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The Moving Survival Guide: Moving Day Tips

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Even if you’re on top of packing, transferring utilities, and changing your address, moving is a daunting ordeal. We’ve put together a complete Moving Survival Guide (with help from our moving-savvy Taskers) to keep you from getting your couch stuck in the doorway and make sure you get your security deposit back. In part 3, read on for tips to make moving day go as smoothly as possible.

Missed parts 1 and 2? Get survival tips for packing and cleaning and repairs.

Before You Leave

2-3 MONTHS OUT

Start packing and tossing

Decide what you’ll be bringing with you to your new home. It’ll be hard to leave items behind, but you’ll be glad you decluttered now rather than haul unused stuff from home to home. 

1 MONTH OUT

Decide on a strategy

Car or truck? One big move or a few smaller trips? How will you load the truck? Make these decisions before you book help (or bribe friends). To save time on moving day, provide your movers with important details in advance: number and size of items — especially bulky items like sofas and pianos — amount of stairs or elevators at both your pickup and destination location, and access issues like narrow driveways. Plan your route and share it with those helping you move.

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Get permits and permission

The last thing you want is to on moving day find out the service elevator doesn’t run on weekends, or that there’s no parking and you don’t have a place to unload. Look into local parking regulations and secure permits ahead of time.

Transfer utilities

Wifi, electricity, gas, water, cable — make sure they’re up and running before you arrive so you don’t spend your first night eating takeout in the dark!

1-2 WEEKS OUT

Pack a survival kit

Set aside everything you’ll want on hand throughout the move, from Sharpies and duct tape for last-minute packing and labeling, to shower caps for your shoes to keep the floors clean, to trash bags and cleaning supplies. Here’s what you’ll want inside:

Checklist

Day Of

Charge your phone!

There’s no doubt you’ll need it to communicate with movers, check traffic, and more. Don’t forget an external charger, too.

Work in shifts

It takes a village to move homes — so take advantage of your village. Organize family and friends into shifts for move-out and move-in so you’ll have fresh spirits (and fresh lifting strength) throughout the move.

Load in layers

Loading a moving truck may feel like playing Tetris, but you can avoid tumbling boxes with a little strategy. Layer your items, starting with the heaviest items (mattresses, couches, large appliances) closest to the front of the truck and against the walls. Use oddly shaped items to fill in the spaces, making sure to cushion them with furniture pads. Create a list of all your boxes (and check it twice!) to make sure each one is loaded.

Do one last walk-through

Note any scratches that may have occurred during the move, write down your meter readings, and take out any trash. Finally, search cabinets and crawl spaces for anything that might have gotten left behind.

When You Arrive

Unload straight to the right rooms

We know it’s hard, but try to resist temptation to send boxes to the garage or basement when you arrive. Rather than create more work for yourself later, bring each box to its intended room for (consult that list!) easy unpacking.

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Hold the deliveries

There are enough moving pieces on moving day without having to wait for a new couch to arrive. Schedule furniture deliveries before or after the big day so you can focus on getting settled.

Take inventory

Double check that list again to make sure each box arrived safe and sound. And don’t forget to clearly separate trash so you don’t throw something out by accident!

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