Here are a few more useful tips to ensure a smooth moving experience:
• Write everything down. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system.
• Have plenty of supplies. You'll need plenty of boxes; probably more boxes than you think. If you buy your boxes from a moving company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund. Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day such as bedding, clothing and cleaning supplies.
• Notify the post office, magazines, credit card companies, and friends and family of your change of address. The U. S. Postal Service offers a kit to make this process easier.
• Contact utilities (gas, water, electricity, telephone, cable company) to schedule disconnection of services on the day following your move. Call the utilities in your new town to arrange for service to start the day before your move so that you have service when you arrive at your new home.
• Write directions to your new home for the mover. Provide the new phone number and your cell phone where you can be reached in transit. Don’t forget to leave your forwarding address and phone number for your home's new occupants.
• Color code: Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. In your new home, put a matching sticker on the door to each room so that the movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination.
• Pack ahead. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed (put things in them!) while you switch to using plastic grocery bags (hang them on a cabinet door or door handle to collect trash.)
• Put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and clean anything possible ahead of time.
• Safeguard valued items. It's a good idea to keep valuable possessions, such as silverware, collections or antiques with you. If you have a long move and no room in your car, bury the items in a box titled "Misc. from kitchen pantry". Either way, check your homeowner's insurance to see how you are covered during the move and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork (receipts, appraisals and photos) you might need to file a claim in case of loss.
• Keep important papers with you. These might include: birth certificates, school records, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps and more.
• Pack personal boxes. Let each family member fill a box with items they'll want "right away" in the new home such as a set of sheets, a towel, extension cords, address book, pens and paper, and travel cosmetic case.