When you hire full service movers, they take care of everything -- from packing all of your belongings and loading them onto the truck to driving them to your new location and unloading your shipment. They may even disassemble and reassemble your furniture. You don't even have to lift a finger.
While full service moving is the most convenient relocation method, there are still several tasks to take care of before the movers arrive. Full service movers are quite competent, but they will really appreciate you being prepared for them. This guide will provide you with tips on what to do to prepare your home for moving day.
1. Make a moving inventory checklist for everything you're moving
Keep an itemized checklist of all of your belongings, so you can keep track of everything as it is being packed and unpacked. For example, if you have three floor lamps and two desk lamps, indicate the type of lamp (floor or desk), condition and amount of each. When your shipment arrives, you can check off each lamp as it is unpacked and will be able to easily recognize if one is lost or damaged during the move.
We also suggest taking photos of all expensive items to prove their condition before the move. Visual evidence is hard to dispute in case you need to file a claim for damaged goods.
TIP: Feeling overwhelmed? If you don't know where to start, download our moving inventory checklist.
2. Designate items that only YOU want to pack
If you hire full service movers with packing services, they will take care of all the packing, wrapping and loading for you. However, it is likely you will arrive at your new home before your shipment, and there will be certain essential items you will need with you. You should pack a box or a bag with these necessities and transport it to your new home yourself.
Examples of things to include in your first night essentials:
- Change of clothes
- Phone charger
- First-aid kit
Important documents, expensive jewelry and heirlooms should also not be touched by your movers, since they contain sensitive information and/or are extremely valuable. You should pack these things yourself and make it clear to your movers that they should not touch them.
Sometimes, there are delicate or tricky/unusual items that you want packed in a specific way. Trying to explain to your movers how you want unconventional items packed can take more time than doing it yourself, and there's no guarantee that they will pack them exactly the way you like.
TIP: Designate a room in your house to be a "do not enter" zone. Put anything you packed or want to drive to your new home youself in this area. Label this boxes "PBO" (packed by owner).
3. Downsize your belongings before packing
Paying for packing services can grow costly if you have a large volume of belongings. Before moving day, plan to sift through your possessions and decide what you don't want to bring with you to your new home. Donate unwanted items to charity, have a yard sale or sell nearly-new or unused belongings online. You will cut your moving costs considerably by eliminating excess junk that will be uselessly collecting dust at your new home.
Examples of things that you may want to get rid of:
- Toys and entertainment devices
- Old clothes
- Tiny knick-knacks
4. Unplug, unhook, empty, disassemble
5. Prepare your home before moving day arrives
Before the movers arrive, make sure you measure all hallways and doorways that your furniture and other cumbersome items will have to pass through to ensure that they will fit. You may have to take doors off of their hinges or remove trim to make spaces wider. You should also check your floors and rugs for anything that could be hazardous during the move, like loose floorboards and slack or bunched carpeting
If possible, bring all boxes down to the first floor of your home
6. Remove all flammable items from the house
There are some items that movers will not transport, such as anything that is flammable, combustible, corrosive or hazardous. Some examples of these items include:
- Aerosol cans
- Cleaning fluids
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
- Propane tanks
Separate these items from the rest of your possessions to pack yourself and transport in your own vehicle, or to be disposed of properly.
7. Get some insurance to protect your home
While professional movers and packers are trained, skilled workers that employ the most efficient tactics to safely wrap and transport your belongings, there is always a chance that something will become broken or lost during the move. To protect yourself and your possessions, you should purchase additional moving insurance. The standard liability coverage offered by movers at no charge is known as Replacement Value Protection, and it covers your belongings with a mere 60 cents per pound per article. Before moving day, speak to your movers about their options for additional coverage to properly protect your things.
Be around to supervise. A well-prepared mover will provide physical protection to minimize any potential damage that could be caused during the move. This means floor covering and corner guards for the paths that your movers will take when moving items to prevent scratches and dings. And although most movers bring materials to protect your carpets, walls and floors from damage while they are working, you should inquire about these practices prior to moving day and ask if these measures will cost extra.
8. Keep your children and pets out of the way
Kids and pets have a knack for being nosy, getting into trouble and constantly being underfoot. On moving day, conditions in your home will be dangerous for both children and pets as the movers march in and out of your house, lugging heavy boxes and furniture. They could become injured, stepped on, trapped or crushed in the commotion. Pets could also slip out through an open door while the movers are entering and exiting your home.
To ensure the safety of your little ones and furry friends, keep them occupied in an empty room that's already been packed. Or, if possible, hire a sitter to keep them out of the house for the day. If you must, you can keep your dog in the backyard or your cat in a carrier until it is time to leave for their new home.
9. Have drinks and food readily available
Movers work hard to quickly and effectively move the entire contents of your household from one location to another. It's a job that requires a great deal of diligence, skill and back-breaking labor. To show your appreciation, it is a nice gesture to keep sustenance on hand. For example:
- Snacks like pretzels or chips
- Bottles of ice cold water
- Purchased lunch, such as a pizza, burgers or sandwiches
When your movers are happy, they work better, which is good for both parties involved.
10. Have cash for tips readily available
While tipping the moving crew is not necessarily expected, it is a generous way to show appreciation for a job well-done. Full service movers take care of every aspect of your move for you, so you may want to express your gratitude accordingly. The size of your move and the number of movers will determine the size of your tip, but there is no set amount expected.
If you're looking to hire a full service movers, get free quotes right here on Movers.com!