Moving Tips

With a little planning, moving can not only be hassle-free but—dare we say it?—even a bit of an adventure.

Make a plan, Stan!

Measure the rooms of your new home, and make of quick sketch of the layout. You don’t need to be Michelangelo—an approximation will do. And don’t forget the doors, windows, and stairs–your couch needs to fit through the living room door, right? Need a visual aid? Take some photographs, especially of any tricky spots, like stairs or corners that may take some extra negotiation.

Won’t fit?

Or maybe you just don’t need that extra guest bed or the baby’s crib now that she’s outgrown it. This is the time to plan for storage space for those extra belongings you want to keep around—just not right now. It’s more efficient and cheaper—you don’t want to move everything into your new space and then move it out again. UMEX can arrange storage at our own state-of-the-art facility in New Jersey as part of your move. Feeling generous? We’ll make an extra stop to deliver items—so your newly independent son gets your old couch and you get a new one.

Apartment etiquette

Be a good neighbor whether you’re moving into or out of an apartment by doing a little research. Find out if your apartment building requires a Certificate of Insurance from your movers. Also, are there only certain days and times your building allows moves? Can you reserve the elevator? Is there a service elevator available? Where can the moving truck park and for how long?

A moving encounter

Let your movers know if you live in an elevator building or if stairs are the only option (hello, six floor walk-up!). If there is an elevator, how far is it from your front door? How wide is the hallway? Any odd corners or perilous turns that may be hazardous to your mattress’s health?

To pack or not to pack yourself, that is the question.

Okay, not literally yourself, so get out of that box. First, figure out your budget. Having movers pack for you will cost more, but may be worth it for you—because time equals money, right? Second, figure out your schedule. Do you have time to sort and pack everything correctly (i.e. so you’ll be able to find it)? Are you comfortable with having movers pack your belongings?

Box Price Size (inches) What goes in it?
Small $3.00 each 16.5 x 16.5 x 12.5 Small but not fragile items: Books, CDs, video tapes, magazines, weights
Medium $4.00 each 18 x 18 x 16 Light, non fragile items: linens, towels, clothing, pillows, pots and pans
Large $4.50 each 24 x 18 x 18 large, light items: Blankets, Shoes, toys
Dish packs $5.00 each 18 x 18 x 18 Hard, heavy and fragile items: China glassware
Wardrobe with hanging pole $12.00 rental 24 x 21 x 47 Clothes and shoes: Clothing on hangers; shoes at the bottom

Pack each box as full as possible to avoid shifts during transportation. If there’s extra room, stuff it with paper or bubble wrap.

When possible, use new boxes or used boxes that are in good condition: clean, no damage, tears, or missing flaps.

China boxes: Place a double layer of bubble wrap at the bottom of the box, then a layer of squished unprinted newspaper for extra cushioning. Put the heaviest and largest item at the bottom, wrapped in fluffy paper. Repeat with the next item, until the bottom of the box is full. Pack the next layer the same way and continue layering until about three inches from the top of the box. Then add another layer of unprinted squished paper, a layer of bubble wrap on top of that, and tapesecurely closed.

Books: Place books flat and not on-end for better security and weight distribution. Use extra space to fit CDs or magazines.

Pictures: Line the bottom of the box with a layer of bubble wrap, and then a layer of bunched up paper. Wrap each picture individually in bubble wrap—the smaller bubbles work better because of the narrowness of the boxes. Don’t worry—it still does the job and it will also allow more pictures to fit inside one box. And it’s better to pack similar sized pictures together. If your pictures are too large for your picture boxes, combine two or more boxes. Finish off with another layer of paper and a layer of bubble wrap at the very top.

Tape it up

Seal each box with gummed or clear packing tape. No duct or paper tape allowed—it’ll come off your boxes before they’re in the truck. Tape boxes along the top and bottom. For heavy boxes, apply three strips of tape along the length and three strips along the width of each box. Tape the bottom and the top for added security.

We like Sharpies!

On each box, write a brief description of what’s inside. Do this on more than one side so that you’ll be able to read the contents regardless of how the box is stacked. Also, note where in your new home you want the box placed because you may not keep the same layout or arrangements in your new place. For boxes containing fragile items, write the biggest, clearest “Fragile!” that you can muster on each side.


Before your move, post a sign in each room of your new home labeling which room it is, and coordinate with the labeling on your boxes.

Put sticky notes where you want your furniture to go, too, so there’s no confusion about which dresser goes in which bedroom, or that the pool table goes in the den and not the living room.

Also, be sure to label a spot where you want your boxes placed, preferably somewhere out of the traffic path. That way, if you take a while to unpack, they won’t be in your way.

The UMEX moving schedule

Knowing when to start preparing for your move can be tricky. But we’ve simplified it for you—just follow our 4 week guide.

Lots of time! 4 weeks to go

* Call UMEX movers for your guaranteed quote.

* Keep your written UMEX quote handy on the day of your move.

* Check the inventory list and personal information for accuracy.

* Start packing. If you’re doing your own packing, don’t leave it for the last moment! List what needs to be packed by room, and then organize by what you’ll need right up until your moving day. Everything else gets boxed, sealed, labeled and stacked somewhere you won’t trip over it before you’d had your morning coffee.

*Eat. The less food you have, the less you’ll have to pack or throw away.

*Keep purchases to a minimum. No bulk buying, even if that 24-pack of toilet paper is the deal of the century. It’s just not worth packing. There will be more toilet paper in your life. Honest.

Getting there: 3 weeks to go

*Continue packing as above (because you’ve already started, right? Right?).

*Change of address notifications: now you can do this online at the United States Postal Service website: Or if you’re the old-fashioned type, pick up a moving pack from your local post office. Don’t forget your bank, credit card companies, cell phone service provider and anyone else who will eventually track you down anyway (“Hi, Aunt Maude, yeah, meant to tell you we were moving…”).

*Contact your utility companies to discontinue service at your old address and set up service at your new address:
– telephone
– internet
– cable
– gas
– water
– fuel or heating oil
– residential parking permits

The clock is ticking: 2 weeks to go

* Continue packing (don’t worry, you’re almost done).

* Confirm with utility companies that your new service is scheduled.

* Now is the time to tell your moving company if there are any discrepancies between the itemized list on the estimate and what’s actually in your house (where did that extra couch come from?). And make sure to get all changes, including adjusted quotes, in writing.

Almost there: 1 week to go
* Do your laundry and collect your dry cleaning.

* Pack the things you’ll need first at your new location. Put them in their own set of boxes and set them aside, labeled, and write “Load Last!” on the sides.

*There are some things you should keep handy, like:
– cleaning supplies
– disposable kitchenware (paper cups, plates, utensils)
– baby essentials (toys, diapers, wipes, toys, food, toys)
– pet supplies (toys, food, toys, treats)
– medicine
– telephone
– comfortable clothes and sensible shoes
– extra underwear and socks
– toothbrush and toiletries
– extension cord

The night before moving and all through the house, everything was packed, even the mouse. The computer mouse, that is.

Gather your valuables: money, important documents, passports, etc. to take with you. Do not pack any valuables in boxes for movers to carry.

If your move is long-distance, defrost your refrigerator.

If your move is local, no need to defrost. Just pack remaining food in coolers. These will be loaded last and unloaded first.

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