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The Ins and Outs of Moving:
What You Need to Know to Do it Right

     It's the big day. Your moving day. You've spent weeks planning, worrying and working to make sure all of your belongings make their way to the new destination without a hitch.
     If you've planned well, this day will be stress-free and an exciting adventure. If you planned poorly, however, moving day will be full of problems, headaches and, in some cases, disasters. So how do you avoid a bad situation? For starters, plan ahead, don't leave too much up to chance and keep a sense of humour (if you can).

Some more tips:
  • Ask to have your moving company give you a guaranteed cost. This will help you avoid an unexpected bill in the future.
  • Make arrangements with your mover as far in advance as possible. Last-minute calls during the busy season may mean spending extra money or not finding a mover at all.
  • If you’re moving into an apartment, reserve the elevator.
  • If you are moving into a house, arrange for street parking if needed. In the winter, make sure that the driveway is cleared of snow.
  • Moving in the winter can open up a whole set of issues you never thought of. Do not put objects that can’t be frozen in the truck. Keep them with you.
  • Keep your valuables with you. That means jewellery, money and important documents. Movers will not accept responsibility for these items.
  • Leave clothing and bedding in dresser drawers. Remove breakables and don’t overload.
  • Leave furniture in its original place. Don’t move it all to one room.
  • Keep any luggage you will need on the trip separate.
  • Take your telephone book with you. There will probably be a few times when you’ll need to contact someone from your old city or town. A telephone book means you won’t have to pay the long-distance bill for that area’s telephone information service.
  • Take down any pictures, fixtures or photos hanging from the wall before the movers arrive.
  • If you will be packing yourself, start well in advance of moving day. Discard any unwanted items or have a garage sale.
  • Defrost your freezer before moving day. Pack food in boxes, laundry baskets or clear plastic bags. Try to use up as much food as possible in the weeks before the move.
  • Mark the sides and the top of cartons for easy identification. You will want to write a quick summary of contents, as well as the room (i.e., kitchen, main bedroom) in which they're required.
  • Be careful not to overpack a carton. Heavy items (such as hardcover books) should be packed in smaller containers.
  • If you have pets, be sure you have carrying cages.
  • Hire a babysitter for the day if you have children.
  • Walk through your house or apartment with the mover indicating special-care items or giving specific instructions. Always be sure there is someone to do this with the mover. This step might help you avoid heartache when your belongings arrive at the new house.
  • Verify the delivery address with the mover and provide information about how you can be contacted at the new dwelling.
  • Try to be at the new home before the movers start unloading. Know where you want your belongings placed.
Some specialized tips:
  • Books: pack in small cartons.
  • Canned Goods: pack upright with no more than 24–30 cans per box. Wrap glass containers.
  • Plants: you may want to keep plants with you.
  • China and Glassware: clearly mark boxes "FRAGILE." Stuff glassware and china with tissue (if you use newspaper, be prepared to clean all glassware upon arrival at the new destination). Pack plates, platters and saucers on edges, not flat, and pad in layers as well as along the top and bottom of the box.
  • Clocks: remove or secure pendulums in large clocks. An expert should prepare grandfather clocks.
  • Clothes: pack in clean cartons.
  • Drapes and Curtains: remove curtains from rods. Fold and pack in cartons or dresser drawers.
  • Flammables and Combustibles: these items must not be packed as temperature changes can cause them to leak or explode. Your mover will not be held responsible.
  • Lamps and Lampshades: remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately, and place upright in lined cartons. Wrap shades in tissue rather than newspaper. Place upright in lined carton.
  • Medicines: seal caps with masking tape, wrap and place in small cartons. Keep those you need with you.
  • Mirrors, Paintings and Pictures: tell your mover about special-care items. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings and frames, and place upright at edge of cartons. Large items should also be left upright in larger, sturdier containers. Place tape diagonally across mirrors for protection. Do not use newspaper to protect paintings.
  • Computers and Video Equipment: pack in original boxes if possible. Otherwise, use strong corrugated cartons and protective pads. Place additional padding between cartons and equipment. Wrap cords separately and label.
  • Microwave Ovens: remove and wrap all loose articles from inside the oven. Tape the door shut with an X pattern over the door and glass. Use the original manufacturer box if possible. Label box
  • Records, CDs and Stereos: CDs and records should be placed upright in cartons. Wrap the stereo in an old blanket and place in a carton.
  • Silverware: wrap each piece in cloth or low-sulphur-content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as wrapping to prevent scratching the silverware chest.
  • Appliances and Utensils: wrap and place small appliances and utensils in cartons. Place heavier items on the bottom. Have an authorized service person prepare all large appliances for moving. Call for this service well in advance.
  • Tools: discharge the batteries in tools. Pack in strong, small cartons. Wrap separately if valuable.

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