It’s no secret that moving from one house to another is one of the top stressors in life, along with getting married, having a baby, and starting a new job, but it’s not exactly rocket science, either. It takes some work, but, with a little organization, you can move from your house AND keep your sanity. You’ll still be exhausted when it’s all over, but you’ll survive! Here are some small moving tips that pay off big, come moving day.
- Pack an overnight bag: Pack the same bag you would use if you were going away for a long weekend. This should include a couple of changes of clothing, sleepwear, toiletries, and any medications or dietary supplements that you are taking. In addition to the things that you would take for a long weekend, include important papers such as passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates. Also, pack your jewelry and silver, your laptop, or anything else of high value that you do not want to go on the moving truck. This bag (or bags, if necessary) should be the first thing you remove from your old house and the last thing to be brought into the new house.
- Pack two “last on, first off” boxes: This includes your coffee maker, coffee, filters, some snacks, paper towels, and some rudimentary cleaning products. Ask your moving foreman to make sure this is the last box on the truck and the first box off. Ask them to put it on the kitchen counter, front and center. The second box includes your family’s bedding. Clean sheets, pillows, and blankets, and a couple of bath towels, because you will surely want to shower when your move is done! Have this box delivered to the appropriate bedroom.
- Label what’s in boxes AND what room they will go to in the new house: We can’t stress this moving tip enough. Not only should you label what you have put in each box, but where it will go in the new house. You really don’t want to find boxes filled with books or LPs in the basement when they belong on the second floor. In addition, label boxes on the top AND on the sides, so you can see what they are if the movers stack them.
- Take reference photos of the backs of electronic devices: This is the easiest way to reassemble your entertainment system once you’ve moved, especially since you will most likely be putting it back together when you are very tired. If you have more than one complicated entertainment center, put a small sticky note on the back of each component with the room that the component goes into. Place each cord into a plastic bag and clearly label it.
- Stop shopping: As soon as you have decided to move, stop buying stuff. This includes food, anything from a warehouse club, and cleaning and laundry supplies. Why should you pay a mover to move stuff that you will use up and replace? Get creative and use up the food in your pantry and freezer. The only food items that you should buy during this period are fresh vegetables, dairy, and meat (and not the bulk packages)!
- Ruthlessly sort everything and take only what you need: As in number 5, why should you pay a mover to move things that will ultimately be given away, donated, or thrown out? Go through your belongings and set aside anything that you don’t need. Offer the stuff to friends and family, then start making trips to a donation center. Great moving tip: If you have any large furniture items, find a charity that will pick them up. Do this as early as possible, as charities often require significant notice to schedule a pick-up time.
- Do a floor plan of your new home: This is an especially important moving tip if you are moving to a smaller home. You need to know that everything you have will fit in your new digs before the movers ring your doorbell. Make sure your new bedroom will accommodate your king-size bed. And don’t forget about ceiling height. If you have any tall bookcases or a secretary, make sure that the room is tall enough. There are inexpensive to-scale floor plan kits available online, as well as some great software to help with this task.
- Set your moving date as far in advance as possible: Moving companies are always busiest on the first and last weeks of the month. If you are planning on moving around the first of the month, make sure your moving company is available on the day you need to move. Try to schedule this at least three weeks in advance.
- Have all the moving supplies you need on hand: This includes boxes, packing tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, moving blankets, sticky notes, and magic markers.
- Pack electronics in their original boxes, if you still have them: The safest way to transport your electronics is in their original packaging if you still have it. If not, let your movers pack these items to make sure they arrive intact.
- Make your luggage, laundry baskets, and empty plastic totes work for you: Cut down on the number of moving boxes you need by packing every available suitcase, tote, and laundry basket with soft items. Clothing, throw pillows, towels, sheets, blankets, and other fabric items are all great candidates.
- Make important calls two to three weeks before your move: This includes the power company, the cable company, the telephone company, your change of address, and your insurance agent. One note here on this moving tip: You should ask your insurance agent if you need to take extra insurance from your moving company. Your homeowner’s/renter’s policy may cover your belongings in transit. Since your coverage between residences should overlap for a day or so, make sure your agent checks both policies.
In your new home, make the beds as soon as possible. Remember, back in moving tip number 2, we suggested you pack your bedding in a “last on, first off box?” This is why! As soon as the movers have brought the bedroom furniture into the room, unpack the box with your bedding and make the bed. You’ll be very glad when the movers finally leave and you’re ready to collapse from exhaustion!
And here are some more moving tips, if these aren’t enough!