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Are You Ready for Your Next Move? Consult our Checklist.

Moving Services

Start Early with Planning and De-Cluttering:

  • Do floor plan to see what furniture fits in your new space.
  • It’s never too early to start cleaning out your attic, basement and garage.
  • Start de-cluttering and evaluating items which can be considered for donation or to “gift” to friends and relatives.  Find a happy home for those things you can’t take with you.
  • Consider consignment, e-bay and craig’s list for selling some of your higher priced items you no longer want.
  • Set up lots of donation pick-ups throughout packing process.


  • Arrange for hazardous waste disposal or items you’re not allowed to move such as propane.  Visit for more information on disposal of hazardous waste.
  • Get your dates in order and make a to-do list of all the calls to utility companies, insurance companies, landscape, plow etc.
  • Complete a change of address form.
  • Most realtors suggest leaving picture hooks in wall.
  • Schedule cleaning and last-minute trash pick-up at your old house.
  • Book the freight elevator if you are moving into an apartment.  Typically they give you a three hour window.
  • Change garaging location on auto policy.

How to Choose A Moving Company:

  • Obtain 2 quotes from moving companies and book your moving company well in advance.  Ask them if they have more availability or if rates are different mid-month vs. end of month.  Typically, moving companies charge more end of month. Is there extra charge for nights and/or weekends?
  • Are there restrictions of move-in time at your new place.  Many places only allow movers in the building from 10 – 4 on weekdays.
  • Packing: some movers charge by the hour and others by the box.
  • We tell clients not to hire any mover who won’t come to the house to provide an estimate.
  • Discuss if you want movers to drop boxes off at your home ahead of time.  Or, you can purchase and save some money.
  • Ask movers if a third party will be needed for any oversized items such as exercise equipment, pianos etc.
  • Are their employees full time or do they sometimes hire temps?
  • Be sure movers don’t subcontract your job.
  • Discuss insurance with movers well-ahead of the moving day to give you time to evaluate what you want.  Check your homeowners to see what they cover.
  • Make sure movers are insured and bonded.
  • Discuss their cancellation policy and payment options.
  • Ask if they charge travel time on day of move from their office/warehouse to your home.  Is there a cap on the travel charge?
  • Ask movers if you can leave the bottom two drawers of your file cabinets full.  Many vary on this.
  • Ask movers if you can leave your soft clothing in bureaus (you may want to consider adding a towel to the top if the drawer is not full so your items don’t slide everywhere.)  Or, pack your clean sheets in one of the drawers so you can make up your bed upon arrival.

How to Pack:

  • Take photos of anything that is going to storage so you’ll remember along with description and measurements.
  • Take photos of curio cabinets/bookshelves so you can re-create the same in your new space.
  • Start packing least used items first such as out of season clothing, momentos etc
  • Most movers suggest packing plates standing up on their side as they are less likely to break than if you stack them on top of one another in the box.
  • Utilize all those throw pillows and towels to help pad your boxes.
  • It’s easier for movers to have similar size boxes vs. ones you pick up from the liquor store.
  • White packing paper is preferable over newsprint, especially for kitchen items.
  • Pack like with like.  For example, all office supplies should be grouped together in box.
  • Remove lightbulbs from lamps before packing.
  • Pack suitcases with clothes.
  • Label boxes on side and top and clearly label what is in each box as well as what room they are going to.
  • Consider where boxes are going, not where they came from.  For example, we unpacked several boxes marked kitchen that were actually office supplies because the client had a desk in the kitchen.

Close to Moving Day:

  • Tape Cords to VCR/TV so they are kept together and take photos before you disconnect the cords.
  • Some movers will provide wardrobe boxes free of charge on moving day. They will put all your hanging clothes in it and empty it for you and take the box away.  Add some shoes to the bottom of the box.
  • Pack items in wardrobe boxes as tightly as possible so clothes don’t fall off of hangers.
  • Defrost your refrigerator one or two days ahead of time.
  • Consider washing sheets morning of move and hand-carrying necessary linens or pack them in bureau for easy access.
  • Give thought to how you are moving plants and pets. Hand-carry valuable jewelry, medicines, liquor, liquid cleaning solutions, house plants as movers will not.
  • Keep your floor plan with you at all times!
  • Bring suitcase of items you need for three days.
  • If you are not enlisting help to unpack, consider packing some of the items you’ll need the first week i.e. toilet paper, roll of paper towels, scissors, phone, soap, can opener, paper products, cleaning supplies in a clear plastic bin so it is easily identifiable among the myriad of other boxes and even ask your foreman to pack it last so it is the first thing off the truck.
  • If you’re happy with the movers, consider a tip as well as offering donuts or meals throughout the day.
  • Remember to have snacks and water available day of move and take time to eat!
  • Pack a few easily accessible food items for first few meals.

ShipShape Organize can help you. We serve the North Shore and metro-Boston area. Call or contact us for your free ½ hour phone consultation. Deb Stone 978.314.6410.