Moving Guide – Special Moving Needs

PETS
Before transporting any pet, schedule an examination by a veterinarian. The veterinarian may suggest a tranquilizer or some other precautionary measure for the duration of the trip. Obtain copies of your pet's health and rabies vaccination records and update identification tags.

If you decide to ship your pet by air, contact the airline well in advance to check regulations and services and to make reservations. If possible, it's probably best to book a weekday flight during slack periods when there's more room in the plane's cargo compartment. Also try to book a direct flight to reduce the amount of time your pet will be confined.

Select a portable air-transport kennel that's large enough for your pet to stand and move around a bit. Most airlines sell or rent these special carriers. Let your animal get accustomed to the kennel well in advance of the trip. Mark the container "Live Animal," and affix a label that includes your pet's name, your new address and phone number, and special handling instructions.

If you'll be traveling to your new home by car, acquaint your pet with car travel by taking it for short drives around the neighborhood. Don't feed your pet for several hours prior to your trip. Do, however, pack a canteen of fresh, cool water and stop frequently for drinks and walks.

CARS and BOATS
Moving companies can transport bulky items such as cars, mini-vans, pickup trucks, and boats on an auto transport carrier - or, depending on the size of the rest of your shipment, aboard the moving van. If you're moving a boat, drain all fuel and oil from the motor. If you're moving an auto, it should have as little fuel in the gas tank as possible, and make sure to check for any oil, battery acid, or radiator fluid leaks that might damage the other contents of your shipment. Don't forget to give your vehicle's keys to the driver.

PLANTS
Unless you simply cannot part with the plant that's lived forever in your living room, it's advisable not to transport plants in a moving van. Also, states have rules prohibiting the transport of certain plants across state lines, so it's wise to consider giving plants to friends before you move.

If you must take plants with you, remember that vans are not designed to transport them, and moving companies generally will not accept liability for their well-being. For short moves, plants are relatively safe inside a moving van - that is, of course, if the temperature outside is not extremely hot or cold. For moves over 150 miles, though, it's best to personally transport them in your car.

Prepare your plant for a move by following these directions:

  • Provide it with extra sunlight for several weeks to let it store the extra energy that it will need for an extended trip.
  • Prune back overgrown leaves and branches about a month before moving, and curtail feeding to minimize growth.
  • Thoroughly water the plant the day before you move, and cover it with a plastic bag to retain moisture and warmth. Finally, place the plant in a sturdy carton to keep it from tipping over.
  • For more suggestions on moving your plants, contact a local florist or greenhouse.

COMPUTERS and OTHER ELECTRONICS

The original carton and packing materials are always best for safeguarding any type of computer or home electronics equipment. However, if you're like most people and have long since thrown away the original packaging, you can wrap components (e.g., receiver, CD player, DVD player, etc.) separately inside clean plastic garbage bags to protect them against dust and dirt, and then pad them with newsprint or bubble-wrap. For record players, secure the tone arm, and remove the needle.

Carefully pack the item in a sturdy carton that has been lined with newsprint or styrofoam "peanuts." Securely seal the carton, and mark the outside of the box to indicate that the item inside is "Extremely Fragile."

Likewise, your personal computer and printer require special attention. Disconnect wires attached to movable hardware such as a modem or mouse and "park" your PC by inserting a blank floppy disk into the disk drive. Detach paper holders/feeders from printers and wrap monitors and other hardware as you would other home electronics. NOTE: It is best to pack monitors "screen down" to reduce the chance of monitor base being cracked during transport.