Having moved across this fine nation more then a few times I have had the occasion to use a number of professional movers and observed a few things.
Paying for professional packes can increase the cost, but it is very useful when on a tight schedule. A range of employees might show up from those that look extremely profesional to those look less so, but outside of the rare exception they are going to know how to pack your things and do so in an efficent manner.
Don’t skimp on the use of packing tape or packing paper. The way you ensure you have items arrive safely is by having solid void free boxes that can be stacked properly by the movers. Line each box with a sheet or two of paper and learn from the packers by taping down the seam as well as the edges.
You might think this is wasting tape, but at the end of the day tape and packing materials are cheap compared to the cost of replacing your valuable items. It is money well spent.
Empty tape rolls are infinitely usable and should not be thrown away. They can be used for screw or shelf peg containers by using a little tape on the outside. Folded up they make exceptional doorstops to keep the door propped open.
One of the differences between average and elite movers will be the use of glass crating for glass table tops or the use of specific flat screen containers that comes with static free material and tapes. This can then be used with anti-tip levels which can tell if an item has been tipped over or set on its side. Even without these additional materials and costs you can safely transport glass with properly built picture boxes.
Anything can be packed using moving blankets, tape, paper, and shrink wrap.
The use of rolled sticky tape labels to put a unique item number is a godsend both for the owner and the movers. It makes it very simple to ensure that everything is accounted for when loading or unloading. Just watch and ensure that an item has a lable before it is loaded or enters the new location and accounted for on the inventory.
The other side of using professional movers is the fact that you will be without your personal goods for a short to a long term. Unless your goods can fill an entire truck they are typically combined with others and this will result in scheduling efforts that can take some time before your items even leave the source storage facility.
Living out of hotels can be rather expensive and unless you are in a truly cheap solution it is typically more cost effective to live out of the home or apartment you want to finally reach.
Some items can be invaluable for this temporary living situation until your items arrive.
You can either use an inflatable mattress to sleep on which is very compact for transportation. The ones with the air pump included are easier. Pick one up for $30-$40 and it is useful the next time guests visit.
If you decided you didn’t want to move your mattress and box springs and want to get a new one at the your destination then go ahead and purchase one before your stuff arrives. It can just sit on the floor until your frame arrives.
Either bring or purchase sheets and comforters for either solution.
Bathroom equipment –
Bring a spare towel and washcloth. You can use a second towel as a floormat.
Bring a showcurtain.
Kitchen Supplies –
Paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cups, and plastic cutlery can get you by for long enough depending on what you decide to shop for. Things like cereal, sandwiches, salads, and other simple things that do not require much cooking with keep you going and avoid breakign the bank on food.
Bring trashbags and storage bags of various sizes.
Most apartments and some homes are wired for the light switch to control a power outlet and as a result there is not light in rooms such as bedrooms. Bring a small lamp to ensure you have light.
Laying on a bed or sitting on a floor can easily become uncomfortable quickly when that is all you are doing in the temporary living location. While finding excuses to get excercise is good it is not always possible depending on where you are and what else is filling your time. Bringing a chair as simple as a folding chair or an camping chair can be very helpful to avoid comfort issues by sitting on the floor all the time.
Power Strip –
With the advent of cell phones and laptops it might not be uncommon that you need more power then a wall outlet can provide next to your temporary bed. Bring a power strip to ensure you have access to everything.
Enterainment (optional) –
Depending on your needs it might be practical to bring a smaller tv and movie player with you which will allow you to connect services such as cable or internet to the new location before you items arrive. Not a necessity by any means, but this can help avoid the waiting time stretch out too long.