10 Tips for Getting Organized Ahead of a Move

Packing and moving can be especially stressful. A little advance planning will go a long way to help relieve the stress and help make your move as smooth as possible. Follow these tips to get organized:

  • Arrange for child care. Packing and moving can upset children and it may be difficult to give them the attention they need when you're trying to move.
  • Take pets to a friend's home or a kennel. They may also need more attention than you will be able to give on moving day.
  • Be sure at least one person is at home at all times. At least one adult should be available to supervise the movers and check inventory sheets.
  • Watch the packers and movers carefully. Make sure they understand exactly what items are to be packed. Be sure each container or crate is on the inventory and has a tag from the moving company. Have a marker handy to make extra notes on the boxes.
  • Check to be sure the condition of your possessions is accurately reflected on the moving inventory.
  • Keep items you don't want shipped in a labeled closet, at a friend's home or in a locked car. This will prevent those items from being packed and shipped. This includes your trash. You might also want to keep a box of cleaning supplies with your no-ship items so you can clean your home after the movers leave.
  • If van lifts are loaded at your doorstep, supervise the packing of them. These vans will be hoisted by cranes, loaded onto a ship and treated roughly.
  • Have coffee, cold drinks and snacks available for you and for the packers and movers.
  • Read all documents before signing. Be sure your copy of the moving company's inventory is legible. Hand carry these moving documents to your new duty station.
  • Check each room and closet to be sure everything is packed. You'll want to do this before the movers leave. 


Find programs and services at your local installation.

View a directory of installations

Service members, family members, surviving family members, service providers and leaders rely on Military OneSource for policy, procedures, timely articles, cutting-edge social media tools and support. All in one place, empowering our military community.