A blonde, white family of four--wife, husband, daughter, and son--is packing up their belongings on a sunny day.

Preparing for Moving Day

Updated June 4, 2019 . AmFam Team

The night before you move can be a mad scramble to clean your current place and finish packing boxes. Save yourself some stress and feel better prepared with these moving tips for the night before.

Moving to a new place is exciting! Whether it’s into an apartment, duplex or house, you still have to juggle packing, renting a truck and wrapping furniture. Leading up to the night before the big move, you’ve probably packed a good portion of your belongings, have the movers scheduled and are ready to hand over the keys to your old place.

But there might still be a few things left to do. Be ready for your move tomorrow by preparing tonight with these moving tips.

11 Tips to Prepare for Moving Day

Check the schedule with the movers. You want to be sure your movers are arriving on time and at the right location, so call them the day before to confirm. If you haven’t already, notify them of any special handling requirements, like if you have antique furniture or collectible glassware.

Reserve parking for the moving truck. If you live in an area with limited parking, make sure there is space for the moving truck to legally park. You may have to call your city or town clerk’s office to get permission or even a permit for a large truck to park for an extended period of time outside your building.

Check your hotel reservations. Moving long-distance or moving out of your current home before your new home is ready sometimes requires alternative lodgings. Make sure everything is in order with the hotel, motel or other temporary housing before arriving.

Schedule utilities to be shut off. Let your electric, water, internet and trash pickup services know that you’ll no longer be living at your old home. If you’ll be living in the same area, give them your change of address so they can transfer service to your new place. If you’re not living in the same area, call ahead to the companies that will be providing utilities to your new home so the services are set up when you arrive.

Unplug and clean out the fridge. Let the fridge and freezer defrost, food-free, then wipe down the insides and empty the defrost tray. Even if you’re only transporting a small or large refrigerator over a short distance, be sure to remove all the food and allow it to defrost before loading it onto the truck.

Pack an essentials box. Set aside necessities like toilet paper, towels, shower supplies, the coffee maker — whatever you need for tomorrow morning. It’s a convenient way to ensure you aren’t frantically digging through boxes and suitcases for your face wash before the truck arrives.

Label all the boxes. Even things as vague as “kitchen stuff” or “fragile” are good naming conventions. It keeps things organized and ensures either you, your helpers or the movers you hired don’t mishandle your breakables. When you get to your new place, you can easily put the boxes in their corresponding locations based on what’s inside.

Disassemble all the furniture. Having all your furniture in small pieces instead of full-sized will save you time and keep you out of the chiropractor’s office. It’ll also fit a lot better in the moving truck or back of the minivan.

Make sure all your laundry is dry. It doesn’t even have to be clean, just dry. Wet laundry piled together in a box, suitcase or laundry bag is a great way to breed mold in your clothes. It’s also a lot heavier than dry laundry, so save yourself the trouble and run everything through the dryer one last time.

Disconnect all electronics and gas appliances. To prevent potential fire hazards, unplug all the electronics and appliances. Ask a professional to help you disconnect any gas appliances.

Pack important documents in a safe box. Secure documents like your tax files, mortgage contract, copies of your passport and birth certificate in a lockbox or small safe. It should travel with you in your own car and not in the moving truck. If you’re staying in a hotel room before moving in to your new home, bring the safe with you into your room.

Have the keys ready. Whether you’re moving out of an apartment or a house, you’ll want to leave your old keys behind, either with the rental company or the realtor in charge of your home’s sale.

Another thing you can do to prepare for living in your new home is making sure your home or renters insurance is there for you when you need it. You may need to swap from renters to home or vice versa, so get that change in motion as soon as possible. Get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to discuss your big move and how your coverage applies to your new place.

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