A good rule of thumb is to use common sense in all your preparations - and try not to pack at the last minute.
There are elaborate pre-move checklists all over the internet. Very daunting stuff. I hesitate to include our own laundry list, but they do provide practical advice and reminders of things that should be done.
In terms of your packing yourself - moving boxes, taped top and bottom and labelled, are much safer for for your belongings than open topped boxes. Also, a good alternative for packing clothing from closet shelves and bedding, is 3 MM/thick contractor trash bags that you can get in Home Depot or Lowes, (also buy the zip ties.) These bags are black so buy brown packing tape and stick a piece on the outside of each bag and label the contents with a permanent magic marker. The better your home is packed the faster we can work.
Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change-of-Address form. You can also obtain this form online at the postal service website by visiting www.usps.com - You can make copies of this change of address form or make up your own change of address notice to give to the following people and businesses:
- Friends and family
- Insurance companies
- Credit card companies
- Doctors, dentists and any other service providers
- Clubs or associations
- Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
Contact utility providers (e.g. telephone, gas, electric, cable TV) at new and old locations with your moving date to make arrangements for connection and disconnection.
If moving in the winter, consider giving your plants to friends or to a charity - plants cannot survive cold New England weather in the back of a moving van.
If you are moving to a building with an elevator or moving from a building with an elevator, make sure the elevator is reserved on your intended move date for the time of your departure or arrival at your destination.
Properly dispose of items that represent a hazard and are not allowed to be moved.
Drain your lawn mower, snow blower and power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transportation.
Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation with a service provider.
Cancel newspapers and other regular deliveries