How to Make Sure Your Moving Day Goes Smoothly and Safely

Moving day; you’ve waited months for this day to arrive, working hard to make sure you, your family, pets, and belongings are ready for the big move.

With all of the preparations and various people involved, it’s easy for moving day to become dangerous.

To ensure that you and your family have a safe and smooth moving day, I’ve provided some tips that every mover should keep in mind.

Make plans for pets and young children

The last thing you want on the first day in your new home is to be wandering around the neighborhood looking for your dog who slipped away during the move. If possible, make arrangements for pets to stay with friends or family for moving day to make things easier.

If you need to bring your pets along, it’s a good idea to put them in a “playroom” with their toys, water bowl, etc. while you have the door to the house open. Not only will it stop them from running out, but it will also prevent you from tripping over them while you carry the couch.

Don’t be a hero

It’s our tendency to want to do a job ourselves if we want it done right. But, when it comes to moving, that philosophy can lead to a thrown out back and a damper on your plans.

When it comes to getting large and heavy objects in and out of the house, make sure you have at least one other person ready to lift with you.

Stack from heaviest to lightest

It may seem obvious, but in the confusion of a move, it can be easy to pack your truck or van in a less-than-ideal way. Rather than playing Tetris with your boxes, try to focus on weight instead. You don’t want heavy boxes near the roof in case they fall on you or on your other belongings.

Place the largest and heavier items in the van first. This will allow you to plan the rest of the load around them, rather than having to move them around to make room.

Take a breather

As tempting as it may be, you don’t have to finish everything in one day. As long as your truck is locked and secure, it’s okay if you don’t bring in every single box. Resting throughout the day and staying hydrated, especially when moving in the summer, will help you stay sharp and ready to keep working.

Have an emergency plan

If you take precautions, you most likely won’t have to worry about emergencies. However, accidents do happen and it’s best to be prepared for them when they do. If you or a family member requires medication, make sure it’s handy and that everyone knows where it is.

Similarly, label your first aid kit and keep it with your necessities during the move.


If you follow these tips, your moving day should be a simple and safe process and you’ll be enjoying your new home in no time.

Protecting Your Belongings on Moving Day

Moving day is likely the most stressful day of the home-buying process. With so many items to keep track of, not to mention kids and pets, it can be easy to get overwhelmed during the process. To make matters worse, sometimes the items to so carefully pack are damaged during the move, or while unpacking at your new home.

In this article, we’re going to attempt to alleviate some of that moving day stress by giving you expert advice on how to avoid damaging your belongings during a move, and what to do if damage does occur.

What items are prone to damage?

Some items need to be handled with extra care while packing and while moving. Those items include:

  • Glasses, plates, and other fragile kitchenware

  • Electronics, especially those with display screens like televisions, tablets, or digital photo frames

  • Mirrors and glass decoratives

  • Anything containing liquid–this could be shampoo, cleaning supplies, wine or alcohol bottles, and so on. These are of particular importance because if they leak they can damage other items, not to mention require a cleanup that you don’t have time for

Packing to avoid damage

There are a few things you can do while packing and securing your boxes to avoid damage during a move. We’ve outlined some important packing tips below:

  • Buy bright red fragile stickers and use them appropriately. Putting a fragile sticker on every box is no use, because you’ll need to know while ones shouldn’t be stacked high or left in insecure places in the moving van.

  • For fragile items like glasses and plates, wrap them several times in packing paper, and put them in a double-thick packing box. When you fill the box, avoid leaving too much empty space but also be careful not to pack too much inside. This will put excessive pressure on the fragile items inside.

  • For liquid items, check that caps are all screwed on tightly. Then place them inside of ziploc bags if you’re able. If not, putting them inside a plastic grocery bag and typing the top should be sufficient enough if a small leak occurs from one of the bottles.

Securing items in the moving truck

When it comes to stacking your boxes in the moving truck, put the heaviest, largest, and least-fragile boxes in the truck first. Use straps and bungee cords to keep items grouped together and avoid having boxes or other items tip over. Think of filling the truck like a game of Tetris- the better the items fit together, the less likely they are of falling.

What to do if your items are damaged

First of all, make sure to read the contract with your moving company and to purchase insurance. Then, take photos of your fragile and valuable items to that you can prove they weren’t damaged before the move.

If something is damaged, take a photo of it right away and request the paperwork required to file a complaint with the moving company. If they ignore your request, you may choose to file a formal complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on their website

Moving Tips You’ll Be Glad to Know

Moving can be a daunting task. There are so many things to keep track of and a lot of feelings come up along the way as you pack up your home and live in chaos for the next few weeks leading up to, and even after, the move.

Never fear! There are things you can do to make the moving process go all the more smooth, so whether it’s your first time or your fifth you’ll look like a downright pro!

Prepare ahead of time – create a master list of everything that needs to be done before, during, and after the move. Take note of important deadlines and create a master timeline like move out and move in dates, utility cancellations in the old house, utility set up in the new house and when to hand in the keys. Put together an overnight bag with all your personal necessities you’ll need on hand during the move and a box full of the everyday house goods you will need on hand your first day in the new house. Decide on which order you are going to pack up your rooms and add these days to your deadline list. You will also want to make a list of any repairs and cleaning that needs to be done before moving day.

Strategize – Know where everything is going ahead of time. This means a room by room plan prepared before moving day. Label boxes with not only what is inside but what room it will need to go into. You can even take this a step further by color coding boxes by room. If you need to take furniture apart, pack the screws and small bits in a sandwich bag and label what furniture they belong to. If hiring movers, review any requirements they might have for move in day as some will only move boxes and not trash bags.

Clean out – get rid of as much as possible at least a month before moving. The less there is to move, the easier it will be to pack up with less to carry. Anything shoved to the back of cupboards or closets and long forgotten can go. Do a closet purge and donate unwanted clothes. Hold a yard sale or put valuable items up for sale ahead of time to give yourself plenty of the time to get rid of things before you start packing. Don’t add to the stock in your fridge during the last two weeks and consume what you can as moving day approaches. Allow your fridge to defrost the day before the move.

During the move – stretch wrap any furniture with drawers to hold them in place. Pack a cooler with lunch and/or snack items ahead of time and keep it easily accessible during the move to refuel throughout the day. Clean and prepare the bathroom first stock it with soap, toilet paper, and towels. It will be good to go to take a shower at the end of the moving day!

The list of things that need to get done when moving can be overwhelming, but with a master list in hand and some tricks up your sleeve, you can make the process feel a lot less stressful. In fact, you might even enjoy it!

Introducing an Adopted Dog to A New Home

Have you ever been away on vacation or traveling for work and had a difficult time getting to sleep at the hotel? Have you ever moved and it took a while for your new house to start to feel like home? Dogs experience these feelings as well, especially older dogs who have gotten used to their environment at their old home.

However, there are some things you can do to help your dog become acclimated to her new home. Whether you and your family already have a dog and are planning a move or if you’ve recently adopted a new canine friend here are some tips that will help them feel at ease and welcomed in their new home.

Adopted dogs

Adopting an older dog is a wonderful thing. When you adopt, you are supporting animal shelters that provide an indispensable service to our communities. You’re also giving a dog a second chance at a happy life, rather than being overlooked for a puppy.

Adopted dogs require special care when moving to a new home. Not only is their environment new, but so is their company. Here are some tips for acclimating your adopted dog to her new home:

  • As soon as you get home, take the dog to where she will be doing her business to get her used to the area. Reward her when she urinates there
  • While your dog gets used to her new home she may have accidents indoors, but with time she’ll learn where her bathroom is. Be patient.
  • When your dog first gets inside her new home, let her explore it freely so she feels safe
  • If you have small children, remind them to give the dog her space while she gets used to her new environment
  • Establish training rules with your family. You should all be on the same page about what behavior is acceptable. Similarly, you should all be using the same commands (i.e., everyone should say either “come” or “here, girl,” not a combination of both)
  • If the dog had a crate that she liked to stay in or a favorite toy make sure you let her have these items in the space that will be her bed
  • Show your ne dog plently of love when she comes to you, but give her space when she needs it

Moving with Your Dog

If you and your pet are moving to a new home, many of the same techniques apply as adopting a dog. Your pet will be unfamiliar with their environment, but you’ll have the advantage of them being familiar with you. Here are some tips for moving to a new home with your pet.

  • Bring all of their favorite items into the new home before the dog sees it. Food bowls, crate, toys, leashes, etc. Having these familiar sights and smells in their new home will help them acclimate
  • Bring your dog to their new neighborhood for a walk before the move if possible
  • Stick to your dog’s old schedule as much as possible; breakfast and dinner times, walks, and when to go out to the bathroom should be the same as before the move
  • Have your dog around often during the moving process. Remain calm so that your dog understands that everything is okay

Beware of the Hidden Costs of Moving

If you are planning a move you are probably busy thinking about the new costs of living, how much the rental truck will cost, packing and how you will get there. What you may not be considering is the hidden costs of moving.

Here just a few of the surprise costs of moving and some ideas on how to avoid them:

Late Fees

When you are moving things get lost in the mail or are slow to be forwarded to your new address. If you miss paying your bills on it can add up in unnecessary late fees. Switch all of your bills to online billing that way you are sure not to miss a payment that is lost in the mail.

Overdraft Fees

Don’t close that bank account just yet. You may have checks or bills still being drawn on that bank account. Leave your bank account open for approximately three months to allow all checks to clear. Doing this will help you avoid any overdraft fees.

Contract penalties

All of those contracts you have signed may come back to haunt you. Memberships at the gym, country club, day care facility, community association, etc. can cost you. Typically there is some type of annual or monthly contract associated with membership and cancelling early will usually cost you.  Some of these contracts will have an exception for a move so read the terms and conditions before you pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Auto insurance

Part of the cost of your auto insurance is determined by your address. For example, moving from an area with less population, to a more highly populated area will cost you more in auto insurance. Different states also have different laws regarding insurance coverage. States have different minimum liability requirements so in some states you will need to purchase personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage and in others you will not.

Health insurance

Health insurance can also change when you switch states. Just like auto insurance, health insurance mandates vary among states, too.  Some states require some types of medical procedures are covered while another has not mandated coverage.  Be sure to comparison-shop for your health insurance.

While adding up the normal costs of moving expenses like boxes and storage also be sure to check for these hidden costs and try to avoid losing money in your next move.

 

Moving Checklist

Moving can be stressful. The best way to not get overwhelmed is to have an organized plan and a step-by-step timeline. A little preparation will help make the move go a lot smoother.

Here is a checklist to help keep you on track:

60 Days Before You Move

  • Sort and Purge-Go through every room, decide what needs to come with you and what can go. Make piles of things to throw away and things to donate.
  • Plan a Yard Sale-Start planning a yard sale to reduce the amount of stuff you need to move. Some extra money for the move will also come in handy.
  • Hire a Mover-Contact at least three moving companies. On-site estimates are better than over the phone or internet estimates. Get each estimate in writing, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it.
  • Create a Moving Binder-Store all of your move-related paperwork (checklists, contracts, receipts) in a binder. You may also want to inventory all of your items with photos or lists.

Six Weeks Before Your Move

  • Get Packing Supplies-Determine how many packing supplies you’ll need and designate a room where you can begin to store and organize.
  • Take Measurements-If possible get room dimensions of your new home. Make sure large pieces of furniture will fit.  Don’t forget to take measurements for appliances too.

30 Days Before Your Move

  • Confirm with Mover-Check with your mover the details of your move.
  • Start Packing-Begin packing out-of-season clothes and unnecessary items.
  • Label-Make sure to label boxes with what rooms the boxes will go in at your new home.
  • Start/Stop Utilities-Make arrangements to connect and disconnect your cable, internet and utilities.
  • Change your Address- Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at http://www.usps.com.
  • Make Notifications- Change your address to the following: registry of motor vehicles, banks, schools, friends & family, insurance companies, doctors and specialists, cell phone providers, credit card companies and magazine and newspapers.
  • Contact Service Providers—Notify landscapers, cleaning services that you are moving, and look for new ones in your new hometown.

Two Weeks Before Your Move

  • Call Locksmith- Have your new home’s locks changed on moving day or before.
  • Arrange Services- Have a cleaning company prepare the new home before you arrive and tidy the old home after you leave. Arrange for carpet cleaning too.
  • Pack the bulk of your items.
  • Start Cleaning-Begin cleaning any rooms in your house that have been emptied, such as closets, basements or attics.

One Week Before Your Move

  • Pack Suitcases- Finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
  • Gather Keys- Organize all keys, alarm codes and garage door openers so that you can be prepared to hand them over to the new owner or real estate agent.

A Few Days Before Your Move

  • Defrost the Freezer- Empty, clean and defrost the freezer at least 24 hours before moving day.
  • Make Payment Plans- You will need to make sure you have made arrangements to pay the mover and have a tip (usually 10%-15%).

Moving Day

  • List Contact Info- Write out a list for your movers of things they’ll need: phone numbers, exact moving address and maps.
  • Take Inventory- Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.
  • Walk-Through- Do a walk-through of your new home with your real estate agent.
  • Layout New Home- Tape names to doors to assist movers in placing furniture and boxes.
  • Have Director- Arrange for someone to direct the movers at your new home.

 

 

Money Saving Tips on Moving

Moving can be an expensive endeavor. Even if you decide to rent a truck and move your belongings yourself there are lots of other expenses that can add up. Luckily, there are a few simple ways consumers can save money hauling their belongings from their current home to the next one.

Purge your things. Instead of moving things that you don’t use sell or donate them. If you decide to donate items to charity, you could save lots of time and even get a tax deduction.

Move on a less popular day. The most popular time to move is at the end of the month. Since most closings happen and leases are up at the end of the month there’s more competition for the trucks and moving crews. Moving at the end of the month will also cost you more. Choose your moving date midweek, closer to the middle of the month.

Packing materials like bubble wrap and foam peanuts are costly. If you are packing your own items use things you have around the house like bed linens, towels and clothing to pad your items. You can also use newspapers and tissue paper from gift bags. Be careful when using newspaper as the newsprint will smudge on dishes and other items.

Don’t buy moving boxes check Freecycle and Craigslist for free ones first. Ask around, your friends may have boxes suitable for moving.