Moving Day

By the time you get up on the morning of moving day, all your boxes should be packed (unless your mover will be doing it) and nearly everything should be ready to carry out of the house and load onto the truck. You’ve arranged for utilities to be shut off. You’ve cleaned and defrosted the refrigerator. You’ve arranged for a friend (if any) to watch the dog (if any) or the baby (if any).

Here are some good tips:

  • Eat a good breakfast and make sure that everyone else does too. Better yet, take the family out to eat. A good breakfast will energize everyone for the tasks to come. (And no one will have to clean up.)
  • Strip all your beds of linen.
  • Send the dog and young children off with a hug and a kiss and reassurance that you will pick them up by dinner time or by bedtime.
  • Older children can help, whether you are moving yourselves or having a moving company do the job.

If you have a moving company doing the loading, your job for the day is supervising and answering questions from the movers. They will do all the heavy work, unless you have made an arrangement with the moving company to help load to keep costs down. Also, be sure anything that does not go to the new house is either already out of the way or clearly marked.

Beware: Moving company packers will move everything. They have even been known to carefully package up trash, since their job is to pack, not to sort or decide what goes and what stays. Make sure anything not to be moved is clearly marked and separated from items to be moved.

Moving Words

The agent who accepts your order for shipping and registers it with the van line is called the booking agent.

Twiddling thumbs will get you through the day, but it won’t keep you from fretting. Keep yourself busy as a sidewalk supervisor.

Stay with the moving van driver as he makes an inventory of your possessions. Make notes on the inventory about the condition of any items (in the event some of them arrive in less-than-perfect condition). Be sure to read the bill of lading carefully before you sign it; it is the contract between you and the moving company. Put the bill of lading with your other valuable papers. You need to keep it until your possessions are delivered and the bill paid. If there is any dispute, the annotated bill of lading will be needed for settlement.

Be sure the driver has correct and complete directions to your new home. He or she should also have a telephone number to contact you, should there be any problem en route. If you will be on the road, give a number where someone will have your travel itinerary and be able to reach you. The moving company office should have this information also. Confirm with the driver the date and time of delivery of your goods to your new house.


If you are paying a moving company to do the job, stand back and let the workers do the hard work. They have the tools and the know-how to make quick work of disassembling beds and loading appliances.

Your biggest job is to stand by to answer questions from the movers and to make sure they pack and load everything carefully.

Before the truck leaves, take a last walk through the house to make sure they loaded everything that should go with them. You probably won’t have room in your car or suitcase for any overlooked items.

Also, be careful not to let them pack the things that go with you in the car, or that kitchen table and chairs that Aunt Sally is coming by to pick up later. Set them aside, all together, clearly marked (can I say this too often?).

Moving day is more work if you’re moving yourself with a borrowed or rented vehicle. Make sure your helpers are early risers. An early start to the day will help things go more smoothly. Entice them with coffee and donuts.

Pick up the moving vehicle early (if not the night before). Know beforehand who will do what.

If there is last minute packing (and there will be!) assign one or two people to handle that task. Another team can disassemble and prepare beds. Have a set of basic tools handy: hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench.

The children can run errands, carry light boxes, help load the car, serve refreshments, and help in many other ways. Make sure they have assigned tasks. Just telling them to stay out of the way will not work!

One or two people with a dolly can move lots of boxes out quickly. Let the strong young folks do the heaviest work, such as moving appliances and lifting heavy boxes.

Avoid the temptation to just load whatever happens to come out of the house next. Careful loading will ensure safe arrival of your belongings.

Keep the crew working, but allow occasional breaks and keep snacks handy to keep the energy flowing.

Stop for a satisfying lunch. Healthy sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables will restore energy better than fat-laden hamburgers and french fries.

Offer a continuous supply of nonalcoholic beverages. Save the beer (if any) for when the job is finished.

 Anticipating Problems

Cleaning Up