Separate items that will not be packed, including suitcases. If more than one shipment, separate items per each shipment into groups.
Ship as "unaccompanied baggage" items that will help you set up housekeeping at your new address immediately, such as linens, dishes, etc.
Keep a household inventory list on hand to carry with your personal luggage.
Make a complete inventory of all the boxes you will have moved to your new location -- you will need to check this later after you move in.
Attach colored stickers to your boxes to correspond with rooms in your new home where you want your boxes to go. If you are using movers, prepare a color-coded map of your new house, so they'll know exactly where to take your belongings.
Make sure that cash, jewelry, important documents, your checkbook and other valuable items are secure and placed with the suitcases and other items you are hand-carrying yourself. Do not ship jewelry.
If you are renting a truck or other vehicle for your move, check it over to make sure everything is running properly.
Make sure the condition of belongings is accurately noted. If anything is marked "scratched, dented or soiled" also note the location of such problem.
If you are leasing phones from the phone company, return them.
Confirm child care and pet arrangements if necessary.
Clean and dry refrigerator and freezer. Allow to dry one or two days with doors propped open. Note: Families with children or pets present should block the doors from accidentally closing. To avoid a musty odor you can place several charcoal briquettes in a stocking or sock in both the freezer and refrigerator compartment.
Discard partly-used cans and containers of substances that might leak.
Carefully tape and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquid you plan to take with you.
Remove outside TV and radio antennas.
Remove air conditioners from windows.
Remove pictures and mirrors from walls.
If you have a clock with a pendulum, remove the pendulum. If you are on base housing, you may need third-party authorization to do this, so call your local personal property shipping office if you feel you require this type of service.
Disconnect gas and electrical appliances. Moving companies are NOT required to perform the disconnects or to reconnect at the destination address.
Remove all light bulbs from lamps.