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Tips for Moving with Pets

Once all the boxes are packed and the movers are scheduled, you have a moment of quiet to consider one of the most important things of the moving process: how are you going to move the pets? For most animals, moving is a stressful time. Their entire environment is turned upside down. All the furniture and items in the house that they are used to are now packed away in boxes, and who are these uniformed men with the big truck in the driveway? Even the most complacent animals can become stressed during this time, but there are ways to minimize the stress to keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy. Here are just a few things you can do to make their adjustment period shorter and less stressful:

  • Board your animals. You can board your pets at your vet to keep them out of the entire moving process. Board them before the movers arrive and pick them up after all furniture and boxes have been successfully moved. This keeps your pets in one place, and since movers will keep the house doors open, having the animals out of the house during this time means you don’t have to worry about them running off.
  • Sequester your animals into an empty room. You can do this in two ways: 1) you can lock them in an empty room at your old house, while the movers are packing up the house. This reduces the likelihood that your animals will escape; or 2) you can lock them in a room at the new house. Both of these can still be confusing to animals with strangers in the home and the unusual noises. Another option is sit in the room with your animals, if you can. This will reassure your pets that they are safe with you.

Actually moving the animals can be scary for your pets too. Most dogs are good with car rides, but other animals, such as cats, are a bit apprehensive about getting in a carrier and going for a ride in the car. You can ask your vet for a sedative, to help make the transition and car ride easier for everyone.

When everything finally settles in, slowly let your pets roam about the new home. They have to get accustomed to the new soundings, so be sure to open all doors to let them sniff about and get used to the new space. Make sure some of their personal items like cat condos, chew toys or scratching posts are visible, so they recognize familiar items. For smaller animals, like fish and rodents, the move is not as difficult. Simply pack up their homes in the car and move them, but for cats and dogs, the transition can be trying, so make sure you have plenty of treats on hand to win back the affection of your four-legged friends.

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Treat Moving Like A Trip

Moving Tip: Pack a bag with a week's worth of essentials so you won't have to dig through boxes to find what you need.

Everything’s still packed from your move. You can’t find anything, your toothbrush eventually turns up in the box marked “rec room,” and you’re living out of boxes for weeks. It seems like that’s always the case after you move, but this doesn’t have to be how it goes! If you treat your move like you’re going on a trip, you can have a much easier transition into your new home.

Pack a Bag

When you arrive at your new home, you are going to need quick access to basic things, like toiletries, clothes, cell phone chargers, and the kids’ favorite toys. Instead of having to hunt through boxes to find everything you need, do yourself a favor and pack a bag for each member of the family. Have about a week’s worth of essentials packed for everyone so that you will have some time to settle before you have to start digging through boxes. When packing these bags, don’t forget sheets, pillows, and toilet paper — you’ll need these more quickly than you might think.


Packing up the kitchen can be a strenuous part of moving because there are so many little things and a lot of them are breakable. Once the kitchen is packed up, it also reminds us that we aren’t settled in to the new house yet. Instead of fretting about the inability to have home cooked meals, keep up the trip mentality. Even if you are moving just across town, use this as an opportunity to check out new restaurants and try foods that you might otherwise skip. Don’t rely on fast food for every meal—it will only make you feel bloated and uncomfortable while you’re unpacking.

Board Your Pets

Pets can sense the change around them, but they certainly don’t understand when you try to explain moving to them. If you are moving locally, one of the best ways to help them stay healthy and happy during your move is to board them at a kennel. Many kennels offer the equivalent of a kitty and doggie spa, so your pets can have a couple days off too. This will keep Fluffy and Fido safe while the movers are taking everything out, and it allows you to have your home a little more set up before you pick up your pets.

Have Someone Else Handle the Actual Move

Having to haul your own furniture and boxes out of your former home and into your new one breaks the whole “vacation” vibe. This is a time that you should be spending with your family, learning more about your new neighborhood and getting acquainted with your new home; not a time when you should be sweating as you try to lug your belongings to and from a truck. By hiring a professional moving company, you can alleviate all of the physical strain of having to move, plus you will have the assurance that your things will be at the new place when you want them to be. That way, you can focus on the more important things, like getting yourself and your family settled into your new home.

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Food and Your Move

Atlanta Moving Tip: Throw a party to get rid of excess food before your move.When you’re moving, it can be very easy to forget that you have to also either move or get rid of your food in addition to all of your other things. Food is heavy and bulky, and it often needs special care like refrigeration to stay edible. It’s very difficult to move food, even over short distances, so your best option is to get rid of absolutely everything that you possibly can before moving day.

Use What You Can Before the Move

Once you know you’ll be moving, it’s important to start using up the food you have so that you don’t have to transport it. Go through items in your pantry and the back of your freezer and try to come up with creative solutions for how to use them. Limit your trips to the grocery store to force yourself to use up the food you have. Consider hosting a party to get rid of any alcohol, drinks, and food. If you don’t have enough to completely feed your guests, consider having a potluck and using up what you can in the dishes you offer.

Dry Goods

Nonperishable goods like canned food and dried pastas, grains, and beans are all excellent candidates to donate to a food pantry. These can be some of the heaviest and bulky items to carry, so these are also the best items to get rid of through donation. Anything you absolutely cannot part with can be packed in a well-labeled box. However, when packing up your pantry, remember that most things are very easy to replace. Consider throwing away opened items, especially since they can easily spill during transit.

Refrigerated and Frozen Goods

You have two options with any refrigerated or frozen goods that you may have left over on moving day: keep or toss. Most food pantries are unable to take cold items due to their fragile nature. If you decide to keep cold items, be sure to have a cooler large enough to easily store them for transport. Keeping cold items is best left for short moves, preferably less than 6 hours away. You will have to keep these items with you to ensure that they are refrigerated as soon as possible when you arrive.

It’s never fun to throw away perfectly good food, but you must be realistic when moving refrigerated or frozen items. Condiments are easily replaced, and very delicate foods can be nearly impossible to keep safe. When packing your cooler, remember to toss what you can realistically part with and only take the essentials.

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Moving Checklist Part 3

One to Two Weeks Before Moving Day

Pet and Plants

  • Decide what to do with house plants. We cannot safely move your plants because they may suffer from lack of water and light as well as probable temperature changes while in the van.


    • Give them to friends or relatives.
    • Donate them to a hospital or other organization.
    • Include them in a garage sale.
  • Some states permit the entry of all house plants; others admit them in accordance with specific rules and regulations.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian. Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculations. See that identification and rabies tags are securely attached to your pet’s collar.
  • Arrange for transportation of pets. Take them in the car or send via air. Consider boarding pets either at destination or at a kennel near your present home until you are settled in the new city.

Other important details:

  • Collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (clothing, furs, shoes, watches, etc.).
  • Empty your locker at the club, bowling alley or gym.
  • Return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors, and collect things you may have loaned.
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Moving Checklist Part 2

Two to Three Weeks Before Moving Day

Working With the Mover:

  • Notify your agent if you add or subtract items from your planned move or if there are any changes in dates. Be sure to supply your agent with destination address and phone
    numbers where you can be reached.
  • Confirm any extra stops required to pick up or deliver goods to a location other than the main pickup or delivery points.
  • If your car is being moved, be prepared to drive it to a suitable loading site. Also be prepared to pick up your car at a suitable destination location.

Preparing the Family:

  • Take the family for a farewell visit to some of the places that hold happy memories.
  • Have a going-away party for the children and their friends.
  • Have some fun for yourself…an open house or an informal dinner or barbecue. Keep it simple.
  • Make family travel plans. Reserve hotel rooms and airline tickets as needed.
  • If driving, have your car serviced for the trip (check tires, brakes and windshield wipers, fluids, belts, etc.)

Preparing Household Items:

  • Federal law requires that you dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, and poisons such as 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 may be flammable
    or combustible or those stored in containers that may leak. Please read the complete list of non-allowables.
  • Discard propane tanks which are used for barbecue grills.
  • Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for
    shipment or have your agent send someone out who is authorized to perform
    this service.
  • Set a date for having utilities disconnected. If possible, plan to keep utilities in
    service through moving day.
  • Have rugs and draperies cleaned. Leave both wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners.
  • Obtain a written appraisal of antique items to verify value. Avoid waxing or oiling
    wooden antiques (and fine wood furniture) before moving because some products might
    soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprinting from furniture pads.
  • Do not clean your upholstered furniture before moving. Moisture could cause mold if
    furniture must be placed in storage.

A.C. White provides the personal service of a family-owned company backed by the resources of United Van Lines, LLC and Mayflower Transit, LLC, the moving industry’s leading transportation providers.

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Moving Checklist Part 1

Working With the Mover

  • Call your United agent to set a date for the agent to visually survey your home and prepare an estimate.
  • If your company is paying for your move, refer to their moving policy to determine the services the mover will be authorized to perform.
  • Do you want to do any of the packing — or will you have it done by our experienced packers? Your agent will be happy to discuss packing services with you.
  • Show the agent everything that is going to be moved. Any items you fail to disclose or that are added later to the shipment will increase the cost, even if you have been given a binding estimate.
  • Read the “Your Rights and Responsibilities Manual” (for full-service moves) to make certain that you fully understand the extent of the carrier’s liability.
  • Sign the Estimate/Order for Service after you are sure you have a clear understanding of each section. If you have any questions, ask your agent to explain.
  • Keep the phone number and name of your salesperson or move coordinator handy.

Four to Six Weeks Before Moving Day

Places to Notify:

  • Notify the post office that you are moving. An online Change of Address form is available on the United States Postal Service Web site.
  • Prepare a list of friends, relatives, business firms and others who should be notified of your move. The following checklist will be helpful:


Personal Accounts

Sewer District
Fuel (Oil/Propane)
Sewer District

Dry Cleaner
Lawn Service
Bank/Finance Companies
Credit Card Companies
Lanudry Service
Auto Finance Company
Health Club

Professional Services


Insurance Agency

Professional Journals

Government Offices

Department of Motor Vehicles
Social Security Administration
State/Federal tax Bureaus
City/Council Tax Assessor
Veterans Administration

Have a “garage sale” or use an online auction service to dispose of unwanted items.
Donate unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations. Obtain receipts
showing the items’ approximate value for possible tax deductions.

Begin to use up supplies of canned goods, frozen foods and other household items. Buy only
what will be used before moving.

A.C. White provides the personal service of a family-owned company backed by the resources of United Van Lines, LLC and Mayflower Transit, LLC, the moving industry’s leading transportation providers.

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