By now, we all know that moving into a new home is… <insert poop emoji>. It’s up there among the top 10 worst experiences of adulthood. And try doing it in Florida. In the summer. Without professional help. Or beer. <insert 5 poop emojis>. It takes way too long, it leaves you with aching muscles, boxes are crazy expensive, that one chest of drawers is always heavier than it looks, and 3 out every of 5 divorces are at least brought up during a move. (Don’t quote us on that). But, hey, like anything else it’s nothing that a little pre-planning and discipline can’t help.
Here are eight ways you can ensure a smooth move when the time comes.
1) Start Planning Early
The entire moving process can seem to drag on for months. But once the relocation day starts drawing near, it can all happen quicker than you expect, leaving you scrambling to keep up.
If you have a flexible schedule, play around with potential moving dates. Moving companies are busiest on the weekends, so if you can skip the Saturday chaos and schedule your move during the week, you might get a significant discount.
As soon as you’ve got an estimated moving date, start work on your planning for the big day. Don’t put it on the backburner. The longer you leave it, the more stressful it’ll turn out to be.
2) Hire Movers
For a relatively small move, you might consider doing everything yourself, or maybe renting a truck or borrowing a friend’s. But, trust us, this really only works out well for small moves – say, a single bedroom, or studio apartment.
Movers know what they’re doing, and they do it with incredible efficiency (the reputable ones, at least.) Hiring a moving company will make the whole process much more comfortable on your nerves and body alike. Professionals will be quicker and more efficient at loading and unloading. They’ll carry insurance for any rare breakages, and they’ll know exactly how long a job will take, so there’s no last-minute panic or stress.
While researching moving companies, read reviews! Find out specifics so there are no unwelcome surprises come moving day. Make sure to read the moving company’s list of services, fine print, and refund or damage policies. Some companies, for example, won’t lift items that aren’t in boxes or packed properly, while others ask for full payment up front or prior to the move date.
Make arranging a reputable moving company an early priority. The best companies are booked up far in advance, and you don’t want to get rushed into hiring a second-rate crew because you’re running out of time. That’s a horror story just waiting to happen.
3) Inventory Your Stuff
When you book your movers, you’ll need to give them an idea of how much stuff you have to move. Just as importantly, you’ll need to tell them about any special arrangements they’ll need to make.
Do you have any particularly heavy or bulky items or ones of exceptional value which might need extra precautions or insurance? Got a piano? Got a samurai sword collection? Got an exercise bike that weighs like 400 lbs.? Make sure your movers are fully informed so that you don’t have any nasty surprises sprung on you on moving day.
4) Order Your Packing Supplies
Although your movers can handle packing your furniture and other large items, most people like to pack their personal possessions themselves. Make it easier on yourself by ordering high-quality boxes, tape, labels, and bubble wrap with plenty of time to spare. Boxes aren’t as cheap as you’d expect them to be, but it’s a small price to pay compared to the total cost of a move, and having the right packing equipment will make things go more smoothly.
Also, ordering your boxes well in advance means you can start packing early. Start packing items that are least essential to your daily life (decor, books, seasonal clothing, wall hangings, keepsakes, old school yearbooks, Star Wars Action Figures).
Doing it a little at a time is much less stressful than leaving everything to the last minute.
Moving & Packing Supplies You’ll Need:
- Boxes of Various sizes
- Small Boxes for Heavy Items (such as books)
- Medium Boxes
- Large Boxes
- Extra Large Boxes
- Divided Boxes
- Packing Paper (and LOTS of it)
- Bubble Wrap
- Packing Labels or Colored Box Tape
- Heavy Duty Packaging Tape & Multiple Tape Dispensers
- Packing Blankets
- Box Cutters
- Sharpie Permanent Marker for Labeling
- Hand Truck or Dolly
- Gloves to protect your Hands
- Basic Cleaning Supplies to clean both your old & new places
5) Clear Out Your Unwanted Possessions
Hate to get this song stuck in your head, but, as Elsa says in Frozen, “Let it go. Let it goooooooooooo.”
As part of the packing process, go through your stuff and get rid of the things that you’ll probably never use again. Those rusty weights in the garage. That fake mink coat you bought for that Gatsby-themed high school reunion. Or that box of cables you were sure you’d need some day, except it’s 2019 now and no one needs that dot-matrix printer extension. (Cue Frozen in 3… 2… 1…). Either donate that stuff to a thrift store, sell it online, or send it out with the trash/recycling.
There’s no point packing up dozens of boxes that you’ll transfer straight to your new attic or basement and ignore forever after.
6) Fill Out an Official Change of Address
Make a list of everyone you’ll need to tell about your change of address, from credit card companies to cable TV providers, your Amazon Prime account, to your magazine subscriptions. Start work on this right away.
You’ll probably need to inform more people than you first realize, and the list will keep growing as you think of new ones, so give yourself plenty of time to complete this task. The good news is, the United States Postal service has a pretty good system for catching and diverting your mail and getting it to the right address. Their system also informs several magazine and catalogs so that you don’t have to bother letting them know. Change your address, officially, here.
7) Don’t Forget Your Kids and Pets
No, we don’t mean it like that. As if you’d just leave them behind to be someone else’s responsibility… We just mean have a plan to have them safely away from all the moving chaos… er… activity. As the day approaches, make sure you’ve made careful arrangements to keep young children and pets out of the way. Moving is stressful enough; you don’t want to be looking out for children or animals right through the whole process.
If possible, arrange for kids to stay with family for a few days, and pets with any helpful fellow animal lovers you know. That will give you time to let the dust settle a little before introducing them to their new home.
8) Pack Daily Essentials Separately
“Honey, where’d we pack toilet paper?”
At the end of the moving day, you won’t relish searching through boxes to find the essentials you need straight away. Pack a separate box or two containing fresh clothing, toiletries, some basic foodstuffs, (wine), and so on. You’ll be glad your essentials are close to hand after a long and hard day moving.
There’s no avoiding the fact that relocating is going to suck. It’s just a fact of life. But, if you plan things out far enough in advance, you can minimize the hassle and make moving to your new home as pain-free as possible.