2–3 Weeks Before the Move

Working with the Mover

Notify your Mergenthaler Transfer & Storage representative if you add or subtract items from your planned household goods shipment or if the moving date changes. Also be sure to supply the destination location, contact address and phone numbers where you can be reached while in transit. Confirm with your representative any extra stops required to pick up or deliver goods to a location other than the main pickup or delivery points.

Moving Your Automobile

Decide how you would like to move automobiles, boats, or trailers. Whether you are driving your vehicle or having Mergenthaler ship your car make sure it is prepared. Ensure that you cover all the minor details by seeing our Moving Appliances and Automobiles .

Preparing the Family

Take the family for a farewell visit to some of the places that hold happy memories. Consider having a “going-away” party for the children and their friends. This will give the youngsters a chance to tell all about the “wonderful new city they are moving to” and invite their friends for a visit later. Explain the reason for the move to your children. Tell them about the advantages of moving to a new city—new things to see and do, new places to visit, and new friends to make.  See Moving With Children.

Have some fun for yourself as well. Host an open house or an informal dinner or barbecue. Keep it simple, without elaborate preparations. It is the guests who are important.

Make family travel plans. Reserve hotel or motel rooms as needed. You might want to guarantee them on a major credit card in case of late arrival.  See our Resources for helpful travel sites.

In Search of a New Residence

If you have not already done so before the 2-3 week out mark, place your home on the market as soon as possible. If you have an apartment, notify your landlord of your moving date.

Arrange for a house-hunting trip to the new city. If this is not possible, get in touch with a real estate agent or two and ask for help in locating a house or apartment. You might want to subscribe to the local newspaper in advance of your move. Sunday editions usually contain a large real-estate section. It can be very helpful and give you an idea of the type of housing available in the new city, as well as provide information (from ads) about living costs. Other good real estate links can be found on our Resources .

When looking for a new home, take along a tape measure and a list of the exact dimensions of each of your major appliances and other large pieces of furniture. Measure the areas provided for them to be sure your appliances and furniture will fit.

Establish credit in the new city. Ask your current banker to recommend a correspondent bank. Arrange for the transfer of funds and contents of your safe deposit box. Have the local credit bureau send your rating to the bank at your destination.  Also, ask the bank to serve as a credit reference.

Check personal insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Transfer fire, theft and other personal property insurance to ensure coverage at your new home.

Collect Personal Records

Gather information on prescriptions and dates of last examinations. Be sure to check current phone numbers and addresses of your physician, dentist and hospital. This will help you at destination when getting health records transferred. Ask your dentist and doctor to recommend colleagues in the new city. See if your physician offers a records request form.

Give your new address to your former employer so a copy of your W-2 forms can be forwarded.

Transfer, sell or resign memberships in clubs or associations. Arrange for the closing or transfer of charge accounts. Do not discard items such as credit cards and hunting/fishing licenses until you are sure they will have no value at your destination.

Report your move to any lending agency which you do business with. A lender’s permission may be required to move personal property in which the lender has an interest.

Arrange with the school authorities to transfer children’s school records and credentials—or secure transcripts of the records from the school, if you prefer to take them along.


Start collecting suitable containers and packing materials if you plan to do the packing yourself. See Doing Your Own Packing. Set goals and deadlines to ensure all packing is completed by moving day.  You might want to pack one room per week. Separate and mark any goods that will be going into storage.

Preparing the Household Items

Think ahead so you can guard your household goods against damage that could be caused by fire, explosion or leakage in the van. Dispose of  any flammables you may have (fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, poisons, and weed killer). Drain fuel from your power mower and other machinery. Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, thinner, bleach or any other substances that might leak. Discard all propane tanks because they are not allowed on the van. See Mergenthaler’s complete list of “non-allowables” to know what else not to bring.

Carefully tape and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquid, such as prescription medications you plan to take with you.

Now is an ideal time to have rugs and draperies cleaned. Leave both wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners. However, do not clean your upholstered furniture before moving. Moisture can cause mold if furniture is placed in storage. Obtain a written appraisal of antique items to verify their value. Avoid waxing or applying oils on wooden antiques (and fine wood furniture) before moving, because some products might soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprints from furniture pads.

Set up an appointment with a service technician to prepare your appliances for shipment – or have your agent send someone out – at least the day before moving. Your large appliances (i.e. washer, dryer, refrigerator) may need servicing before and/or after shipment. Certain large items, such as hot tubs and exercise equipment, have to be moved by a third-party service. Make sure your appliances are taken care of by reading about Moving Appliances and Automobiles.

Set a date for having utilities disconnected. If possible, plan to keep your utilities in service through moving day in case last-minute calls or cleanups are necessary.

Pets and Plants

Mergenthaler cannot accept responsibility for safely moving plants and pets. Make transportation arrangements for any you may have. Now is a good time to take pets to the veterinarian before your move because of health certificates that will be required in the new state you are moving to. Refer to our Moving Pets and Plants for further information and guidance.

Collecting Other Items

Now is the time to collect any of your other items that are spread throughout the community. Collect any merchandise in lay-a-way at local stores, return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors, and collect items you loaned to others. Remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (clothing, furs, shoes, watches, etc.) and empty your locker at the club, bowling alley or gym.