Moving is a big task and requires organization and a little patience at times. There are many things that you will need to take care of in order to have a stress-free move and not get caught up with all the things you may not be prepared for.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare to make your moving experience smooth and hassle free!
1. Start Planning Early
Planning early will eliminate lots of unnecessary headaches during your moving process. If you wait til the last minute things are bound to be forgotten or looked over. By mentally preparing early, you will feel less rushed and more organized throughout the whole process.
2. Make a Schedule for Yourself
It's smart to start planning details about 60 days out and prepare a checklist of yourself. Set daily or weekly tasks and benchmarks for yourself to make sure you keep yourself on track. This may seem to be a bit much but trust us, you will be happier once you see things progressing as you expected.
Some suggestions for your checklist:
- Giving notice to your current landlord / Putting your house on the market
- Sorting through your belongings
- Donating things or having a yard sale
- Hiring a professional mover
- Packing your boxes (less essential items first)
- Making a plan for your pets and kids on moving day
- Submitting your change of address and disconnecting your utilities
- Moving Day
- Unpacking strategy once you arrive at your destination
- Include minor details to remind yourself as well and make sure you keep to the list!
3. Downsizing / Purging
Full-service moving companies charge by the amount of space it will require to move your belongings. By downsizing and getting rid of unncessary things it will reduce the overall cost of your move. Why pay to move something you're going to throw away anyway?!
Spend time pairing down items and don't get rid of things just for the sake of saving money, especially if it's something of value to you. Moving is the best time to purge unwanted items because you already have to go through and pack everything up anyway.
The best way to start this process is by going room to room and separating items into donate, sell and throw away piles. As far as getting rid of items there are many places online these days for you to sell certain pieces - you can put that money towards the move!
4. Figure out What You Need Help With
There are some tasks that you just can't complete yourself (or maybe you just don't want to!). By hiring a full-service moving company they will help you will all the heavy lifiting - disassembling and wrapping furniture pieces in moving blankets and pads, packing of boxes or fragile/antique items, loading/unloading, reassembly of furniture pieces and they will even help you with the staging of your new home!
If you decide to do the packing of your boxes yourself, you may want to enlist friends or family members to help. You can even turn this into a fun event and throw a packing party! By having people help you it makes the process seem less tedious and can even be fun! Either way you end up going with your packing, make sure to plan accordingly.
5. Don't Save the Packing Until the Last Minute
By working on your packing room by room you will stay more organized and be able to see the progress you have made. Waiting until the last minute can be chaotic and lead to a more difficult time when it comes to unpacking and organizing your new home.
You can set small goals for yourself by maybe packing a portion of a room each day. This way you will know what is in each box and it won't be a guessing game when you get to your destination. Packing decor and miscellaneous items around your house is a good place to start.
Make sure that you label the boxes as well. You will be happy that you did when it comes time to unpack. This will also make it easier for your movers to know where to place the boxes when they arrive to deliver your items.
6. Finding Free/Cheap Moving Supplies
There are many places that will give you boxes for free; grocery/liquor stores, electronic stores, bookstores etc. You should look into places that will give you free boxes before you go spending money on brand new packing supplies. Some places will even provide you will free TV boxes which can be used for artwork, mirrors, TVs, etc.
For the more fragile items (dishware, electronics, pictures, etc.) you can use linens, towels, t-shirts or newspaper to wrap them before you put them into a box for added protection.
7. Be Mindful When Choosing Your Move Date
In the moving industry there is something that we call "Moving Season" which occurs during the late spring through late summer months. This is a time of year that kids are out of school and people have vacation time so naturally more people move during these months. Although it usually doesn't effect the pricing drastically (maybe by 10-15%) moving during the "off season" can save you some money.
If you have to move during the busy time of year, make sure that you schedule your move ahead of time. This will ensure availability of space and labor needed for your move - it will give your moving company an opportunity to plan their routes around your move.
8. Hiring Movers
Booking your moving company 30-60 days in advance is ideal. Make sure to do your research and choose a company that you feel you can work well with and will have good communication with you. Go through the items you plan to move thoroughly with your company - sending pictures or having them look through your listing photos is always a good way to double check accuracy. Ask as many questions as necessary and find out if there are any additional fees or costs that may occur.
Extra flights of stairs, narrow streets/driveways, complicated entryways and specialty packing are all things that you should address with your moving consultant to ensure a smooth move.
9. Have An Essentials Box
After the pickup process I'm sure you will be exhausted. Make sure that you have packed a box with some essential items to hold you over until your belongings arrive - clothing, medication, toothbrush, sheets, pet supplies, minor kitchen items, etc. By putting this together ahead of time you will be able to relax until your delivery occurs.
10. Don't Forget to Change Your Mail and Utilities
This is somsething that you need to include in your moving plan. You'll need to notify the utility company the last day that you will be at your residence. If you have metered utilities you can take photos before you leave for your own records. For your mail, the United States Postal Service recommends that you file to forward your mail about two weeks in advance.
Keeping all these things in mind and planning ahead you will have a much more pleasant moving experience. We are happy to help you through this whole process and make your upcoming long-distance move a success!