Tips for a Smooth Home Move


Before You Move.

  • Check to determine whether the interstate mover is an AMSA ProMover, is registered with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and has a USDOT number.
  • Tour the facilities of your potential mover. The uniforms, facility, vehicles, and their people will tell you a lot.
  • If you're making an interstate move, obtain and read the three pre-move documents that your carrier is required by law to give you for interstate shipments. These documents include: "Your Rights and Responsibilities," the "Ready to Move" brochure, and information on the arbitration program in which your carrier participates.
  • If you are moving more than 30 miles within Virginia, obtain and read the “Making a Better Move” brochure that your carrier is required by law to give you for Virginia intrastate shipments.
  • Ask questions. If you do not understand something, simply ask. The moving business is complex, complete with its own language. If you aren't satisfied with the answers your carrier gives you, talk to another moving company.
  • Find out what the mover's responsibilities are for damages that may occur to your belongings.
  • Find out how and when pick up and delivery of your household goods will occur.
  • Ask the mover how they can be contacted before the move, during the move, and after the move.
  • Adequately insure your belongings.
  • Plan an off-peak season move (when possible). June to September is the high season. If you can avoid moving during those months, you will likely receive better service. If you must move during the high season, move mid-month, mid-week, and avoid the end of the month.
  • Take valuables with you. Valuables, such as cash, coins, jewelry, photographs, and important papers should be taken with you.
  • Segregate personal travel items. The items traveling with you, such as clothes and papers, should be put in one place or in the vehicle you are taking with you. Avoid having those items loaded on the truck and having to find them later.
  • Packing of boxes—Clarify who will be responsible for packing and/or unpacking the boxes.

Moving Day.

  • Be present to answer questions and give directions to the movers. Stay until the job is complete.
  • For safety, your pets must be confined during the move. Your crew will be in and out of your home numerous times until your services are complete. Helpful tips on moving with pets can be found here.
  • Accompany the movers as they inventory your household goods and resolve any questions regarding the condition of materials being moved.
  • Carefully read the information on the estimate, bill of lading, inventory, and all other completed documents before you sign them.
  • Keep the bill of lading until your goods are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are settled.
  • Before the moving van leaves, take one final look throughout the house to make certain nothing has been left behind.
  • Inform the moving company of where you can be reached during the move.

Delivery Day (Pertains to Long Distance Moves).

  • Be present to answer any questions and give directions.
  • Pay the driver, according to the term of your agreement, before your goods are unloaded.
  • Supervise unloading and unpacking of your goods.
  • Note on the inventory list all boxes or other items that are damaged before you sign any documents.
  • Before the JK moving truck pulls away from your home, be sure to check with the driver to make sure that none of your belongings are still on the truck. 

There are more valuable tips and information at

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