Finally, the moving day has arrived, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. The days of packing and planning are behind you, and now it's time to settle into your new home. However, moving day is a team effort, whether you've hired professional movers or enlisted the help of friends. It's essential to consider moving etiquette to ensure a seamless process for everyone involved on this significant day.
Here are nine steps you can take to make a moving day breeze by and keep everyone in high spirits.
- Be Packed and Prepared: When you wake up on moving day, ensure that your belongings are already packed, labeled, and ready for loading onto the truck. While you may need to pack some last-minute items like toiletries and linens, the bulk of your packing should be completed beforehand. This allows your movers to arrive and get to work promptly.
- Neat Packing and Clear Labels: Before the movers arrive, double-check that all your belongings are securely boxed up in containers that are easy to carry. Avoid presenting your movers with a pile of items in garbage bags. Furthermore, the more precise your box labels, the better. Use a bold marker to indicate each box's destination room and include secondary designations if necessary (e.g., canned goods, toys, books). To simplify the process at your new home, affix signage with this information to ensure boxes are placed in the correct rooms. Don't forget to mark containers containing sharp or fragile items.
- Separate Prohibited and Sensitive Items: Certain items, such as hazardous materials, alcohol, combustibles, plants, and pets, should not be handled by your movers. Obtain a list of prohibited items from your moving company in advance and keep these items out of the movers' way. You may want to label the pile with a "do not move" sign. Additionally, separate sensitive items like medication, personal documents, jewelry, and valuables to transport them personally.
- Arrange Necessities in Advance: If you need to reserve an elevator or obtain a parking pass for the moving truck, take care of these administrative tasks before moving day to avoid unnecessary delays. In inclement weather, clear and salt the sidewalks and pathways before the movers' arrival.
- Have Moving Supplies on Hand: Reputable moving companies typically bring their supplies, including dollies, hand trucks, moving blankets, door stops, and furniture disassembly tools. However, having an extra set of these supplies on hand can be useful. If you're moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure that safety essentials like masks, sanitizer, disinfectant, paper towels, and hand soap are easily accessible for friends or movers at both your old and new homes.
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- Help but Don't Hover: While the movers are actively working, avoid getting in their way. They have a system for moving boxes and loading trucks. Ensure that kids and pets are safely out of their path and focus on packing your car with items you'll transport yourself. It's also an opportune time for a final check, including unplugging electronics and appliances, packing items from the fridge, and removing items from the walls.
- Tip Your Movers: It's customary to tip movers, so have cash ready in advance. Typically, each person receives 5% of the total move cost. For example, if you're paying $1,000, each mover would receive $50. If the movers go above and beyond by handling oversized items or navigating several flights of stairs, consider tipping 10% or more. If friends or family assist with your move, express your gratitude with food, drinks, a bottle of wine, a restaurant gift card, or a gift basket.
- Avoid Last-Minute Haggling: Negotiate the moving company's price before hiring them since most companies provide quotes in advance. Attempting to negotiate at the last minute is considered poor moving etiquette and may disrupt the moving process. In a successful move, everyone works together. While some moving etiquette aspects are specific to moving day, maintaining courtesy and open communication throughout your move ensures a smooth transition to your new home.