Step-By-Step Guide To Planning For Your Move

Advice for Moving

Helpful moving tips by New Haven Moving Equipment

Although moving somewhere new can be a wonderful life event, moving is still rated as one of the most stressful life events. However, the bottom line is that moving does not have to be stressful. If you have a clear list of all the tasks ahead, start your planning and prep work early enough, and take care of each step in an unhurried and systematic way, it is very possible to get through your move effectively and stress-lessly. Here are the important steps to take beginning (ideally!) three months or so in advance. If you don’t have three months, then be sure you still check off everything applicable on this list.

Step 1)Decide how you can most efficiently keep organized your lists of everything you need to do, everyone you speak to, and all the paperwork you receive. Although you can do much of this on the calendar on your mobile phone, many people find it easier to create a designated 3-ring Binder. Anytime you speak to anyone on the phone, from potential Moving Companies to a Utility Company to your child’s new school, have this notebook with you, and write down all the details you hear.
At the beginning of your notebook include a three-four month calendar, in which you will write down all important phone numbers, contacts, dates, appointments, and planned activities (such as which days you plan to pack). You should insert into your binder all of the paperwork you receive during the course of your move.

Step 2) Decide whether you plan on moving yourself (if that is even at all possible) or hiring a Moving Company. It is vitally important that you hire only a reputable and dependable moving company and get a written estimate. There are several steps you can take to verify the quality and ethics of a moving company. This includes checking with the Better Business Bureau, looking to see if your company is a member of the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), asking for a client list, and checking with friends and associates.

If you are considering doing the move yourself and not hiring a professional moving company, be very certain that this is the best way to go. Consider all of the heavy items in your home, from your furniture, dining room table, appliances, and mattresses to the number of books you have. Keep in mind that although friends and family members may initially agree to help, things can occur that prevent them from helping out at the last minute.

If you are planning on renting a truck, you want to make absolute certain that the truck will be available on moving day.
vailable on moving day.

Step 3) Once you decide to hire a professional moving company, you will need to decide whether you would like to pay the moving company to pack for you or whether you will do your own packing. Several variables to consider when making this decision are the following:

  1. How much more money will it cost you to have the movers pack for you as compared to how much money it will cost you to pack yourself. To answer this question, you will need to ascertain the cost of purchasing all of your own moving supplies, packaging materials, moving boxes, etc.; as well as the income lost from taking time away from work to pack. If you have young children, it might also cost you money to pay for babysitters while you pack.
  2. Do you have sufficient time and energy to do all of your own packing—given your work and home responsibilities? If you have young children, ask yourself what the impact might be to your children (and hence your own sanity!) if you had to go through the rigors and chaos of packing yourself over the course of many days or even weeks.
Can you withstand living with moving boxes all around you for several days to two weeks?

Moving companies can generally pack your home in a lightning fast manner (sometimes in less than one day, and generally never more than one and a half days). For reasons on why hiring a moving company can make sense, see our article

Step 4) Unless your moving company is doing your packing and providing your moving boxes, you will need to purchase moving supplies. This includes moving boxes and packaging materials. There are several basic moving boxes that are needed for a residential move

These include the following:

1.5 Cubic Feet Small boxes – also called Book boxes

These are used for not only for books but also for tools, CD’s, small appliances and items that are small but have weight.

3.0 Cubic Feet Medium moving boxes

These are used for clothing, lamps, electronics, bulkier & larger—but not overly heavy—items

6.0 Cubic Feet Extra Large moving boxes

These are for bulky items such as toys, stuffed animals, comforters, linens and towels.

Dish-Packs (New Haven Dish Packs come with optional Cells and Dividers to make it easy to pack and keep your dish and glassware secure)

Wardrobes (New Haven Wardrobe Boxes come with optional bars so you can easily and quickly move your clothes from your closet to the box).

In addition, New Haven has many extra-strong specialty moving boxes available to allow you to pack with the highest level of safety and ease. These specialty boxes include the following:

Flat Panel TV box

Lamp Base box

Mirror boxes (for Mirrors and Art)

Tip: detailed video blog on how to pack mirrors and pictures frames

Wine Shipping boxes (if you have a small collection of wine)

Sofa Box

Mattress Box (keeps your mattress clean and free from dust and moisture)

To get a full understanding of the importance of purchasing only durable, strong corrugated that can resist crushing, read our article

For Moving and Packaging Materials, you will need to purchase at the very least the following:

Box Tape —New Haven’s NH748 Box Tape is perfect for moving boxes cartons and strategically made to be waterproof and to stick and hold Tight to boxes cartons and corrugated materials

Wrapping Paper, to be used for wrapping dish-ware and breakable items Perfect for this is New Haven’s Newsprint NH742 which is of consistent quality and engineered to provide cushioning protection.

Bubble Roll to be used for particularly fragile and precious items

For even more ease when packing particularly valuable dishwater, our experts recommend using New Haven’s PNM Dish Saver Kit. Our kit comes with 24 foam pouches for plates of varying sizes and a divider cell that fits into a PNM 1.5 small box.

This provides the ultimate in cushioning for high end, fragile dish-ware.

Step 5)Schools. Call and/or visit your child’s current and new schools. You will need to complete new school registration, request a records transfer, and do whatever is necessary to make the transition comfortable for your children. The school might be able to tell you about summer camps and summer programs that are popular and will help your child make friends before the year begins. If you are moving during the summer and not during the school year, remember to ask about summer reading assignments. If you are moving during the school year, you may want to inquire about any tutors or resource rooms the school has to help your child catch-up during his/her initial weeks.

If your children are also signed up for extra-curricular and after-school activities, you may wish to investigate where to find the best in new classes, leagues, and activities. Asking people at the new school, your new neighbors, your realtor, or going online are great places to begin learning about what’s available for your children in your new neighborhood.

Step 6)Medical. If you need to switch physicians and dentists, you should look for the best possible new doctors before your move. If you have medical insurance that restricts whom you can see, you may need some time to investigate your insurance company’s physician lists and so research on the suitability of these doctors. Once you have settled on your top choices, schedule your first appointment, even if it’s at a later date. It is often important to establish yourself as a patient as soon as you move to a new area, so that the doctor will be available to you when you need him/her. You will also need to sign permission to have your medical records transferred.

Step 7)If you are moving to a new neighborhood, you may also need to identify an entirely new group of professionals and shops for all of your needs. This list includes everything from a new hair salon and bakery to being aware of the best walk-in clinics and ER’s. It’s helpful to be on the look-out early.

Step 8)Banking. If you need to move banks, you may need some time to investigate which banks are closest to your new home and offer for you the best fit in terms of services and fees. Banks that are primarily local often offer a higher interest rate for the money you keep in your savings accounts than do banks that are national. However, local branches will not offer you banking locations throughout your state or the country. Some banks also offer better online services, although more and more all banks are offering online banking and deposits over the telephone.

If you have items in the Safe Deposit Box at your old bank, you may want to switch these items to your new bank just prior to the move It’s important that any items you wish to be held safely in a safe-deposit box not go home with you right after your move. Be sure that they go directly from one box to another.

Step 9)Change of address It might take a few months to complete the moving process of letting all the organizations and people with whom you do business or socialize know your new address. However, it is essential that you contact specific organizations with your new address. These include the following:

All credit card companies and anyone who sends you an invoice. Doing a change of address with the post office is important and helpful; however, it cannot ensure that you will get your bill in sufficient time, as many companies give a small margin of time with which you can pay and be current. Do not risk your credit rating by not advising creditors of your change of address.

All financial institutions with whom you have any sort of account (money market, mutual funds, pensions, etc.).

Schools, universities, organizations with whom you are licensed, and charities who will be sending you a statement.

All your insurance companies.

You will also need to go to the Driver’s License Bureau to get a new license. Each state has laws regarding how many days or weeks you have before you must have a new license.

Step 10)Insurance companies

Ask your insurance company if they cover damages that occur during a move. This is something to also ask your moving company. If your moving company does provide insurance, ask for a copy of the paperwork guaranteeing this.

Very important prior to your move is obtaining new homeowners or renters insurance and giving yourself enough time to compare your new rates—which may be very different from your current rates. You may also need to obtain a new set of additional policies including Umbrella Policy, Flood Insurance, and Separate Endorsements for specific items (such as jewellery) that you want additional protection on.
You may want to take this opportunity to take pictures of all your existing special items that you would be seeking compensation for should something be damaged in a move, as well as to put together your receipts for these items. Write down serial numbers of all electronics.When you call your auto insurance company, this may be a good time to do a “check-up” on your existing policy in case there are changes you wish to make.

Step 11) Utility companies, cable, and computer companies, cable, and computer networking

Moving from one home to another is often a great opportunity or impetus to discuss with your cable company it’s new deals and special offers that can save you money and provide you with increased services.

You want to be sure that your cable service, electricity, gas, telephone, water, waste disposal and internet services are up and running the day you move in. Ideally, they should be running prior to your moving in, so you should have utilities turned on in both locations for the days of the move. This is especially important if you need heat or air-conditioning on the day of the move.

It is recommended that you speak with the waste disposal company at both locations to find out their policies about taking away boxes, large items, discarded furniture, etc. You may need to order extra waste pick-up services at both addresses on the days before, during and after the move.

Step 12)Pre-Packing organization

Prior to packing your home, or having the movers pack your home, you will have a much better moving and unpacking experience by going through your home and discarding all papers, clothes, knick-knacks, old dish-ware, linens, toys, and items of any sort you no longer need. Ask yourself if this item truly belongs in your new home, in your new closet, in your new pantry and shelving. Is this something you will take pleasure in unpacking..

That being said, do not go overboard when discarding papers, old bills, childhood memorabilia, receipts, etc. Sometimes, in the zeal to throw things out, something of importance is discarded prematurely. So give yourself enough time to go through paper work judiciously..

Here are some tips when organizing your papers:
A) If your papers are not already well organized, try one of these method.

  • Buy an accordion folder that allows you to file all of your important papers in one according file.
  • If you have a filing cabinet or file drawer in your desk, use hanging folders and file your papers using a labelling system. During the move, you can take the hanging folders out of the file drawer and keep them with you. Or, if you are not worried about their security, you can tape the drawer shut.
  • Buy very large 3 ring binders and organize your papers inside of the binders.
Very importantly, if you are rushed for time when organizing your papers prior to your move, create a box or large folder for all papers you are considering throwing out but have some doubts about. Keep them in this folder for as many years as you need to. You never know when an old paid bill will be helpful (for example, for an insurance claim you might need to file three years from now that you are not aware of at the present time). So organize everything, but keep items you are uncertain about in a file designated as such.

It is also important to put together all items of sentimental value that you do not want to take a chance on losing. This can be everything from family photos & cherished papers to birth certificates, awards, and of course jewellery and other items of value.

When considering items of financial value (such as jewellery, expensive pieces of art, and silver) make sure you have documentation of these items for your insurance company. If you do not have individual items insured, be sure to take pictures and videos of them and make a list of each item, the place where it was purchased, and any other information you may have regarding its purchase and worth. Be extra sure that these items are going to be wrapped and transported safely, and you may want to consider transporting them yourself.

When considering items of personal, sentimental value that cannot be replaced, you should ideally pack them together into a box or crate and take them with you during the move.

Step 13) Clean out your pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and garage as moving day approaches.

Try to use up all of your frozen food before the move, as, depending upon the distance of your move, they might not be movable. Give away to neighbors whatever you like and purposefully start using in your menus the weeks before your move all of your pantry and freezer items.

Remember when packing that there are cleaners, flammable and potentially harmful items in your garage, laundry room, and kitchen that should not be moved but rather safely discarded.

This list includes such items as fire extinguishers, liquid bleach, propane gas, fireworks, ammunition, kerosene, ammonia, pool chemicals, charcoal and charcoal lighter fluid, darkroom chemicals, SCUBA tanks, paint, paint thinner and weed killer. For a complete list, ask your moving company ahead of time so that you are prepared.

For more in identifying and discarding hazardous household materials, here is a helpful link

Putting a side everything you will need for the day before, the day of, and the day after your move

VERY important is to create one or two boxes, or a crate, and put inside the following:

A) All medicines and vitamins you will need to take

B) All books, small electronics & mobile devices, books, and items you want with you

C) Charging cords for your cell phone and your small electronics

D) All paperwork you need for your move including your moving contract

E) Any small items you are afraid to lose or have stolen including checkbooks

F) Change of clothing and shoes; Outerwear

G) Toys and important items for children

Be sure to set aside ample food, drink and coffee/tea for yourself and your children. Plan ahead so that you definitely have sufficient food and water. Be sure that you include food items that have sufficient protein and can be unrefrigerated for a full day.

Step 15) If you have young children, plan ahead for how to best keep your children safe, taken care of, and occupied during the move. If they can stay with family or close friends for the day of the move, that may be your best option. Or, if you can, have a baby-sitter with whom your children are comfortable stay with you during the move.

For more ideas on what to do the day of the move, see our blog

For additional help and advice on moving supplies and moving kits and the number of moving boxes you will need, call New Haven at 800 743 7237 or visit us online at