Have a box or backpack with everything you’ll need the day of the move, and the night and morning after, and bring it with you in the car or as checked luggage on the plane. Include items like toiletries, a change of clothes, sheets, towels, shampoo, soap, paper towels, coffee mugs and paper plates. Include important papers like insurance policies, birth certificates, etc. And don’t forget a big blanket or sheet to sit on so you can have a “picnic” and not worry about dirty floors.
Clothes, special toys and blankets, books, photos, toothbrushes and pyjamas – ensure they have easy access to everything they need to feel at home in their new space.
Assign each room in your new place a colour. (Red for the kitchen, blue for the master bedroom, etc.) Put a sticker of the appropriate colour on each box – and a corresponding sticker on the door of each room. It’s a great way to avoid confusion, especially if movers can’t tell which is “Max’s room” and which is “Emily’s room.”
Vital kitchen stuff, linens, kids’ items and other things you’ll need right away should be loaded last and unloaded first. Mark them clearly.
Have someone you trust take care of kids and/or pets for the day. That way they won’t get stressed out by the upheaval, and you won’t have to worry about them getting underfoot.
Make sure there’s a spot for the moving truck to park, and that there are no plants, boxes or furniture blocking doorways and walkways. Remove rugs, disconnect the spring from the screen door and prop open doors than swing shut.
Ask your neighbours if you can use their containers to toss any remaining trash. Make sure any hazardous or flammable waste is disposed of properly.
Take note of your utility meter readings so you don’t end up paying for someone else’s use.
Do one last walk-through to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Don’t forget closets, cupboards and crawl spaces.
Turn off all the lights, shut all the windows and lock the doors.
Leave them with the landlord or new owner.
Make sure they can be easily accessed once they’re inside.
See that the right boxes are going to the right rooms.
Before unpacking or setting up anything else, ensure everyone has a comfortable place to sleep.
After sleep comes food. Pull out the coffee maker, the toaster and maybe a frying pan for scrambled eggs so you can have breakfast in the AM.