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What should I expect on moving day?

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Question: What should I expect on moving day?
A reader wanted to know what to expect on moving day. She said her family was packed up and ready for the moving company, but wondered if I had any last minute tips for moving day. It's a great question, because no matter how well you prepare, there will always be some things missed so knowing what might happen and what to expect helps ease the stress.
Answer: Here are the top five things people are most likely to forget to do that have lead to some last minute scrambling on moving day:

  1. Don't forget to save room for the moving truck. Whether you're hiring movers or moving yourself, you're going to need to ensure that there's a parking space for the moving truck. It's always a good idea to notify your neighbors of the move and that you'll be using the front parking spaces or the back alley or whatever space is best for your move. Remember, that if you're hiring a moving company, you'll need to make sure that the truck is parked close to both the old house, where you're moving from, and the new home, where you're moving to. If you don't block off enough parking space and the movers have to park down the street, you may be charged extra for what movers call a long carry.
  2. Notify the neighbors. While this point has already been mentioned, it's worth mentioning again. Not only should neighbors be aware of the parking space you'll need, but also of any inconvenience they may encounter because of your move. If you're moving on a weekend, when neighbors are more likely to be home, it's good to let them know that you'll be using the sidewalk or the space out front or that more cars will be parked out front.
  3. Have cash on hand. Tipping the movers and having cash on hand for pizza or snacks or any last minute things that you might need will save you the trouble of having to dig for a credit card or running to the bank at the last minute. Most movers appreciate a cash tip so have it ready before they arrive and keep it somewhere that's easy to access after your move in is complete.
  4. Remember to leave the keys behind. Before moving day, make sure you know what you're supposed to do with the house keys. If you're renting, make arrangements with your landlord; if you own your home, remember to check with the real estate agent or the new owners. Also collect all copies of the keys beforehand; from your children, spouse, friends or relatives. Have them ready for the new owners. And don't forget to have the keys to your new home ready when you arrive. Having movers wait to move you into a new space while you try to track down the keys, may cost you extra.
  5. Have detailed driving directions to the new house. You may know how to get to your new home, but the movers might have a harder time. If you have detailed instructions, including where to park, the moving company will appreciate your organization. Also, friends and family who are helping you move will need to know where to go; the last thing you want to worry about is making sure that everyone is following you. Moving day isn't a good day to keep a convoy together!

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