Moving can be stressful and a lot of work. The good news is that taking a proactive approach and creating a timeline of tasks before your move can make life much easier.
Whether you’re moving to a new apartment or a house, try these packing and moving tips to make the process as seamless as possible.
Eight Weeks Before: Your First Steps in Planning a Move
Once you’ve decided to move and secured a new place, your next step is locating a moving company to assist you. While you may have received offers of help from family and friends, coordinating everyone’s schedules can add to the many things you need to do already. You also need to consider that your friends and family aren’t professional movers and could hurt themselves or your belongings in the process.
However, your family and friends may be able to recommend a moving service they used. Regardless of whether you research moving companies online or hear about them word-of-mouth, it’s always a good idea to investigate the reputation of the business before requesting services and placing a deposit. It’s as simple as obtaining a report from the Better Business Bureau or reading reviews on websites like Yelp.
After narrowing down your list of potential moving companies, request a written estimate from at least three. Most professional movers don’t charge a fee to provide an estimate. You’ll receive the most accurate estimate when a representative from the moving company comes to your home to survey what it needs to transport. This should take place about eight weeks before your planned move.
Six Weeks Before: Decide What to Take and What to Store or Give Away
About six weeks before the moving truck arrives is an ideal time to walk through your home or apartment and decide what you do and don’t want to take with you. For example, you or your children may have several items of clothing that no longer fit or that no one wants to wear anymore. Set these aside and decide if you want to hold a garage sale or donate them to charity.
Start packing seasonal items and those you currently store in the garage, attic or outdoor shed before the those you use frequently. At this stage of the planning, you might feel a little disheartened at how much stuff you need to pack and move.
If you want to keep the items but not move them to your new location, off-site storage can make an excellent solution. Big Tex, for example, offers secure, climate-controlled storage units in multiple sizes to meet your needs.
One Month Before the Move: Packing Tips
This is the time to walk through each room and plan how you want to pack the items you haven’t sold, given away or stored. You can then create a schedule and start packing the items you won’t need to use up until the day of the move. If you haven’t already, consider purchasing the following items to prepare for packing:
Large, sturdy cardboard boxes of various sizes
Foam peanuts or other packing material to protect your valuables
Wardrobe boxes and other specialty moving containers
Color-coding each box according to the room the items came from and creating an inventory list for each room can help make the unpacking process more efficient when you arrive at your new location.
Make a List of Whom to Notify About Your Change of Address
You don’t want to settle into your new home only to realize you’re still receiving mail at your old home. Create a list of businesses to notify. You will also want to put a reminder on your calendar when you get closer to moving day to complete an official change of address request form with the postal service. Don’t forget to notify companies that you only conduct business with online of your address change.
Tasks to Complete Two to Three Weeks Before the Move
You’re close enough to moving day to complete your official change of address form with your local post office. Although you should have already requested time off work for moving day and a few days leading up on it, you might want to check just to make sure your boss doesn’t expect you those days.
If you have young children, consider bringing them to daycare or hiring an out-of-home babysitter while the movers do their job.
You’ll also want to confirm the moving date with the company you chose as well as the insurance coverage you have in place to protect your family and your valuables.
Don’t forget to cancel subscriptions for any home deliveries such as newspapers and groceries. If you plan to move any highly valuable items with the moving company, consider taking several pictures from different angles and notate any problems such as dents or scratches before you move. This is the best way to determine liability if you notice a damaged item after arriving at your new home.
Clean appliances you intend to move such as a refrigerator or wash machine ahead of time. This will ensure their freshness in your new location. Make one last trip to withdraw cash you might need along the way, including a tip for your movers.
To avoid having each family member dig through boxes to find their personal toiletries and other items after arriving at the new home, request that each person pack their own small bag of things they want to use on the way or shortly after arrival. Don’t forget to notify your local utility company about the move and request a shut-off once you’re officially out of the home.
Tips for Moving into a House or Apartment
When moving from one home to another, it’s a kind gesture to leave an information packet for the new owners containing home warranties, your contact information if they have additional questions, and your personal recommendations for service providers. You’ll also want to confirm the date and time of the closing for your new home, including how much money you need to bring with to cover the down payment and other fees.
When moving out of an apartment, you need to dedicate considerable time to cleaning to ensure that you receive your damage deposit back. If moving to another apartment, make sure you know the amount of the damage deposit you need to move in and where to go to sign your lease and receive your keys.
Moving Across Country Tips
Moving across the country presents additional considerations. For example, will you drive your own car or fly to your new city and hire a transport company to deliver your vehicle?
Long-distance moves also require you to spend more time researching the new area to locate schools if needed and new service providers.
Another thing to consider is that you can save considerable money by planning your long-distance move in the off-season, the middle of the month, or on a weekday.
CONSIDER SELF-STORAGE TO MAKE MOVING EASIER
Big Tex Self Storage, with four locations in the Houston area, offers storage stalls ranging in size from 5 x 5 to 10 x 20. We also provide separate storage for vehicles, wine collections, and business items. You can access your belongings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.