Part I: Before the move
• When getting quotes, show the representative from the moving company everything that will be moved including items in the attic, basement, garages, storage areas, sheds, etc.
• Once you have chosen your carrier, obtain and read the three “pre-move required documents” from your carrier. These documents include your “Rights and Responsibilities” and Ready-to-Move brochures. These are required documents for every interstate shipment.
• Take an objective look at what you own. Decide what must go and what can be left behind. Books you’ve read and will never read again? Do you really need the pan with the broken handle or the children’s long-neglected games? Remember: extra weight costs more money.
• Carry valuable jewelry with you. If you’ve hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
• Animals cannot be moved in a moving van. If you’re not taking your pets by car, make other transportation arrangements. Because some states require up-to-date health certificates and rabies inoculations, it’s a good idea to take your pets to the veterinarian prior to the move to ensure that you have the proper documents.
• Leave your plants behind. state laws prohibit the entry of houseplants, and most plants will not live through being transported in the moving van. Consider giving your plants to a friend or a local charity if you cannot transport them yourself.
• Send change-of-address cards to national newspapers and magazines. Cancel delivery of local newspapers, and settle your accounts.
• Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home, including closets, basements and attics. Check with your carrier representative for a complete list of items not to pack.
• Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.
• Check your safety deposit boxes. You also should call your bank to find out how to transfer your accounts.
• If you plan to pay for your move by credit card, you must arrange it with your carrier representative because authorization is required prior to loading the van.
Part II: Right before the move
______ Schedule to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) disconnected or transferred to the new owner the day after your scheduled move-out.
______ Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer and clean your stove—all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out.
______ Prepare a “Trip Kit” for moving day. This kit should contain the things you’ll need before your belongings arrive at your new home. Some suggested items are soap, toilet paper, travel alarm clock, snacks, bottled water and a first aid kit.
______ On move-out day, be on hand when the movers arrive. If you are not able to be there, it’s important to have a trusted adult on hand who will authorize decisions about your move. Let your carrier representative know the name of the person who will be there on the day of your move. Be sure that the spokesperson you have chosen knows exactly what to do.
______ Provide your new phone number and make sure to bring your carrier representative’s contact information. The driver will contact you 24 hours prior to their expected arrival.
Part III: On move-in day
• Be sure you are there when the movers arrive. You or an adult representative will need to be there to accept the delivery and pay the charges. You will be asked to note any changes in the condition of you goods indicated on the inventory at the time of loading and to note any missing items at the time of delivery.
√ Plan to sign the following paperwork:
Inventory of Goods: This document is a description of the condition of your belongings. You’ll be asked to sign it to acknowledge receipt of your goods upon unloading.
Bill of Lading: This is the shipping document that establishes the legal terms of your moving service.
Additional Services Performed: This is used to verify the services the carrier performed other than loading and transporting your things. Please examine it carefully before you sign, making sure that you understand what you’re being charged for.
John Boozer (Jboozer@nilsonvan.com) is director of corporate accounts for Nilson Van & Storage/Mayflower Van Lines.