Essential Moving Tips: The Ultimate Mover’s Checklist

Toys Can't Move without Human Help

These tips will help you navigate the potential pitfalls of moving. There are so many things to consider! Here, we’ll cut to the chase and list only the important stuff.

Planning Your Move

Start early

  • Almost everyone has more than they think they do, and almost no one leaves enough time to pack it.
  • The most common time frame reported by people moving is that it takes a month to pack.
  • Bear in mind that it generally takes 4-5 hours to pack a small one-bedroom apartment.

Stock up on packing supplies

Moving boxes, newspaper, packing foam, packing tape, plastic totes.

Purge unwanted items

Aim to eliminate 20% of your belongings. Remember, the more items you can donate, give away or sell, the lighter your load will be saving you packing, moving time, and money.

Make a list of all utilities

You’ll need to contact all utilities to set up end-of-service dates at your current home and start-of-service dates at your future home.

Move during the week

Moving companies are not as busy during the week compared to the weekend.

Make a plan for your pets

Arrange well ahead of time a place to keep them during the move — and know how you’ll transport them to your future home.

Notify the post office

Fill out the change of address form with the local post office.

Write a list

  • Start by forming two room lists, one for your current place and one for your future residence. This will help you manage what goes where.
  • Then go to each room and write down the types of things that need to be packed: furniture items, length of shelving, closets, etc.

Be Smart When You Ask for Moving Estimates

Do your research

  • Hire qualified companies: licensed, bonded, and insured.
  • Evaluate a minimum of 3 movers based on in-home estimates.
  • Price is not the most important factor to consider. Extremely low bids indicates the mover may not be legit and may lead to higher costs at the end.
  • Only consider movers that are licensed, bonded, and insured.


Look up potential movers through the U.S. Department of Transportation, California Public Utilities Commission and/or the Better Business Bureau.

Ask around

Get referrals from local real estate agents and friends who have recently moved.

Keep a watchful eye

Avoid “rogue movers.” If you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts!

General Packing Guidelines

Prioritize your packing

Pick one or two boxes per room as the first boxes to open. Put in items you’ll need first at your new home. Then mark the sides of the boxes to indicate which one should be opened first.

Label everything

Mark all moving cartons with the contents and/or the location in your new home. You can lose a lot of time (you and/or your movers) digging into boxes to figure out what they contain, and where they go.

Keep parts together

  • When taking apart items to be moved, such as tables, securely tape screws and other small parts securely to the underside of the item. You’ll always know where to look and save time putting things back together.
  • This isn’t a requirement when moving with Walsh. We’ll reassemble anything we disassemble.

Pack your essentials separately

  • For each member of the family moving, pack a suitcase as if you’re all going on a 3-day vacation, including changes of clothes, medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, etc.
  • Keep the suitcases separated from all the other items to be moved. This will ensure So you’ll have everything you need for the first few days without searching through boxes.

Pack one room at a time

Wherever possible, work on packing just one room at a time to keep things focused and organized.

Keep boxes elevated

Instead of the floor, use a completely cleared-off tabletop or counter in each room for packing boxes. You’ll find you get much more accomplished.

Use what you have for packing material

Use towels, pillows, and t-shirts you’re packing as extra padding around fragile items.

Keep boxes light

  • Each box should be below 30 pounds wherever possible. Heavier boxes lead to injuries and are much more likely to burst through the tape or seams and tend to get dropped.
  • Use the bathroom scale, so you can keep the boxes below the weight limits.
  • Stack boxes with the heaviest items on the bottom, the lightest items on top to prevent crushing.

Packing Electronics

Always use the original packaging when available

(Hard to do if you already disposed the original packaging, but keep this in mind when buying new electronics, especially if you’re moving soon).

Dealing with complicated wiring?

  • Use a digital or cell phone camera to take pictures of how computer cords or speaker wires are connected.
  • Print each picture and put it in the top of the box containing the device.
  • Wrap each cord carefully with cable “organizers” (heavy twist ties or heavy rubber bands).
  • If you can’t take pictures, label each end of the cords. Then you’ll know exactly how each cord connects to the device.

Keep electronics safe

  • For especially fragile electronics, pack them first in a box with an excessive amount of biodegradable packing peanuts.
  • Then pack that box in a larger box filled with biodegradable packing peanuts.
  • Use biodegradable packing peanuts around each side of fragile items.
  • Most electronics do not need this extra care, but this method does a better job isolating items from jarring impacts.

Packing Clothing & Linens

Save boxes

You can leave the clothes in the dressers or chest of drawers.

Leave it to us

Walsh will bring wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes.

Use what you have

Use linens to carefully wrap fragile items.

What to Do on the Day of the Move

Again, start early!

You want to have everything as organized as possible prior to the arrival of the movers.

Call in help

Recruit help in watching your small kids and pets on moving day. Your attention will be needed for the nuts and bolts of the move.

Stay connected

Make sure you have the cell phone number of the driver of the truck entered into your cell phone. Vise versa, make sure the driver has yours in case you get separated or have a problem.

Unpacking After Your Move

Label your priorities

Focus on opening the boxes you marked to be opened first.

Be ready for trash

Keep at least one trash bag (for the real trash) and one large emptied box (to hold used packing paper and biodegradable “peanuts”) available in each room before you start the heavy unpacking.

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