Here are a few tips and reminders that will help you move as easily as possible.
About a month before you move:
- Clean out your closets, attic, basement and any other storage place from any item you may not want or need any more.
- If you are planning to get rid of a lot of items – consider having a garage sale or donating them to charity, hospitals, shelters or whatever. If you choose to donate remember to keep the receipts for tax purposes.
- Think hard whether or not to ship your appliances. Don’t move a gas stove to an all-electric house! Check if your appliances match your new house in size age or color if not try and sell them.
- Make a list of all the items that are going to be moved
- Try to use up all frozen food and all canned goods. Frozen food can’t be shipped safely and canned goods are heavy and take to much space.
At least two weeks before you move:
- Notify your utility companies of your move and confirm with them the exact date when they should disconnect your services. Contact the utility services in your destination area and set a date with them to start service at your new home. Remember that any period of time with out utilities can cost you money in hotel bills and food expenses.
- Label each carton with the name of the room it will end up in the new house.
- Make sure your fragile items are given special attention and packed safely.
- Make arrangements to leave your house key with whomever necessary. Make sure you include all keys – mailbox, front gate, back gate, remote for parking space ext.
- Notify the police if the house is going to be empty for a few days.
On the day of your move out:
- Check the mover’s inventory list and take a copy of it. Make sure you both agree on the condition of your furniture. If there is a dispute or a doubt in your mind take pictures of the items.
- Don’t let the truck leave before you checked every room of the house.
- Don’t confuse the items and luggage you are taking with you and the ones going into the truck. If possible place the things you are taking with you in your car before the movers come.
- Verify with your truck driver that he has the right direction to the new address and give him numbers in which to reach you in the new location or a cell phone if you have one.
- Don’t sign the bill of lading before checking it. Keep a copy for your records.
- Turn off water heaters and the thermostat before you leave
Day of move in:
- Get to your home before the movers do. There might be an extra charge if they will be forced to wait for you. Or if they have to wait for you for more then 2 hours they will place your property at a storage facility at your expense.
Unloading and taking inventory:
- Get the inventory sheets from the driver and ask the workers to call out the number of each box they carry into the house. Carefully check off every box that has been carried to the house. Make sure all boxes are checked off before you sign the inventory sheet for the driver. Once you sign it you are basically saying that everything has been delivered and from that moment on the moving company has no liability for any lost items claim.
- Write down on the inventory sheet all damage to your belonging before signing it. Once you checked everything and wrote all damages down on the inventory sheet call your moving company and inform them of the damages.
- For an extra fee, moving companies will unpack your stuff for you and discard of all packing material. If not You will probably have to do some of the unpacking after the movers are gone make a note on the inventory sheet that says “Subject to inspection for concealed damage or loss of items” that way the moving company may still be liable in case you find missing or damaged items later.
- Check all appliances, water heaters and furnace. Contact the repair services immediately.
- Don’t try to polish or repair any furniture that has been damaged. These actions usually just make the damage look older then it is making it easy for the moving company to claim it was not done by them.
- Movers are not liable to damage done to items you packed on your own. That said, if you notice that one of the boxes you packed has been damaged on the outside – keep it. It will help you prove the box was handled poorly which caused the damage to the items inside.