A Mom’s Guide to Moving Day

Advice for Moving

By James Levine

  1. A month before your move, make a list of every telephone call or online task that needs to be accomplished in order to simultaneously turn off and turn on your utilities. You will need to contact most or all of the following:
  2. Your internet and cable services
  3. Your electric and gas companies
  4. Your telephone company (if different than your internet company)
  5. Your water company
  6. Your sanitation company.
  7. The post office for a change of address
  8. Your bank(s) for a change of address
  9. The Department of Motor Vehicle Registration
  10. Your homeowners insurance company and automobile insurance company
  11. Your credit card companies and all people from whom you receive bills

Be sure that you don’t disconnect your old services too soon, and similarly make certain that everything you need to be turned on is definitely turned on in time for your arrival. Keep perfect records of the phone numbers of these companies so that you don’t have to waste time looking up numbers again. Also keep a list of contact people, extensions, dates of service, and prices quoted.

If you are setting up a new bank account and pay any bills using online banking, be sure to set up new payments on your new account so that none of your bills go accidentally unpaid. Be especially vigilant that there is no disruption with your insurance companies.

A week before your move, make a strategic list of everything you will require to take care of your personal needs during the day of the move. Put these items aside before finishing up the packing of your home, so that these items won’t be accidentally packed before moving day. You don’t want to be caught suddenly without them or have to search frenetically through boxes when you realize you can’t find them. This list often includes the following—but of course the list is different for everyone):

A) Medications
B) Vitamins & Sunscreen
C) Select photo albums & precious personal items that you want to keep on-hand “just in case”
D) An emergency change of clothes, sweater or jacket, and pair of comfortable shoes.
E) Personal Papers including insurance papers, wills, legal documents, mortgages, bills, licenses, diplomas, and all confidential and important papers. These should ideally be put together in a very organized and safe manner so that they remain intact and un-compromised during the move. If you haven’t yet created an organizational system for them (such as labeled hanging files, an accordian file, a large folder with items inserted inside), it would be very helpful to do so—if you can find the time—prior to your move. Some people feel comfortable moving personal papers in designated boxes with their mover; others prefer to take personal papers (especially those with social security numbers and confidential information and papers that cannot be easily replicated) themselves in their own car. Whichever way you are most comfortable, It’s vital that you have a plan for these papers. If you are moving them yourself, make sure that they are in a secure box or shut crate and somewhere safe for you to access on the day of the move.

  1. It is important to also have on hand the papers you will need for moving This includes your moving contract, and estimate, checks or the credit card you plan to use, and the telephone numbers of the people you have been working with at the moving company. You may want to make sure that you have a number that you can reach even after hours, should a nighttime call become necessary.
  2. Put in a very safe place (such as a safe, your parent’s home, or a container that you keep under watch) all of your valuable items such as jewelry, coin collections, etc., as well as spare keys.
  3. Similarly, make a list of everything your children will need and then place these items together, preferably in the same box to ensure easy access. On a practical level, make sure that you set aside your childrens’ clothing, schoolbooks, homework, camp items, medicines, vitamins, and anything they need for daily functioning.

In terms of caring for your children during moving day, it is usually preferable to have your children stay with family or friends, if possible. If they need to be with you during the move, and you are moving in the same city, it’s a wonderful idea to enlist the aide of your favorite baby-sitter for the day to watch over them and keep them secure and happily occupied. But if none of these options for childcare work out, then plan ahead for how to keep your little ones safe and entertained during the arduous day. Safety is the most important issue, as it’s easy to get distracted when dealing with moving. So here are some helpful tips:

  1. Pack sufficient food, drinks and snacks for your children. You will probably need items that don’t need refrigeration (while you are in between homes) and that don’t need work to put together. Include in your picnic basket items that your children love, so that they will be kept as happy as possible during a day that they might be otherwise feeling ignored.
  2. B) Pack lots of fun things for your children to do. Depending upon their ages and proclivities, this might include books, e-readers, coloring books, Legos and building blocks, puzzles, their favorite toys, favorite dolls and stuffed animals, favorite blankets, and of course electronic devices on which they can watch approved movies. You want them to be willing to stay in one place (next to you)—so activities that keep them sedentary is a good thing.

5) If you are a coffee drinker, do not underestimate the importance of keeping on hand your favorite source for coffee! This could be your coffee maker (which you will take with you in your car), a thermos filled with coffee, bottled coffee, etc.

6) Also keep on hand plenty of pure water and cups.

7) Be sure that all of your moving cartons have been properly labeled with the room your movers will be placing the boxes in. This will greatly expedite the unpacking process.

Make designated boxes for your linens that you will need the first night, such as your comforters, sheets and pillows. Ask your movers to make sure that this box is not on the bottom of a pile of boxes or in the back of the room. You will need easy access in the evening!

8. It is important to plan ahead for packing and unpacking you electronics. Discuss with the moving company whether or not you would like them to pack your electronics. If you are packing and moving your electronics yourself, be sure that when you unplug your computer, you are very clear how to resurrect your computer once you move in terms of where each cord and plug go. Be sure to bring your surge protector with you, if you use one. If you are packing the electronics yourself rather than having your professional movers pack them in specialty boxes, you may wish to pack all of your electronics in one place, and then to move them in your own car. It’s important to ensure that all of your electronic devices, including your telephones, remote controls,, computers, tablets, printers, scanners, ipods, etc. are wrapped carefully and moved safely. Be sure you know where they are, so that they can be easily found and set up once you arrive at your new home. Label every box.

9. It is often a good idea to keep all of the television equipment separately and together. This includes your DVD player, television remotes, cable box, etc. Also, if you are returning your old cable box, be very certain to pack this carefully and to return the box as soon as you can—before you are charged for a lost box.

10. Be sure to forge a good relationship with the moving foreman and to express to him (or her!) all of your concerns and needs. Explain to him which items and furnishings are particularly important and need additional care. If you feel you need special floor protection to protect against damage to your tiles, wood, marble or carpeting, that is always available. Mattresses can also be covered or protected in a variety of ways, from the use of mattress cartons to mattress covers. If you are having appliances moved, a scuff shield will protect your floor. Specialty boxes for flat screen televisions, lamps, wine bottles, grandfather clocks, etc. are also available.

11. Finally, before your movers leave, be sure that everything is set up the way you need it to be. Ask your movers to wait until you go through the rooms and confirm that your beds are set up, the boxes you need are in place, furniture has been put back together, and you have located all of your important boxes and crates. Professional movers are often the most helpful and conscientious of individuals, and by working together with them as a team, you can usually be assured a great move.

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