All posts by Lisa Danca

Mastodon Moving moving boxes

Tips to Streamline Your Move

How many times have you moved? According to the United States Census Bureau, the average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. That’s a lot of packing, unpacking, and driving from place to place, not to mention finding new jobs for the adults and schools for the children! 

If you’re spending your free time reading moving blogs, chances are you might be one of those people planning your next move. If so, streamlining, or making your move organized and efficient may be on your list of things to do. 

Read on to find out some ways you can do just that using Mastodon Moving and our expert tips. 

Mover packing high value item

Hire Help 

Friends are great when it comes to spending an evening out or when looking for a company for a concert or event, but professionals should be called in if you have a move to accomplish. Friends may have good intentions of helping with a move, but far too often timing is off or schedules get too busy. 

Whether it’s across town or across the country Mastodon Moving can help you with downsizing (when necessary), organizing, packing, moving, and unpacking in your new home. We know the right way to pack that will keep your belongings safe along the route and how to make your move go as smoothly as possible. 

Pro tip – schedule your movers early!


Create a Master Checklist 

Two years ago, we published our Ultimate Moving Checklist, and want to remind you that checklists are a great way to stay organized and streamline your move. 

Things that you will want to include on your checklist are: 

  • Names and phone numbers of all companies you will need to complete a change of address form. 
  • Utility companies and when service will be discontinued. 
  • Tasks to complete, organized by month. 
  • Contacts in your new locations such as pet sitters, new dentists, etc. 
  • A breakdown of what areas you will pack first, second …etc. 
  • Lists of supplies you will need to organize your move – boxes, crates, labels, tape, bubble wrap, and moving paper. 
  • Lists of locations where donations are accepted for items like clothing, appliances, and seasonal items if you are planning to downsize. 

Pro tip – go digital with your lists and share them with family who can check things off as you go. There are plenty of moving apps that can help. 

Label Everything 

To streamline your move, be sure to label all boxes and moving containers. There’s nothing worse than taping up a box only to find you can’t remember what’s in it. This process may seem daunting but it will help you easily locate what you need when you move into your new home as well as allow you to access items while you are still packing. 

Pro tip – use color coding to allow movers to know which room boxes should be placed upon arrival at your new location. 

Prepare For Contingencies 

Not all moves happen seamlessly. Be proactive and consider things like changes in weather, heavy traffic, sick children, a pet who gets anxious, and furniture that may be awkward or clumsy to move. Professional movers can adjust their techniques and have helpful ways to counteract each of these scenarios, but you should always have a plan B ready, just in case. 

Pro tip – communicate potential issues with your movers in advance to understand how they would tackle each scenario. 

5 Tips for Success When Moving With Pets

The moving company is scheduled, the new home is purchased, and the kids are on board with a new place to call their own! While it may sound like you have all your ducks in a row for moving, you don’t want to forget about your beloved family pets leading up to moving day and beyond. 

Fido and Fluffy are important members of the family. As such, they need some special considerations in the weeks and days leading up to the move as well as in their new environment. 

Here are our 5 tips to help pave the way to a smooth transition from one home to another for your pets. 

pets and moving

Maintain a Routine

Our pets thrive with routines. From the time they are fed to the time they normally head out for a walk, your pup can tell if a routine is being followed (or not). 

In fact, most veterinarians believe that pets, dogs especially, can tell when something is about to change in a home. Boxes have started to arrive, routines are changed, and things are a little “off.” This slight change in routine can be a great cause of anxiety for a pet. 

Therefore, try to keep your daily routines as close to normal as possible. This may include bathroom breaks, walks, meals, and playtime. If they realize that their routine is being maintained they will have less stress in the weeks leading up to this major upheaval. 

Contact the Vet 

Moving may mean your pet may need to update their medical records, ensure that vaccinations are current, and potentially meet a new veterinarian in a new city. 

To make the transition smooth, contact your vet to find out if shots are updated and if they have any suggestions for helping your pet adjust to the new environment. 

During your visit, you will want to request a copy of your pet’s medical files and records if you are moving away from your current neighborhood. Additionally, it is a good time to ask your vet for a recommendation for a new vet if you haven’t found one in your new community yet.

Arrange For Pet Care on Moving Day 

There’s going to be a lot going on in your home on moving day. New people, boxes, and furnishing are being moved, and doors are wide open. This could be dangerous for your pet not only with the idea that they could be underfoot all day, but that they could get spooked by strangers going in and out all day long. 

To avoid the stress of settling your pet down throughout the day, arrange for a pet sitter to watch your furry friend on the day you plan to move. If this isn’t possible, schedule a day at the groomers or a puppy daycare to keep your pup happy and busy during what will probably be a stressful day for family members. 

Pack a Pet Bag 

Your cat, dog, or hampster will need to have access to certain items during the move. This may include their favorite lovey, dog bed, and (of course) meals and snacks. 

To accommodate these items, pack a separate bag for your pet that can be easily accessed during the moving process. Don’t forget a favorite toy or leash! 

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

If your move is taking you across the state or country, be sure to book a hotel that is pet-friendly. It is never advised to allow your pet to sleep in the car and this is no exception. 

A pet-friendly hotel will allow you and other family members to comfort your dog on a night when extra snuggles are needed by your pup and family members alike. 

For more tips and tricks on moving with pets, check out our blog on our site. 

car battery

Things to Avoid Putting on the Moving Van

Packing for a move is a gargantuan task. Finding the right number and size of boxes, wrapping breakables, and finding the time to get it all done, is just the start of the process that ends in a successful move to a new home. 

There are some items that you will want to avoid packing and putting on the moving van. We have separated them into prohibited items according to federal law, restricted items depending upon permission by your movers, and special consideration items that you may want to move separately. 

Prohibited Items 

There are many common household items that are prohibited by the federal government to be included in your moving van. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports “Federal law forbids you to ship hazardous materials in your household goods boxes or luggage without informing your mover. A violation can result in five years imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124).”

Many prohibited items are things that you may find in your garage or basement and may not even think twice about them. Here is a list of our references but you will want to confirm a full list from the FMSCA. 

  • Weed sprays 
  • Fertilizers 
  • Gardening chemicals 
  • Paints
  • Detergents
  • Acids
  • All flammables, including matches and lighter fluid
  • Explosives and corrosives
  • Fireworks
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Car batteries
  • Motor oils and fuel
  • Ammonia and liquid bleach
  • Pool chemicals 
  • Poisons and Pest killers
  • Bottled gas or propane
  • Lamp oil
  • Charcoal

Restricted Items 

There are some items that your moving company may have their own requirements about including prior permission to have these items on the moving van. These could include: 

  • Firearms 
  • Ammunition
  • Clean gas tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Power tools 

Special Considerations

There are also some items that homeowners may want to transport on their own instead of putting on the moving truck. This short list really depends upon the distance of the move, the personal preferences of the people moving, and what items you may need right up until the time you move. 

  • Medical information and files
  • Family documents such as passports and birth certificates
  • Plants
  • Prescriptions
  • School records
  • Checkbooks, credit cards, and financial records
  • Jewelry 
  • Family heirlooms
  • Collectibles 

While these lists are not exhaustive, they can help you plan what NOT to pack for the big moving day. As you go room to room packing, especially the garage and basement, consider these items prior to the day of moving so you can make plans to dispose of them properly. 

Many of the prohibited items are included on the list due to the fact that improper storage or spillage during the move could potentially start a fire or cause an explosion, thus destroying your personal possessions during the move. 

Talk to our moving specialists who can help you determine what to pack and what to handle and dispose of prior to moving day.