A Complete Guide to How to Prepare for Movers Before the Big Day

July 19, 2021Moving Tips
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Gather your strength – you are almost finished with your relocation. However, there is still work to be done, such as rethinking how to prepare for movers so that your last day in the old home can go without any major mistakes. So you don’t have to learn how to prepare for the Big Day through trial and error, we’ve made a complete guide to make everything easy not only for the movers but for you as well.

How to Prepare for Professional Movers – Plan the Packing Process

Boxing up is one of the biggest items on your cross-country moving checklist, whether you choose a professional service or decide to pack everything yourself. However, the way and the amount of the preparation often depend on which of those two options you will choose.

The first thing to do is communicate with the company representatives to see what is considered a part of the basic relocation service. Some companies offer to disassemble, load, unload, and assemble your belongings free of charge – determine if that will be your or your movers’ job. Next in line is deciding whether you can box up everything else or if you’ll have to hire a professional’s help. If you opt for the latter, be prepared to pay an additional fee.

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How to Prepare for Movers to Pack?

Even if you choose the help of a relocation team, there are still a few things that should be done before their arrival in order to facilitate and speed up the work on your last day. Check out the following relocation tips:

  • Declutter – most Americans use only 20% of their belongings. A pretty low number, right? If you don’t want to move items that will just remain unused, separate them and then decide what to do with them (throw, donate, or sell).
  • Group similar items – this action will save a great deal of time for everyone because similar items are usually packed together. As a result, you’ll have a better overview of where you can find each item, and every box will be easier to unpack.
  • Clean your belongings – not only will you be bringing filth and dust to your new home, but there is also a possibility of damaging the rest of your things if you don’t check off this task. Damp objects could eventually grow mold, especially during a long-distance relocation, and the dirt from one of your items could irrevocably damage other, more valuable ones. Be especially careful when it comes to appliances, such as the fridge, freezer, or dishwasher – make sure that each one is clean and completely dry.
  • Empty storage areas – all cabinets, closets, and dressers should be empty of your items for various reasons. First, a piece of furniture full of your belongings is heavier than one that’s not. Second, it is dangerous for all your belongings – the furniture piece itself and the items in it. Some relocation companies allow leaving your things in cabinets and dressers, but if you’re wondering Do you need to empty dressers for movers, our answer would always be yes.
A person wiping a piece of furniture before a long-distance move
Clean the furniture from dust before the relocation day

How Should I Prepare for a Mover When Packing Alone?

If you’d rather test your abilities, you should take a few more steps in addition to those listed above. Thinking about creative storage ideas and exploring some common relocation hacks is just the beginning. To properly pack all your belongings, you will need:

  • To purchase suitable packing materials – small and big boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, newspapers, foam peanuts, towels, clothes, and so on; pick whatever you think would be the best option.
  • To discover good labeling techniques so that movers know in which room to leave boxes as well as to facilitate the unpacking process for yourself. You can choose a simple way of marking your boxes with a sharpie, or you could use a color-coding method which you will explain to the relocation team.
  • To plan for more time than you would when hiring packers. Relocation crews consist of professionals who have all the knowledge and experience and could finish packing way faster than you. On the other hand, you have none or minimal experience, so make sure to reserve more than a few hours for this task.

If you want some packing tips during this process, check out the following video:

YouTube video

The Importance of Taking Inventory When Moving

Preparing for movers calls for a detailed inventory list for each object you possess. That list should include a description of each item’s distinctive features. Take notes of the number of things, materials they are made of, the condition in which they are in, and so on. For the most valuable possessions, add necessary documentation such as valid warranties or certificates. If you want to make the process easier, take pictures and look for some inventory management sites and software, such as Sortly.

A detailed inventory will help you determine for which items you could use insurance, but it could also help movers make a more accurate estimate of your household, and if you separate the inventory list for items in each box, you’ll be able to track and find everything quickly. Finally, everything that you document and photograph will serve as proof if you have to file a claim.

A girl making an inventory list for cross-country moving
Make a list of all your belongings before giving them to the relocation crew

Know Which Items Movers Won’t Move

Before the relocation crew gets to your home and starts packing, you should find out what they won’t pack and relocate. Perishable, corrosive, and flammable items aren’t allowed in relocation trucks, so you should dispose of them in the proper manner. Consider donating the food if you didn’t get to eat it before the move. Hazardous items, such as batteries, motor oils, paint, cleaning chemicals, and so on, are the answer to what to pack before the movers come and transport yourself.

What Else Movers Often Won’t Do When You Are Moving?

Before the relocation crew gets to your home, every cord and cable has to be disconnected and unplugged  – movers don’t want to take liability if something doesn’t work when you move into your new home. Take pictures of the proper way an appliance or device needs to be connected so you know what to do when the time comes to plug everything back in. In addition to that, know that movers won’t relocate machines or appliances with oil, gas, or water in them, so empty them before they arrive.

White switch hub with cables
Learn how to connect all cords properly

Prepare Your Car for the Car Shipping Company

If you want to avoid road rage on some of the famous routes in the USA or if you are the proud owner of some of the most expensive cars in the world, choosing a USA auto transport company is the right way to go. However, that means that you need to learn how to prepare a car for shipping before the Big Day comes.

First things first – you should visit an authorized car service to check the condition of your vehicle and repair any damage. Next – your car needs to be cleaned, and you should explore what things you can keep in your car. For example, when transporting a car from state to state, you are allowed to leave only one-quarter of your gas tank full, so remember to get gas out of your car. Of course, you can always ask your chosen company for some additional car shipping advice.

You will also have to choose among various options of transportation and delivery, according to your wishes and finances, such as:

If, however, shipping a car cross-country is not your preferred option, make sure to take all the safety precautions so you don’t have to experience driving anxiety while on the road. Watch some tutorials on how to change a flat tire as well as how to tell if a car thermostat is bad so that you know what to do in the case of an emergency.

usa auto transport truck
Research the best options of car shipping for you

How to Prepare Your Home for Movers – Protection and Safety

When the relocation day comes, create a clear path for the relocation crew, so you could keep them safe and your house protected. You can do that by:

  • Removing all items from the walls and those that hang low from the ceiling,
  • Getting your door off the hinges so you can get a few more inches for bulky items,
  • Removing any obstacle that could be on the pathway from the house to the truck, so nobody trips and falls,
  • Cleaning the place from any debris,
  • Covering hardwood floors, walls, and staircases so they don’t get scratched, for which you can use old rugs, blankets, or some specially designed anti-slip material for house protection,
  • If you’re relocating in bad weather with lots of rain or snow, lay some materials for cleaning footwear before entering the house.

How to Prepare to Help the Relocation Team

Clearing the obstacles is undoubtedly one way to help your relocation crew, but don’t forget the others. With that amount of hard, physical work, you need to think ahead and prepare food and beverages for each crew member, as well as for your family. It’s one of the things people forget to do when relocating, but never underestimate the importance of keeping your crew happy.

You should also reserve a parking spot for the relocation truck as close as you can if you don’t have a driveway so that movers don’t have to carry heavy objects for an extended period of time. But the best way you could assist your movers is to – let them do their job. So many people want to help as much as they can but end up doing the opposite. So, what to do while movers are moving? Be present and answer all of the questions movers have for you, but try not to stand in their way.

Two long-distance movers carrying a couch with a man on it
Don't make the movers' job harder than it is

Take Care of Your Kids and Pets

The relocation day is bound to be chaotic whether you’re going three blocks away or relocating to a new state, so you should think ahead about those who depend on you. Move your children out of the way so they don’t end up getting hurt. It would be best to ask a family member or friend to keep them safe or hire a babysitter for that day.

When it comes to your pets, the advice above could apply to them, too. If not, have a room prepared, with enough water and food, and remember to keep it closed all the time – no one wants your cat or dog to go running through the house while workers are carrying heavy objects.

A family walking at the street on cross-country moving day
Remember to take care of young ones

A Few More Tips on How to Prepare for Movers

In order for your moving day to go as smoothly as it can, there are a few more things you should consider:

  • Even if you don’t want to go over the relocation budget, ensure to tip your movers according to the quality of their service – don’t forget to prepare cash in advance.
  • Create a no-move zone, with all the items you don’t want the professionals to move, such as your documentation, bag with essentials, kids’ toys, valuables, and so on. It would be best if you could keep those belongings under the lock and preserve your privacy.
  • Communicate with your movers before the Big Day about possible difficulties in relocating some objects. For example, if there are many stairs in your home, if the street is too narrow, or if you assess that they need additional equipment to move them from the house, the company needs to be informed.
A stairway with a lot of stairs
Inform the company about possible difficulties movers could meet

What to Do When the Movers Leave?

That is it; you made it! Take a look around – your empty house is proof of the amount of work that has been done. Even if more work lies ahead, don’t start stressing and overthinking. Now is the perfect time to relax a little and not think of any relocation-related tasks. Allow yourself to be excited and happy for all there is to come after you finally settle in.

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