Getting ready to pack and move

Having moved between places nearly once every couple years without hiring movers or getting things broken/lost in the process, I’ve gotten pretty good at packing and keeping organized during a move. So having professional relocation movers take care of our move from Canada to USA was unknown territory.

Here’s what we learnt …

Preparing for relocation movers:

  • After scheduling your move date, a surveyor from the moving company will also schedule to meet at your home prior to your move date to review the contents of your home to estimate the number of movers required for the job, number of days needed to pack, and the quantity and types of packaging material needed to pack your belongings safely (e.g. disk packs, book boxes, wardrobe moving boxes, etc.)

When meeting with your surveyor:

  • Indicate whether any of your major electronics (e.g. tv) have their original boxes, plus original packaging material like styrofoam inserts (e.g. tv box and protective styrofoam corners)
  • If you have items in other storage spaces that also need to be packed, include a tour of these areas with your surveyor so he/she will also add those items in the total packing/moving estimate. These storage spaces can be a garage or condo storage locker; outside your home but on the same property.

Before moving day:

  • If you live in an apartment/condo, make arrangements to lock the elevator and any necessary parking reservations for the moving truck/van.
  • In some of the newer condos, keeping condo suite doors open for a lengthy period can cause building alarms to sound. This happened during our move when the movers kept our condo door and balcony doors propped open for 1-2 hours. After shutting the condo door, no more alarms. We ended up keeping the condo suite door open only when boxes were being transported down to the moving van at short intervals.
  • Unplug and disconnect all electronic cables. This may be a good time to label the cables so if all them get packed together, you’ll know which ones go with which electronics.

On moving day:

  • Pull out all original electronic boxes and their original packaging material for your tv, stereo, speakers, game consoles, etc.
  • If you can, I suggest bringing the things from your garage/storage locker into your home before the move day so they aren’t forgotten. [ In our move, the movers came down to the condo storage locker area after they packed the apartment. Because it was the end of the day and the condo was already packed, a couple small items didn’t end up getting packed. ]
  • Keep all of the items that you’re bringing with you in a separate corner from things that will be packed.
  • Indicate what items are fragile – 3M sticky notes are great for this!
  • No food, liquids, gels, mousse, aerosols or batteries should be packed. Basically if those items spill or deteriorate while being moved or in storage, it voids the mover’s coverage of your belongings for the move.
  • If you decide to bring liquids or gels like makeup, you’ll need to transport these yourself.
  • Make sure the movers itemize and label EVERY box before it goes out the door and onto their moving van. If a box doesn’t have a number, it means the box doesn’t exist. With every box, a label is applied and that label is matches with a a number and description on the mover’s comprehensive list. This list effectively represents all of your belongings, and requires that your signature to confirm that X number of boxes were packed and moved.
  • This list (and your boxes) will be reviewed by US Customs, Border & Protection at the Canadian/US border before they cross into the US side.

On your move-in day:

  • When the movers unpack in your new home, your responsibility will be to check off on each box that is unpacked and sign-off to confirm that X number of boxes were successfully delivered.
  • Hopefully the number of boxes packed is the same as the number of boxes delivered.

Happy moving!

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