Surviving Moving Day

Even if you hire a professional moving company such as North American Van Lines to handle your move from start to finish, moving day is still a pretty stressful occasion -- and you’ll still need to be on hand to direct the movers and answer any questions they may have. Use these moving day tips to ensure that the move goes smoothly.

Even experienced movers and drivers often have questions only the homeowner can answer. Try to complete the following tasks before moving day so you won’t be preoccupied and can be available while the truck is being loaded:

Set aside items you don't want on the truck

Be sure that the paperwork you need for the move or items you want to take with you in the car don’t get loaded on the truck along with a box or piece of furniture! Everything tends to go into the truck on moving day, so clearly mark those things you don’t want loaded and set them aside.

Have the kids pack their special items

It’s a good idea to have small kids (and maybe your pets too) stay with someone else while the movers are loading the truck. However, the kids might feel nervous about parting with their special toys and other items. So it’s a good idea to have them pack their own box of special items and have the movers load that box last, so it can be one of the first off the truck.

And if the person caring for the kids can bring them back in time to say “goodbye” to the truck, they’ll feel better knowing where their belongings are going and that they’ll be off the truck soon.

Know what to pack -- and what not to

Not everything can be transported on the moving truck! Your relocation consultant can provide you with a list of non-transportable items, so you can avoid unpleasant surprises on moving day.

Make way for movers!

Make moving day safer for the moving professionals -- and your items as well -- by removing obstructions from their path:

  • Remove the door mat, all other floor mats and rugs. Your movers will use a special non-slip floor covering to protect the floors.
  • Move potted plants from high traffic areas such as the walkways, driveway and front porch.
  • Take down hanging plants, wind chimes and any other low-hanging items that could get in the way.
  • Set the screen door so that it can stay open while the truck is being loaded. Your door may have a way to do this, or you may have to disconnect the spring.

Designate special items

During your walkthrough with the mover, be sure to point out the items that mean the most to you. Even though the movers will be careful with all your items, it’s a good idea to make them aware of which of your belongings need special care.

You should also point out which boxes you’d like to be unloaded first, such as kitchen items, bathroom supplies, the children’s favorite toys, and so on.

Before the driver leaves on moving day:

Give the driver your contact information at the destination, as well as your cell phone number. Also ask for the driver’s cell phone number, pager (if applicable) and satellite-tracking information. Getting all the information you need while the driver is still there is easier than getting in touch later on!

Also ask the driver:

  • If your moving shipment is the last that he or she will load that day, and if not, when the last shipment will be loaded to the trailer -- that way you’ll have an idea of when the driver will be on the way to your new residence.
  • What the plan is for delivering your items to your new home.
  • Any questions you have about the paperwork before you sign it. If you’re confused by something in your paperwork, ask the driver to explain.

The driver may provide you with a delivery window, which is an estimate made at the time of loading and may not be completely accurate. You can ask the driver to call or text you if plans change. And if you are given a delivery spread (a period of 2 or more days in which the moving shipment can be delivered and still be counted as one time), be aware that your shipment could be delivered on any of those days.

Finally, don’t let the driver leave until you do one last sweep of the house. Check the garage, attic, closets, shelves, crawl space, storage shed, on the walls and anywhere else things may have been forgotten. After the driver leaves is a bad time to discover a few more belongings that didn’t make the truck!