Sydney Brodie
June 21, 2024
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
All Moving

Checklist: How to Prepare Your Home for Your Move

Moving is an adventure, but it can also feel overwhelming. Between packing boxes, booking movers, and saying goodbyes, it's easy to forget crucial details. To ensure a smooth transition to your new place, preparation is key.  

This checklist will guide you through how to prepare to move and ensure your home is ready to go before your movers arrive. Some of the items on this list are mostly applicable if you’re using a full-service moving company, however most of will be helpful regardless of how you choose to move.  

How to Prepare to Move

Moving is a chaotic process, and the last thing you want is to forget something and add more to your to-do list. Follow these steps for how to prepare to move. These tips will avoid any misunderstandings and ensure all your belongings are ready for your moving truck to arrive:  

1. Double check what you’re packing. Keep in mind that there are some items that can’t be packed and loaded onto a moving truck, so if you’re using a moving company you’ll need to make separate arrangements to move these items yourself. This is especially important to consider for long-distance moves, because the longer your items are on the truck, the higher the risk that damage might occur.  

Items to watch out for include:

  • Aerosol cans  
  • Propane tanks  
  • Corrosives
  • Paints
  • Firearms and ammunition  
  • Highly flammable or combustible items
  • Perishable items  
  • Bleach and other cleaning supplies  
  • Plants  

2. Beyond items that are dangerous to transport in a moving truck, there are also valuables that are not covered under most valuation policies. You’ll need to transport these items yourself and it’s best to ensure they’re removed from your home before moving day so nothing gets lost. These items include:

  • Cash/currency, credit cards, and check books  
  • Securities and savings bonds  
  • Important documents (birth certificates, passports, social security cards, etc.)
  • Jewlery and precious stones  
  • Prescription drugs
  • Collectibles and heirlooms  

3. Mechanical failure of electronic items (microwaves, ovens, stereos, TV’s, computers, printers, etc.) is not covered under normal valuation unless there is transit-related damage. Some helpful tips before moving these items include:

  • Backup all computers and other electronic devices so you don’t lose data  
  • Remove all printer ink cartridges  
  • Turn off appliances 24 hours before moving so they have time to cool down  

4. If necessary, remove any items that are permanently affixed or secured to your property such as carpeting, lights and ceiling fans, and plumbing fixtures. Bailey’s Moving can’t remove any of these items for you.  

5. To protect your belongings and avoid accidents, all motorized items such as lawn mowers and other machinery must be drained of gasoline and oil. Cars are recommended to have 1/3 of a tank or below. Propane tanks cannot be shipped.  

6. Plants are considered a perishable item—please plan to move these items yourself. Plants should not be moved in a moving van to avoid damage. Your van driver has the final right to refuse plants and will not be liable for any damage.  

7. If you’re moving refrigerators and freezers they must be defrosted and allowed to dry for 12 to 24 hours before loading. All frozen items must be removed. We recommend cleaning these items and wiping them dry inside to prevent any mold or mildew growth during transportation.  

8. Appliances such as washers, dryers, and ice makers must be disconnected and serviced before they are moved. Depending upon the type of appliance, you can do this or your moving company can arrange for a third-party service to assist you.  

9. Large items that are heavy and difficult to move (e.g., pool tables, hot tubs, grandfather clocks, pianos) may require special packing or servicing. Please make sure these items are in good condition and we are aware that you need to move them ahead of time. We can help assist you with proper preparation.  

10. All items you’d like to move must be easily accessible and visible to the movers. Items in crawl spaces, attics, or temporary storage areas should be brought to an accessible area in your home.  

11. Place any items you don’t want moved in a separate area. Please make your movers aware when they arrive that you don’t want those items loaded onto the truck.  

12. All walkways and driveways must be clear of snow, ice, mud, and any other hazards. For your moving crew’s safety, they typically have the right to refuse to load you if these conditions are not met.  

13. Keep pets in a secure area while movers are packing and loading. Younger children should always be within your visual range to ensure their safety in the work areas.

14. If you’re using a full-service moving company, you’ll typically need to be present as they’re loading the truck. Many moving companies will take inventory of what’s being loaded and will need you to sign off and confirm they’ve taken everything you need them to move.  

Discover More Moving Tips and Tricks

Following these steps will help you ensure your home is fully ready for movers. When your home is organized and ready to move, it helps every step of the process go more smoothly and saves everyone time.  

Check out the rest of our learning center for more tips on how to prepare to move. This article on how to prepare your large electronics for a move is a great place to get started.