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Four Things Not to Forget on Moving Day

You're likely approaching moving day with equal parts excitement and dread.

The excitement: a new home, a new life – a fresh start!

The dread: moving. However, you can't go from "Old, Boring Life" to "New, Exciting Life" without passing through "Moving Day." Thankfully, the day itself needn't be an ordeal, if you keep in mind four things you absolutely should not forget to do.

Don't forget to make sure everything is loaded on the van.

It's not unheard of for moving companies to neglect to load some items, so before they leave, make sure you go through the house to ensure everything's on the moving van. And don't overlook those places where things like to hide, particularly your closets and cabinets. We're aware of one recent mover who missed a closet full of Christmas decorations – and had to spend $250 to ship them to her new place.

Don't forget to have a plan for your kids or pets.

A house that's being packed up is no place for a kid or a pet. They tend to get underfoot, which can pose dangers to both the movers and your kid/pet. Your best bet is to have someone watch them – have the kids stay with relatives, and get a kennel for your pet. If you don't have that luxury, have them in a separate room with the door locked and with plenty of toys and/or a TV to occupy them. Pack that room last when loading the truck; when unloading the truck, unpack that room first so they're occupied while the rest of your house is unpacked.

Don't forget to pack.

OK, you might not forget to pack, but you might not give yourself enough time to get it done by the time moving day rolls around. Here's why that's such a bad thing. First, if you leave packing until the last second, you might have to pull an all-nighter to get it all done. Those might have been fun in college, but they're no fun when you know there's going to be a bunch of big burly guys showing up at 9 a.m. looking to move packed boxes. And being tired while packing is not a good idea, particularly if you'd like your items to show up in one piece at your new place. Even if a Herculean effort to get everything done doesn't do the trick, the moving company will help you – but they'll charge you for their labor and the moving supplies. These prices are pre-set by their tariff, and they're not cheap. So be honest with yourself when packing: Can you get it all done yourself? And if you can, can you set aside enough time so it's not done hastily at the last second?

Don't forget to check your moving paperwork thoroughly.

On moving day, you'll get two very important pieces of paper. The inventory is a listing of the items that will be moved, as well as their condition, and usually the driver compiles it. Make sure you agree with the assessment of your belongings. That's important in case you need to file a claim for damages; if it was listed in damaged condition before the move, you might not be able to claim much. (You can also use the inventory to check off that you received everything that was loaded onto the moving van.) The bill of lading is essentially the contract for your move. It should match the estimates that you received when you got the quote for your move. The time to contest any charges is before you sign the bill of lading, so make sure you do so.

Moving can be one of life's most stressful experiences, but it shouldn't prevent you from looking forward to your new home and all the excitement that comes with it. Keep these four tips in mind as you plan for the "Big Day," and you'll be heading off to your new place with a strong start.


Written by Tim Johnson
Glenda Daughety
Glenda Daughety
glenda@glendadaughety.com