Moving is stressful, whether it is across town or cross-country. Once you have closed on your house, the reality of packing, moving, and setting up a new home can become overwhelming. While no list can make a move “stress-free,” planning ahead and staying organized can help make your move a little smoother. Here is our list of tips:
Once you know your prospective move date set up a quick timeline to make sure you can get all the important tasks done and ready in time for your move.
Consider how much stuff you have by doing a home inventory. This can help you decide whether you need to hire movers to help you or if you will be managing your move on your own. Many moving companies supply inventory lists to help you assess the size of truck you will need. You can use your list as double duty for insurance purposes later.
As soon as you decide how you will be moving, make your reservations. In general, moving companies and truck rental services are over-booked at the beginning and very end of the month. If you are planning on hiring a moving company, contact a few in your area for a price quote. To find companies ask your real estate agent, family, or friends, and consult online reviews. It is also a good idea to request a quote and compare companies.
Preparing for Your Move
- Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of clutter, junk, or outdated items. Set aside some time to sort through your closets, storage spaces, files, drawers, and more. Go through cluttered areas and organize items by “keepers”, “give-aways” and “garbage”. You will have less to pack and an opportunity to update after you move. Contact a local nonprofit organization for your donations; some will arrange to pick up larger donations like furniture. If you have items of value, eBay or craigslist are good options.
- Changing your address is one of the more tedious tasks in the moving process. You will need to change your address with the United States Post Office. You can find the online form here: Movers Guide.
You will also need to change your address with each account you have. Here is a list to get your started:
- Utilities (Electric, Water/Sewage, Oil/Gas)
- Cable/ Telephone
- Cell phone service
- Credit Cards
- Magazine subscriptions
- Insurance companies (auto, home/renters, health, dental, vision, etc.)
- Other personal services
Let the Packing Begin
Before you start packing, it may help to visualize where everything you have will go. Perhaps furniture will fit better in a different room? Consider the floor plan of your new home and figure out what will go where. This will aid in packing and labeling as you box everything up.
Use a tool like floorplanner.com to plan where furniture and items will go.
When it comes to packing you have some options. You can work with a service that provides reusable boxes for moving or you can reuse or purchase cardboard boxes. Make sure you have enough boxes, packing tape, dark markers, and packing paper.
Pack rooms according to your floor plan. Label boxes with contents and room. This will make it easier to unpack your home, knowing where everything is going.
Real Simple magazine has some great tips on packing for your move.
If you have to disassemble any of your furniture, make sure you keep all the parts and directions together. Make sure you set aside your necessities for the day you move. Being tired and unable to take a shower or make your bed can be hard at the end of a long moving day. Here are some ideas of what you may like to pack in your “day-of-move” boxes:
- Clean linens for the beds, pillows and blankets
- Clean towels
- Shower curtain, liner and hooks
- Toiletries, hand soap, tooth brush, etc.
- Disposable utensils, cups, napkins, etc
- Rolls of toilet paper
- Snacks and water
- Change of clothes
- Tools for reassembling furniture, installing hardware, and hanging photos
Making Your Move
- Come up with a game plan with your family, so everyone has a role and a part to play
- Once the house is empty, do a once over on your old place to make sure it is clean for the next owners/occupants. Here is a useful checklist for cleaning.
Warming Your New Home
Once you have settled into your new home, warm it up by inviting friends and family over to celebrate. Here is a great infographic about housewarming traditions and symbolism. Announce your move to far-away friends and family through moving announcements to make sure you stay on the holiday card mailing list.