Plan your Move
California moving planning can be difficult - there are many things to consider when planning a move. North American Van Lines has taken the guesswork out of your preparation by providing information on a variety of topics including moving with children, pets, and electronics. Print out our Richmond moving planner and use it as your complete moving checklist.
Moving with Children
Kids are the first priority on any family's moving planner checklist. Children will often embrace the idea of moving if they are involved in the process. Here are some tips that will help your children before, during and after the relocation process.
- Talk to your children and explain about the upcoming move. Pay attention to their reactions and let them ask questions.
- Include your children in making plans for the move. For example, take them house-hunting with you.
- Help your children learn about the new area.
- Let them help decide how their new rooms are to be arranged and decorated.
- Encourage children to exchange addresses and phone numbers with their friends.
- Have each child help pack a special box with his or her most treasured possessions—they can even decorate the outside of the box so they can quickly identify it in your new home.
- Take a "family break" as soon as the major unpacking is done. Don't try to do everything when you arrive.
- Parents should spend time after the move listening to each child about new schools and new friends.
- Enroll each child in activities similar to those he or she was involved with at the old home to keep continuity.
- Follow progress in new schools. Accompanying your children to school the first few days may ease tension.
- Any lingering abnormalities (loss of appetite, insomnia, etc.) should be reported to a doctor.
- If your move involves suburban to rural, or vice versa, caution children about new situations they will face.
Moving with Pets
Because pets have an instinctive fear of new surroundings, pet owners want to help them adjust quickly. Consult the tips in our moving planner guide to help them do just that.
Transportation of Pets
- Pets cannot be shipped on moving vans.
- Pets often become frightened and may try to run away. Keep your pet on a leash when outside.
- Your pet should wear a special identification tag with its name, your name and where you can be reached.
- Consider sending smaller pets by air express.
- Consult with your veterinarian concerning mild sedation of your pet during the trip.
- If your move is across state lines, check with your new State Veterinarian or State Department of Animal Husbandry. A good place to start is the U.S. State and Territory Animal Import Regulations website.
- Interstate health certificates must be obtained for dogs and horses prior to entering most states.
- States require a rabies vaccine for dogs and many require it for cats. Hawaii requires that cats and dogs be quarantined for 120 days.
- Some pets must have an entry permit issued by the destination state's regulatory agency.
- A few states have border inspection of all animals being transported; others have random inspections.
- Be sure to check your local community laws. Some communities have pet control and licensing ordinances. In some cases, the number of pets is limited.
Air Travel Checklist
- Make reservations well in advance. Follow airline instructions.
- Obtain a shipping container a week or two in advance. Familiarize your pet with it by placing the pet in it for a few minutes each day. Gradually lengthen the time until the pet seems to be at ease with it.
- Carefully schedule boarding and shipping arrangements for your pet to assure that the pet is well cared for until you are able to receive it at your new home.
- Feed the pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give the pet a drink of water no less than two hours before the flight.
- If your pet is accompanying you, arrive at the terminal 45 minutes before normal check-in time.
- If shipping the pet, get to the freight terminal two hours in advance of the flight.
- Be certain that names, addresses and telephone numbers of persons responsible for the pet at origin and destination are clearly marked on the container and on the pet's identification tag.
- Notify the person receiving the pet that it is on the way. Give them the flight and waybill number.
- Pets can usually be picked up within 90 minutes of flight arrival.
Car Travel Checklist
- If your dog or cat is not used to traveling by car, make short trips with the pet a week or two in advance.
- Dogs should be taught to lie quietly. Don't let your dog put its head in the wind. It can irritate its eyes and cause problems.
- Cats are often frightened by car travel, but they usually adjust quickly.
- Folding kennels or crates especially designed for minivans can be very useful.
- Accustom your pet to being on a leash and always use it when outside your vehicle or hotel.
- If you must stop overnight, check in advance for hotels that allow pets. Click here to see a list of hotels that allow pets.
- Be sure that your pet is properly tagged and its rabies tag is firmly attached.
- Pet travel kits should include the following: food, water, dishes, leash, treats, favorite toy, some type of bedding and a can opener (if needed).
- To be on the safe side, ask your veterinarian if a sedative would be appropriate.
- Don't forget the scooper and plastic bags for cleanup!
California moving planning isn't complete without careful consideration of your electronics moving needs. North American Van Lines can facilitate the transportation of all your electronic equipment including computers, printers, big screen TVs, surround sound systems, DVDs, VCRs and CD players. We recommend using a third-party service to properly prepare a plasma TV for transport. Consult the below paragraphs in our Richmond moving planner for assistance with electronics moving.
Moving a Computer
Before moving your personal computer, there are certain procedures to follow which will protect your system from mechanical failure or damage due to normal physical shock which occurs during transport. If the following steps are taken prior to moving your computer, your system will arrive safely at your destination.
- Hard Disk Preparation: Before moving computer components, park the hard drive and back up all software. Newer models may not require parking. Check your owner's manual to find out about your specific computer. Once your drives are secure, you should turn the system to OFF and remove all cables from the back of the unit.
- Packing/Shipping Preparation: The original packing box your system came in is the best choice. The rigid Styrofoam packing material will hold the system securely in place. In the event your original box is not available, North American Van Lines will provide a sturdy packing container and materials.
Moving a Printer
- The original packing box and material is the best choice for transport because the Styrofoam is customized to fit each printer.
- If you are moving a laser printer, remove the ink cartridge as the ink may spill and contaminate the laser engine.
- If you are moving a pin printer, you should insert a piece of paper in the platen to secure the print head.
Moving a CD or DVD Player
Before moving your CD or DVD player, there are certain procedures to follow which will protect your system from mechanical failure or damage due to normal physical shock which occurs during transport. If the following tips are used prior to moving, your CD and/or DVD player should arrive safely at destination.
- Remember to remove all CD/DVDs from your player before packing.
- If you don't have the owner's manual, draw a diagram of the wiring PRIOR TO disconnection.
- Some CD/DVD players have a transport screw under the unit. Tighten it before packing.
- Remove any stacker or multi-play cartridges prior to packing and wrap individually.
- Close CD/DVD trays.
- The best way to move your CD/DVD player is in the original box with the original packing. In the event that you do not have the original box and/or packing, use a box big enough to cover the entire unit with enough room for packing material. The packing material should snugly fill the excess room in the box so that the unit will not move around.
- If you have a remote control, be sure to wrap it separately, but pack it in the same box. All wiring should also go in the box.
Moving a Big Screen TV and Other Electronics:
- If you no longer have the original carton and packing materials, carefully pack the item in a sturdy carton so that packing material fits snugly around the item and fills the excess room in the box.
- Pack all cords and remote controls in the same box as the item.
- Draw a simple diagram or color-code wires before disconnecting to make reconnecting much simpler.
- Complete a list of all electronic components and computer equipment with serial numbers of each piece prior to moving them.
Foster Van Lines and North American Van Lines seek to make your move simple and stress-free with our comprehensive California moving planning services. Call us for more information - or get the ball rolling on your own relocation by filling out our contact form and printing out our Richmond moving planner today!