Moving Tips

Professional Moving Tips and Tools

Links to some helpful moving tips and tools from the Arpin Van Lines website:

More Moving Tips

How to select the right New Hampshire Moving Company

1. Hire a moving company or do-it-yourself. Don’t assume you will save money if you do-it-yourself. Costs for insurance, gasoline, and your “sweat equity” can add up.
2. Be careful in selecting a mover. You want quality. Make sure the mover is properly insured.
3. Have the mover send a representative to your home and get a written estimate. Many moving companies may provide an estimate over the phone but an in home survey is the most accurate.
4. Plan to move during off-peak times. Summer is the busiest time of the year for movers. In addition, the beginning and end of each month are traditionally busier than mid-month, regardless of the season.
5. Book your move 4 to 6 weeks in advance.
6. Able Moving & Storage can do the packing for you. Proper packing is crucial to a good move, however, if you choose to do the packing yourself our movers will blanket pad pieces of furniture.
7. Be sure to understand the options for insuring your goods. It is a good idea to purchase additional liability coverage from your mover.
8. Even the best moving company may have some damage or missing items. When this happens notify the moving company as soon as possible.


Obtain a floor plan of your new residence and decide what household items you want to keep. Begin an inventory of all household goods. Solicit estimates from several moving companies. Contact your insurance agent, and ask them about your homeowner’s policy to determine whether your possessions are cove when moving. Establish a file for all moving papers and receipts. Arrange to transfer child(ren)’s school records.

Begin search for good health-care professionals in your new location. Fill out post-office change of address cards. Send your new address to anyone that might need it — insurance agents, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, friends, relatives, etc. Clean out closets and dispose of all items that you will not be taking with you. Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities. Choose a mover.

For self moves, reserve a truck or trailer. Obtain necessary moving supplies: boxes, twine, labels, etc. Start packing!! If your mover is doing the packing, arrange for it to be done one or two days before loading begins. Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair or cleaning as needed. Begin to use up overstocks of staple foods. Gather valuable personal papers that you may need at your destination location, including medical and dental records, school records, birth certificates, etc. Make travel plans and arrange any motel or other reservations. Choose a mover.

Arrange to have utilities (gas, electric, phone, cable, water, etc.) disconnected in your present home, and connected at your new home. Ready car registration and insurance records for transfer. Notify State Motor Vehicle Bureau of your new address. Arrange for child care on moving day. If necessary, reserve apartment elevator for pickup and/or delivery dates.

Arrange to move pets. Check with mover about moving house plants. (Some movers will not move plants.) Dispose of all items too dangerous to move, including flammable liquids. If necessary, have your automobile serviced and ready for the trip.

Transfer all bank accounts. Cancel newspaper delivery. Have enough medication to last at least two weeks. Have prescriptions forwarded to a pharmacy at your new destination. Buy traveler’s checks. Make arrangements to pay for your move. Withdraw items and close safety deposit boxes.

Have mover pack your goods (unless doing it yourself). Defrost and dry refrigerators and freezers to be moved. Set aside valuable items to carry with you including jewelry, vital documents, money and valuable small items.

Be on hand to answer questions and give directions to movers and stay until they are finished. Accompany driver for inventory of your household goods. Complete information on bill of lading and carefully read the document before you sign it. Make sure you have your copies of the bill of lading and inventory. Keep the bill of lading until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are settled. Before the van leaves, take one final look through the house to make certain nothing has been left behind. Give the driver directions to your new home. Notify the driver and the van line where you can be reached during the move.

Be on hand to answer any questions and give directions. You must pay the driver before your goods can be unloaded. This is a Federal requirement for interstate moves. Supervise unloading and unpacking. Check carefully for any damaged or missing items. Note on the inventory any damaged boxes or obvious damage to unboxed items before you sign anything.


The following tips often help children adjust before, during and after a family relocates.

  • Include the children in making plans for the move.
  • Take them house-hunting with you.
  • Help your child(ren) learn about the new area.
  • Let them decide how their new rooms are to be decorated.
  • Ask them to exchange addresses and phone numbers with friends.
  • Prepare a package with snacks, some clothing, a few toys.
  • Through play-acting, children can get a feeling of “moving”.
  • Take a “family break” as soon as the major unpacking is done.
  • Don’t try to do everything when you arrive.
  • Take time listening to each child about new schools and new friends.
  • Follow progress in new schools.
  • Ease tension by accompanying your child(ren) to school.
  • Caution children about new situations in a new neighborhood.


• Pets cannot be shipped on moving vans. Pets often become frightened and may try to run away. Keep your pet on a leash when outside. Your pet should wear a special identification tag, with its name, your name, and where you can be reached. Except for Seeing Eye Dogs, pets are not permitted on buses or trains. Consider sending smaller pets by air express. Consult with your veterinarian concerning mild sedation of your pet during the trip.

• If your move is across state lines, call or write to the State Veterinarian, State Department of Animal Husbandry, or other appropriate authority. Interstate health certificates must be obtained for dogs and horses prior to entering most states. All but four states require a rabies vaccine for dogs, and many require it for cats. Hawaii requires that cats and dogs be quarantined for 120 days. Some pets must have an entry permit issued by the destination state’s regulatory agency. A few states have border inspection of all animals being transported; others have random inspections.

• Local communities have pet control and licensing ordinances. In some cases, the number of pets is limited.

• Make reservations well in advance. Follow airline instructions. Obtain a shipping container a week or two in advance. Familiarize your pet with it by placing the pet in it for a few minutes each day. Gradually lengthen the time until the pet seems to be at ease with it. Carefully schedule boarding and shipping arrangements for your pet to assure that the pet is well cared for until you are able to receive it at your new home. Feed the pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give the pet a drink of water no less than two hours before the flight. If your pet is accompanying you, arrive at the terminal 45 minutes before normal check-in time. If shipping the pet, get to the freight terminal two hours in advance of the flight. Be certain that names, addresses and telephone numbers of persons responsible for the pet at origin and destination are clearly marked on the container and on the pet’s identification tag. Notify the person receiving the pet that is on the way. Give them the flight and waybill number. Pets can usually be picked up within 90 minutes of flight arrival.

• If your dog or cat is not used to traveling by car, make short trips with the pet a week or two in advance. Dogs should be taught to lie quietly. Don’t let your dog put its head in the wind. It can irritate eyes and cause problems. Cats are often frightened by car travel, but they usually adjust quickly. Folding kennels or crates especially designed for station wagons can be very useful. Accustom your pet to being on a leash and always use it when outside your vehicle or hotel. If you must stop overnight, check in advance for hotels that allow pets. Be sure that your pet is properly tagged and its rabies tag is firmly attached. Pet Travel Kit: food, water, and dishes; can opener (if needed); leash; a few treats; favorite toy; and some type of bedding. To be on the safe side, ask your veterinarian if a sedative would be appropriate. Don’t forget the scooper and plastic bags for cleanup!


  • SHOCK: Some house plants are susceptible to shock when moving.
  • TEMPERATURE: In Fahrenheit, temps below 35 or above 95 for more than any hour can kill many plants.
  • WATER: Most house plants can survive for a seven to ten days without water with little harm, but they should be moist when placed in cartons.
  • DARKNESS/LIGHT: house plants can tolerate darkness for up to a week, if other conditions are favorable. When first exposing plants to light after prolonged darkness, do so gradually to avoid wilting and sun scald.
  • CUTTINGS: For convenience and space saving, you can take cuttings of your favorite plant (if possible). Most cutting can survive for several days if kept in a plastic bag containing damp vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite.
  • PROFESSIONAL MOVING: Most professional movers will accept plants, if not more than 150 miles and/or delivery within 24 hours. If you are moving across state lines, check federal and state regulations for quarantines or other restrictions. Several states require that plants be inspected and declared “pest free”. Some states have random vehicle checks, while others inspect all house plants at the border. You must arrange for inspection of your plants by an authorized state department of agriculture inspector.
  • DO-IT-YOURSELF: Never carry plants in the car trunk, which can get too hot in summer, and too cold in winter.


  • Picking the right day of the week, the right week of the month, and right month of the year will help your move go smoothly. Every mover, rental truck facility and other service provider, like the cable and phone guy, has peak busy times. Scheduling around those will reduce the stress of moving.
  • Peak moving season starts about the middle of May and runs through the middle of September. This is true for across town moves as well as long distance moves. It’s the busiest time because it coincides with the school calendar year and the weather is cooperative. No one wants to change schools in the middle of the year nor do you want to move during an infamous Omaha, Nebraska snowstorm! If you have to move during this time, book your mover or rental truck early. Pick your dates as soon as you can to avoid a last minute scramble to find availability. This also makes it easier on all of the other services you may need. Change of address at the post office, turning the utilities on and off, changing bank accounts, etc. There are a lot of people involved in this process and all get swamped at the same time. Keep their stress levels and yours low by planning around the busiest times.
  • Avoid the end of the month if you can. Leases are generally up at the end of the month and closing dates are usually scheduled for the end so taxes and insurance don’t have to be prorated. Both of these things mean crunch time for moving the last week of any month all year long. You will get the best deal and service from movers and rental companies if you can avoid that last week.
  • The best days to move are early in the week – Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Avoid Friday and Saturday because most people want to move on those days and use the rest of the weekend to get settled into the new house. Friday is the day of the week that most moving companies are stretched to the limit because of its popularity as a moving day. The moving crews (those strong guys that lift heavy objects all week long) are fresher at the beginning of the week, too. Truck rental companies are generally swamped on Friday and Saturday. Most do-it-yourself moves happen on the weekend with a rental truck, some buddies, and pizza and beer. Reserve that truck early and serve the pizza and beer AFTER the work is done!

Imagine moving out of a home you have lived in 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years. You have not only accumulated “stuff” but have countless memories. You raised your children, hosted family gatherings, and laughed with friends and neighbors. Now you have to leave all that behind and move to a smaller place or an assisted living facility. It’s a daunting task at best and a nightmare at worst. Here are the top five things to do to make the transition easier.

1. Sort and Downsize Early

  • It’s taken years to accumulate your possessions and it will take more than a few days to determine what you want to do with them. Allow yourself plenty of time to be nostalgic about the souvenirs you bought during your vacations. Take your time determining what you want to take with you, items you will give to family members or donate to charity, and what just needs to be tossed.

2. Plan Your Available Space

  • The amount of furniture you have now may not fit in your new residence or the piece itself may be too large. A good example is the dining room table. Do you still need a table that comfortably seats ten for Thanksgiving dinner? Knowing how much you need and where each piece fits will help in the sorting and downsizing phase of your move.

3. Create Notification Lists

  • Create a list of all the people you want to notify about your address change. Please remember the utilities that must be notified.

4. Pack a Survival Kit

  • Pack a bag with personal essentials for moving day. Include medications, a change of clothes, and important papers. Pack an extra box with moving day requirements for clean up, basic hand tools, light bulbs, and a flashlight. If it’s a long distance move, include paper plates, cups, and napkins in case you have to pick up some food before your dishes arrive.

5. Ask for Help

  • Moving is stressful and it’s hard work. Ask family and friends for assistance and advice. A great source of information and help is the National Association of Senior Move Managers ( They specialize in assisting with everything about a Senior move from organizing and sorting to arranging a mover to helping get settled in the new home.
  • Moving at any age is an overwhelming task. Moving after being in your home for several decades can become an unbearable job if it is rushed. Plan ahead, take your time, and ask for help from those around you.