A good move depends largely on how much you get involved and how well prepared you are when the movers arrive. The following is a guide to assist you and may be used as your record of tasks accomplished.
- Keep your transportation office informed of any change in your orders or other changes, such as the telephone number at which you can be reached until you leave your old duty station.
- After arrangements have been made, they should not be changed. Changing moving dates, especially during summer months, can mean a lengthy delay in getting your move rescheduled. If you find the date must be changed, contact the transportation office immediately. Do not call the carrier!
- You or your representative designated in writing must be home when the movers arrive to pack and remove your belongings.
- Thirty days in advance is not too early to begin preparation for your move.
- Remove your TV antenna/disconnect satellite dish.
- Empty, defrost and thoroughly wash the inside of your refrigerator and/or freezer. To keep mildew at a minimum during transit and storage, these appliances need at least two days to dry out. Leave doors open after cleaning.
- Drain water from hot tubs and water beds.
- Remove window air conditioners.
- Disconnect and prepare all components such as stereos, turntables, compact disc players, video disc players, computers, printers, televisions and VCRs for the move.
- Disconnect all appliances such as washer, dryer and cooking stove. If plumbing, electrical or carpentry work is needed in disconnecting these appliances, you must arrange for the work and pay the charges connected with it.
- Dispose of foods that could spill or spoil in transit or storage.
- Dispose of worn out and unneeded items before the move to avoid wasteful packing, moving or storage expenses and most important, excess weight to you.
- Remove pictures, curtain rods and mirrors from walls. Inspect the kitchen for utensil and food racks or other holders secured to walls, cabinets or doors and remove them.
- Dismantle outdoor play equipment and outdoor structures (utility sheds, playhouses, swing or gym sets, etc.).
- Ensure personal property items are free of soil/pest infestation that is, gypsy moths, brown tree snakes, etc. Remember: Complying with requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state laws is your responsibility.
- Remove personal property from an attic, crawl space or similar storage area within the residence. The carrier's personnel are not required to go into areas that:
- Are not accessible by a permanent stairway (ladders are not considered a permanent stairway);
- Are not adequately lighted;
- Do not have a finished floor;
- Do not allow a person to stand erect.
- Have your property separated by shipment and distinctly marked. Put items that are to go in the unaccompanied baggage shipment in one room, distinctly mark items for storage, items not to be packed and so on. This reduces the chance that items will get into the wrong shipment or that items to be discarded will be shipped. When possible, dispose of all trash and items to be discarded prior to the mover's arrival.
- Separate your professional items and authorized consumables. Be sure they are identified on the inventory as professional books, papers and equipment or authorized consumables as the items are weighed separately.
- Remove all old carrier markings and stickers from furniture and boxes.
- Identify contents left in drawers. Be sure the inventory reflects the contents.
- Do not leave cash, jewelry or other expensive items unattended. Airline tickets and passports are important documents. It is a good idea to keep these items locked in your car, or ask a friend or neighbor to keep them until your shipment has been picked up.
- Ensure each carton and loose item (ladder, rake, etc.,) has an inventory tag and appears on the inventory.
- Monitor the wrapping and packing of your items. Make sure everything is wrapped individually and adequately. Make sure heavy items aren't packed on top of light items. Don't allow your property to be taken to the warehouse to be packed without first consulting the transportation office.
- Drain all gasoline, oil and water, and remove the battery from power-driven equipment (motorcycle, moped, lawn mowers, etc.) prior to pickup.
- Carefully read the inventory prepared by the carrier's personnel before you sign. Look at it from time to time while the items are being packed. Make sure all boxes and loose items are listed. If a box contains crystal, make sure the inventory says "crystal" not "kitchen items." Make sure descriptions of major items are complete and accurate. If the packers list "color television," have them add the size, make, model and when readily accessible, the serial number. This also applies to stereo and video components. Check the string of symbols listed for each item closely (this is how the packers show pre-existing damage). These symbols are explained in the top, right-hand corner of the inventory. For example, "BR 2-4-5-3" means "broken, bottom front left corner." A good inventory shows what you shipped and what condition the item was in at the time of pickup. If your inventory is inaccurate, tell the carrier's representative and write down why you disagree at the bottom of the inventory in the space marked for exceptions.
- Do not argue with the carrier's representative. If you have a problem, call your transportation office at once.
- Do not sign anything until you read, understand and agree with it. You must be provided a legible copy of everything you sign. Never sign a blank, incomplete or illegible form or a form you cannot clearly understand.
- Contact the destination transportation office as soon as possible after your arrival even though you may not know the delivery address for your personal property. The transportation office needs a telephone number and/or address where you can be reached on short notice.
- As soon as you have a delivery address for your personal property call the transportation office again and provide this information.
- If possible, be prepared to accept delivery of your property as soon as it arrives. This will prevent additional handling and reduce the chance of loss or damage. It will also reduce or eliminate storage expenses .
- You or your representative designated in writing must be home on the day of delivery.
- Know in advance where you want each piece of furniture placed in your new residence. The mover is required to place each piece only one time.
- Check each carton or item off the inventory. Make sure everything that was picked up is delivered.
- List any damaged or missing items with appropriate inventory numbers on the "Joint Statement of Loss or Damage at Delivery" (DD Form 1840) to avoid problems. Make sure you carefully look over your property and list any missing inventory line items or noticeable damage at this time.
- Do not sign for services if they were not performed by the carrier.
- Do not argue with the carrier. Contact the destination transportation office if problems arise.
Carrier's Responsibilities at Origin
The carrier is responsible for packing and preparing all your property for shipment. You can expect the carrier to begin service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The start and completion of any service provided by the carrier can vary depending on the type of move - that is, NTS, international shipment, etc. Contact your local transportation office for specifics. However, if you have no objection to the carrier beginning service before or after these hours, let the origin transportation know.
At pickup, the carrier must:
- Protect appliances against damage while in transit; this means the carrier will secure moving parts that, if allowed to move in transit, could damage the appliance.
- Use new, clean packing materials for linen, clothing and bedding.
- Use new or like-new packing materials for all other items. Excelsior or newspaper is not allowed. Items packed in boxes should be padded and insulated from carton walls.
- Pack mirrors, pictures and glass table tops in specially designed cartons.
- Wrap and protect all finished surfaces from marring or scratching. Usually this is accomplished through use of furniture pads.
- Properly roll and protect rug and rug pads at residence. Only small throw rugs may be folded.
- Pack all designated professional books, papers and equipment in separate boxes. These cartons must be marked "Professional Books, Papers and Equipment," weighed separately and listed on the inventory form.
- Put all nuts, bolts and screws from an item disassembled for movement by carrier personnel in a bag and attach the bag securely to the item.
- Mark each carton to show general contents.
- Prepare an accurate and legible inventory.
- Obtain approval from the transportation office prior to loading on the tailgate of the moving van.
- Remove all excess packing material from your residence.
Carrier's Responsibilities at Destination
You can expect the carrier to begin service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The start and completion of any service provided by the carrier can vary depending on the type of move - that is, NTS, international shipment, etc. Contact your transportation office for specifics. However, if you have no objection to the carrier beginning service before or after these hours, let the destination transportation office know.
At the time of delivery, the carrier must:
- Unpack and unwrap all cartons, boxes and crates.
- Place each item or carton in the room you indicate.
This one-time placement includes placing unpacked articles in cabinets, cupboards or on kitchen shelves when convenient, safe and your desired location. Have placement planned out before the carrier arrives. Movers are required to place each item only once.
- Assemble all furniture and equipment disassembled by the movers at origin.
- Remove packing and blocking from appliances. The carrier is not required to connect appliances to electric, gas or water outlets.
- Remove all packing material resulting from the unpacking.
- Jointly with you, make a written record of any loss or damage on the DD Form 1840, "Joint Statement of Loss or Damage at Delivery," sign the document and obtain your signature. The carrier's representative must leave three copies of DD Form 1840/184OR with you.
As stated earlier, movers are not required to go into an attic, crawl space or similar storage area for the purpose of delivering and placing personal property. This includes areas that:
- Are not accessible by a permanent stairway (ladders are not permanent stairways);
- Are not adequately lighted;
- Do not have a finished floor;
- Do not allow a person to stand erect.
Once the shipment has been delivered, the carrier is not required to deliver property to a self-storage facility. Beware: You may waive unpacking at any time during the delivery. However, the carrier is not required to return later to unpack or remove debris.
Army Pamphlet 552, DOD PA 13A, AFP 75-45, NAVMC 2668, COMDTPUB P4050.5, NAVSUP PUB 380