Moving Tips

Get quotes from several moving companies!

Here’s an important “to do” list to help you select the right mover:

  • Get a written estimate from several movers.
  • The estimate should be based on an actual inspection of your household goods.

Make sure the mover has insurance and is licensed by the proper authority.

For moves from one State to another, a U.S. DOT number is issued by FMCSA. You can double-check a mover’s license on For moves within a State, requirements vary. Check with your State, county or local consumer affairs agency or your State attorney general.

Remember your priorities when choosing a mover.

If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non-binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule.

Do your homework.

Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet from the Federal government that your mover is required to give you if you are moving from one State to another. This booklet also has information you’ll need if your goods are lost or damaged during the move. Finally, check the mover’s complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.

  • Make an inventory of everything to be moved and give a copy to the mover
  • As soon as possible start to pack any items that will not be needed before the move.
  • Bin or give to charity any unwanted items.
  • Cancel all deliveries such as papers and milk.
  • Towards the end of the week, defrost the freezer.
  • Arrange final readings of water/gas/electricity (72 hours notice).
  • Arrange for your final telephone bill, and your connection at your new home.
  • Send out “We’re moving” cards to friends and relatives.
  • Throw out anything you don’t need.
  • Plan where the furniture is going to go in your new home.

Notify these professional services of your move:

  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Financial Planner
  • Health Insurance Provider
  • Insurance Agent
  • Schools
  • post office

Notify these services/accounts of your move:

  • Auto Finance Company
  • Bank/Credit Union/ Finance Companies
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Exterminator
  • Home care service providers (lawn, exterminator etc.)
  • Pharmacy
  • Store/Gas charge accounts
  • Notify these government offices of your move
  • City/County Tax Assessor
  • State Vehicle Registration
  • Social Security Administration
  • State/Federal Tax Offices

Prohibited Items

To guard against damage that can be caused by combustion, leakage or explosion, dispose of these items:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ammunition
  • Batteries
  • Bleach
  • Chemicals, such as those for darkrooms
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning fluids
  • Cologne and perfume
  • Fertilizers with ammonium nitrate
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable goods
  • Flares
  • Food in glass jars
  • Frozen or refrigerated food
  • Furniture polish
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Lighter fluid
  • Matches
  • Nail polish remover
  • Oil-based paints
  • Starter fuel
  • Tanks of compressed gas, such as for grills or diving. Empty scuba tanks with the valve removed may be transported


  • Because books are heavy, be sure to use small cartons.
  • Limit boxes, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds makes handling easier.
  • Wrap items carefully. Provide plenty of cushioning to absorb shock.
  • Use sturdy boxes that close.
  • Make sure boxes are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward.
  • Empty drawers.
  • Remember to label all boxes with their contents and which room they are to go into. (put label on the side of box not on top)
  • Set aside a box or suitcase to hold everything you will need for the first 24 hours of your move and label it clearly. This can include utensils for cooking, toiletries, a change of clothing and bedding so that you can sleep comfortably.