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Moving Guide

Maximizing Your Move-in Day

| Home Tips | Gerry Clark

If you’re like many people embarking on a cross-country move, you’ve probably spent lots more time thinking about ramping up vs. down. You’ve likely focused on packing rather than unpacking. Moving out (rather than in) has preoccupied your time.

Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction. With your possessions now in transit and the flight or car ride to your new home on the immediate horizon, it pays to know what to expect when you greet your interstate movers on delivery day.

Proper prep steps

A good blueprint for success is diagramming your new home’s room layout ahead of time. (It doesn’t have to be in blue and white. Pencil and graph paper will do just fine.) By having a floor plan handy, it makes it easier for your professional movers to visualize precisely where you want your items placed.

Mentally prepare for the unpacking side of the move by conceiving a realistic timeline for getting the job done. Will a weekend be enough? Perhaps a one-week period after the residential movers have left will do. By dedicating yourself to an achievable schedule, you will have committed to not letting the moving-in process languish. Who likes bumping into boxes in the basement for months to come when a few focused days could make all the difference?

Don’t forget the first-in-last-out box, either. Fill this container with items you’ll need your final night before the big move and during your first night in your new abode. Helpful items include: toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries; clothing; snacks; batteries; portable entertainment devices; a book; and a coffee-maker.

Team spirit

During delivery, it’s best to perform as a duo (spouses, family members or friends joining forces). One half of the home team checks off and inspects items using the moving-inventory sheet as a guide. Should an item show evidence of possible damage, make a note. However, just because you fail to note a problem on delivery day doesn’t mean you’re ineligible for compensation if you uncover damage later. The same goes for missing pieces. In fact, you have nine months from the receipt of delivery to file a damage or missing-item claim. Feel free to request the driver and a crew member call out the inventory number on each container and furniture piece as you check them off your list.

Meanwhile, the other team member answers pro movers’ questions on where to place furniture and other items. It’s best to stay close, so you can direct the movers or provide guidance if needed. However, rest assured National Van Lines crews are professional movers who know their craft, so you can trust them to exercise the utmost care in unloading your items and being cautious in navigating your new home’s interior.

Expect the movers to rebuild any disassembled furniture, including sofas, tables and bed frames. They also should transport and lay down any large rugs. During this stage, prevent damage by placing tarps or protective rugs over carpets and hardwood floors.

Don’t forget to take periodic breaks for rest and refreshments. Beverages and snacks will keep you going. Your cross-country movers also will appreciate your hospitality. Invite them to take a break with you and share a cold drink.

Pack mentality

If your pro movers are unpacking your boxes, it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. You might want certain items unpacked on delivery day, while leaving other boxes sealed for several days and unpack those yourself. Simply inform your mover about your preference to ensure the unpacking process progresses the way you like. Whichever method you prefer, ask your movers to place boxes in their appropriate location to ease your burden. You wouldn’t want to haul a heavy box labeled “kitchen” downstairs from the bedroom or vice-versa. Speaking of bedrooms, we recommend getting those items unpacked first so you have a comfortable area to rest and then retackle those boxes once you’re refreshed. The next two areas to tackle would be bathrooms (shower, anyone?) and the kitchen (moving sure works up an appetite).

If you pursue the partial-unpack route, be careful when emptying boxes contain sharp objects. In the case of kitchen utensils, for example, knives or other sharp items might have shifted during transit. Wear gloves while unpacking these items to avoid punctures or cuts. Also be aware “unpacking” as performed by interstate movers is defined as emptying a box’s contents, placing the items on the closest flat surface and removing packing paper and boxes. Omitted from this service would be the added step of placing your possessions in kitchen cabinets or dresser drawers.

While leaving certain boxes for unpacking until later is perfectly acceptable, we recommend immediately unpacking boxes containing high-value pieces (such as fine china, silverware and artwork) to verify these items are unharmed.

Signed, unsealed, delivered

Once everything looks OK, give your movers the thumbs-up that they’re good to go. When your residential moving is complete, you’ll be asked to sign off on the bill of lading and moving inventory. While tipping isn’t expected in the moving industry, you certainly can provide a gratuity to show your gratitude for a job well-done. Typical amounts range from roughly 5% of a local move’s total bill to as much as $200 per person for a large multi-day, cross-country move.

Now tackle the unglamorous essentials. Check to ensure outlets, switches, appliances and plumbing all are properly functioning. Also locate the circuit-breaker box, water-shutoff site and water heater. Tell family members and friends you’ve safely arrived, and say “hi” to the neighbors. Don’t forget: Have fun!

For information on the moving services National Van Lines offers or to learn more about how we can help you, call us today: 877-590-2810.

Contact us to learn more about our various moving services and to request a free moving quote.