Write everything down! You’ll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You’ll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Don’t put the list down unless it’s in a place you’ll call Packing Central. This is where you’ll find your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. When describing the box contents, be specific — “A-D files” is better than “files”, and “Tulip dishes” rather than “misc. kitchen”.

Here are a few general suggestions that will make packing easier:

Plan how you will pack. Pack items first that you don’t use often.

Start packing as soon as you find out you are moving.

Never pack flammable items or non-allowable items.

Use generous amounts of paper inside the carton on the top and bottom to provide good cushion.

List contents and name of room on the outside of the carton.

Clearly mark “Fragile” on the outside of cartons.

Use clean newsprint paper. Old newspapers may work, but use them carefully because the ink may rub off onto your items.  Clean “newsprint” paper is available from your local agent.

Write “Open First” on cartons containing essential items such as cooking utensils, toiletries, etc.

Separate breakables and non-breakables.

Pack all cartons tightly.

Use professional packing tape. Masking tape isn’t strong enough to support fully packed cartons. Packing tape is available from your local agent.

THE SMOOTH MOVE CHECKLISTA checklist for both before and after you move

Take our moving advice and utilize this checklist before and after you have moved. Print this page and carry it with you before and several days after the move. Take advantage of our moving tips and moving advice. Moving tips that may seem obvious can be easily over looked.

Tag your Items

For your garage sale, tag all items and be prepared to wheel and deal. Garage sale gurus love to haggle.

Pack Heavy – Pack Light

Pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in larger boxes.

Know how to Pack Plates and Records

Plates and record albums should be packed on end vertically, rather than placed flat and stacked.

Protect Your Memories

If it’s irreplaceable, take it with you in the car (you don’t want regrets later). But if you do decide to pack framed photos or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added protection.

Give the Kids an Exercise

Have children write their names and new address on the cartons from their rooms so they can become familiar with their new street and town.

Keep the Phone Book

Take your current phone book with you. You may need to make calls to residents or businesses back in your former hometown.

Remember the Bare Necessities

Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, and paper towels are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.

Get the Bed Ready

Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so that you won’t have to rummage through boxes for these essentials the first night in your new home.

Take Notes

Make a note of your shipment registration number and keep it with you in case you need to call your mover with questions about your shipment.

Give out your Number

Before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence, give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you can’t be reached.

Don’t forget about the Fridge

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.

Unscrew Bulbs

Remove bulbs before packing your lamps.

Help your Pet Relax

Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch him at their house.

Be Nice to Your Plants

When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will scorch.

Take a Break from the Computer

Upon arrival at your new home, let your computer “acclimate” itself to room temperature before plugging it in.

Enjoy the Help

Leave the rest to the professionals, sit back and relax, and look forward to the new opportunities, friends and experiences that are part of any move.