There is no doubt about the fact that moving is pretty stressful. A lot of people want to carry out this task on their own, while many others look for a moving company to move their belongings in a more stress-reducing and time-saving manner. Whether you relocate on your own or you hire a company, there are a number of things you should and shouldn’t do in order to make the overall move smoother and easier.
As with everything in life, there are certain rules and protocols that you need to follow when moving house. These rules exist for ensuring the safety and security for you and all of your belongings. Even if you are working with a moving company, there are a number of steps that you are expected to carry out on your own, such as the categorization of your valuables and the scheduling of your move. In this blog post, we have put together a list of some of the do’s and don’ts of moving house that you should keep in mind for your next move.
THE DO’S OF MOVING HOUSE:
- Give a complete day to each of your rooms to throw away unnecessary items and pack only the things you need to keep. Don’t hurry with this task; take your time to sort things out carefully so that you don’t have to do the disposal and cleaning process again at the new location.
- Keep if your homeowner’s policy is up to date or not. Regardless of where in the world it is, personal property is always covered.
- Always remember to measure your new place beforehand. It can be really disappointing to carry a huge sofa all the way to a new place and then finding out there isn’t enough space to bring it inside the house. All these things and placement have to be planned in advance so you can save your time and money by disposing off unnecessary or extra items.
- You should pack all the non-breakable items by yourself. This is because if you are on a tight budget, you will be wasting your money by hiring someone to pack pillows, documents, books, and other things that will not be damaged by anything.
- Either mix the contents or take small boxes for heavy items. Boxes in which you keep boxes can become extremely heavy and difficult to carry. So it’s a good practice to keep canned items, books, and other heavy goods in smaller boxes. Another way of packing books is to spread them out into the boxes of pillows, clothing, or blankets. This will not make any of the boxes too heavy to be carried.
- All boxes containing fragile items should be marked ‘fragile’. Ensure proper protection of these items if you are packing them on your own.
- Assign a particular area of your home for keeping boxes as you pack. A smart way is to keep them out in the garage or at the lower level of the house. This will help you and moving the boxes out of the house more quickly and easily, and will also provide space in the house for movers to handle bigger items.
- Take out bulbs from all the lamps and wrap all shades carefully, then keep them safely in boxes.
- All linens from your bed should be removed and kept in boxes or bags. Drain out water from water beds at least a day before you leave. Ask your mover if there is a need to dismantle the frames before the packing or not. A lot of moving companies take them apart for their clients and then also put them back together at the new location.
- If the movers will be packing the breakable items, make sure you arrange these items in a place where they can work with them. This is important because extra care is required when handling things like wall hangings and glass shelving.
- Make arrangements to carry your plants (if any) to your new place. Most of the removalist companies do not take responsibility for plants.
- Ensure that movers are aware of where they have to keep each box when it has arrived at the location. A good way to do this is to color code each room then mark the boxes using the same codes.
- Make sure you have your access planned. Before you start relocating, get some information about the safety hazards around, including puddles, poles, tree branches, gates, and low walls.
- Assign jobs to everyone. Your team should be organized in a way that everyone has their own job to do. This will ensure that people do not get in each other’s way and collisions are avoided.
- Decks should be cleared. You should be able to move past high-traffic areas without any obstacles and with safety.
- Get some good grip. One of our top moving house safety tips is wearing proper shoes or footwear. Get some strong boots for yourself so they prevent slipping and provide protection to your feet. In the same way, wear work gloves to get a better grip and to protect your hands.
- Keep yourself safe. Even though it sounds very obvious, people tend to ignore that their clothing needs to be appropriate in order to avoid bruises, cuts, and grazes.
- Don’t try to hurry. There are more chances of accidents and incidents in haste. You have to give everything sufficient time, especially when moving large things like furniture.
- Make sure everyone knows the signs. You should make a set of clear signs which can assist communication between you and your helpers.
- See the weather forecasts. If you’re relocating in mid-summer months, you should try to avoid heat by loading up as early in the morning as possible; also remember to apply sunscreen. For those who move in winters, it is important to keep a check on the rain clouds. Your cardboard moving boxes may become soggy, furniture may get damaged, and the surfaces would become slippery in a wet weather.
- Take care of your back by lifting from your knees. For those who are prone to back problems, it is recommended to wear a back brace on the day of moving. You must take special care of this as back injuries are the most common injuries while moving house.
- Avoid fatigue. Tiredness is one of the biggest causes of injuries and accidents during a house move. Take some planned breaks throughout the move, and take out time to recharge yourself with meals or refreshments. In case of disconnected utilities, make sure you keep enough water on hand.
- Get yourself a sitter. Clear access is a part of moving safely, therefore get yourself someone who can take care of pets and little people.
- One of the most important safety tips during house moving is using the right kind of equipment for each job. This will allow you to save you some important time as well as trouble.
- In order to protect the walls of your new home from scuff marks made from the furniture, have a couple of blankets ready for use. You might also want to consider hiring, borrowing or even buying a moving trolley. It will be much more efficient and will save a lot of time during the move.
- Make sure that you get a couple of written on-site estimates and remember to read every detail. The cost of supplies and materials and even things like labor fees and second stop charges can vary to quite an extent depending on the movers.
- Ensure that all boxes and crates are given detailed labels and boxes and loaded. Also make sure to categorize and separate boxes in terms of their destination or if they are for donations or you want to sell them or if they are to be hauled.
- With certain removalists you have the option of getting insurance for your valuable items again damages or loss. This is particularly a good idea when covering a distance greater than a hundred kilometers.
- Give yourself appropriate time in order to clean up and get rid of unimportant things. This is specifically important if you plan on downsizing or have a habit of hoarding unnecessary stuff.
- Be sure that your removalist has the appropriate licenses. It is also a good idea to verify their list of references.
- It is a smart idea to be present at either or if possible both sites in order to direct and supervise movers. It isn’t necessary for you to be there but only smoothens out the process.
- The smart thing to do is to pack heavier items like books and metallic ornaments is smaller boxes while packing lighter things like pillows, cushions, and lamps shades in larger boxes. Use medium sized boxes and crates to keep bulky irregular shaped items. Use extra strong packaging for fragile breakable items. This makes the carrying process a lot more efficient.
- Make sure that you have a plan regarding unpacking and organizing your new home. On average it takes about 2 to 4 weeks to completely unpack your boxes and get all your stuff in order. The time it takes to unpack depends on the quantity of your things. If you need your unpacking done quickly, you can even hire professional organizers.
- Make sure to disconnect all appliances like washers and dryers that are to be moved before on moving day before the movers arrive.
- Ensure that you have separately planned for the safety and security of your pets and school going children on moving day.
- Inspect the mover’s truck before and after items are loaded on to the truck. After reaching the destination be sure to check the truck one last time to ensure that all boxes have been unloaded.
- Leave your folded clothes inside the dressers. Most removalists provide separate wardrobe boxes for free.
- Book your move as early as possible so as to avoid any scheduling problems.
- Label what room each box belongs to so that the movers can get it there efficiently.
- You can get rid of the boxes by either asking your movers if they will take them back or you can donate or give them away as well.
- It is always smart to compare your movers. You can find one of the cheaper companies offering the same services at a more economical rate than one of the more reputable companies. It is always smart to think forward. Moving on a week day is also a great idea to cut costs.
- Creating lists may not be the most interesting thing to do but a checklist can be your most trusted advisor on the moving day. Create checklists for everything that needs to be done. Checklists can help you a lot in keeping your move on track.
- Make sure that your insurance covers all your valuable items such as your jewels, antiquities, and collections. Even if you’re moving on your own without any professional help, you can ask your rental insurance or homeowner’s insurance provider to ensure that they have you covered.
- You don’t want to be in a situation in which you used your intuition to judge whether if your king size bed would fit just fine but turns out your intuition was wrong. Make sure to measure every inch and be sure of where everything needs to go during the move. This will save you loads of time as well as effort. Also be sure that your furniture can go through the hallways and doorways of the rooms that they need to go in.
- Pack a bag specifically containing all the items you need to get through your first day of moving. This bag would include a pair of clothes, toiletries and essentials.
Be sure to stay as organized as possible. You need to be able to at least tell which box goes in which rooms. The more organized you are the smoother your move will be.
THE DON’TS OF MOVING HOUSE:
- Don’t hire any mover blindly. Meet with the team, ideally at your home. The movers should be able to give you a rough estimate by looking at the size of the house and some belongings. As mentioned above, taking recommendations from family and friends can be helpful.
- Never place valuables in a moving truck. Keep things like jewelry, important documents, and money with you personally.
- Don’t disturb the movers while they are carrying out their tasks, particularly when they are moving or packing heavy objects. Botheration and distraction can damage your belongings, and cause injuries and slip-ups.
- Don’t consider price as the only factor when choosing the right mover. Your decision-making process should mostly depend on the recommendations from people and the aforementioned meeting. Skill, professionalism, knowledge of the community, and experience are some equally important metrics.
- A mover that isn’t insured must not be hired. Always check if your mover is carrying coverage for your property value, general liability coverage, auto insurance of the transport, and workers compensation coverage. Ask for a certificate of insurance as an evidence that the company is covered.
- It is helpful to not remove clothes from the wooden dressers, as you can save the money for boxes. If your dressers are made out of some other material, it is likely to be heavier, hence you should remove clothing from it. Find out if your mover supplies free boxes.
- Never transport gasoline powered things with fuel in them. Always remember to drain out the fuel before you move them.
- Don’t carry perishables or flammable items in the moving van.
- Don’t always expect movers to be available right on your moving day. Make sure you book them beforehand, 4-6 weeks preferably.
- Don’t go for movers you’ve never met with or those who have not been recommended by your trusted people.
- Don’t forget to take out and pack things kept in attics, offsite storage, sheds, and storage areas.
- Don’t waste a lot of time in looking for packing supplies and boxes. There are online stores where you can easily find less expensive, gently used supplies. Some professional movers also deliver boxes and supplies.
- Don’t keep packing for the last moments. It can also increase your cost of moving if the packing does not have to be done by the movers.
- Don’t transport boxes that you haven’t opened since the last time you moved.
- It will cost you more if you ask the movers for significant changes in the move at the last minute.
- The summer months or the end of a month are some busiest times. It’s better if you don’t plan a move during these days.
- Don’t give any water to your plants two days before moving.
- Never forget to check your entire house one more time before the moving truck starts its journey to the new house.
- Don’t forget to give some tip to the movers if they make you happy with their services.
- Don’t delay in contacting the US Mail and all your service providers for the change of address form. Fill the form before moving to your new location.
- Don’t make it difficult for friends and family to reach to you – notify them about the new address as soon as you move.
- Don’t keep any information from your inventory. Your inventory should be very accurate when you book your job. Even though you will probably be allowed to make changes until two days before the move, it’s always better to give the right details from the beginning so that you know the costs you’re viewing are accurate as well.
- As mentioned before, you should try not to pay a lot for the moving supplies. Packing boxes can be easily found for free at restaurants, stores, and bars. Similarly, you can avoid spending on other packing supplies like bubble wrap by using tees, towels, blankets, sweaters, and towels instead.
- Don’t keep things for the last minute. The entire process of moving can become much smoother if you start planning it earlier. If you want a hassle-free move, it is essential to avoid getting overwhelmed at the last moment with multiple tasks in hand. We understand that some things have to be done just before the move, but there are many other tasks that can be done months before.
- Never sign documents that you don’t completely understand. Whenever you’re required to sign paperwork, make sure you take your time to read it thoroughly. In case you have any queries or questions, this is the right time to inquire.
- Don’t turn down the offer of a babysitter. You will be able to focus on relocation when you don’t have kids around. Therefore it is a good idea to take advantage if there are people offering to babysit. Same is the case with pets. You will have less things to care about if you drop your pet at a friend’s or relative’s place for a day.
- Don’t avoid decluttering. A lot of people try to move everything just because their cost of moving is turning out to be low. When you’re going to a new house, you have a great opportunity to donate, sell, or trash the stuff you don’t need anymore.
EXTRA MOVING DAY TIPS:
- Understand that you can’t be present at both location simultaneously. Therefore, ask a family member or a responsible friend to look after the moving process at either of the two homes.
- Get printouts containing directions to your new location and hand over a copy to everyone helping in the process. Remember to add available contact phone numbers so you’re reachable in case there is a problem.
- When you arrive at the new home and the unloading has been done, carefully check the moving truck and make sure nothing is left in there.
- Your movers do a lot of hard work and make your move easier, saving you time and energy. Therefore, you must always tip them, especially if all your tasks have been done correctly.
- Be clear about the packing requirements. In order to avoid any confusion, choose the items you want to pack by yourself and the ones you would be leaving for the professional packers.
- Arrange more packing material than you think you might need. Whether you’re taking used items or buying new supplies, make sure you have enough that you won’t run out of them at the last minute. Untimely shopping trips can cause a lot of hassle.
- Pack cleanly. Newspaper usually leaves ink stains so it is advised that you use butcher’s paper or any other white paper sheet for packing.
- Secure your packing boxes with a tape on bottom, top and sides of each box.
- Carefully label each box, number it, write a brief description of the contents on the sides. As mentioned before, you can use color codes to quickly know where each carton has to go in your new home. This will also make it easier to look for a particular item.
- People often wonder where to begin the process; you should start by packing the items that you use least often. This can include DVDs, CDs, books, and items kept in garage, roof space, or storeroom.
- Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pack room by room. As you pack boxes one by one in each room, keep them in the room they belong to.
- Don’t overload the boxes. You don’t want any injuries and want to make the lifting easier, hence the weight of each box should not exceed 20kg.
- Empty spaces should be filled. Use appropriate packing supplies like clothing, bubble wrap, tea towels, fabric, or paper to avoid collapsing of boxes and avoid movement of items inside the box.
- There shouldn’t be any items sticking out of a box. Make sure each carton is securely packed, closed, and taped.
- Don’t try to leave a lot of stuff in the drawers and cupboards just to save space or pack lesser things. Furniture is already heavy and keeping other good inside can greatly increase its weight, increases chances of damage and injuries during the transit and movement.
- Plan your first night at the new home. Moving your house can be extremely hectic, especially if you are carrying out all the tasks without any professional removalists. Therefore, make sure that everything you might need to settle in on the first night is easily available and accessible. It can also be helpful to pack a special ‘First Night Box’ that contains clothes, towels, toiletries, bed linen, and other things your family members may need on the first night at the new home.
- Being more organized can save you a lot of space:
- Dismantle or flat pack as much as you can
- Keep out-of-season clothing in vacuum seal bags
- Get larger cartons for items of odd shape. This way they can be stacked and secured properly.
- Take a larger box for keeping all the small objects that can go missing
- Pack things inside suitcases, laundry bins, and baskets to make good use of them.
- Accessories (such as water bottles and bike pumps) in sporting equipment should be removed and packed together.
- Plates are less likely to break if you pack them upright. Stack them like you do in a dishwasher – vertically.
- Take pictures of electronics, furniture, computer equipment, or any other objects before you dismantle them. Take close-ups of connections and cords so you’re not confused about where each wire goes when you’re setting it up again at your new home.
- Close the lids of all jars and bottles in the pantry tightly to avoid any spills.
- When packing sharp objects, make sure their edges are well insulated. Be extra careful when packing such items.
PROHIBITED MOVING ITEMS:
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of items that are prohibited to be moved across state lines. This should help in determining whether if you have house moving safety all covered. The list of prohibited items include:
- Sodium Nitrate
- Ammonium Nitrate
- Calcium Hypochlorite
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Caustic Soda
- Sulphuric Acid
Poisonous and Toxic Substances:
- Liquid Polishes
- Radioactive Materials
- Weed killers
- Anything that has visible signs of molding.
- Car Batteries
- Chemistry Sets
- Spear Guns
- Propane Tanks
- Aerosol Cans
- Fire Extinguishers
- Gas Cylinders
- Home Soft Drink Makers
- Life Rafts
- Pressurized Vessels
- Scuba Tanks
EXCEPTIONS TO MOVING DANGEROUS GOODS:
There is a way however to safely move particular risky items. In order to do so it is imperative to use correct packing techniques.
- Liquid petroleum gas bottles need to be completely emptied out and packed up staying at a safe range away from ignitable sources.
- Gardening equipment like lawn mowers must be safely emptied out. There should be no fuel or oil of any sort in the tank of any motorized machinery.
- Scuba diving them tanks can be very dangerous when they are filled and pressure is built up inside. However, once you release that pressure and valves are opened or removes it is completely safe to move.
- Particular weapons for example replica guns, hand guns that aren’t automatic and air rifles can be moved after the firing mechanism is disabled and removed.
MOVING HOUSE SAFETY TIPS:
- Do not overload or under load the boxes. Only load enough weight that the carton can handle.
- Make sure that the boxes are sturdy enough for the relocation.
- Make sure to tape up the boxes properly.
- Sharp items such as knives should be stored with extra padding
- Item like paint boxes, acids, flammables like petrol or gas are should be left behind
- Liquid petroleum gas bottles should be emptied out before relocation.
There are certain aspects of a move that you need to carry out on you own irrelevant of whether you hire a moving company or not. However, if you are not experienced with moving house then you can easily make errors that can cost you in terms of time, money, or even safety. This is why it is important to know exactly what you should and what you should not do when moving house. We have put together a vast checklist for you that highlights all of the dos, don’ts, tips, and pieces of advice that you will need when moving house.