Operation Moving Day

A Moving Experience
Moving this summer? Join the club-with warmer weather and school around the corner, it's typically the busiest moving season of the year. Here's how to cut the stress and make your move a smooth one.

Months Ahead
Planning ahead will cut headaches. Remember: you're not the only one moving, and the early booker gets the worm (or the coveted 10 a.m. elevator slot).

  • Gather moving supplies (boxes, tape, tissue or newspaper, heavy black markers).
  • Pack out-of-season clothes, sports equipment and tools you won't need anytime soon.
  • Mercilessly "edit" your belongings and donate, sell and discard things you no longer use or which are broken beyond repair.
  • Book the moving van. (Do this after you've edited your belongings to get a more precise price estimate.)
  • Contact utilities and other home-service providers, to arrange for cutoff of service the day after your move, and to set up service at your new address.
  • Contact your kids' old and new schools to have academic records forwarded, and enroll for fall.
  • If moving in or out of a high-rise, book the freight elevator.

Two to Four Weeks Ahead

  • Ask a trusted friend or relative to watch your kids on Moving Day (drop them off the night before). This will make the move easier for you and safer for them.
  • Book overnight Moving Day boarding of pets at the vet or kennel (or with friends).
  • Pack in earnest. Be sure to mark boxes so you know what's inside, ie. "Kitchen-Countertop Appliances," "Dining room: good china, 1 of 3 boxes." When packing outdoor items make sure they are dry first, to avoid the onset of mold.

One Week Ahead

  • Set aside a special area for the boxes and bags that you plan to bring with you in your own vehicle. Make signs that say "MOVE BY CAR, NOT VAN"
  • Pack essential paperwork (passports, I.D., legal and house-related documents) and small valuables to carry in your own vehicle.
  • If your hard drive contains info you can't afford to lose, pack your computer for the car. (Liability by the movers is typically limited to the purchase value of the computer, not its contents.)
  • Pack new-home and day-after essentials in boxes labeled "LOAD LAST, 1 of 3," etc. These should be the last onto the truck, and the first off, so set them aside in their own special spot at the new place. Contents might include toiletries, coffee and coffeemaker, toaster, pet supplies and kids' toys.

Move Day Checklist

  • Exchange cell phone numbers with movers
  • Once contents are out, do at least two walk-throughs looking for any forgotten items
  • Sweep and throw out trash
  • Close all windows and turn off lights, close all gates
  • Leave keys with superintendent (tenants) or lawyer (homeowners)
  • Start unpacking, beginning with "essentials" boxes, and then things used most often, which is why precise labeling at the packing stage is very important!
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