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Moving Part III: It’s Moving Day!

You’ve chosen a moving company using our helpful tips in Part I of our series, and you’ve packed up your belongings using the organization system in Part II. After much anticipation, moving day has arrived! It is finally time to bring everything to your new home. As much as your mind may be scattered, there will be some key things to focus on to make the process go smoothly for everyone.

Before Leaving

  • Start early! It’s going to be a long day regardless of when your alarm goes off, but starting early will allow you to get as much done as possible, ensuring you can unpack necessary things before spending the first night in your new home.

  • Check over the bill of lading. When the movers show it to your before they start loading the truck, make sure you read it through thoroughly to see that everything is outlined as originally discussed. Hang onto a copy until after the moving has been completed in case anything gets damaged along the way.

  • Keep everyone fed and hydrated. Whether it is friends who are helping out, the movers, or your family, it will be a long day for everyone involved. You’ll want to have healthy and light snacks around for energy and sustenance as well as copious amounts of bottled water.

  • Check everything over one last time before leaving your home. Make sure there was nothing left unpacked and forgotten. Also, look for damages to the current residence the movers may have accidentally caused. Write down your meter readings so that when your final bills are received you can verify that they match.

  • Make sure everyone has contact information! You’ll want to have a way to contact your moving company, and make sure they have your cell phone number as well. In the event that someone gets lost or delayed, you should be able to get in quick contact so not to further delay the moving process. Be sure to have phone chargers nearby as well in case they’re needed!

Upon Arrival

  • Tape room names on doors to help movers - or color code the rooms to match your box labels. Labeling the rooms will help your movers determine where things should be brought without causing headache or stopping to constantly ask questions.

  • Occupy your kids. If you have children, it can be easy for them to get underfoot. Designating a friend or family member as the babysitter can free you up to direct the move. And why not allow children to unpack their rooms themselves? This will not only keep them occupied, but help them feel involved in embracing their new environment. Moving can be difficult for children, but making it fun with special foods or treats can help show the child that this is a fun new chapter as opposed to a scary change.

  • Plan for your pets. If you have pets, make sure they have water and food readily accessible so they too can settle in. Keeping them in a separate room can sometimes help eliminate the stress they may feel from being in a new environment while keeping them out from underfoot. See the infographic for more tips!

  • Start cleaning or unpacking. If you are doing the unpacking, you can do this beginning as soon as the first boxes are off the truck. Your movers and friends will bring the rest of your belongings inside. If your movers are unpacking for you, be sure to supervise the process to lessen the chances of anything getting lost or damaged.

  • Remember the essentials. Don’t assume the previous homeowners will have left anything behind in the house; bring the essentials like toilet paper, a flashlight, and bathroom plunger. You won’t want to find yourself in a need during a situation on moving day!

  • Tip the movers for a job well done. If your movers displayed good attitudes, attentiveness to your needs and instructions, and professionalism a tip is in order. Whatever you are comfortable with is fine, but typically a tip is based on the amount of hours they helped. If the move was only a half day, $10 a person is considered appropriate. For a full day or longer move, $20-40 per person would be correct. Don’t give the entire tip amount to the crew leader, but distribute to each worker. This not only ensures they’ll get their full tip, but shows your appreciation for their personal effort. If you choose to buy the crew lunch as a tip, make sure you ask their preference for food. Many people think that buying pizza is easy, but this is often overused. Alcohol as a tip is not a good idea; stick to a cash tip or buying lunch for the crew to stay safe.

  • Recycle your packing materials! As with any type of disposal of goods, cities typically will have guidelines for recycling. Check out information for the cities of Newton, Brookline, and Boston. Know someone else who is making a big move? Giving away your extra supplies and boxes can be easy and save a friend quite a few dollars.  

The last truck is pulling out of the driveway and you’ve closed the front door. There’s no more furniture on the lawn and your house is full of your boxed belongings. As the quiet sets in and you begin to unpack, don’t forget that this process is all just to begin the newest chapter of your life; congratulations on your new home!

Hazeltine, Richard. Tips on Tipping Your Movers. Retrieved from
Wahlgren, Kara. Tips for a Smooth Moving Day. Retrieved from
Ghafari, Korinne. January 28, 2013. Moving with Pets Infographic [ image ]. Retrieved from
Dwell360 is a residential real estate firm based in Newton, Massachusetts, servicing the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. Our experienced real estate agents will not only manage the sale or purchase of your home, but they will also provide you valuable resources and advice as you make your move. Search for homes in Massachusetts and then give us a call.