After having moved more than a dozen times, I know what it’s like to be anxious and stressed on move day as a team of strangers troops in and out of the house, moving all of your belongings onto a truck. When the moving truck pulls up and the crew arrives, what comes next? I’ve already packed all the boxes and spent a lot of time and energy planning the move. What should I be doing as the driver and crew get to work?
Below is a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help your move day be as worry-free as possible. Most of these recommendations are driven by safety concerns. While it may tempting to step in to help speed things along, it’s safer for you, the crew, and your belongings to leave the lifting to the move team.
1. Do give the crew a tour of the house, so they understand what goes and what stays.
2. Do speak up! Voice any questions or concerns to the driver or crew leader so they can be answered and addressed.
3. Do keep kids occupied and away from the action. Moving with kids can be tricky. Your best bet for small children is to set up a play date at a friend’s house or have them spend the day with a relative. If kids are going to be home, set up space for them away from where the crew will be working with plenty of activities to keep them busy and entertained.
4. Do keep pets safe from harm by sending them to doggie day care for the day or confining them in an empty room.
Move Day Don’ t Do List
1. Don’t be inaccessible to the crew. For an efficient pack and load, the crew may need quick answers to questions that arise during the day.
2. Don’t work in the same room, halls, or walkways as the crew. Too many people working in one area of your home is a recipe for disaster.
3. Don’t load anything into the truck. There are a number of items that your mover cannot (or should not) move, which you can load into your personal vehicles while the crew loads the rest of your belongings into the moving truck. Following these suggestions will help keep the process moving smoothly and efficiently, saving time, money, and stress!
1. Use the right size boxes.
Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in bigger ones. (Large boxes packed with heavy items are a common complaint of professional movers. They not only make the job harder but also have a better chance of breaking.)
2. Put heavier items on the bottoms of boxes, lighter items on top.
And if you’re loading the truck yourself, pack heavier boxes first, toward the front of the truck, for balance.
3. Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes.
Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, or packing paper. Movers often won’t move boxes that feel loosely packed or unbalanced.
7. If you’re moving expensive art, ask your mover about special crating.
Never wrap oil paintings in regular paper; it will stick. For pictures framed behind glass, make an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and to hold it together if it shatters. Then wrap the pictures in paper or bubble wrap and put them in a frame box, with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece for protection.
4. Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.
It will make your packing quicker and your unpacking a lot easier, too.
5. Label each box with the room it’s destined for and a description of its contents.
This will help you and your movers know where every box belongs in your new place. Numbering each box and keeping an inventory list in a small notebook is a good way to keep track of what you’ve packed―and to make sure you still have everything when you unpack.
6. Tape boxes well.
Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then use one of the movers’ techniques―making a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where stress is concentrated.
8. Bundle breakables.
As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. And use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Pack them all in dish-barrel boxes.
9. Consider other items that will need special treatment.
Vansant says his movers treat TVs like any other piece of furniture, wrapping them in quilted furniture pads. He points out, however, that plasma TVs require special wooden crates for shipping if you don’t have the original box and can be ruined if you lay them flat. If you’re packing yourself, double-box your TV, setting the box containing the TV into another box that you’ve padded with packing paper.