Before you move, you should:

  • Compare moving companies and get a variety of estimates.
  • Hire a reputable moving company and schedule an appointment.
  • Ask the movers about the specifics of their services and insurance policy.
  • Create a file for all your moving documents.
  • Check with your CPA or on the IRS website for moving tax breaks.
  • Clean your home completely, revealing all the items you wish to discard and move.
  • Create an inventory of everything in your home.
  • Start packing rarely used items.
  • Notify your doctors, school officials, and bank that you will be moving.
  • Fill out a change of address form.
  • Sell or donate items you don’t want to bring with you.
  • Arrange for somewhere to stay temporarily if the moving process will take more than one day
  • Disconnect all utilities
  • Create a small moving day survival bag that you will live out of during the move
  • Pack and label everything that you can before moving day

On moving day, you should:

  • Double check the moving inventory and make sure all your items are packed and labeled.
  • Be present and ready for the movers.
  • Sign the bill of lading and the inventory checklist.
  • Supervise the packing process and aid with anything you can.
  • Do a final check of your old home, making sure nothing was forgotten.
  • Leave your home and go to any temporary residence that may be necessary during the moving process.
  • Keep all the moving and insurance papers with you.
  • Be present at your new home for when the movers arrive.
  • Inspect your items for any damage.
  • Sign the necessary paperwork after you checked that your items are all accounted for in the inventory.
  • Pay the driver before the unloading process begins (a must).
  • Tell the movers where to unload all of your belongings.
  • Check that the truck is empty before letting the movers leave.
  • Keep all the moving receipts in your file.
  • Finish unpacking as you settle in to your new home.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Plan your move as early as possible. You should contact moving companies three months ahead of time to ask about services, availability and to get an estimate.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute. Moving companies can be booked very quickly, especially in the summer, which is prime moving season.

Do: Sell or give away items that you do not wish to bring with you on your move.

Don’t: Insist that everything you ever owned get moved with you. This will drive up the price of the move and make it much more difficult for the movers. You don’t need all those things.

Do: Clean your old and new homes before and after your move. You don’t want to lose any items or kick up dust during the move.

Don’t: Expect movers to sift through your messy belongings for you. They are a moving company, not a cleaning service.

Do: Provide instructions and supervision to movers who are loading and unloading your belongings.

Don’t: Sit by idly or be absent during a move. Even if your boxes are labeled, it is always good to let movers know where you want them verbally.