Perform an Inspection
The first thing to do to protect your home from damage on moving day is to inspect both your old and new homes. Examine the hallways, doorways, and entryways the movers will be using. Narrow corridors are especially vulnerable to damage simply because of their narrowness. Doorways can suffer nicks and scrapes as large items are carefully (or sometimes not so carefully) passed through. Also, take note of low-hanging light fixtures or ceiling fans.
Protect Walls and Trim
Consider covering the walls and wood trim in high traffic areas. These are a couple of ways to protect the walls and woodwork:
- Cover the walls with flattened cardboard boxes. Use removable tape to attach the cardboard to the walls. Attach the cardboard boxes to doorways by wrapping them around the woodwork and covering it.
- Get an extra supply of quilted moving blankets from the moving company. Attach removable hooks (like these from 3M) to the walls and wood trim to hang the sheets to protect the walls and especially the wood trim.
Cover the Floors
Take a tip from home renovators and cover the existing floors with one of the following:
- Use thick craft paper taped over the hardwood floors or carpeting. This will keep dirt and footprints from marring the flooring materials. It will not protect from large gashes or scrapes but does offer the most basic protection for the flooring material.
- Put down carpet film protector. This film is plastic sheeting that can be taped down for extra protection. It will keep the carpet from getting soiled by the movers. You can also lay the plastic carpet film down to create a route or walkway for the movers to follow when moving your things in or out.
- For the ultimate flooring protection, lay down pieces of plywood. This protects the flooring material from simple traffic damage. It will also safeguard the floor from being damaged by heavy items such as appliances and large pieces of furniture. Finally, plywood will keep your flooring safe from damage done by items accidentally dropped or pushed along the flooring surface.
Remove Obtrusive Lighting
Consider removing low-hanging chandeliers or ceiling fans before the movers arrive. If you’re not equipped to remove electrical fixtures, consider shortening the hanging chain on chandeliers by doubling up the chain and securing it with a large bolt or piece or wire. While there’s not much you can do with a low-hanging ceiling fan; you can draw attention to it by attaching strips of brightly colored paper to the blades to remind the movers of its presence.
Take Down Drapes and Curtains
If you want to be completely ready to move, without needing to remove drapes and curtains during the hectic removal of furniture and belongings, remove the curtains and drapes the night before the move. Tape old newspapers or unwanted wrapping paper over the windows for privacy and security.
Keep Valuables Safe
The Smithsonian Institute offers general suggestions to keep your valuables safe when moving. The article includes a section on protecting antiques or valuables from damage while these items are in transit.
Keep an Eye Out
Finally, recruit a trusted friend or relative to sit near or at the door not being used by the movers. This will ensure that nothing is slipped out the back door only to disappear forever. This will virtually guarantee that none of your possessions move somewhere other than your new home.