Cut Back -
Moving can be a difficult task. Don't make it more work than necessary by moving furniture, clothing, art or other belongings that you don't actually want or need anymore. Look for opportunities to de-clutter your life and get rid of excess possessions.
Hand it Down: Tell your friends and family you're paring down possessions. You'll feel better, and it'll be easier giving up that expensive couch or antique bureau if you know your best friend will make good use of it.
Yard Sale: The tried and true yard sale can help you get rid of things you don't use and avoid paying to move them. As a bonus, you'll make some extra cash that you can spend on new things in your next home.
Donate: Consider donating unwanted or unsold items to charity. Many charitable causes have free pickup services for donations that make giving your unwanted furniture and items as easy as picking up the phone and scheduling a pickup time.
The thought of organizing and packing up a house's worth of clothing, kitchenware, and other items can be daunting to say the least. Even if you are using professional movers, you likely will want to pack and organize certain items yourself. By having a packing strategy, you can make it through the first stage of the move with your sanity intact and avoid last minute panic as the moving trucks pull up.
Inventory: Taking a rough inventory of your stuff will give you a general idea of how many moving boxes you will need. If you will be using a moving company, it's not a bad idea to make a written or photographic inventory to make sure you don't lose anything during the move.
Box Right: Make use of suitcases and plastic storage tubs you already own before searching out moving boxes. You can re-use old cardboard moving boxes, but make sure the cardboard is still in good shape rather than risk damaging any of your items. Purchase frame boxes to protect your pictures and mirrors.
Other Supplies: Purchase high-quality packing tape and plenty of bubble wrap to help safeguard your belongings during the move. Specialty packingff paper or packing fill can be used for box fill instead of newspaper to remove the risk of scratching fragile items.
If you will be moving on your own, you should rent furniture pads, straps and furniture dollies from the rental truck company.
Have a Packing Plan: Begin by packing the items you use least often. Pack one room at a time, making sure to clearly label the contents and which room they are intended for. You can also use a numbering or color coded system to help indicate which boxes have the most frequently used items.
Pack Smart: Large boxes should be filled with lighter items such as clothing. Save heavy items like books and dishes for smaller boxes that will allow for easy lifting. Make sure each box is packed full, but also check the weight of packed boxes before sealing.
"Essentials" Box: Pack one box to keep close at hand (i.e., not buried in the back of the moving truck). The idea is to have easy access to items you may need during the move or immediately after your arrival at the new home.
- Your wallet, checkbook and/or ATM card
- Bottled water
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and soap
- Any prescription medications
- Snacks that don't require refrigeration or cooking (granola bars, nuts, bread, PB, etc)
- Paper cups, paper plates and plastic utensils
- Scissors and tape
- Closing documents if you're buying a new home
- Important files
- Medical records
- Pet food and pet littler, if applicable
Before Moving Day -
Keep People Updated: Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at http://www.usps.com. Give a change of address to the following: banks, schools, friends & family, insurance companies, doctors and specialists, cell phone providers, credit card companies and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
Clean in Waves: Trying to clean your whole house at once (either before or after moving day) can be an overwhelming prospect. Instead, begin cleaning any rooms in your house that have been emptied such as closets, basements or attics.
One of the most important moving tips: you don't have to do it alone.
Move with the Pros: A professional moving company can take the care of all the hard work, leaving you to kick back and supervise. If you feel like avoiding the packing stage as well, most companies will pack your items for an additional fee. Prices and reliability can vary widely between companies, so compare quotes from at least three local companies before choosing a moving company. Don't rely on over-the-phone price quotes from the moving company you select: make sure the moving company comes to your home to accurately assess the space and approximate weight of your shipment. Make sure to check their history with the Better Business Bureau or American Moving & Storage Association.
Moving Consultant: If the mere sight of a cardboard box leaves you feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring someone to handle the nitty-gritty of your move. These consultants are the relocation industry's answer to wedding planners and travel agents -- they can arrange for movers, pack your stuff, switch over your utilities, and transfer school and medical records. If you can swing the price tag, or if your company is covering relocation costs, a consultant can make your move relatively stress-free.
Portable storage: Companies like PODS, U Haul and 1-800-PACKRAT will deliver a portable storage unit right outside your door. Before making the call, make sure you have enough parking on your property to accommodate the size of the temporary storage unit. Fill the storage space at your own pace. When you're finally ready to move, give the service a call and they will deliver the storage pod to your new home. Portable storage units still force you to do all the work, but they are a low cost solution and can serve as an alternative if there is a gap between the time you need to leave your old home and can access the new property.
Rental trucks: Renting a box truck can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a moving company -- as long as you plan ahead. A 10-foot moving truck will generally hold an apartment's worth of stuff; while a 24-foot truck can accommodate a three-bedroom house. It's best to choose a larger truck; you won't have to cram items into a smaller space, and for cross-town moves you will avoid wasting time on multiple trips. Read the fine print about mileage allowances and fuel surcharges, and make sure you know the rules regarding when and where you can return the truck. Depending on the size of the truck and length of the move, you may consider adding supplemental insurance through the rental company in the event of dings or dents to the truck.
Friends and family: Free labor is great, but you'll likely still need to rent a moving truck (unless everyone in your family has a super duty pickup). Make sure you have every possible detail taken care of before your volunteer labor force shows up; the last thing you want is to leave your friends and family waiting while you pack the last boxes or run to go pick up the rental truck. Ask friends and family to help with packing and loading to a reasonable degree, and expect to return the favor when it's their turn to move. And common courtesy calls for you to provide lunch and refreshments for your friendly work crew.
After the Truck is Loaded -
Once you have everything packed away into the trucks, you'll want to pass through your house and check off a few final items before getting on to your new home.
Damage Control: Check for any damages to walls, doors or frames caused by furniture being moved. The last hassle you need is to lose part of your security deposit or have any issues with the homebuyers because your furniture dinged a door frame or left a scratch in the wall.
Leave Behinds: Re-check the house for anything you might have accidently forgotten. Look through the attic, all closets, the garage, any crawl spaces, the medicine cabinet, and the drawer under your oven.