What You Need to do Before Your Movers Arrive: Complete Checklist

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Preparing for a move involves much more than simply hiring a moving company and packing your belongings. To ensure a smooth and stress-free moving day, it’s essential to take proactive steps in advance. By preparing adequately and addressing key tasks beforehand, you can streamline the moving process and minimize potential challenges. In this guide, we’ll explore essential steps to take before your movers arrive, offering valuable tips and insights to help you prepare effectively. 

1. Inventory and Labeling 

Before the movers from San Jose Professional Movers arrive, it’s crucial to create a detailed inventory of your belongings and ensure everything is properly labeled for efficient packing and unpacking. 

Why Inventory and Labeling Matter 

Inventory: Taking inventory of your possessions allows you to keep track of everything during the move. It ensures that nothing gets lost or misplaced, and helps you stay organized throughout the process. 

Labeling: Clear and accurate labeling of boxes and items simplifies the moving process for both you and the movers. It helps them know where each item belongs in your new home, making unpacking much smoother. 

Tips for Effective Inventory and Labeling 

  • Start Early: Begin the inventory process well in advance of your moving day to avoid last-minute rush and ensure thoroughness. 
  • Use a Spreadsheet or App: Create a digital inventory using a spreadsheet or a moving inventory app. Include details such as item descriptions, quantity, and condition. 
  • Room-by-Room Approach: Go through each room in your home systematically, noting down the contents of closets, cabinets, and drawers. 
  • Photographic Evidence: Take photos of valuable items and their condition before packing them. This serves as a visual record for insurance purposes and helps identify any damage during the move. 
  • Color-Coding System: Assign a color to each room and use colored labels or stickers on boxes to indicate their destination. This makes it easy for movers to identify where each box should go. 
  • Keep a Master List: Maintain a master list of all your belongings, including their corresponding box numbers or labels. This acts as a reference in case of any discrepancies or missing items. 
  • Special Handling Items: Clearly mark boxes containing fragile or high-value items, indicating “Fragile” or “Handle with Care” to ensure they receive extra attention during the move. 

2. Declutter and Organize 

Before the movers arrive, it’s an opportune time to declutter and organize your belongings to streamline the moving process and reduce unnecessary items. 

Why Declutter and Organize? 

Efficiency: Decluttering allows you to eliminate items you no longer need, reducing the number of belongings to pack and transport. This saves time and effort for both you and the movers. 

Cost-Effective: Moving fewer items can lower moving costs since it may require fewer packing materials and less space in the moving truck. Additionally, it reduces the need for storage space in your new home. 

Stress Reduction: A clutter-free environment can alleviate stress during the moving process. It provides a sense of control and clarity, making the transition smoother and more manageable. 

Tips for Decluttering and Organizing 

  • Create Categories: Sort items into categories such as keep, donate/sell, and discard. Be honest about what you truly need and use regularly. 
  • Start Small: Begin decluttering one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Focus on areas with the most clutter or least frequently used items. 
  • Use the Four-Box Method: Label four boxes or bins as keep, donate/sell, trash, and relocate (items to be moved to a different room). Place items accordingly as you declutter each area. 
  • Be Ruthless: Ask yourself if each item adds value to your life or serves a purpose. If not, consider letting it go. 
  • Donate or Sell: Donate gently used items to charity or sell them online or through a garage sale. This not only reduces clutter but also benefits others in need. 
  • Dispose Responsibly: Properly dispose of items that cannot be donated or sold, such as broken or expired items. Recycle materials whenever possible to minimize environmental impact. 
  • Maximize Storage Space: Optimize storage solutions in your new home by organizing items efficiently and utilizing storage containers, shelves, and closet organizers. 

3.Communication with Movers 

Clear communication with your movers is essential for a smooth moving experience. Establishing effective communication ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding expectations and logistics. 

Why Communication is Key 

Coordination: Effective communication allows you to coordinate schedules, timelines, and any specific requirements or preferences you may have. 

Problem Resolution: Open communication enables you to address any concerns or issues promptly, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings or mistakes during the move. 

Efficiency: By providing clear instructions and information to your movers, you can optimize the moving process and ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and accurately. 

Tips for Effective Communication 

  • Provide Detailed Instructions: Clearly communicate important details such as the address of your current and new residence, any special requirements for parking or access, and specific instructions for handling fragile or valuable items. 
  • Discuss Logistics: Talk to your movers about the timeline for the move, including the expected arrival and departure times. Discuss any potential challenges or obstacles that may arise during the move, such as narrow hallways or staircases. 
  • Share Contact Information: Exchange contact information with your movers, including phone numbers and email addresses. This allows for easy communication throughout the moving process and enables you to reach them in case of any last-minute changes or emergencies. 
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on any aspects of the moving process that you’re unsure about. Your movers are there to assist you and ensure that your move goes smoothly. 
  • Be Flexible: While it’s important to communicate your preferences and requirements, be open to suggestions and solutions proposed by your movers. They may have valuable insights and expertise to offer based on their experience. 
  • Express Appreciation: Show gratitude to your movers for their hard work and professionalism. A simple thank you can go a long way in fostering positive communication and building a good rapport with your moving team. 

4. Pack Valuables and Essentials 

Packing your valuables and essentials properly is crucial to ensure their safety during the moving process. By taking the time to pack these items securely, you can minimize the risk of damage or loss and have peace of mind on moving day. 

Safeguarding Your Valuables 

Identification: Before packing, make a list of all valuable items such as jewelry, important documents, and sentimental possessions. Keep this list handy for reference during the packing and unpacking process. 

Secure Packaging: Use high-quality packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and sturdy boxes to protect fragile and valuable items. Wrap each item individually and cushion them with packing materials to prevent shifting during transit. 

Labeling: Clearly label boxes containing valuables with descriptive labels such as “fragile” or “handle with care.” This will alert your movers to exercise caution when handling these boxes and ensure they are placed in a safe location during transport. 

Essentials Box 

Pack an Essentials Box: Prepare a separate box containing essential items that you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home. This may include toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, important documents, and basic kitchen supplies. 

Accessibility: Keep your essentials box easily accessible and clearly marked so that it can be easily identified and retrieved when needed. Consider transporting this box in your personal vehicle rather than with the moving truck for added convenience. 

Emergency Preparedness: Include emergency supplies such as a flashlight, first aid kit, and basic tools in your essentials box. These items can come in handy in case of unexpected situations or delays during the move. 

By taking proactive steps to pack your valuables and essentials carefully, you can ensure their safety and accessibility throughout the moving process. 

5. Disconnect Utilities 

Disconnecting utilities is a crucial step to take before your movers arrive. Ensuring that your utilities are properly disconnected not only facilitates a smooth transition but also helps prevent any potential issues or complications on moving day. 

Utility Disconnection Checklist 

Electricity: Contact your utility provider to schedule the disconnection of electricity service at your current residence. Arrange for the disconnection to coincide with your move-out date to avoid paying for unused service. 

Water: Notify your water utility company of your upcoming move and request to have the water service disconnected on the designated date. Take note of any final meter readings and settle any outstanding bills before moving out. 

Gas: If your home is equipped with gas service, arrange for the disconnection of gas utilities before your move-out date. Follow the procedures outlined by your gas provider to ensure a safe and efficient disconnection process. 

Internet and Cable: Contact your internet and cable service providers to schedule the cancellation or transfer of services to your new address. Arrange for any necessary equipment returns and settle outstanding balances to avoid additional charges. 

Forwarding Address 

Update Your Address: Provide your utility providers with your forwarding address to ensure that you receive any final bills or correspondence after your move. Update your address with any other relevant parties, such as banks, insurance companies, and subscription services. 

Final Meter Readings: Arrange for final meter readings for utilities such as electricity, water, and gas to ensure accurate billing. Keep records of these readings for your reference and dispute resolution if necessary. 

Notify Landlord or Property Manager: If you’re renting your current residence, notify your landlord or property manager of your move-out date and utility disconnection plans. Coordinate with them to ensure a smooth transition and any necessary inspections or procedures. 

6. Prepare Appliances and Furniture 

Preparing your appliances and furniture before the movers arrive is essential to ensure a seamless moving process and to protect your belongings from damage during transit. Taking the time to properly prepare and secure your items will help minimize the risk of accidents and ensure that everything arrives at your new home in good condition. 

Appliance Preparation Tips 

Clean Appliances: Thoroughly clean and dry all appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines, before the movers arrive. This not only ensures hygiene but also prevents the growth of mold and mildew during transit. 

Secure Doors and Cords: Secure the doors and cords of appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines to prevent them from swinging open or getting damaged during transport. Use tape or zip ties to secure loose cords and ensure they remain safely attached during the move. 

Defrost Refrigerators and Freezers: If applicable, defrost and thoroughly clean your refrigerator and freezer at least 24 hours before the movers arrive. Dispose of any perishable items and ensure that the appliances are completely dry before transport. 

Furniture Preparation Guidelines 

Disassemble Large Furniture: Disassemble large furniture pieces such as beds, tables, and bookshelves as much as possible before the movers arrive. Keep screws, bolts, and other hardware in labeled bags or containers to facilitate reassembly at your new home. 

Protect Furniture Surfaces: Use furniture blankets, bubble wrap, or plastic wrap to protect the surfaces of your furniture from scratches, dents, and other damage during transit. Pay special attention to delicate or high-value items and ensure they are adequately cushioned and wrapped for protection. 

Secure Drawers and Doors: Secure drawers, doors, and other moving parts of furniture items to prevent them from opening during transport. Use furniture straps, bungee cords, or stretch wrap to secure loose components and minimize the risk of damage. 

7. Secure Parking and Access 

Ensuring adequate parking and access for the moving truck is crucial for a smooth and efficient moving day. By taking proactive steps to secure parking and provide easy access for the movers, you can help minimize delays and streamline the moving process. 

Securing Parking 

Reserve Parking Space: If possible, reserve parking space near your current and new home for the moving truck. Contact your building management or local authorities to obtain any necessary permits or reserve parking spots in advance. 

Clear Pathways: Clear pathways and driveways of any obstacles, such as vehicles, debris, or landscaping features, that may obstruct the moving truck’s access to your home. This will facilitate smooth navigation and loading/unloading of your belongings. 

Communicate with Neighbors: Inform your neighbors about your moving plans and request their cooperation in keeping parking spaces clear on moving day. Consider offering them advance notice and expressing gratitude for their cooperation. 

Providing Easy Access 

Accessibility Considerations: Assess the accessibility of your home, including staircases, elevators, and narrow hallways, and communicate any challenges or special requirements to the moving company in advance. This will allow them to plan accordingly and allocate the necessary resources for a successful move. 

Clear Pathways Inside: Clear pathways inside your home to ensure easy access for the movers and prevent accidents or damage to your belongings. Remove any obstacles or clutter that may impede the movement of furniture and boxes during the move. 

Designate Loading Zones: Designate specific areas near entrances or loading docks for staging boxes and furniture items before they are loaded onto the moving truck. This will help streamline the loading process and minimize the time required to load your belongings. 

8. Safety Measures 

Prioritizing safety measures is essential to prevent accidents and injuries during the moving process. By implementing precautionary steps and ensuring a safe environment for both yourself and the movers, you can mitigate risks and facilitate a smooth relocation experience. 

Precautionary Measures 

Clear Hazards: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify and address any potential hazards, such as slippery floors, loose rugs, or uneven surfaces. Clearing these hazards will reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls during the moving process. 

Use Proper Lifting Techniques: Encourage movers to use proper lifting techniques, such as bending at the knees, keeping the back straight, and lifting with the legs, to avoid strain or injury while handling heavy items. Provide lifting straps or dollies for moving bulky furniture safely. 

Provide Protective Gear: Equip movers with appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, safety goggles, and closed-toe shoes, to minimize the risk of injuries while lifting and carrying items. Additionally, consider providing face masks and hand sanitizers for added protection. 

Pet and Child Safety 

Secure Pets: Keep pets safely confined in a designated area away from the moving activity to prevent them from getting underfoot or escaping through open doors. Consider arranging pet care or boarding on moving day to reduce stress and ensure their safety. 

Supervise Children: Keep children supervised and away from the moving areas to prevent accidents or injuries. Consider arranging childcare or engaging them in quiet activities to minimize disruptions and ensure their safety during the moving process. 

Emergency Preparedness 

First Aid Kit: Keep a well-stocked first aid kit readily accessible during the move to address any minor injuries or accidents promptly. Include essential items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and adhesive tape. 

Emergency Contacts: Compile a list of emergency contacts, including local hospitals, poison control centers, and your moving company’s contact information, and keep it handy in case of emergencies. Ensure that all members of your household are aware of these contacts. 

9. Supplies and Refreshments 

Ensuring that you have the necessary supplies and refreshments on hand can contribute to a smoother and more efficient moving day experience. By preparing these essentials in advance, you can stay organized, keep the movers energized, and maintain a comfortable atmosphere throughout the process. 

Essential Supplies 

Moving Boxes: Ensure an ample supply of sturdy moving boxes in various sizes to accommodate your belongings. Use quality packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts to cushion fragile items and prevent damage during transit. 

Packing Tape and Labels: Stock up on high-quality packing tape to seal boxes securely and prevent them from opening during transportation. Additionally, provide markers and labels to clearly mark each box with its contents and destination room for easy unpacking. 

Moving Equipment: Have essential moving equipment such as dollies, hand trucks, and furniture sliders available to facilitate the handling and transportation of heavy items. These tools can streamline the moving process and reduce the risk of injuries for both movers and belongings. 

Refreshments and Snacks 

Hydration: Keep movers hydrated by providing plenty of water and beverages throughout the day. Consider setting up a designated hydration station with disposable cups or reusable water bottles for easy access. 

Snacks: Keep energy levels up by offering a selection of nutritious snacks such as granola bars, fruit, sandwiches, and trail mix. Providing a variety of options ensures that movers can refuel and stay focused during the moving process. 

Meal Breaks: Plan for meal breaks and provide nutritious meals or snacks to keep movers fueled and satisfied. Consider ordering takeout or preparing pre-packaged meals for convenience and efficiency on moving day. 


In conclusion, preparing for your movers’ arrival involves careful planning and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for a successful and stress-free moving day. Remember to start early, stay organized, and communicate effectively with your moving company. With proper preparation, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new home or location. 

Timeline Table: When to Tackle Each Step Before the Move 

Secure a Smooth Move with San Jose Professional Movers 

Are you ready to make your moving day a success? Start by following these essential steps to prepare for your movers’ arrival. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition to your new home. Contact us today to schedule your upcoming move and experience the professional service and support of San Jose Professional Movers. 

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