The first step in packing for your move is to take an inventory of your belongings. Take an objective look at what you own, and then decide what must go and what can be left behind. Remember, extra weight costs extra money. Sell, give away, or throw out those items you will not be taking with you! This is a big task, so give yourself plenty of time – packing always takes longer than you think.

Once you have decided what you will be taking with you, the next step is to decide whether you will pack yourself, have your moving company arrange for professional packers do the work for you, or both you and the moving company will share these duties. When weighing this decision, keep in mind that your moving company will use trained professionals, provide all of the packing materials, and accept liability for all the items it packs. Generally, moving companies will not accept liability for any goods that you pack yourself; therefore, you must weigh the savings from packing yourself against the possible loss due to damage of self-packed items.

Your moving company will send the packers one to two days before the scheduled date of your move. You or a trusted representative should be at home while the packers are there, especially during the inventory of your belongings. The inventory will be itemized, and each carton or piece of furniture will have an inventory number. It is at this time the moving company will note any existing damage to your household goods prior to moving, and this inventory will be used to compare the condition of the goods upon delivery. It is important to note any disagreements between you and the moving company at this time. Make sure all copies of the inventory are legible and make sure “high value” items are listed separately.

Before signing the inventory sheet, make sure you understand everything on it, make sure the carton counts match the number of cartons packed, and get a copy for your records. While the packers are there, mark boxes containing fragile items with a big “X” – open these first upon delivery to check for damage. Make sure all boxes are clearly labeled with your name, the moving company’s inventory sticker, and the room in the house in which the box should be placed upon delivery.

Are you taking your appliances with you? Some appliances need professional servicing before they can be moved to provide for their safe transportation. To ensure your appliances do not incur damage during transit, have them serviced prior to moving and upon installation at your new location. Your moving company may be able to provide these services or supply you with a list of professionals who can provide these services.

Whether you are packing your belongings yourself or having your mover pack them for you, remember to keep out anything you will need for a few days and for the time of travel between your old and new homes. Keep in mind that there are sometimes unforeseen delays; try to avoid packing essentials, such as prescription medicines, children’s items, extra clothes, toiletries, etc.

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