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The Bellhop Move Prep Guide
Being prepared to move by the time your Bellhop Pros arrive enables them to work as safely and efficiently as possible—and also saves you time and money. To this end, we’ve gathered the most helpful practices we’ve learned over the course of 300,000+ moves.
We've also compiled our best advice into a handy, printer-friendly guide. Click the link below to download a PDF with step-by-step instructions to manage your move seamlessly.
The less stuff you have, the quicker (and cheaper) your move will be. Think of your move as an opportunity to get rid of all the items you may have accumulated over the years. As a starting place, it’s a good idea to inventory your furniture to determine what will fit in your new home.
Then consider having a garage or yard sale; selling your belongings on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay; and/or scheduling a donation pickup.
Get boxes and other moving supplies
It can be tough to estimate how many boxes you’ll need come move day! While this number is highly variable based on the amount of stuff you have, we've shared some general guidelines in this chart. It’s a good idea to buy wardrobe boxes to protect your clothing in transit (and makes unpacking clothes into a closet much easier). Make sure you have sturdy tape, permanent markers, and old newspapers or bubble wrap.
If you need time off work to move, be sure to put in the request ASAP. If you have kids, consider hiring a babysitter or making other childcare arrangements for move day.
If you live in an apartment building with a service or freight elevator, be sure to reserve it well in advance. This simple task will save a LOT of time on move day!
Think through the best (i.e. closest) place for a moving truck to park outside your residence. If you live in a city, you may need a special permit to reserve truck parking on the street.
Start with the spaces and things you use the least
When beginning the packing process, start with the “furthest corners” of your home, such as your basement, attic, and garage. Pack items you won’t use immediately: off-season clothes and outerwear, books, holiday decorations, and other non-essential items. Make sure all boxes are sealed with packing tape and clearly marked with their destination (and the term “fragile” when appropriate).
Pack fragile items
It’s a good idea to take stock of any items that will require special attention, such as delicate glassware or artwork, and pack them in advance. Use smaller, sturdy boxes when packing fragile items; you can pad the contents with bubble wrap, crumpled newspaper/packing paper, styrofoam peanuts, or even towels and blankets. Make sure that these boxes are labeled and clearly marked “fragile.”
Make sure to empty the drawers of your dresser(s) and any other furniture that houses clothing. Use wardrobe boxes to pack anything that is already hanging in your closet (these also make unpacking a snap). Set aside a suitcase or two with clothes and toiletries that you’ll want to have handy during the first few days at your new home.
Remove any art, framed photos, and mounted pieces (e.g. shelving) from walls, and make sure to store mounting hardware in a safe place.
It’s difficult and expensive to transport perishable foods, so start eating your way through your fridge and freezer. Alternatively, you can make a plan to donate your perishable food a couple days ahead of your move.
Dispose of hazardous liquids and materials
…or make a plan to transport them yourself. Please note that Bellhop Pros cannot move certain hazardous items, including but not limited to: paint, compressed gasses (aerosols), or anything flammable (ammonia, bleach, gasoline, motor oil, etc). Many common household cleaning products fall within this definition. Additionally, take care to remove gasoline and/or batteries from your lawnmower, yard tools, and/or gas grill before move day. Please review our Terms of Service below for a full list of items we cannot move.
Pack up small electronics and appliances
Pack computers, electronics, and other small household appliances into their original boxes (if you still have them). Otherwise, make sure to use small, sturdy boxes with plenty of bubble wrap or packing peanuts to ensure safe transit. Note: If electronics are not in boxes on the day of your move, Bellhop Pros will either decline to move them or ask that you sign a waiver of liability.
Disassemble furniture to save time & money
While Bellhop Pros can disassemble and reassemble furniture, you may choose to expedite the duration of your move (and therefore save money) by taking apart furniture yourself. Plan time to break down furniture that will be too large to fit through doorways, down staircases, or inside elevators. Keep all hardware and screws in clearly labeled plastic bags. Bellhop Pros cannot disassemble workout equipment, so plan to do this task yourself or make other arrangements for your heavy gym equipment.
Disconnect and drain all appliances
While Bellhop Pros can move large appliances for you, they can only do so if these items are empty, disconnected, and completely dry ahead of time. Refrigerator and freezer: Empty of all contents, then disconnect them from their power source. Keep the doors open overnight, with a towel underneath to contain any dripping. Then do a final wipedown in the morning to make sure everything is dry and ready for transport. Washer and dryer: Disconnect them from their power source. Locate the water valves and turn them off before unhooking the cold and hot water hoses from the wall. Make sure to empty the hoses of any leftover water.
Dismount and pack your TV in its original box
Please keep in mind that Bellhop Pros cannot be responsible for dismounting your TV. In addition, any televisions must be packed securely in either their original box or an appropriately sized electronics box. The latter can be purchased from a home improvement store, such as The Home Depot. Note: If electronics are not in boxes on the day of your move, Bellhop Pros will either decline to move them or ask that you sign a waiver of liability.
Please make sure there is an unobstructed path (both outside and inside) for your movers to navigate. Anything a mover could stumble on – toys, branches, shoes, small furniture – must be dealt with ahead of time to ensure the safety of your movers and the items they’re hauling.
If you have a vehicle, please park it where it won’t be an obstacle for movers going back and forth.
To ensure your mattresses and box springs are protected from dust, dirt, and water on move day, it’s a good idea to procure mattress bags. You can buy them at your local home improvement store (they typically cost ~$10 a piece), and they’re well worth the investment.
Your Pros will move your items with care, but we cannot replace items of sentimental value (such as antiques, artwork, photo albums, and jewelry) if something were to happen. Pack your personal vehicle with anything you don’t want transferred in your moving truck.
Like you would before you leave a hotel, check all hidden areas like attics, basements, and closet corners. Don’t leave any critical items behind! Commonly overlooked items include mounted light fixtures, things that plug into a wall (e.g. charging cables), wall-mounted mirrors, and wall and door hooks.
Prep for your packers' arrival
In addition to clearing a path for your Bellhop Pros to move through your home, consider putting down paper, cardboard, and/or drop cloths to protect wood floors and carpets.
Don't forget your pets!
Move day can be stressful or even dangerous for your pets. Consider dropping them off at daycare for the day, or leaving them with a friend. At the very least, we recommend keeping your pets in a quiet room with the door closed (in this case, make sure to inform your Bellhop Pros so they don’t inadvertently let your pets out).
Discuss the plan
When your movers arrive, they'll do a walkthrough of your home to devise a loading plan. This is a good time to point out any fragile items that require special care, or furniture pieces that need to be disassembled. If there are any items that you do not want your movers to pack onto the truck, be sure to flag them at this time.
Book movers online near you.