19 Tips You Need Before You Move
Moving is stressful, there is no way around that. Packing up your entire life, putting it into boxes, hauling it somewhere new and then unpacking it is not an easy job for anyone. Sure, you can hire a moving company to do everything but that costs thousands of dollars and is not always in everyone's budget. If you're planning a big move, regardless of where you are at in the process, some or all of these 20 moving tips and tricks can help make the process much easier.
#1. Make sure you know where you're going.
This sounds obvious but, make sure you know your address so that you can put it on boxes, change of address forms, contact magazines, subscriptions, credit card companies and anyone else that needs to know your address just in case.
#2. If you're getting movers, reserve far in advance.
Last-minute professional movers contact on a boat load of extra fees so as soon as you know you're going to move and you know you're going to use professional movers, try to reserve as soon as possible. Even if you don't know the exact date, giving them a timeframe and letting them know that you want to be on their schedule will set aside their scheduling for you.
#3. Figure out what your moving budget is.
This can be difficult as anything with the budget can be blown out of proportion quite quickly. Try to set a budget and stick to it. Call around and get some ideas on moving trucks, packing supplies, and even gas if you're planning on moving out of the city or the state. Try to stick to your budget and get some realistic numbers on what everything will cost.
#4. Do you have to move right now?
If you could move during the off-season, chances are you'll have better luck with any short-term rescheduling and get better deals. Of course, this isn't for everyone because when you need to move… You just need to move. But with better weather and the kids out of school summer is usually the most popular time for people to move but it's also the most expensive.
#5. Set up utilities ahead of time.
Contact all your utility companies a couple of weeks prior to your move so that you can shut off your utilities or transfer the name and your new utilities will be set up a day or two before you move in at least. The last thing you want is to pull into your new home in the middle of the night and not have any power or electricity. Don't forget about trash, natural gas or propane, electricity, water and sewer, recycling, and any other utilities that might be different from your current living situation.
#6. Make sure the post office knows your move.
Knowing your address is more than simply adjusting subscriptions and credit card bills. Filing a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service will forward an email you received this address to your old home. There's always something or someone you have forgotten to notify so when you get the forwarded mail, take a look at the sender so that you can notify them of the change.
#7. Purge before you pack.
One of the worst things is when friends or family members help you move and you realize you've actually moved trash. This literally happens quite often where people unpack boxes and realize they've moved garbage from one house to another. Purge before you pack. Donate anything that you know has life left in it, throw away anything that you won't be taking with you, and sell anything of value. This not only will make your move a lot easier but your life as well.
#8. Walk through the moving day.
Walk through the moving day as if it was already here. Ensure you won't have any last-minute hiccups such as your storage container or pods arriving at different times, how you're going to load items, if you're enlisting the help of family or friends, and if you'll need any moving equipment like dollies or furniture sliders.
#9. Pack by room.
Pack everything room by room, label that room, and then it will be much easier for whoever is helping you on the other end to simply put that box in the proper room. By consciously packing one room at a time you can unpack everything you need all at the same time such as all of your clothes can be unpacked into the closet and all of your kitchen utensils and tools meant for the garage or shed.
#10. Use items as double duty.
No need to spend hundreds of dollars on bubblewrap or packing tissue and paper. Use what you already have to wrap dishes and valuables. Use clothes, blankets, linens, towels, pillowcases, and any other soft items you're taking with you to wrap fragile belongings.
#11. Label every box.
More than simply labeling the room, label a few items in the box. The last thing you want is to be rifling through every box in the house for the coffee maker.
#12. Look online for boxes.
Packing boxes can be expensive but people are moving all the time so check on Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, or other online markets for folks simply giving away their old packing boxes.
#13. Avoid dead space.
Any box that is only filled halfway opens up the opportunity for rattling and shaking and if there's something fragile, that could be detrimental. Try to pack every box is full as possible keeping valuable and fragile items towards the center and using newspaper or other linens to fill up the space.
#14. Protect furniture with blankets.
Another way to double duty use is by using padded blankets, comforters, sheets, and quilts as furniture padding. You may have to wash them once you get to your new place and anything with the stain or paint could rub off so be careful, but it's the best way to protect furnishings when you move.
#15. Don't overfill boxes.
While it's not a good idea to half fill a box, overfilling could cause problems as well. Anything placed on top of the box that's protruding through the opening could crush or damage the contents.
#16. Transport small items in your car especially valuables.
Whether you are having a professional moving company transport your items or not, keeping valuables, passports, medical and school documents and any small valuable items with you in the car when you move is really the best option. You know where they are at all times.
#17. Save a day for cleaning on both ends.
Having an extra day once you've moved out to clean everything from your old house and then giving yourself a day or two after you've moved into clean your new house will make the entire process much less stressful. Rushing to move out, scrambling to clean, or going back to work the day after the moving truck arrives will only rush your entire process. If you can, leave a day or two on each end for extra cleaning and just breathing.
#18. Pack the first box last.
Remember that coffee maker? The last thing you want is for it to be packed in the very first box you packed in the truck all away at the front. If you know you're going to need certain things the very first day you get to your new home, put those in the box that gets unpacked first. This might mean clothes, toiletries, coffee and coffee maker, and any personal documents.
#19. Plan ahead.
Obviously, the sooner you can plan the better. While we all don't have the luxury of planning far in advance for relocation, the more you can plan the better the entire process will be and give yourself some breathing room. Don't stress out if things don't work out exactly as expected as nothing usually does. Remember the end goal is to get into your new house so tried to do so with patience and grace, both for yourself and for those helping.
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