How to prepare before your move for professional packers. Tips and advice on preparing for packing and loading day.

Hiring movers to help pack your home is a great way to reduce stress and get the most out of your moving experience. However, even if you are having your movers do all the heavy lifting and detailed packing, there are things you can do to prepare for the big day. Make things go faster—and feel more in control of your move—with these simple steps.

Prep Your Appliances: Appliances have to be turned off, emptied, and cleaned before they’re ready to be moved from one place to another. Anything hooked up to gas needs to be turned off and detached (you will have to have a professional repair person do this). Anything hooked up to water also needs to be not only unattached, but the reservoirs emptied of any excess water. It’s also a good time to do a nice, deep clean of your appliance. Not only is it much nicer to have shiny, ready-to-go appliances in your new home, but this will prevent breakouts of mold or mildew on the road.

Clean the House: It might not be the most entertaining activity, but you should do your best to have your home cleaned and ready for the movers. We don’t mean you have to get on your hands and knees to scrub down every corner, but you should make an effort to go through and toss anything you don’t plan on taking with you (you could also hold a garage sale to get rid of the excess items). Not only will a home free of clutter be faster to pack up, but you won’t make the mistake of having boxes of garbage hauled and paid for along the way.

Take Pictures of Things You’re Worried About: We’ll use an inventory list to go over the condition and quality of your more valuable items (especially items you’ve opted to have covered by valuation), but you can also take pictures of items if you’re worried about their transition.

Label Items by Rooms: Maybe your new house has a den as well as a living room, while your old one only has a living room. Maybe the old house has a much smaller dining room, and you can’t wait to get that hutch into the newer, larger space. Make things easier by labeling pieces of furniture by their future destination rather than their current location. This will reduce the amount of time you have to spend unpacking and moving pieces around in your new home.

Set Aside the Not-to-Pack Items: Movers like to be able to go in, assess the situation in your home, and get right to work. If there are items you don’t want packed (because they’re too valuable, because you’ll be moving them on your own, or because you’ve made alternate arrangements), make sure these items are set aside or are otherwise marked.

Secure the Pets and Children: In order to do our job well, we’ll need to prop open the doors, come and go with heavy items, and have access to all the rooms in your house. This is a perfect time for pets and small children to go missing—and that’s the last thing anyone wants. Make arrangements for a sitter or for the little ones to stay elsewhere for the day. The peace of mind and extra layer of safety is well worth it.

Make Arrangements for Items Movers Don’t Transport: Moving companies will not move a hazardous and dangerous household items. Review this list with your mover prior to their arrival and make separate arrangements for their disposal. A complete list of materials moving companies do not move can be found online.

Our job is to make your local or long distance move as easy as possible, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. With a little preparation and planning ahead, we can all work together to get you and your family where you need to go.

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