A Smooth Move: Across Town & Across the Country
You’ve probably heard of the 5 stages of grieving. Well, what about the 3 stages of moving? They go like this:
- 3.Scrambling around trying to get everything together at the absolute last possible moment
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re past stage 1, excitement about your upcoming life change. So why not skip stages 2 and 3 altogether? Simply follow the tips I’ve offered below and you won’t need to panic or scramble.
Determine Your Moving Budget
This is a great place to start the moving process because it can help you make a lot of decisions. Consider costs like packing supplies, movers, and meals. If possible, add some extra discretionary funds. Small, unexpected expenses can add up quickly. Once you know how much you can spend, stick to it.
Decide How You’ll Move
Are you going to be brave and do everything yourself, using your own vehicle? Do you have family and friends who can help? Or are you going to hire movers?
If you’re just moving across town, handling things yourself or with the help of family and friends is a great option. You can save a lot of money this way. If you pick this option and can afford it, you should buy your helpers a meal during or after the move. They deserve it! Also, make sure you make everything as easy as possible for them. If your friends and family are happy, you will be too.
If you’re heading across the country, or any other long distance, movers may be the easiest way to get your belongings to your new home. Movers are also beneficial if you have large, fragile items. When you make the decision to hire movers, you still have some options. You can hire full-service movers who put your already packed items on their truck and then unload them at the destination. There are moving companies that allow you to load and/or unload the truck, leaving only the driving to the company. You can also hire freight companies that will ship your belongings according to the overall weight.
If you plan on hiring movers, rely on services like Yelp and Angie’s List for reviews. Make sure the movers you hire are bonded and/or insured.
Prepping for the Move
To most people, prepping for a move means packing, but there are a lot of other things that you can do to make your move smooth. Consider the following questions:
Will you need storage at your new location?
Do you need to open an account at a new bank?
Do you have prescriptions that need to be transferred?
Do you have all of the necessary packing supplies? (Don’t wait to do this during packing time.)
Will you need a hotel room at your new location, or is your new home ready to be lived in?
What can you sell or donate before you move? (Follow the 1-year rule: if you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably don’t need it.)
Remember, packing almost always takes longer than expected. So start the process as soon as possible. Pack things you don’t need and get them out of the way. For example, if you’re moving in the summer, go ahead and box those sweaters and boots well in advance. In addition, you should get all the supplies you’ll need ahead of time. Those supplies include:
- A basic tool kit
- Boxes (purchased or given away by a grocery, liquor, or office-supply store)
- Packing tape
- Paper for wrapping fragile items
- Markers for labeling boxes
- Trash bags
- Stretch wrap for keeping furniture doors and drawers closed
While packing, be sure to label every box. This will make packing, moving, and unpacking so much easier. Keep things together that belong together. Don’t pack kitchen items with garage items or bedroom stuff with bathroom stuff. Unpacking can be stressful enough without the pain of thinking things are lost.
You should also pack an overnight bag to use during your move. Keep important documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc., with you during the move. It will help keep them safe and nearby if you need them.
On Moving Day
The key to a stress-free moving day is making things as easy as possible. Whether you’re moving up the block or upstate, that starts with making sure everything is ready to go before moving day comes.
When it does arrive there are some easy things you can do to make the process go smoothly. Start by moving the big and heavy items first. Or, if you hired movers, put these big, bulky items closest to the door so they can move them first. Moving large things first makes the process go faster (which costs less with movers). At the end of the day when you’re exhausted, you’ll already be done with the heavy lifting.
A few other ways to make sure things go as planned include keeping kids and pets out of the way, ensuring that the moving truck has a place to park, and simply doing your best to stay relaxed. If at all possible, you should consider moving on a weekday, when places like banks, government offices, and other important resources are open.
So there you have it, my tips for a smooth move. Best of luck and enjoy your new home!