Moving isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. There are a lot of moving pieces (pun intended), but there are some things you can do to make the process a lot less stressful. Being prepared and knowing how to organize the move while keeping in mind that plans can change up to the minute (and being OK with that) will help soften the blow of moving.
- Do it now
When you’re moving, procrastinating can be your worst enemy. This probably sounds obvious, but until you’ve moved, you won’t realize just how much there is to do (or how much stuff you REALLY have). Even if your move is a few months away, start now! Packing can be overwhelming, so doing it gradually will help. Box up the clothes you don’t wear now and pack most of your utensils, glasses, plates, etc. Leave the dishes you will need to get you through the day, and wash them each night until you’re ready to move. When you do pack these items, mark that box as the first thing to unpack. That way, you can enjoy the first night’s takeout with real forks and knives and that celebratory bottle of wine from real glasses.
- No such thing as too many boxes
Beg, borrow, and steal (maybe not steal) as many boxes as you can – starting yesterday. Liquor stores and grocery stores often have a lot of boxes and would rather give them away than have an employee waste their time breaking them down. If you do get boxes from a grocery store, be sure to check them for pests before bringing them into your home. Ask friends and family who frequently shop online to hold boxes aside for you if they can. You can always buy boxes, but why buy them if you can get them for free? Carefully flatten the boxes without breaking them so that you can store them until you need them. Tape them together as you begin packing, and be sure to reinforce the bottoms of the boxes so they don’t break on moving day.
- Update your address
The post office is not the only place that needs your new address. Your cell phone company, credit card, and bank are just a few examples of businesses that will need your new address as well. Create an address change checklist, mark it off as go so you know you have everything covered but be sure not to delete. That way, you will still have a list of those you have taken care of. Late fees on a missed bill, because you didn’t change your address, are both costly and preventable! Consider your new home, too. Don’t wait until you’re settled in to realize you don’t have the creature comforts you’re used to. Check to see your cable and internet provider services your new home’s area but also your pest control company. Contact the pest control company you already trust to see if they provide their services in your new hometown, too.
- Research moving companies now
Moving companies can cost a lot, but at the end of moving day, they are worth it if you find the right one. A responsible moving company should have insurance so that breakage is covered, not to mention save you money on whatever doctor bills would have come with throwing out your back. Do as much research as possible, including reading online reviews. Post a request for recommendations on Facebook – friends and family are always happy to give you their opinions – good and bad! Be sure to post on the local town page, too – both the town you’re leaving and the one you are moving to.
- Clean up
Leaving an apartment? Be sure to get your security deposit back by patching holes and giving the walls a fresh coat of the original paint (whether you liked it or not). Additional packing hack: pack anything that is hanging on the walls first – it will make patching and painting much easier. Whether you’re leaving an apartment or a house, clean it like your in-laws are coming. If the landlord has to bring in a cleaning company to clean the apartment, they could take that cost out of your security deposit. And remember, someone bought your house, you want them to walk in happy. Think about how you want to feel when you walk into your new home. Reciprocate that feeling to your old home’s new owners.
The key takeaway of this moving guide is to start now. If you leave any of this to the last moment, you will quickly become overwhelmed and stressed. Sleepless nights and headaches are not conducive to a nice moving experience. Make a list – and that means to make a list for everything! What to pack, when to pack, and how to pack. Packing is also the perfect time to downsize. Get rid of clutter and toss/donate anything you don’t love. There’s no point paying someone to move that sweater you haven’t worn in two years or the leftover containers that are missing their lids. If you don’t need it or don’t want it, move on without it.
Make sure your boxes are labeled in large, legible writing. And don’t just mark the top. Write details on at least three sides of the boxes, so you always know exactly what’s inside. Finally, enjoy yourself! Change can be a good thing, and a new home is exciting. Keep your eye on the prize, and you’ll make it through moving without a hitch.