Moving and Planning Guide

Two to Three Weeks Before Moving Day

Working With the Mover

When household goods are professionally packed, the packing is usually done the day before the actual move. Plan to be at homePlanning Guide during the packing process to answer questions. You can take advantage of this time by reading, writing letters or catching up on paper work.

While your agent can move valuables such as money, credit cards, stamp collections or other items of extraordinary value if specifically notified prior to the move, we strongly recommend that you take such items with you. (See the "Take-With-Me" inventory sheet in the back of this guide.) Or check with your local bank or post office for alternate methods of transporting your valuables. In addition, check to see if you homeowner’s insurance will cover these items after you leave your old address. You may need special insurance coverage. Remember that any items of extraordinary value must be noted on the High-Value Inventory form so that they are not limited to minimal liability. Be sure the form is ready for the packers on packing day.

Preparing the Family

  • Pack suitcases for the trip to the new home. Put in some extra clothing for emergencies.

  • Consider packing a picnic lunch to eat while traveling. Take along some snacks such as fruit and cookies for the children. Include towelettes for a quick cleanup.

  • Arrange for a baby sitter for moving day, or have older children look after the younger ones.


"Instant Aid" Box

Pack an "Instant Aid" box containing things which may be needed immediately upon arrival at your new home. Package each group of items in a large paper bag and clearly label. Here are some suggestions:

Snacks Children
Easy-open cans of pudding Coloring books and crayons
Dry soup mix A favorite toy
Sandwich spreads Reading materials
Instant drinks Puzzles
Cleaning Kitchen
Sponge Paper plated, cups, napkins
Paper towels Plastic cutlery
Dish towels Plastic pitcher
Dishcloth Small saucepan
Scouring pads Serving spoons
Powdered detergent Aluminum foil
Bath Miscellaneous
Towels and face cloths Light bulbs
Toilet tissue Hammer
Facial tissue Screwdriver
Soap Pliers
Hand lotion Assorted nails and screws
Non-aerosol deodorant Shelf paper
Toothbrushes Telephone


Ask to have the "Instant Aid" box loaded last on the moving van and unloaded first. Or, take it in the car if there is room - you may be able to use the content before the van arrives at you new home. When the box is opened, save any paper bags for holding refuse.

Last-Minute Packing

  • Check contents of drawers. Remove all spillables or breakables. Soft goods such as blankets, pillows, blouses, shirts and lingerie may be left in drawers. Do not overload drawers by adding sheets and tablecloths because this can damage the furniture during transit.

  • Pin clothing to hangers if it will be moved in wardrobe cartons so that vibration or bumps will not cause items to slip off. If your shipment is going to storage for an extended period of time, consider replacing metal hangers with paper-covered or plastic hangers to avoid possible rust damage to your clothing.

  • Empty the refrigerator and freezer so that they can dry at least 24 hours before the movers arrive. Be careful not to overlook the defrost water pan. Failure to have the appliances completely dry can lead to mildew, mold and unpleasant odor. A more detailed explanation can be found in United’s "Moving Appliances & Other Home Furnishings" booklet. Ask for a free copy.

  • Be sure the water is emptied from your steam iron.

  • Complete the "Take-With-Me" inventory in the back of this guide.

  • Launder all soiled clothing prior to the day the appliance service technician is expected.

  • Take the telephone directory with you. It can be useful in contacting former doctors, dentists, etc. It will also be a great help when you make out your holiday card list.

Pets and Plants

  • Decide what to do with house plants. United Van Lines cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants because they may suffer from a lack of water and light as well as probable temperature changes while in the van. You may prefer to transport your house plants in the family car or ship them by plane. Other alternatives: give them to friends or relatives, donate them to a hospital or other organization, or include them in a garage sale. Some states permit the entry of all house plants; others admit them in accordance with specific rules and regulations. Ask for a copy of our "Moving With House Plants" booklet.

  • Take pets to the veterinarian. Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculations. See that identification and rabies tags are securely attached to the pet’s collar.

  • Arrange for transportation of pets. Take them in the car or send via air. Consider boarding pets either at destination or a kennel near your present home until you are settled in the new city. Ask for a copy of our "Moving With Pets" booklet.

Other Important Details

  • Collect any merchandise in layaway at local stores.

  • Collect all items that are being cleaned, stored, or repaired (clothing, furs, shoes, watches, etc.) Empty your locker at the club, bowling alley, or gym.

  • Return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors, and collect things you may have loaned.