Movers Tips: What the Experts Want You to Know


Whether it’s local or international, planning a move can be a daunting task. We asked Dave Robb of Robb and Messer moving what movers wish their clients knew before the moving truck arrives.

Tips from your movers

What are the best things you can do to prepare for your move?Movers packing things up

The best thing you can do to prepare for your move is to get organized! Start sorting through your belongings weeks in advance of your move and decide what needs to be sent where. Then act! If you have a load of stuff to sell or take to goodwill, make sure you get it done long before the movers arrive.

If you’re packing yourself make sure every box is clearly labeled with the room it should go into when it reaches your new home. Before you start buy a pack of Sharpies and write on each box as you tape it up. Don’t be tempted to mix belongings from different rooms into one box because it will make the job of unloading and unpacking much harder.  


What are some of the common mistakes people make?

The most common mistake people make is not having a clear outline on moving day of what needs to go where. For some moves you might have things going both by airfreight and sea. Make sure you’ve decided what’s going by plane and ship before the movers arrive, and then separate all the items clearly.  

Even if you’ve carefully planned every single detail of your move, it’s inevitable that on the day the movers will have questions. We ask all our clients to make it easy for us to contact them from start to finish. We don’t mind whether it’s by phone, text or email, but it’s essential we can ask you about any last-minute issues, so that your sofa makes it to Singapore, on time and in the right container.

 What’s the best way to protect valuables/fragile items?

If you’re packing yourself make sure you stock up on paper and bubble wrap in different sizes to protect valuable items. Consider buying thicker boxes for fragile things like china, lamps, or your television. As well as wrapping each item in paper or bubble wrap, put crumpled paper in the bottom of the box and then use it to fill any spaces in between items, as well as any room on top. Pack each box completely full to prevent the box and items in it from getting crushed.  


Are there any strange rules about moving – things that you legally can’t pack/rules that vary between states or countries?

Most movers will give you a list of things that they can’t move, depending on the country, or state (if you’re moving within the US). The list is generally fairly obvious and includes anything combustible. Ammunition, fire extinguishers and any type of gas in bottles are all on the list.

The ones that tend to trip people up are common household items that people don’t typically think of as flammable. Aerosols (including deodorants), nail polish and remover, and household cleaning agents like bleach, are all things you’ll either need to dispose of, or move yourself.

A lot of furniture needs to be disassembled to remove it. What will happen to all the screws etc?

If you have professional movers they will make sure that all the screws for your bed are kept separate and clearly labeled from those needed to put your kitchen table back together.

If you’re doing things yourself buy a load of freezer bags and sticky labels. Use your Sharpie to write which set of screws goes with which furniture item. Then put all the bags in a box together somewhere safe and easily accessible.


Any final tips?

Create a ‘safe zone’ in your house to put everything that’s going to travel with you. This will include all of your electronic devices (phones, chargers, laptops, tablets), your keys and garage door openers, important documents (passports, marriage and birth certificates, visas) and any precious toys that children might want to have with them. If you use a box, make it clear to your movers that it’s not to be packed!

Do you have any tips for a smooth and stress-free move?


Content sponsored by Robb and Messer Moving

With over 25 years of combined experience, David Robb and Kyle Messer pride themselves on providing the best possible service to each customer. Our teams are skilled in performing full-service moves or simply assist you in your small project. Let Robb and Messer help you move anything, literally!

Contact David Robb for more information.

About Felicity H. Barber

I am a speechwriter, who coaches people to make awesome speeches, presentations and pitches. I moved to San Francisco from London with my software engineer husband and two cats in 2014. As if moving half way around the world wasn’t enough, I made the crazy decision to start my own business at the same time! Life has been a big adjustment to go from in-house to freelance, tea and scones to coffee and brownies, rainy days to constant sunshine, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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