View Full Version : Moving and Professional Packing Advice
01-21-2010, 08:57 PM
Very shortly, the entire Verminary household is being relocated to another state. Our previous move was coast-to-coast and we did all the packing ourselves, but had Atlas deliver our stuff while we drove cross-country in the car. This time, we are being packed and moved by Paxton/Atlas Van Lines up the East Coast, from just outside Washington D.C. to just outside Boston, a distance of about 400 miles.
I've been looking around trying to figure out exactly how this will go down on various sites and moving forums, but I haven't found a whole lot of useful information about full-service moves. Specifically, if a moving company is coming in to pack your stuff, what do you need to do to get ready? I got my husband to ask our agent what kind of prep we needed to do and she suggested only a minimal list of basic tips we were already aware of: disconnect electronics, disassemble particle board furniture, etc.
So far I have been actively packing and organizing most of our "loose" household items (the stuff in the medicine cabinet, all our knick-knacks, the kids' toys, all the random junk that collects in the closets, etc.) and/or leaving the bulky, super-fragile, and homogenous items like dishes, framed art, books, DVDs, clothing, etc. for the packers to handle. Mr. Verminary is of the opinion that the moving company will organize, pack, and whisk away absolutely everything without our needing to lift a finger and is reluctant to do any prep at all; I can't imagine the company coming into our lived-in house and having the entire thing packed up and carted away over the course of a weekend without our doing anything at all beforehand.
Does anybody have experience with this, and if so can you offer any helpful tips? Am I going overboard trying to get a bunch of stuff organized and packed beforehand, or should I relax and let the packers take care of everything?
01-21-2010, 09:17 PM
I've moved twice with professional packers - once because it was an across-the-country move and the insurance was a better deal if we let them pack, and the second time an across-the-town move that we went ahead and let them pack because the first time had been so damn easy and we were lazy.
Yes, they do actually come in and pack up your house over the course of a weekend. These guys are good, they're organized, and they have all the material they need.
So yeah, I would stop making yourself crazy organizing and packing beforehand. You don't need to, except for very personal things and/or stuff that you can't bear to trust to anyone else (Great Aunt Mabel's crystal thimble collection, for example). But really, if you can make yourself do it, even those things are better left for the movers - they packed WAY better than I could pack myself.
Relax, sit back, let them do it!
01-21-2010, 10:09 PM
If you have a remote owned by the cable company, and have to return it, make sure the movers don't pack it up! Same deal for cable boxes, phone books, curtain rods, anything you don't want to take with you.
Depending on how large your house is and how much time between the move out and move in, you may want to get a few open boxes together to take yourself in your car or whatever. Put together at least a few days worth of clothes, toilet paper, soap, cleaning products, etc, and make sure they don't get packed up. If you have a land line telephone, might want to throw that in too so you can pull your phone out and start using it as soon as you get to the new place. Which brings up the next point:
Make arrangements to have the phone, gas, etc, turned on at the new place when you arrive, and shut off at the old one. Typically it takes a few days to a few weeks to get the phone and cable company out to set up, so make sure you get appointments for those ahead of time.
Might want to stop at the post office and get a change of address card if you haven't done that already. If you've forgotten to notify anyone of your new address, or if, say, a magazine your subscribed to doesn't register your change of address immediately, you're covered. Any mail should be forwarded to the new place.
Otherwise the movers should be able to handle everything. I used to move furniture a while back, and the customers were almost always amazed how fast we were able to pack and load. I have packed and loaded a large house (25,000 pounds of furniture) in 3 days with 2 people. It's good that you're organized though. Moving is a good time to go through your stuff and organize, get rid of old junk, etc.
If you have a refrigerator thats being moved you might want to clean, defrost, and unplug it a couple days beforehand. Most moving companies will not move propane tanks that are even slightly full, so drain these beforehand if you have them. If you have a complicated television system (anything other than a simple coax cable), you might want to disconnect and pack up the cables/wires yourself. Movers will be able to disconnect and disassemble your other appliances, beds, etc, so don't worry about those.
01-21-2010, 10:35 PM
In my experience, yes, they will come in and whisk away everything -- including trash and all manner of shit you had no intention of packing and moving.
The people who come to pack your house are not professional "organizers." They are indeed efficient. But they are paid to wrap stuff and get it in boxes -- fast.
By all means, you should pack anything you want to immediately lay your hands on, and put those boxes in your car -- medications, must-have comfort items for the kids, etc. You should have a box that contains linens to make up each bed, and do it as soon as the beds are set up. When you're exhausted at the end of the day, you all can at least collapse into made-up beds.
Also have a box that has the coffee maker, some cups and drinking glasses, a corkscrew, enough silverware and basic utensils (paring knife, spatula, serving spoon) to get by with so you don't have to unpack a dozen boxes to find the handful of basics you need.
Good luck with your move, Verminary!
01-22-2010, 09:01 AM
As everyone else said, they will pack everything! So don't worry. They will use lots and lots of paper. This is to ensure that things don't break, and their company is less responsbile for losses. When you unpack you will be amazed at the amount of paper they will have used to pack all of your things.
<<WARNING>> - On a move like this, they will typically put numerical stickers on every box that they pack, so that they can track your boxes. They will typically give you a list of these numbered boxes after the truck is packed, so that you can verify if anything is missing when you get to your destination. Sometimes the box count is used also for billing the move. I have found that some movers will double up on the stickers on the boxes, to artificially boost up the box count for billing purposes.
01-22-2010, 10:10 AM
My advice would be different if you were paying a lump sum for the move or if you are paying per mover and per hour. If the cost varies with a different amount of movers involved, pay for more - they're worth it. We had two movers and a truck to move our entire household this summer, and it took forfrickinever with two guys - it would have cost a little more for three guys, but we would have more than made it back on the hourly cost. If you're paying per hour, do as much as you can yourself, right down to taking the legs off everything.
01-22-2010, 10:38 AM
Get a package of little red stickers at the dollar store. Put a red sticker on anythign you don't want the movers to take. don't put a red sticker on anything that you want to end up at the new place.
Pack as if for a week's vacation, and put those things into your car before they arrive. You don't want to be runnign around opening boxes as they fill them.
Have a good book available for when they arrive. Dive into it head first and don't watch, it will drive you crazy if you do.
01-24-2010, 10:16 AM
If you have any clutter, now's the time to ditch it. If you have any furniture/appliances you're thinking of replacing within a year, now's the time to get rid of it.
Besides the things people already mentioned for your take-it-yourself boxes, add some lightbulbs.
01-24-2010, 10:21 AM
Agreed. Anything you don't want making the move with you, get rid of it before it has the chance to be boxed up. That was our only drawback when we had it done.... opening a box full of nothing but junk was depressing.
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