Moving: Working with a professional moving company, part two

This is part two of a two-part series on this topic.

It’s exciting to move into a new home and have a crew unload and unpack your household goods. As far as employment perks go, it’s a very nice perk. If you want to make settling into your home even easier, keep some of these tips in mind.

As with any move, plan to arrive a day or two before your household goods. Complete the deal with the real estate agents and lawyers, and clean the house if required. It is much easier to clean an empty house.

Designate a special spot for incoming paperwork and mail so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of boxes and wrappings. Ideally, you should have a small portable filing box to keep the papers organized. You could store the box in your car during the move-in or designate a special spot in your new home. Make everyone aware of the location of the box and encourage everyone to put important papers in that box.

Set up disposal systems. Place a garbage bin in every room in a spot as close as possible to where the garbage bin will permanently live in that room. If garbage bins are not available, use Painter’s Tape to attach a garbage bag to the wall.

Decide where you would like to place the big pieces of furniture such as beds and sofas. You only want to move the heavy items once. There are some online tools you can use to easily plan and design your space: Icovia Room Planner and Roomsketcher.

When the unloading crew arrives, show them around the house and let them know where the furniture should be placed. Placing signs on the doors of the room with a sketch of the furniture layout will help the crew know where to put the furniture. (Again, Painter’s Tape is good for this task.)

Watch as the crew opens truck doors and examine the load to see if it shifted in transit. If so, take photos so you can include them if you decide to make a claim for damages.

The unloading crew will provide a list of tag numbers as all of the items were tagged prior to loading onto the truck. As each item, box or piece of furniture leaves the truck, cross off the tag number. Note beside the tag number if a box is damaged (scuffed, dented, torn or crushed). Sometimes tags fall off the item or get stuck to the wrappings so an item may be missing its tag. On a separate sheet of paper or the back of the list, write down the piece of furniture or the size of the box. At the end of the unloading session, crosscheck the “no tag” items with your tag list. You should find that all the tag numbers are crossed off. Note in detail any items that are missing.

Unpacking generally takes place the following day. However if you do not have much stuff, it may take place the same day. Most unpacking services are “flat surface” unpacks. This means the unpacking crew will unpack the boxes and place the contents on any flat surfaces (including the floor). Normally the crew will not place items on shelving units or in cupboards in case the shelving unit tips over or the shelves break. If that happens, your items may not be covered by insurance.

It is helpful if you can work side-by side with the unpacking crew and place items in their “homes” after the crew member places them on the flat surfaces. This is important in the kitchen where there are usually more dishes than counter space.

As the crew is unpacking, note any broken or damaged items. Take pictures.

One other tip: Unfold and lay flat all of the packing paper prior to it being removed from your property to ensure that all small items are taken out, such as the lid from the sugar bowl or the remote control for the TV.

Once the crew has departed with the boxes and packing material, you’ll be able to enjoy setting up and organising your new home.

3 Comments for “Moving: Working with a professional moving company, part two”

  1. posted by Expressly-Yours Yearbooks on

    Just a quick tip on moving. Just make sure you don;t bring garbage into the new place. Dispose all of it before moving.

  2. posted by WilliamB on

    I’ve done both styles of move as well and have a few more suggestions.

    1) This only works if you have your new place before packing up your old one: label the boxes by the room they’re going to. “Bathroom 1″ and “Bathroom 2″ will do. Label the doors in your new place. That gives you less supervising to do.

    2) If you can’t label the boxes before packup, you can do it during unload. In addition to telling the movers where to put the box, slap a label on it. Sometimes they forget, or misunderstand which is Bathroom 1 and which is Bathroom 2.

    3) For these labels, print them out rather than write on the boxes by hand. Much, much faster! Don’t worry about trying to get the right number – just print out dozens of each.

    4) You may not want the movers to unpack everything. I never want them to unpack my books. Unpacked-yet-not-shelved books take up a lot of space. I leave them in their boxes for later.

    5) You may want to pack some items yourself. For me, it’s the books. I have thousands of books and an ideosyncratic organization system. It takes me less time to pack, unpack, and shelve my books than it would for me to reorganize and shelve after someone else has messed up the organization. OTOH have the movers pack breakables because they won’t insure it otherwise.

  3. posted by RJ Moving on

    A professional moving company can be a big help on moving day!

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