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How Much Should You Do to Prepare for Your Movers?

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Your boxes are taped shut and labelled, your suitcases and essentials are ready, all your household garbage was carted away, and you've made multiple trips to your local charity shop to drop-off unwanted clothes and goods. All that's left is to wait for the movers to arrive, right? Not quite. Here are four things you may not have thought about doing to help ensure you have a smooth move.

1. Remove items that your moving company can't transport.

Moving companies have to abide by strict rules about what they can and cannot transport as part of a residential move, like hazardous items and perishables. Additionally, some moving companies have their own rules about the sort of valuables and sentimental items they're willing to take care of, for liability reasons.

Schlepping your boxes and furniture is already tough enough for your movers. Don't make them sort through your belongings to identify goods that can't go on the truck. Not to mention it's a pain for you to make last-minute arrangements for items that can't be transported by your moving company.

Do yourself a favor and find a way to dispose of or give away all un-moveable items. Some household goods that make most "banned" lists include plants, produce, fertilizer, nail polish remover, SCUBA tanks, fire extinguishers, jewelry, stocks and bonds, cash, and medical records. Be sure to check with your movers for a full list beforehand, so you're not surprised on moving day.

2. Make sure your home and family are ready for the movers to come.

Not that your house isn't already clean, but having everything in order will certainly make moving day more seamless. Disorder can create confusion, especially about what items are supposed to go on the moving truck and what items — like your purse or small box of toiletries — will come in the car with you. Anything that's not going on the moving truck should be stored in a separate place that's clearly marked as "Don't Move This," or already secured in your car if you're driving to your new place.

Additionally, do a quick inspection of your house from the mover's point-of-view. Are there any tripping hazards? Are boxes or furniture piled awkwardly or in narrow hallways? If your major appliances are being transported, remember to clean them out (including defrosting your freezer) and unplug them.

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Image by Tony Webster/Flickr

It's also a good idea to find somewhere else for your pets and/or children to be on moving day. There is a lot of activity going on when you're moving and it's easy to get frazzled if your dog keeps getting in the way of the movers or if your children are demanding attention.

3. Take thorough notes of where you put items.

Your movers will tag and inventory your boxes, but you'll want to keep some records for yourself. Whether you use old fashioned pen and paper or your iPhone, be prepared to monitor the inventory process and keep a few notes about important boxes. There will undoubtedly be a few boxes that you'll want to open first at your destination. Even if you label all your boxes, having notes will make it that much easier for you to identify priority items at your new home.

Maybe it's the specific "linens" box that has your favorite pillows or the exact "kitchen" box that contains your coffee maker, mark down whatever is important to you. Having an accurate record will help you avoid tearing apart 20 boxes just to find what you need on the first night in your new home. Remember to keep your notes and a copy of your inventory and bill of lading in a safe place for easy retrieval at your destination.

4. Have a way to thank your movers.

Moving is tough work, which is why you hired someone to help you. But just because your movers are professionals doesn't mean the job is any easier. Being kind to your movers will go a long way and how you decide to show your appreciation depends on the extent of your move.

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Image by MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr

Did you hire someone to help you move from one apartment to another in the same city? You can offer your movers a small cash tip. If you can't afford to do this, you can offer thinks like snacks, cold drinks, damp towels, or anything else to show your appreciation. Are you using a moving company to get a household-worth of belongings safely across the country? Consider serving lunch to your movers, like sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cookies.

These four things should help you be even more prepared for moving day. Now that you've done them, it's time to relax that you've got everything organized and ready to go to your new home.

Featured image by Marie Coleman/Flickr