Moving from one home to another may be stressful, but you can eliminate some of that stress with careful planning and a few simple suggestions to make packing and unpacking a whole lot smoother.
Contact several professional moving companies ASAP. Don’t just compare prices. Ask each moving company representative what services are included in the price. Will the mover provide boxes? Packing materials? Will they pack delicate items for you? What kind of insurance does each mover carry? Ask for a proof of insurance card. Also, check online reviewing sites to determine whether previous customers were satisfied. If possible, schedule your moving date well before moving day to make sure your mover of choice is available.
Get moving on your moving supplies. You’ll need moving supplies, including boxes (lots of boxes), rugged packing tape, markers to label each box, wardrobe boxes for suits and dresses, and removable labels to indicate which furniture goes in which room.
Send change of address cards to friends, utility companies and other interested parties at least two weeks before you move to make sure you receive final bills, bank statements, and other important documentation without interruption.
Start packing ASAP. Once you know you’re going to move, start packing. Do a little each day to prevent total burn-out from packing up the entire household in a day.
Color-code packing labels. Use green for living room items, red for kitchen items, blue for the dining room and so on. This will help the movers place boxes in the right rooms, and save you time unpacking in your new home.
Make lists. Create a simple system to track where your possessions are and what’s in each box. Use a simple spreadsheet on your computer, or use a spiral bound notebook to track which items are in which boxes.
Pack an overnight bag with all your necessities so you don’t have to rummage through a dozen boxes to find medications, toiletries and other must-have items.
Pack essential items in clear plastic bins and have these items loaded last on the moving van to make sure they come into your new home first.
Pack breakable items like dishes and glassware in clean clothing to save on space and packing materials. For example, pack your heirloom glassware in clean socks. Wrap sweaters around dishware. You’ll save space, and you won’t have to buy as much packing material.
Use dresser drawers as moving boxes. Remove drawers of clothes and cover the top with clear plastic food storage sealers. This way, you don’t have to pack or unpack the items you keep in dressers.
Pack your luggage. Pack items in suitcases, backpacks, duffle bags, and other storage containers to save space.
Use plastic bags to pack small parts like screws, bolts, the TV remote, and other items that can easily go missing. Label each plastic bag with its contents.
Take pictures of electronic hook-ups. Your personal computer, the TV sound system, your stereo system – all of these items have plugs, wires, connectors, input and output jacks, and more. Take a picture of how each item is connected so when you arrive at your new home you don’t have to figure out which cable is connected to which device. Just look at the pictures you took before you packed up these items.
If friends are helping you move, offer them items you don’t want to take with you. Maybe your couch is too big for your new place. Maybe you don’t want to take the freezer in the garage. Offer these items to your friends to entice them to help you load up the van.
Donate unwanted items. Contact the Goodwill or other charity to donate items of value that you don’t want to move. Do this well ahead of moving day to give the charity time to schedule a pick-up.
Keep track of valuable items. Jewelry, family photo albums, and other treasured possessions should all be packed in one box that you take with you. Don’t put that box of irreplaceable items in the moving van.
Track your important paperwork. Birth certificates, leases, wills, legal documents, and other important paperwork should stay with you during the move to protect them, and have easy access to them for school registration and other “moving-in” chores.
Defrost the refrigerator at least 24 hours before the movers show up and wipe up any liquids to prevent spillage.
If possible, arrive at your new home before the movers to really scrub the kitchen and bathrooms before the moving van arrives.
Take a picture of your empty home. This shows what the home looked like when you left it. If you rent, and the landlord or property management company claims you left your old place a mess, you’ll have pictures to prove you left it spotless to get your security deposit back without any problems.
Moving can be stressful, but if you follow these simple suggestions, you’ll eliminate some of that stress and smooth your move into your new home.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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