PREPARING YOUR NEW HOME

Your new place should be ready, shouldn’t it? The place is empty, all you need to do is move your boxes and furniture into the right rooms. Here are some considerations.

The walk way, the carpeting, and the hard floors are all factors in your move. Are you going to lay down plastic to protect the carpet? Is the moving company going to lay down carpet protectors? If so what is the additional cost? Is it included in the quote? Professional movers normally have door protectors, and door jamb covers.

Hard wood floors and linoleum can be damaged quite easily by faulty skids or wheels. I have seen fridges tear gaping holes in linoleum floors. Dressers, sofas, chairs, and anything with feet has the potential to damage a floor. You must be vigilant to check your casters, skids and wheels for defects. Often if the plastic protector is damaged the nail that held it in place is still jutting out. Just waiting to destroy your floor.

Floor damage can happen when you move furniture from a carpeted room to a hardwood floor room. In a carpeted room you have no idea of the potential damage a bad caster can cause.  Carpet does not scratch.

I once moved a very large armoire from a carpeted bedroom to a bedroom with a wood floor. I told the wife that the casters needed to be replaced. I put the piece exactly where she wanted so they would not have to move it until it was fixed. As the crew continued to unload the truck, the husband decided to move the armoire to another wall by pushing it. His wife had not told him, and she was now taking care of the baby. The poor man put a three-foot scratch in his brand new wood floor. This is also why professional movers pick up or dolly furniture, sliding furniture is frowned upon.

The walk way must me clean. Sometimes new houses have mud on the walk way because of the new sod. Before your move make sure your walk way will be clean. The moving truck is clean, your new home is clean, should not your walk way is clean as well?  Mud on the walk way will get tracked in to the house and the moving truck.  Movers cannot take their shoes off because of safety reasons, as well as being impractical. I once had a customer ask for us to remove our shoes while we were carrying a piano. Movers have broken bones by accidently dropping something heavy on their toes even with their shoes on. They are not going to take their shoes off.  Moving heavy furniture is inherently risky. Not to be done bare foot.

The best way to prepare your new home for the move is to know where everything is going. Don’t make the movers stand there holding a piece of heavy furniture while you discuss with your spouse where the piece of furniture is going to end up. Have a plan before the move day. An organized move is a smooth move.

PREMOVE LOGISTICS

Nothing can sabotage your moving experience like poor planning. Whether you hire a full service moving company or are renting a moving truck there is still a ton of stuff to consider that has nothing to do with the actual move. Moving all your personal belongings from point A to point B, is only one aspect of your relocation.

Kids need to be unenrolled from their old school and enrolled in their new school. Parents will often move for the sole purpose of having their children go to a better school district.

Utilities need to be transferred. Water, electric, internet, and gas need to be shut off at the old address and turned on at your new home. It is a good idea to have your utilities overlap by a few days. The phone numbers to all of your utilities should be saved on your phone or written down. (In the appendix there is a place to save your help-full numbers,)

I have been on moves where the electric company had already shut off the lights and we were moving with lanterns and flash lights. This happens more than you would think with folks that try to cut corners. One person set the cut off the day after their move only to have their house closing delayed. Another person said “I told them to cut it off at 5pm” The electric company cut the power first thing in the morning. Pay for a few extra days and avoid the stress. Good lighting is key to a success full move. And, no one wants to spend the first night at their new home without water, AC, heat, the lights on, or the coffee maker working.

Your rental truck should be booked three weeks ahead of time. Rent it for a few extra days. You can always return it early. The cost is much less expensive three weeks before your move. If you need extra days with your rental truck at the last minute, you will pay a premium. If all the rental trucks are rented out at the end of the month, and you need to keep your truck for a few extra days, that puts the rental company in a bind. Your truck is already rented to another customer.

If you are hiring a professional, you should get at least three moving quotes from reputable moving companies. You should try to reserve your move date three weeks ahead of time. If your move date changes, notify your mover as soon as possible. The moving industry is a logistics industry. Professional moving companies will bend over backwards to accommodate your moving date. Priority is always given to customers that have already reserved their date.

One customer had their closing delayed by the title company. The paperwork was missing some small thing. We were already booked up for the end of the month. We had been turning away business for the last week. There are always folks that think that they can call today for a move tomorrow at the end of the month. Quality mover do not over book and fill all their time slots well ahead of time. Because this was our customer we accommodated their move date change, even though we were already booked up at the end of the month. We worked until’ one in the morning, but we got the move done and got our customer out of a jam. Moving companies give priority to those already on their schedule.

Plan for a baby sitter on move day. You do not want small children around the hours during the move. Heavy furniture being carried out of the house and children do not mix. The movers will be concerned with not bumping in to your kids, when all of their attention should be focused on the task at hand. Moving furniture without damaging it.

Find a pet sitter for move day. Pets under foot cause problems, I have also noticed that dogs get stressed out with strangers moving everything out of the house. This happens more thaen you would think, the dog will be tied up or in a cage, or in some cases loose in the home. The dog barks at the movers as they are moving out all the boxes and furniture. The dog looks at its owner, then at the moving men, then back to the owner and barks. The dog can’t understand what is going on. The house that the dog has sworn to protect is being emptied by strangers. And the owner won’t do anything, “What’s wrong with my owner, they are taking everything”. At the new house the dogs are normally as happy as can be, as all your personal belonging come pouring into the new house. Save your dog the stress, find a pet sitter.

Planning before your move, is the first step in having a smooth moving experience. Organize, make lists, and set up a schedule.

 

BEFORE MOVEDAY

Moving is stressful. Some rank it on the same list as death, divorce, and bankruptcy. But unlike accidents, betrayal, and the economy crashing. Household relocations can be well planned, well organized, and well prepared for.

What is easy for the expert is hard for the novice. With a little knowledge and planning your move can go smoothly. You can know what pitfalls to avoid, what questions to ask, and what to expect on moveday.

So you have your new place and a move date, but there are a lot of things you still have to consider. If you have bought or are building your dream house, you have probably dealt with a mountain of paper work that you did not even know existed. The home buying experience is complex, and a large book on its own.

Money is always a consideration. Nobody wants to over pay, everybody wants the best value for their dollar. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to do their research and acquire much needed knowledge. It is all too easy to skimp on the move when money is tight. Buying a house is expensive. Buying furniture to fill the house is expensive too. People often use moving to a new place as an excuse to redecorate and add new furnishings.

Hiring a mover is a means to an end. You are paying for men, moving boxes, and a truck, but the goal is simple. Move all my stuff from point A to point B. You are really paying for a service, an experience. By definition an experience that it better the less you notice it and the faster that it is over with.

Depending on money, friends, family, and time; you may be moving yourself, DIY. Maybe you are planning a hybrid move; using a mover for some things, moving the rest yourself. Or perhaps you are using a professional moving company to handle everything. A full service move.

Renting a moving truck can be simple and convenient. Hiring a professional moving company can be done with a phone call and a in home estimate. Understanding the companies and the right questions to ask can make all the difference in your moving experience.

 

You have four options to consider. Find out what suits you and your pocketbook best.

  1. Pack all the boxes and move everything yourself. DIY
  2. Pack all the boxes and move all the small stuff yourself. Have a professional moving company move all the big items.
  3. Pack all the boxes yourself. Hire a professional moving company to move all your furniture and sealed boxes. No rental truck or rental dollies needed. Most people choose this option. You can save a lot of money packing yourself.
  4. Hire a full service move. The movers will pack your boxes, and move everything. This is the stress free option.

PREPARING FOR YOUR MOVEDAY

Packing everything in boxes is the major part of preparing for move day. There are other things to consider when preparing your home for move day. Some things are obvious, other suggestions may seem counter intuitive.

You should refrain from watering your house plants three days before your move. Some people do just the opposite. Thinking that they are helping their plants by watering them right before the stress of moving. What they are really doing is causing a slipping hazard in the moving truck and causing water, dirty plant water, to get on their boxes and furniture. Water your plants at the new house. Also after the move you should prune your plants. That will invigorate growth and help them come back after the stress of the move.

BBQ grills need to be cleaned before move day. I once picked up a grill and the grease trap spilled all over my pant leg. The reason to clean the grill and remove the grease is to protect all your other furniture. We do not want grease or soot on the truck floor or moving blankets. It will track on everything else.

Moving is a great time for spring cleaning. Anything that you are planning to donate to charity should be done before the move.  Any crating should be done before the move, along with the packing. Any specialty items should be addressed and planned for before the move. Items that movers cannot move or you would prefer to move yourself, should be cleared before move day or in a designated pile marked “Do not move”

All boxes should be sealed with tape and marked what room they will go in at your new home. Boxes should be kept under forty pounds, if possible.

Most of move preparation is common sense. Making sure you are ready move day, makes the moving experience that much easier to deal with.

THE GARAGE

Garages have their own challenges, unique to each individual.  Some people’s garages are very organized, everything is already in a rubbermaid tub.  On the other hand, some garages look like a storage unit for the Beverly Hillbillies.  Most people fall somewhere in the middle.

 

The best time to clean out your garage and attic is before your move.  Don’t pay to move something you were going to throw out.  Have a garage sale before move day, and pick up some extra cash.  You can also lighten your load by giving to a charity of your choice.  Lots of charities will pick up donations or have convenient drop off locations.  Some moving companies will haul off items to their charity as a service to their community at no charge to you.  Ask for details, each moving company has their own policy.

 

Pack garage items in strong boxes.  Dish Packs make a good choice.

 

Long handled tools can be bundled and shrink wrapped.

 

Please empty fuel out of your power tools.  Moving companies cannot move anything flammable or explosive, i.e., gas cans, paints, pesticides, or any other dangerous chemicals.  This is a state law.  Moving companies have a “household goods” license, not a “hazard” or “flammable” endorsement.

 

This is a good thing.  You don’t want chemicals or flammable gas in the same truck as your furniture, clothes, and family photographs.  That is how trucks catch on fire.

 

The garage makes a great staging area to stack boxes to get them out of your way.  As always, label the contents of each box and what room you want it to be placed in at the new house.  Make sure each box is sealed with tape.

 

A well packed house helps make the actual move day go smoothly.  Boxes marked with contents and location simplify unpacking.  Most folks unpack themselves even if they did hire professional packers.  Unpacking is the other side of this equation.  Help balance that equation with the right pack job.

PANTRY AND LAUNDRY ROOM

Pantries are the easiest to pack.  It is just like grocery shopping, but in reverse.  Instead of “paper or plastic,” you have cardboard boxes.  Instead of lugging bags from the car, you have the movers roll your boxes on dollies.

Pack the Bottles and canned goods in 1.5 cu. ft. Boxes.

 

Pack the light items in 3.1 cu. ft. boxes, i.e. cereal, pasta, soup, et cetera.

 

This is a good time to go through your stocks and donate items you no longer want or need.  Never pay to move something you are planning to throw out.

 

Laundry rooms have special considerations.  I was once on a move where we were hired to unload a customer’s U Haul only, their route took them over a mountain pass.  The altitude changed and caused a pressure change in a bottle of bleach.  The bleach leaked.  Their suits and evening wear was in this particular wardrobe box.  An 88 cent bottle of bleach caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.  Throw out cleaning supplies that could damage your sofa or wardrobe, if accidently spilled.

 

All containers should be packed upright and lids secure.  Label “this side up,” and seal all boxes with tape.

KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM

Packing the kitchen is generally the most time consuming and requires the greatest skill.  Glass cracks and breaks quite easily, so here are some techniques the professionals utilize to avoid damages.

 

The novice packer almost never uses enough packing paper.  As with all packing, make sure the box is full and nothing can rattle or roll.  Even if you have to fill half the box with crinkled packing paper, make sure the box is full.  A box that is partially full is inherently weaker and could collapse in on itself.  The contents of half full boxes will bounce around and cause breakage.

 

The best packing advice is to wrap everything with plenty of packing paper, and to pack tightly all the way to the top of the box.  Seal with tape and label the contents.

 

3.1 cu. ft. boxes can be used for pots, pans, and small appliances.

 

Use 1.5 cu. ft. boxes and dish packs for all breakables.  Stemware should be rolled in a sheet of packing paper and packed vertically.  Do not pack glass on its side.  Glass is much stronger on its end.  Wrap each piece of glassware with a full sheet of paper.

 

Plates should be well wrapped, and packed on end.

 

Silverware and utensils should be wrapped in paper bundles and taped to prevent movement.

 

Knives should be wrapped in paper, taped, and then rolled in a piece of cardboard.  Crinkled paper should be placed in the sharp end of the knife pack.

 

Sharp knives that are improperly packed can cut through the box and injure someone.  I have seen sharp knives sticking out of boxes, and yes, good men have sustained injuries.  You just don’t expect a dagger jutting out the side of a moving box.

 

The contents of the fridge should be packed in a cooler.  The fridge must be empty in order to be moved.  This is a good time to clean out your fridge and throw out what you don’t want anymore.  The coolers can be the last items loaded on the truck and the first to come off.

 

Being that the kitchen is the hardest room to pack up in a typical home, people often request a partial pack job.  You can hire the professional packers to box up just your kitchen, if you choose.

THE BATHROOMS

Bathrooms are the easiest rooms in the house to pack due to their small size.  The main concern with the bathrooms is mixing up little items and the contents of the containers spilling out.  Some of your bathroom items should already be packed in your priority box, labeled for immediate use at your new home.

 

Towels and toilet paper can be packed in 3.1 cu. ft. boxes.

 

Wrap small items in packing paper to prevent them from getting mixed up.  For example, bobbie pins can be wrapped and taped to keep them together.

 

Make sure all lids are on securely.  If you have a product that could spill out or leak, put it in a ziplock bag.

 

Cleaning supplies need extra care.  If the lid does not seal tight it is better to throw it out than for it to spill on your clothes boxes.  Wrap all glass bottles with paper.  Keep all containers upright.

 

Label each box with “This side up,” with an arrow.  The boxes should be sealed with tape and labeled which bathroom it goes in at the new house.

THE BEDROOMS

It’s always a good idea to pack a fresh set of sheets in one of your priority boxes.  Making up your beds is one of the last things you will be doing on move day.  Don’t waste time searching through countless boxes for fresh linens.  This is especially true if you have children.  Putting baby to sleep is one of the big accomplishments of the first day in your new home.

 

Packing up a bedroom is fairly easy.  Clothes are placed in large boxes and require no bubble wrap or any extra packing care.  The only danger your clothes face is from an accidental bleach spill or getting wrinkled.

 

All hanging clothes should be packed in a wardrobe box.  Install the metal rod and hang your clothes up.

 

Folded clothes should be packed in a 3.1 cu. ft. box.

 

Dress shoes should be wrapped in packing paper, unless you have the original shoe box it came in.  I have always been surprised at how many people hold onto their old shoe boxes.

 

Most moving companies will let you leave clothes in your dressers and chest of drawers, but armoires and hi-boys must be emptied before your move.

 

You must pack all papers, letters, photographs, perfume, and makeup bottles.  Only fabric can remain in a dresser or chest of drawers.  Check with your moving company, some require that everything be emptied.

 

All boxes should be labeled with which bedroom it came from and sealed with tape.  Voila, your bedroom is packed!

LIVING ROOM AND GAME ROOM

Living rooms are relatively easy to pack.  Sofa, love seat, coffee table, end tables, and television do not require any packing to begin with.  The entertainment center must be emptied and contents packed.  Lamps, pictures, and knick knacks, etcetera, must be packed as well.

 

All the toys and games in the game room must be boxed.  Books that are on shelves, video games, and photo albums must be packed as well.

 

Pictures and wall decor must be boxed before the movers arrive.  Although some movers will move large (over 18 inches) pictures and mirrors by wrapping them in a moving pad on move day.  While this can save a great deal of money on large picture/mirror boxes, the proper way is to box each large picture/mirror into a picture box.

 

Small pictures (less than 18 inches) can be packed back to back in a 3.1 cu. ft. box.  Make sure to wrap them with plenty of packing paper or bubble wrap.

 

Box small lamps and lamp shades separately.

 

Box up DVD player, DVR, video game console, and other components by wrapping with bubble wrap and packing paper.

 

Books, photo albums, dvd’s and cd’s should be packed in 1.5 cu. ft. book boxes.

 

Wrap breakable decor and knick knacks with extra care.

 

Games and toys seldom require packing paper or bubble wrap.

 

All in all, the living room is fairly straightforward when it comes to packing