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Moving Day Checklist

Moving to a new home is a huge project under any circumstances. Moving long distance brings with it even greater challenges, as you try to make sure that all of your furniture, belongings, pets, and vehicles make it to their destination safely and at about the same time. If you are unfamiliar with all of the details that require attention leading up to a successful moving day, the process can seem quite overwhelming.

Moving Day Checklist

Moving is always exciting, but it does not have to be a chaotic rush against the clock on moving day. With a step by step approach to planning and packing, beginning as much as several months ahead of time, and with the assistance of reliable, experienced moving services, you can make your moving experience less stressful and far more enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your moving responsibilities and prepare your family and your possessions for the big day.

Planning Ahead

The further ahead you plan, the more smoothly things will go on moving day, and you will also be able to save money on some services and travel arrangements by scheduling them far in advance. You should try to finish these jobs about two months or six weeks before you move:

  • Research and choose a moving company. The moving company you choose will have the responsibility of packing all your items, protecting them on the road, and safely unloading them at your new home. Make sure that you have plenty of time to research the available companies, read lots of customer reviews, and talk to other folks who have moved recently to see if they were satisfied with their movers.
  • Get quotes on vehicle transport. If you have more than one vehicle, you will probably need to have one transported to your new location. The earlier you get bids from vehicle carriers, the lower the prices are likely to be. As with your main moving company, you should take the time to research carriers to make sure they are insured, bonded, and well reviewed by others.
  • Get packing boxes. An inexpensive option is to contact local grocery stores and other businesses to get used boxes (usually for free). This method obviously requires a lot of footwork and time, and the boxes you get will not be of uniform sizes. You can also purchase moving boxes from a home improvement store or directly from a moving company. These specially designed boxes are reinforced for safety during packing and unpacking, and they fit together in a truck very compactly to save space.
  • Begin disposing of items you do not plan to move. Especially if you have been in your present home for a long time, you have probably built up a large collection of items that you do not want to move. This is the time to sort through your attic, basement, and closets, getting unwanted items out of your house. A garage sale, yard sale, or church rummage sale is a great way to get a small reward for things you need to get rid of anyway. Leftover items can go to a charity for a tax deduction.
  • Begin keeping expense records. Many of your moving costs are tax deductible, and the expenses can add up to a sizable amount. Designate a location for all your expense receipts, and when tax time comes around it will be easy to fill out the form and attach your receipts.
  • Locate and secure all important documents and valuables. The earlier you begin placing medical records, birth certificates, passports, legal documents, and extremely valuable items in a single location, the less chance there is that you will forget one or misplace it. It is a mistake to try to pack these important items amid the rush of moving day!
  • Transfer of services and insurance. The process of changing the information on your insurance accounts takes time. Write down all the insurance policies you hold and start letting them know about your upcoming move. If your current insurance company does not offer coverage in your new state, you will have to find a new provider.
  • Make travel arrangements. This is another area where looking ahead pays off! If you have the luxury of time, you can research airfare and hotels and hold out for the best prices.

Getting Ready

When there is less than a month to go before moving day, it is time to finalize plans and dive wholeheartedly into the packing process:

  • Confirm vehicle transport plans. It is a good idea to stay in frequent contact with the carrier you use to move your vehicle, especially if the date/time of your move changes or if you decide whether or not to choose door-to-door delivery service.
  • Research laws for transporting plants, pets, and other potentially regulated items across state lines. States are very conscious of the possibility of transferring diseases or pests and require certain shots, immunizations, and documentation for pets. Some plants may not be carried into certain states.
  • Inform your mover of any special needs. Exceptionally large or heavy objects, like pianos or hot tubs, sometimes carry an extra charge. Eliminate any surprises and delays on moving day by making sure that these arrangements are made in plenty of time.
  • Change address with the post office. Inform your family, friends, banks, credit card companies, subscriptions, doctors, and the IRS of your new address to reduce the chance of losing important mail after your move.
  • Prepare for packing. Clear out any areas that have become cluttered over time to make packing easier. Empty the gasoline and other fluids from lawnmowers, weed eaters, etc. Also, make sure that you communicate clearly with your moving company about what you plan to pack yourself and what you would like them to pack. The moving company needs to plan adequate time for packing, and if they are surprised by the need to pack a lot of extra items on moving day, there will be expensive delays.
  • Schedule transfer of bank accounts, prescriptions, and utilities such as power, water, gas, phone, and internet service.
  • If you have any sensitive, valuable, or sentimental data stored on computers, you should back it up on disks, CDs, or an online backup service.
  • Prepare payment for moving services. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out exactly what your fees will be for vehicle and moving services, and what payment forms you can use.
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Moving Out

In the week leading up to moving day, it is time to finish your preparations, get everything into boxes, and leave your old home behind.

  • Prepare appliances for moving. Empty and clean kitchen appliances (refrigerator, range, microwave, freezer), and unplug your washer and dryer.
  • Clearly mark whatever boxes are already packed to let movers know where they should go in the new house, as well as any special handling instructions. The fewer questions there are during loading and unloading, the more quickly they will progress.
  • Make sure everything you need during the trip and immediately after moving in are packed separately. Plan to take these boxes in your vehicle to eliminate the need to search for them later. Also plan to keep any exceptionally valuable jewelry, musical instruments, electronics, and documents with you.
  • Establish reliable communication between movers. It is critical that you make sure that your moving service, vehicle carrier, realtor, and any other people involved in your move be able to communicate with one another. Trade contact information ahead of time and make sure that you can quickly reach one another in the case of an emergency.
  • Double-check your home to make sure you have not left anything behind. Basements, garages, attics, backyards, outdoor storage sheds, crawlspaces, and other seldom-visited parts of your home can often hide forgotten but important items. Having these items shipped later is expensive and unnecessary.
  • Pay your moving partners! Avoid confusion and embarrassment by having a check or cash for the correct amount (and a tip if applicable) ready and available on moving day.
Other Details

While these are the basics for any move, you might have needs or possessions that require special preparation. A boat or RV, for example, needs to be moved by a vehicle carrier that is capable of safely transporting it to its new location. Collections, vintage cars, or heirlooms may require packing by an expert who knows how to protect them.

If you require storage of your belongings or vehicle before or after your move, you should make sure to arrange the details with your moving company well ahead of time.

If you are having one or more vehicles carried by a transport company, decide whether to take your vehicle to the company’s local terminal or have it picked up at your home. Likewise, decide whether to pick it up at the ending terminal or have it delivered to your new home.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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