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planning your move

We have checklists for the planning, moving and settling-in periods of your move. Whether you are trying to figure out which items cannot be packed onto a moving truck or looking for things that you should bring for your first night in your new home, we are your go-to moving company that covers it all!

Moving Boxes and Supplies ChecklistReturn To Index

When planning a move, don’t overlook one of the most important details ─ ensuring you have adequate moving supplies. Careful packing and the right packing materials go a long way towards ensuring that more of your belongings reach your destination undamaged.
Proper packing requires the right moving supplies.
Start by asking the right questions.

  • 1) Quantity ─ do you have enough supplies to complete your packing?
  • 2) Quality ─ can you count on your supplies to be durable enough to do their job sufficiently?
  • 3) Appropriate match ─ are you using the right tool (or box) for the right job?

Determine which of your items require special packaging and ensure that you have enough of the proper moving supplies on hand to protect them sufficiently. Advance planning can often allow you to get a better price on your supplies for moving and avoid last-minute scrambling. Aim to order supplies at least six weeks before your move.


Moving Boxes
  • Small moving boxes are best suited for fragile or heavy items. This makes them easier to handle and reduces the chance of breakage in transit.
  • Medium moving boxes are the most popular size of moving box. They are a good choice for small appliances and various household items. Most medium moving boxes can also be used with dish pack and glass pack inserts to easily wrap, pack and protect fragile china and glassware.
  • Large moving boxes are perfectly suited for light and medium weight household items such as clothing, pillows and lampshades.
  • X-large moving boxes should be used for bulky but lightweight household items such as towels, comforters, bedding and clothing.
  • Heavy duty boxes come in different sizes and have thicker, reinforced walls, making them suitable for electronics, appliances and book collections.
  • Wardrobe boxes come with a removable hanger bar, allowing you to move clothes from closet to closet without having to take them off their hangers and risk wrinkling or soiling them. Wardrobe boxes are available in several heights. For dresses and longer pants, order a taller wardrobe box.
  • Electronics boxes are just the right size for home entertainment consoles including CD/DVD players, gaming systems, VCRs and stereo amplifiers.
Protective Packing
  • Unprinted news wrapping paper is an inexpensive and effective way to protect your belongings. Wrap fragile items in news wrap and crumple it up to fill empty space on the bottom, top and between items to reduce breakage. Unprinted news wrap is a clean, ink-free alternative to newspaper. Recycled wrapping paper is also available.
  • Bubble wrap comes in a variety of sizes. Like news wrap, bubble wrap is used to protect fragile items and fill air pockets in boxes to reduce shifting and breakage in transit.
  • Dish and glass pack kits are compartmentalized inserts used to pack glassware, crystal and stemware. These kits may come with foam padding or foam pouches to protect each piece during transit.
  • Stretch plastic wrap is an industrial-strength version of your standard kitchen plastic wrap. It’s used to bind items together (for example: electrical cords, dresser drawers, couch cushions, etc.). Plastic wrap protects furniture from scratches, dust and damage. However, it is not necessarily a good choice for wood or leather furniture as it can cause damage by trapping moisture under the plastic.
  • Furniture pads are thick, durable blankets that you don’t have to worry about getting dirty. They are frequently used to cover and protect large appliances and furniture.

Other Moving Supplies
  • Box tape or tape gun dispensers make it easy to seal your boxes quickly. During a move, it quickly becomes apparent that the box tape dispenser is in fact, indispensable.
  • Box tape refills are something you will appreciate having on hand during a move. Be sure you have plenty of high-quality packing tape to get your boxes closed and keep them sealed until they safely reach their destination.
  • Permanent markers may seem like an obvious necessity, but you’d be surprised how often markers are lost before the move is even in high gear. Keep extras handy to mark contents, delivery location (what room in the new home) and instructions or warnings (such as “fragile”) on your boxes.
  • Box cutters will be appreciated when it’s time to unpack at your new destination. Don’t forget refill blades; cutting cardboard and tape quickly dulls them.

Packing 101 ChecklistReturn To Index

The better you pack, the easier it is to unpack. Master the art of packing by following these expert packing tips.

Getting started

  • Start by packing the things you aren’t using and won’t need until after you move. (Think camping equipment, sporting equipment and out-of-season items). Work backwards from least to most needed so that your everyday necessities won’t need to be packed until moving day.
  • Your soft and lightweight goods in drawers need not be removed and packed in boxes; they can be moved as they are. Your movers will wrap dressers with plastic and blankets to keep drawers closed. However, anything breakable, spill-able or that may damage other items should be removed from your drawers prior to moving.

Tips for packing items in boxes

  • Group like items together. Pack kitchenware together in one box and label it accordingly. Do not mix fragile collectibles with pots and pans, or otherwise throw together contents haphazardly.
  • Wrap items individually with multiple layers of clean packing materials like news wrap, paper towels, tissue paper and/or bubble wrap. Towels, blankets and other soft items may also be used to pad boxes.
  • Each box should be packed firmly but not overloaded. You don’t want items to shift. The box lid should close easily without bending inward or being over-packed.
  • Each box should be tightly sealed with tape unless it contains any items that are listed on the Mayflower High-Value Inventory Form. Boxes with high value items need to be left open for inspection by the van operator prior to transport.

How to pack a standard box

  • Before adding items to your empty box, create a two to three-inch layer of padding at the bottom with crushed news wrap.
  • Place the heaviest items on the bottom of the box, then build up in layers with medium weight items in the middle and lightest weight items on top.
  • Each layer should be filled with crumpled news wrap or other packing materials to eliminate empty spaces.
  • You may further define layers by using sheets of cardboard for dividers.
  • Everything should be completely covered by paper or other padding.

How to pack small, fragile items in a box

  • Small and fragile items should be individually wrapped. The more delicate the item, the more padding required.
  • They can then be packed separately in small boxes, either one item per box, or a few together in each box.
  • Ensure these boxes are fully cushioned with paper or other packing materials.
  • These smaller boxes can then be placed in a larger box, with each small box cushioned by additional news wrap to fill the gaps between boxes.

Organizing and marking boxes

  • As you seal each box, list its contents on the side in permanent marker. You can also keep track of your boxes and contents in a notebook. You may also wish to number each box for better tracking.
  • Which room should the box be directed to? If you mark each box clearly by room, you can tape signs on each room at your new home, which will help the movers quickly distribute the boxes to their appropriate rooms.
  • Which boxes will you want to unpack first at your new home? Indicate these priority boxes with a special mark so they can be set aside when you get there. Your United team should have “Last Load” stickers for you to use.

Packing electrical equipment and items with multiple pieces

  • Group parts and pairs together. Put hardware in plastic bags and tape them securely to the articles with which they belong.
  • Wind and fasten electrical cords so they are not left dangling.

Non-Allowable Checklist

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We are Dedicated to Safe Moving. Not everything can be hauled on the moving truck.
In most cases we cannot transport perishable items, including produce, plants, frozen or refrigerated foods and open or half-used food containers. Exceptions may be made if your move is less than 150 miles and items will be delivered within 24 hours of loading with no in-transit servicing. These exceptions are made at the agent’s discretion and require food to be properly packed.
Additionally, many common household items are not safe for transport under any circumstances. For the safety of your family, movers and others on the road, we cannot transport hazardous items, including explosives, flammable gases and toxic substances.
Please read this list carefully prior to packing so that you can separate these non-allowable items from the rest of your belongings. Most of these items are likely to be found in your garage or with your household cleaning supplies, while others may be scattered throughout your house. If you have questions about a particular item, please reach out to us for clarification.
Keep in mind that these items are hazardous and must be disposed of properly to comply with federal, state and local laws and to protect the environment.

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Car batteries
  • Charcoal/lighter fluid
  • Charged scuba tanks
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Darkroom chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Fuels/oils
  • Household batteries
  • Kerosene
  • Liquid bleach
  • Loaded guns
  • Matches
  • Nail polish/remover
  • Paint thinners
  • Paints/varnishes
  • Pesticides
  • Poisons
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane tanks
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sterno fuel
  • Weed killer

Moving TipsReturn To Index

  • Have a mover visit your location to perform a survey and provide a written estimate.
  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives & social media.
  • Take an objective look at what you own. Decide what to keep, sell, give away, and dispose of.
  • Be present to answer questions and give directions to movers.
  • Before the truck leaves, take a final walk through to make sure nothing is left behind.
  • Have a plan for pets to be away on moving day.
  • If you are moving to an apartment building or retirement community, ask them if they have any special moving requirements.
  • Do not pack money, valuables, or medications; take them with you. Also, movers cannot haul liquids or hazardous materials.

New Home Move-In Checklist

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The process of prepping, packing and moving is very stressful. The good news is that unpacking at your destination should feel much more relaxed ─ you’re in the home stretch. Most of the items on your checklist will be crossed off by this point, but there are still a few things to plan for when the moving truck arrives.

  • Make sure that you or an authorized adult representative will be present to accept the delivery when the moving van arrives.
  • Before boxes and furniture come off the truck, facilitate the process by taping a sign to the door of each room (i.e. “Bedroom #1,” or “Jenny’s Room”), and have a map of the floor plan near your front door. It also helps to know how you want to arrange the furniture in each room. You can let the movers know where to put each piece as it comes off the truck.
  • Carefully inspect each of your items as they are brought in and verify that everything is in the same condition as it was when it left your point of origin. Any damage should be noted directly on the van operator’s copy of the inventory when you sign for receipt.
  • Confirm that your appliances and electronics are in working condition. If you have larger appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges and washer/dryers that moved with you, it is recommended that you have a professional technician service and install them safely when you arrive. On request, your Mayflower move coordinator can arrange this third-party service for you at an additional cost.
  • Your Mayflower movers will re-assemble your beds for you. Please note that if you would like help unpacking your mattresses, you should check with your Mayflower move coordinator in advance.

Additional Tips:

  • Give yourself time to clean up and do any minor necessary repairs before the moving truck arrives. Include the cleaning supplies and basic tools you will need in your first night box, where you can easily get to them.
  • Be strategic as you are unpacking. For most people, it makes sense to start in the kitchen. That way, you will be able to feed your weary helpers at the end of another long day.
  • After the kitchen, focus on unpacking the bedroom(s) and at least one bathroom. You will be much more comfortable after a shower and a good night’s rest in your own freshly-made bed.

Click here to view a Trip Kit Checklist

Change of AddressReturn To Index

The U.S. Post Office has provided information to help you notify all of the necessary parties of your move. Visit the USPS website.