to misbehave or run off. Consider having them boarded during the most hectic days.

• When you move, take along a health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate. The health certificate, signed by your veterinarian, says your pet is in good condition. The rabies certificate states when and where your pet was vaccinated.

• If you move across state lines, call or write the state veterinarian or State Department of Animal Husbandry for laws on the entry of animals. Some states require up-to-date rabies vaccinations. For example, the state of Hawaii requires a 120-day quarantine for dogs and cats that have just moved from another state.

• After the move, give your pets time to adjust to the new neighborhood. Don't let your pets roam freely until they learn where new "home" is now - otherwise they may get lost!

• If you pet has an ID implant, remember to have updated contact information.

Need a professional moving company, rental moving truck, packing supplies... Check out our "Find A Pro" directory.


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