Moving Tips

Here is a quick check list of items that can help you during the physical act of moving. Whether you are using a professional moving company or doing it all yourself, these tips will help you with everything from how to pack breakables to what to pack first to how to pack cleaning products.

These helpful check lists will help you get from your old home to your new one. Most people can’t start packing until two weeks before they move out because they need to use the items they would be packing. This list encourages you to begin packing as early as possible, but we understand that each person is under his or her own specific pressures and timelines.

Moving Company/Rental Truck: Hire a moving company or reserve a rental truck first thing. These services can easily get booked up and leave you stranded. So the sooner you hire a moving company or rent a truck the better.

2 Weeks Before
Locating Boxes: Grocery stores, bars and liquor stores always have the best empty boxes. Their boxes are designed to be able to hold large amounts of weight. However, if you have a friend or neighbor who has moved recently, ask them if you can take some boxes off their hands.

Packing Bikes: Visit a bike shop for a box to pack your bike(s).

Make Moving Painless: Pack a little bit every night. One box can make a big difference.

One Week Before
Reserve the Elevator: If you are moving into a high-rise apartment, reserve use of an elevator (where possible) so that you are not constantly waiting on each load.

Heavy Boxes: Sit all boxes of books and heavy stuff on the floor so that lighter boxes can go on top.

Stacking Breakables: Find a place on the floor for breakables so that they can’t fall off of anything.

Few Days Before
Double Check on Your Rentals: If you are renting a truck, call again to make sure that your truck will indeed be ready just to be on the safe side.

Rental Truck Emergency Kit: Buy some windshield wiper fluid, anti-freeze or coolant, and motor oil. This truck will be pulling a heavy load and it might need more than just gas to get there.

Buy a Lock: Buy a lock so that you can secure the back door to your truck.

Road Supplies: Make a list of things that you want to have in the car with you — either to eat, drink, or occupy your mind.

Lodging reservations: If you will be stopping in an area with many lodging choices, it is best to grab a room when you arrive to get the best price. But if you don’t want to drive around looking for places, then reserve a room in advance. If you are camping in a state park, it is best to reserve a space before you leave.

Always Double-Check: Double-check reservations at campgrounds, hotels, motels, Aunt Jane’s just to be on the safe side.

Travel Entertainment: Bring games in the car for the kids to entertain themselves.

Road Trip Essentials: Many moving trucks are only equipped with the barest essentials, often without a tape deck or CD player, sometimes even without FM radio. Check your particular truck and decide if you can travel that far without some good tunes or talk radio. Buying a small radio might be a good investment.

Moving Day
Renting the Truck: There will be a walk around by you and one of the rental company employees. You will be held accountable for any damage that is not written on this sheet. So be sure to note every little flaw.

Think about Overpasses: Before you pull out of the driveway, get your mind ready to be thinking about overpasses. This is a common problem with rental trucks as people are not used to looking for low clearance. If you go under a low clearance bridge that you will not clear, it will destroy the truck. And you will be left holding the bill.

Loading a Rental Truck: When loading the rental truck pack the heavy stuff toward the front of the truck — meaning the part of the truck closest to the cab. Washers and dryers should go on first, followed by pianos, furniture, and anything big and heavy.

Truck Ramps: Often rental trucks have a pullout ramp for loading and unloading. This ramp is narrow and typically made of aluminum. Be careful that you don’t fall off either side when carrying heavy objects. Also, these ramps can become very slick if they even get a little bit wet. Carpet scraps and rags are great to minimize slipping.

Consider Unloading: If you can, pack such that what you want to come off first is put on last. Mainly items that will be going upstairs or toward the back of the house should be loaded last, so they can come off first.

Towing a Vehicle: If you are towing a vehicle behind your rental truck, make sure the trailer has a working tow package. This means that the brake lights, tail lights, blinkers, and trailer brakes are all in working order.

Crowns in the Road: All roads are crowned in the middle so that water won’t stand. This crown will feel severe in a big truck. Try to stack the driver’s side of the truck with more of the heavy stuff so that the truck rides even.

Parking Your Rental Truck: If you are traveling on multiple nights, make sure to park your truck smartly. Find a wall or a tree or some otherwise immovable place where you can back the truck right up close. This way, if someone happens to break into your truck, they won’t be able to get many items out.

Moving In: If you have items that will just go into storage in your new home, such as in the basement or in a closet, be sure to take these boxes straight there. Don’t just drop off boxes right inside the door because it’s easy. Take them where they need to go because you will end up stepping over them throughout moving day.

One Extra Day: It is a smart idea to compare the pricing difference if you kept the truck one extra day. People often underestimate how draining the whole moving process can be, and if you are hurrying all day so that you can return the truck by five, you will most likely make extra work on yourself by not moving the right things to the right room. Find out what it would be worth to you to be able to take breaks, work at a nice pace, and take the truck back the next day. It could be such a small amount that it will be worth it to pay for the extra time and have the option to be tired and work smartly.

Gas up the Truck: Be sure to take the rental truck back with a full tank of gas, as they will charge you an extraordinary amount per gallon if they have to fill it.