March 14, 2023
Movers carrying furniture

When you want to learn how to do something, you probably look for articles, videos, or advice from a professional in that field. After all, you wouldn’t try to learn a new language from someone who doesn’t speak it. And you probably wouldn’t ask a vegetarian for advice on cooking a steak! In other words, you want to learn from an expert. Well, this applies to finding helpful moving tips, too!

Professional movers know how to help their customers have a smooth, easy, and cost-effective move. And since Move-tastic! has the best movers in Chicago, we asked our team for the moving tips and tricks that everyone should know to help them have the best moving experience possible.

Learn how to properly pack boxes and avoid damage

Proper packing is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth and damage-free move. Of course, you can hire a professional packing service to wrap and box up all or some of your home. However, if you’re handling the packing yourself, here are some packing and moving tips and tricks to help you!

  • Make sure that every box closes flat. This might sound obvious, but in the rush to pack up a home, many people end up overstuffing their boxes. This can lead to damage, since items bulging out of the boxes can be crushed in transit. Plus, uneven boxes are difficult to stack and secure inside the moving truck!
  • Label, label, label! Write the destination room and contents on the sides and top of every single box you pack. You’ll be grateful for these labels when your move crew places each box in the right room when they unload the truck at your new home!
  • Use as much packing paper as possible! Wrap your breakables in newsprint or recyclable packing paper that your moving company can provide. Then, form some paper into a few balls and cushion your items on all sides.
  • Pay attention to each box’s weight. This will allow your movers to carry multiple boxes and to efficiently pack the boxes in the moving truck. Basically, the heavier the items, the smaller the box! Here are some best practices: 
    • Pack heavy items like books into small boxes.
    • Use medium boxes for medium-weight items like lamps and vases.
    • Put large, lightweight items like pillows and blankets into large boxes.
  • Pack fragile items into lightweight boxes—and don’t forget to write “FRAGILE” on the sides and top of the boxes. This will let your move crew know which boxes contain breakables, and they’ll be able to pack these fragile, lightweight boxes carefully inside the moving truck.

Bonus moving tip: ask your moving company how many boxes you’ll need for your move. They’ll be able to provide advice based on the size of your home, such as a one-bedroom apartment, a two-bedroom apartment, or a full house.

Prepare your furniture for moving

Don’t worry about lifting or wrapping your heavy furniture—that’s your moving crew’s job! However, there are ways that you can prepare your furniture before your move day.

The first step is to empty out your dressers, desks, and nightstands. Box up the contents of each drawer and cabinet so that nothing is left inside. Not only does this reduce the weight of each item to make it easier to carry, it also ensures that nothing inside breaks or falls out during the move.

Next, turn your attention to your entertainment center or TV stand. Remove and pack your electronics for safe transport. Electronic items like TVs, speakers, and stereos can be delicate, as even a slight bump can damage the inner workings. So get some blankets or packing paper and secure each electronic item inside a box. If you still have the box that these items came in, even better!

Keep in mind that some furniture might not be built for moving. This includes self-assembled furniture that you might have bought in a box and built yourself, as well as anything made of particleboard. These pieces don’t start with the same structural integrity that metal or wood furniture has, and moving can put stress on them. If you have anything that falls into this category, just contact your moving company prior to your move date to give them a heads-up.

Secure your moving logistics early

Some moves require more logistics than others. And that’s ok! The best moving companies in Chicago can help you coordinate these logistics. You just have to be a little proactive if you need parking permits, elevator reservations, loading dock reservations, or a certificate of insurance.

How to order parking permits for your move

In a huge city like Chicago, parking spots can be hard to come by. So if you live on a residential street that’s usually parked up with your neighbors’ personal vehicles, you might want to order parking permits so the moving truck has a spot reserved right in front of your home. Call your moving company at least four business days before your move so they can order parking permits on your behalf. The City of Chicago will even post these for you as long as they have enough time to process and post the permits!

If you run into a time crunch and don’t have four business days, your local government officials might be able to help. Look up your ward’s alderperson and see if they can expedite the parking permit process.

How to coordinate elevator and loading dock reservations at your building

Chicago is home to countless high rises and large apartment and condo buildings. And many of these buildings have freight elevators and loading docks that they prefer movers to use instead of the elevator you might use to get from the building’s foyer to your front door. Because these buildings might have other tenants moving the same day you are, you’ll likely have to make reservations.

Basically, a reservation blocks off the loading dock and elevator so that only your moving crew can use it during your reserved time. This allows your movers to make quick and efficient trips between the dock and your home instead of waiting for someone else to finish using the elevator or dock. And when an elevator is reserved for your move, your movers won’t even have to wait for it to stop at other floors!

It’s extremely important that you determine the exact time for your reservations. Many large buildings in Chicago offer two-hour increments (i.e., 9am to 11am, 11am to 1pm, etc.). Let your moving company know as soon as you’ve reserved the elevator and dock so they can work to accommodate the time constraints.

How to obtain a certificate of insurance for your move

Chicagoans take great pride in their homes. And building management companies take great pride in keeping their buildings looking great! Many of these companies require a certificate of insurance, or COI, from each moving company prior to the move. This ensures that the moving company is insured the rare case of any damage to the building during the move.

Obtaining a COI is easy. Just call your moving company a week or so prior to your move so their insurance company can produce a custom certificate that you can send to your building management company before your moving day.

Clear a path for your movers

Before your move, make sure that your movers will have a wide and clear path from your home to their moving truck. Since moving companies charge by the hour, time is money! And if they have to navigate through an obstructed walkway, your move will take more time. Not to mention creating a safety hazard for the movers and your belongings!

Here are a few tips to creating a safe and efficient environment for your move:

  • Clear the outdoor walkway and stairs of any debris, including ice, snow, or tree branches that might’ve fallen down.
  • Remove pictures, mirrors, and other décor from your walls and stairways. This allows for maximum space when your movers are schlepping stacks of boxes and your wrapped furniture.
  • If you have pets or small children, try to keep them occupied during the move. They can unwittingly get underfoot, which can be dangerous for both them and the movers. If you have someone who can babysit or pet sit while your movers are working, see if they can take the kids or pets offsite until your movers have completed their job.

Remember: the better you prepare your home before your move, the better moving experience you’ll have!

Additional moving tips from pro movers

There are many steps you can take to set yourself up for a great moving experience. Learning how to properly pack boxes, preparing your furniture, and creating a safe pathway for your movers is just the tip of the iceberg! Here are a few additional tips that your move crew will want you to know:

  • Communication is key! If you have any items that require special handling, contact your moving company as soon as possible so they can bring specialty materials if necessary. Also, any information you can provide regarding how large items were delivered to your home will greatly help your movers understand the full scope of your unique move!
  • The best movers in Chicago will happily provide white glove service if you have any items that need a little TLC. While your move crew will treat all of your belongings with the utmost care, sometimes there are sentimental pieces that require additional packing or crating. Let your moving company know about these before your move so that the crew arrives with the proper materials on your move day. 
  • While movers can remove some common fixtures like interior doors or stairwell railings, keep in mind that they are not carpenters or contractors. If any fixtures need to be taken down temporarily in order for large items to be carried through, your crew leader will likely ask you to sign a waiver approving this additional work.
  • Moving is a service industry. So if your move crew does a great job, consider thanking them with a tip!

If you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for a great moving experience!

Let Chicago’s favorite movers get you into your new home!

When it comes to moving, you want to hire the very best team to pack, wrap, and transport your belongings. As the best movers in Chicago, Move-tastic! has a reputation for providing smooth, efficient, and even fun moving service to our customers throughout the Chicagoland Area.

Visit our website to request a free estimate!

"We want your junk in our trunk"

© 2020 Move-Tastic. All rights reserved. Website design by Bright Spot Studio Web development by Pernix Solutions