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Bay Area and Sacramento CA Moving Tips

Making your move as smooth as possible is our number one priority at Metropolitan Van & Storage. Help us make your transition seamless by planning in advance and sticking to your moving plan. Use our movers' resources below to help you prepare for your upcoming Bay Area or Sacramento relocation. Our helpful moving tips can act as your moving checklist!


  • Round up personal documentation and keep them with you – marriage/birth certificates, driver's licenses, passports (especially if moving internationally), pet vaccination/documentation, etc.
  • Begin saving boxes and try to find the original boxes for your stereo or computer equipment.
  • Arrange a termination date for electricity, gas, telephone and other main suppliers.
  • Change your address with the United States Postal Service.
  • Check all electrical components – are they in working order and will they work in your new home?
  • Begin using up your freezer and refrigerator stocks; buy limited quantities of goods.
  • Organize your finances – close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts, credit card billing information and more.
  • Will your new home be ready? If not, you will need to make arrangements for temporary storage.


  • Have a garage sale or donate your unwanted items like clothes, books, DVDs, etc. to charity.
  • Safely dispose of flammables like gases, combustible liquids, corrosive liquids, and explosives.
  • Empty fuel from mowers, trimmers, clippers, etc.
  • Clean your rugs, dust your furniture, and prep your belongings for their new home.
  • Create a detailed inventory of the items and valuables you are going to move.
  • As soon as the beds are assembled, make them so that you are prepared for the end of the day, when you may be too tired to finish making them.
  • If you have children, separate cherished toys to travel with you.


  • Pack in one or two containers all the items you will need immediately upon arrival at your new home (paper and cleaning products, remote controls, coffee pot, ground coffee, toothbrushes, toothpaste, child's favorite sleeping toy, bedding, towels, etc.). The driver will arrange to load this carton(s) so that it will be one of the first items off the truck. You may use stickers provided by your mover, which identify items (to be loaded last).
  • Use only strong, corrugate cartons with covers or plastic totes. We can supply you with specially made cartons for everything from mattresses to clothing and mirrors. The added protection of mover provided cartons might avoid damage that results from the use of poor quality packing materials. Your alternative is to collect boxes discarded by your grocery or liquor storage. Be careful when choosing used boxes. It's not uncommon to find insects and other pests in them. Also save old newspapers for the use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items.
  • Use plastic part bags, labels, and markers for easy identification of boxes and cartons.
  • Bubble wrap, tissue, craft paper, corrugated paper rolls can be used for delicate packing jobs like figurines and glassware.
  • Use gummed tape (1 ½ to 2 inches wide) for sealing cartons.
  • Keep a notebook and pencil handy to catalog your boxes and check off your inventory.

 Before you begin to pack you need a game plan. For example:

  • Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
  • Mark all boxes, designating room and box number. Make a carton identification log to show the number of boxes packed per room, and the total number of cartons packed. It's a good idea to leave space in your log for a special comments section to note carton conditions or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high-value items.
  • Be sure to have plenty of "filling" material available.
  • Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
  • Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
  • Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. A general rule to remember on carton size - the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.

Packing tips for specific specialty items:

Appliances & Utensils – Wrap and place small appliances and utensils in sturdy cartons with heavier items on the bottom. Tape doors on microwaves shut after removing any loose items inside. Have an authorized serviceman prepare all large appliances like refrigerators and stoves for moving. Be sure to defrost, clean and dry applicable appliances before movers arrive.

China, Glassware, and Stemware – When not packing with used grocery or liquor store boxes, pack glassware in mover-provided dish packs. Glassware and china cups should be stuffed with tissue, and placed in the upright position. Pack plates and saucers on edges, not flat, and layer with padding. No matter what you're packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there's a gap. All boxes with "fragile" items should be marked accordingly.

Silverware – Wrap each piece in cloth or non-tarnish paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.

Dishware – Line the bottom of the box with crumpled packing paper. Stack individually wrapped dishes on top of some packing paper one at a time and then wrap up into a bundle. Wrap again until you have a secure bundle and seal with tape. Place the bundle of dishware in a medium-sized box standing on edge. Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware.

Frozen Foods and Plants – Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items, your Metropolitan's professional moving consultant is prohibited from accepting these items when your shipment is being transported more than 150 miles and/or twenty-four (24) hours from the time of loading. Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which at time of loading is a normal deep-freeze temperature. Please consult with your Metropolitan's professional moving consultant for further advice about moving these items.

Mirrors, Paintings & Pictures – Tell your agent about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings and frames in unprinted newspaper or paper pads (available from your mover) and place on edge in cartons or mirror cartons. Never place printed newspaper directly against paintings. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons.

Rugs & Linoleum – Leave rugs and linoleum to be rolled up by movers. We cannot be responsible for linoleum cracking when rolled, however.

Barbeque Grills, Propane Tanks, and Other Flammables – Wrap grates and briquettes separately in a newspaper (or place all briquettes into a grocery bag) and place parts in carton. Pad carton with paper to reduce movement of contents. Flammable liquids and aerosol cans can leak or even explode. For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items, they cause damage to your shipment or others. Propane tanks will not be accepted even if an authorized gas grill distributor has purged them.

Cars & Motorcycles – Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel. Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected. Automobile antifreeze should be ample to protect against severe cold in winter.

Grandfather Clocks – Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert service personnel.

Firearms – Firearms, along with serial numbers, must be registered with your Metropolitan's professional moving consultant before the move.

Medicines – Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright, in small cartons. Some prescription drugs, such as insulin, lose their potency if exposed to heat. Check with your pharmacist before transporting with your shipment. It is recommended that you carry all medications with you.

Computers and Electronics – Pack computers and other electronic equipment in their original boxes, when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of each box along with an old blanket to wrap around the item. Wrap cords separately; label to identify usage and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Make sure to create a backup of important files on an external hard drive if possible.

Phonographs & Record Players – Use original cartons and packing materials when available. Secure changer and tone arm of phonograph. Tighten down screw (located on the top of turntable) to stabilize platter. Wrap dust cover in soft tissue or pad with old linen to protect against surface scratches. Wrap unit with an old blanket and place upright in carton. Label box "FRAGILE" and "THIS SIDE UP."

Tools – Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap separately if valuable.

Waterbed Mattresses – Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner's manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.

Video tips for moving:

Bay Area And Sacramento Moving & Storage Offices

Serving our local communities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento from several local moving and storage offices in Fairfield, Benicia, Mountain View, Martinez and Sacramento.