Make sure you're heading in the right direction
Moving is never easy. If it's your first time, or if you haven't moved in a while, it's understandable that you may be overwhelmed or frustrated. Instead of worrying, use our handy moving checklist to make the process a snap!
Six to Eight Weeks Before Moving Day
Working With the Mover:
- Call your National Van lines agent. Set a date for the agent to visually survey your home and prepare an estimate.
If your company is paying for your move, refer to their moving policy to determine the services the mover will be authorized to perform.
- Do you want to do any of the packing, or will you have it done by our experienced packers? Your agent will be happy to discuss packing options with you.
- Show the agent everything that is going to be moved. Any items you fail to disclose or that are added later to the shipment will increase the cost, even if you have been given a binding estimate.
- Read the "Your Rights and Responsibilities Brochure," to make certain that you fully understand the extent of the carrier's liability.
- Sign the Estimate/Order for Service after you are sure you have a clear understanding of each section. If you have any questions, ask your agent to explain.
- Keep the phone number and name of a your salesperson or move coordinator handy.
Four to Six Weeks Before Moving Day
Places to Notify:
- Notify the post office that you are moving. An online Change of Address form is available on the United States Postal Service Web site.
- Prepare a list of friends, relatives, business firms and others who should be notified of your move.
- Have a garage sale or use an online auction service to dispose of unwanted items.
- Donate unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations. Obtain receipts showing the items' approximate value for possible tax deductions.
- Begin to use up supplies of canned goods, frozen foods and other household items.
Two to Three Weeks Before Moving Day
Working With the Mover:
- Notify your agent if you add or subtract items from your planned move or if there are any changes in dates.
- Confirm any extra stops required to pick up or deliver goods to a location other than the main pickup or delivery points.
Preparing the Family:
- Take the family for a farewell visit to some of the places that hold happy memories.
- Have a going-away party for your children and their friends.
- Make family travel plans. Reserve hotel rooms and airline tickets as needed.
- If driving, have your car serviced for the trip.
Preparing Household Items:
- Federal law requires that you dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, and poisons such as weed killer. Be sure to dispose of these items as properly indicated.
- Discard propane tanks which are used for barbecue grills.
- Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment — or have your agent send someone out who is authorized to perform this service.
- Set a date for having utilities disconnected. If possible, plan to keep utilities in service through moving day.
- Have rugs and draperies cleaned. Leave both wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners.
- Obtain a written appraisal of antique items to verify value.
- Do not clean your upholstered furniture before moving. Moisture could cause mold if furniture must be placed in storage.
One to Two Weeks Before Moving Day
Pets and Plants
Decide what to do with house plants. National Van lines cannot safely move your plants because they may suffer from lack of water and light as well as probable temperature changes while in the van.
- Give plants to friends or relatives.
- Donate plants to a hospital or other organization.
- Include plants in a garage sale.
- Some states permit the entry of all house plants; others admit them in accordance with specific rules and regulations.
- Take pets to the veterinarian. Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculations. See that identification and rabies tags are securely attached to your pet's collar.
- Arrange for transportation of pets. Take them in the car or send via air. Consider boarding pets either at destination or at a kennel near your present home until you are settled in the new city.
Other Important Details:
- Collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired. Empty your locker at the club, bowling alley or gym.
- Return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors, and collect things you may have loaned.
Day Before Moving Day
Working With the Packers
- Point out to the packers any extra-fragile items needing special attention. Mark appropriately any items you do not want packed or moved, as well as cartons you will want first when the van arrives at destination.
- If you are doing your own packing, make sure everything is ready to go before moving day. Upon arrival, the van operator will check to see if boxes have been properly packed.
- Collect things you definitely want to pack together, such as children's toys, and place in separate groups.
- Unplug all electronic appliances 24 hours in advance of a move, except plasma televisions, so that they will be at room temperature on moving day. This includes home computers, stereos, and audio/video equipment.
Last Minute Details:
- Check closets, cabinets, and storage lockers for any articles overlooked.
- Be on hand when the service representative arrives to prepare your appliances for shipment.
Working With the Mover:
- It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is complete. After making a final tour of the house, check and sign the inventory. Get your copy from the van operator and keep it.
- Approve and sign the Bill of Lading/Freight Bill. It states the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved and is also your receipt for the shipment. Be sure to complete and sign the declared valuation statement.
- Make sure the van operator has the exact destination address. Be sure to let the van operator know how you can be reached, including phone numbers, pending the arrival of your household goods.
- Leave your phone connected throughout moving day. After the van leaves and you finish last-minute calls, be sure to pack the phone in one of your suitcases.
Take a Last Look Around:
- Water shut off?
- Furnace and air conditioner shut off?
- Light switches turned off?
- All utilities arranged for disconnection?
- Windows shut and locked?
- Old house keys surrendered?
- Have you left anything?
Working With the Mover:
- Be on hand to accept delivery. If you cannot be there personally, be sure you authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you.
- On the day of delivery, the van operator will attempt to contact you by phone or will make an appearance at residence if he is unable to reach you. If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within the free waiting time after notification of arrival at destination, you may request waiting time until delivery can be made.
- Check your household goods as they are unloaded. If there is a change in the condition of the property from that noted on the inventory at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note discrepancies on the van operator's copy of the inventory sheet. • By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. Personally report any loss or damage to your salesperson or move coordinator.
- When unloading, each piece of furniture will be placed as you direct, including the laying of rugs and setting up any beds disassembled at origin. Mattresses will not be unpacked, and appliances and/or fixtures will not be installed. At your request and at an additional charge, your salesperson or move coordinator can arrange for this service. The mover is not obligated to rearrange your furniture.
- Place a floor plan of your new home by the entrance, which the movers can use to determine where each piece of furniture should go.
- Keep all documents pertaining to your move in a safe place. You will need them for verification of moving expenses when you file your federal income tax returns.
- To prevent possible damage, television sets, other electronic equipment and major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to adjust to room temperature.
One Week After Move
- Check with your new post office for any mail being held and ask for delivery to start.
- Check state and local requirements for auto registration and a driver's license.
- Consider selecting an attorney to discuss laws that pertain to your destination state, county, and city. Be sure to cover such matters as wills, transfers of property and investments, insurance regulations, inheritance laws, taxes, etc. Most laws affect a family as soon as residence in the new state and city is established.