Beth is finally enjoying the transition to her dream home. She's thrilled to share her favorite moving tips and awesome home upgrade ideas.
Are you looking forward to moving into your dream home or relocating for a new job? It’s an exciting time, but there are a ton of things you need to get done before you can kick back and enjoy your new space.
Preparation and organization are the keys to getting through the move without losing your sanity. Here are some of the best packing and moving tips to help you get started.
Start Collecting Packing Materials Right Away
As soon as you find out you’re moving, start gathering up your packing supplies. Ask family and friends to save boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and old newspapers for you. Grocery stores and liquor stores are also a great resource for sturdy boxes. Most will give them to you for free, all you have to do is ask.
Buying boxes from a store will cost you a dollar or more each, which can really add up. Gathering your supplies early saves you from unnecessary spending.
Research Moving Companies
If you plan to use a moving company, don’t just go with first one you find. Get a few estimates, ask for recommendations, and read reviews. You’ll want to choose an affordable option, but reliability and professionalism are equally important. The company you choose can literally make or break your entire moving experience, so don’t skimp on this step.
Once you choose a company, read the contract carefully before signing. Check to see if they offer packing and moving, or just moving. Pay attention to the fine print and confirm how they handle breakage or damage to your property. Ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand.
Ask for Help (the Right Way)
If you’re going to ask friends or family members to help you with your move, be courteous about it. Give them at least three to four weeks’ notice so they can plan their schedules accordingly.
A few days before the move, reach out to everyone and remind them when and where to meet and what you need them to bring. Give them an idea of how long you think the job will take. Most importantly, be a good host and provide plenty of snacks and beverages on the day of the move.
Start Packing Early
Waiting until the last minute to pack only creates unnecessary stress. If you’re lucky enough to have a window of time before your move, get started right away. Most people don’t realize how much stuff they actually own until they start the packing process.
Begin with the things you’re not currently using, like sentimental items, off-season clothing, and extra glasses or barware. A few weeks before your scheduled move, start taking pictures off the walls and packing up your decorative items. Keep up this pace and by the time you get within a week of the move, you should be down to just the bare necessities.
Keep You Supplies in a Central Location
Designate one box or container to hold all of the packing supplies you’ll need. This includes scissors, markers, tape, and packing paper. If you can afford it, buy at least two sets of everything. These simple tips will save you from hours of running around the house looking for the things you need.
Designate a Box for Essentials
When you get close to moving day, set one box aside to hold all of your essentials. This includes toiletries, medications, toilet paper, towels, sheets, hand soap, and important documents. That way, you won’t have to worry about accidentally packing up the things you need. This will save yourself from digging through boxes and help you enjoy the first few days in your new home.
Create an “Open First” Box
While your essentials will stay with you, you’ll also want to pack an “open first” box. This will include items that you won’t need immediately but will want in short order after you move in. Things that go into this box might include your coffee maker, extra pet food, and your children’s favorite toys.
Label All Your Boxes
When you finish packing each box, add a label that indicates with what room the box belongs in and at least a few words about what’s in it. This will save you from digging through endless boxes when looking for a specific item. You may be tempted to skip this step while you’re neck-deep in packing, but you’ll thank yourself later.
Although you’re sure to have a few that are just labeled as “miscellaneous,” try to avoid this as much as you can. The more specific you are now, the easier your life will be later.
Get Rid of the Things You Don’t Need
As you’re packing your stuff, keep plenty of trash bags and some extra boxes handy. Throw away anything that’s junk. Label some of the boxes with the name of your favorite charity, and drop in anything you own that no longer serves a purpose. If you plan to have a yard sale, set up a few boxes for this as well.
Minimizing your stuff now and only packing the things you really want to keep will make moving and unpacking that much easier. Be ruthless when you’re going through your belongings and avoid keeping things that purely for sentimental reasons.
Make a List and Check it Twice
When you’re planning out a move, there are a million things to do. Don’t stress your brain by trying to remember it all. Instead, get into the habit of writing down everything, no matter how small.
Take note of things like where you put the extra screws when you took apart the entertainment center, when you need to put down the deposit on your moving van, and a reminder to contact your phone and cable company. It might not seem necessary now, but you’ll be surprised how much it helps as your big day gets closer.
Create a Realistic Schedule
Once you’ve created a master “to do” list, it’s time to figure out how to get it all done. Break your list into manageable tasks and schedule them out on a calendar.
Start with the tasks that have to be done on a specific date, then fill in the other days with more flexible tasks. This helps you make sure you don’t run out of time and makes it easy to see if you need to call in reinforcements for help.
Update Your Address
With all the hustle and bustle of packing and moving, most people don’t think about changing their address until a couple of weeks after they've settled in. By then, important mail and packages may have already arrived at your old address.
A week or two before you move, contact your credit card providers and other companies that regularly mail things to you. This will give ample time for the updates to go through and help ensure you don’t miss any of your deliveries.
Clean Your New Home Before the Move
If possible, try to go over to your new home ahead of time and take care of any cleaning that needs to be done. The house may have seemed clean when you put in the offer, but upon further inspection, it’s likely to need a once-over.
Bring all the cleaning supplies you think you might need and spend a few hours making sure everything is up to snuff before you start filling the space with moving boxes.
Make Arrangements for Your Pet
Watching movers come in and out of your house can be very stressful for your pets. With people coming in and out of the house all day, it’s also possible your furry friends could run away or get injured.
Do everyone a favor and arrange for your pet to stay with a friend, family member, or at a kennel until the move is done.
Move Valuables Yourself
Packing and moving your personal jewelry, family photos, heirlooms should never be left to chance. Whether you’re moving across the country or across town, pack these items in separate boxes and take them in the car with you. In this case, it’s definitely better for you to be safe than sorry.
When You Finish Packing and Moving, Relax and Celebrate
After all the hard work of packing and moving, you’ll probably feel exhausted. Before you drag yourself into bed, take a minute to relax and celebrate. You’ll only have one first night in your new home, so make the most of it.
Order some takeout, bust out a bottle of champagne and toast to the beginning of your new life.