Moving is stressful, but not when you plan ahead. Consider these top tips to help get everyone involved and save time and money on moving.
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A Few Weeks in Advance
Start your Checklist
Ensure you write down who you need to call and a thorough list of what needs to be done to save time.
Make Your Rental Reservations
If you’re renting a truck, call and get an estimate and confirm how much you are moving. It’s better to have a bigger truck than to make two trips if you can afford it. If you hire movers, give them an ideal estimate of how much you have and how many boxes.
Change of Address
You can go online to change your address or forward your mail. Ensure you get the confirmation and confirm the move in date. Also be sure to check your old mailbox after you move out for any old mail that may have been missed.
Contact the utility companies to change your address and service and give your moving dates. Try to set up your cable service set up the same day to ensure you’re there and have cable and internet when everyone arrives and is ready to settle in.
Get Your Packing Materials
You can get boxes at UPS or your local grocery store may have boxes you can pick up. Also get moving tape and ensure you have large shipping boxes and you can pack them and label them when you have time.
Plan to Move on a Weekday
Weekdays are easier and they may be cheaper because everyone moves on Saturdays. Ensure everyone can take the time off. Also don’t make it at the very beginning or very end of the month when everyone moves.
Label every item you have to help movers know where each piece needs to go. In your new home, also label the doors: Bedroom #1, Bedroom #2. That way when they see boxes labeled: Bedroom #1, they will already know.
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Get Help Moving
As soon as you have a moving date, contact friends and family to see if they can help you. Ensure they RSVP or contact a moving service for additional help or your local church.
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Charitable Donation or Discard
Decide what stays and what goes. If you have a local Salvation Army that picks up donations, make a stack for them and call them to ensure they can pick up everything before your moving day or post an ad for free items people can pick up curbside. Also ensure if you live in an apartment building that you’re allowed to put out large bulk items.
Purple Heart Pickup is also a great organization to donate to.
Ask For Moving Help if Family and Friends Can’t Make it
If friends and family are busy, check with your local church, or just hire two extra movers to ensure you have enough hands to help. Also ensure whoever you hire is from a reputable company that’s licensed and bonded.
Kids and Pets
Contact a sitter to take care of the kids on moving day and to take the pets. They can either stay with the sitter or go to the vets or groomer. Keep a pet carrier out, a change of clothing for the kids and any toys they may want to take. That way you can focus on the move and the sitter can drop them off at your new place.
The Week before You Move
Pack Everything except Your Daily Essentials
Start packing and ensure you put your valuables in a safe location like a safe deposit box until after you move or a safe that you can lock and take with you in your vehicle.
Hire a cleaning service if you have time and ask them to visit your new home, wipe down all counters, windows, clean the floors, vacuum any rugs and rid the house of all dust and any dirt or debris. You may also want them to arrive the day of your move at your old place to wipe it all down, give it a final vacuum and wash the floors.
Also be sure to find out where the nearest pizza place is or carry out so you can order the day of your move. You’ll be way too tired to cook. You can also pack up everything except for the fridge and paper plates and plastic utensils. Don’t grocery shop until after you move. Take out extra clothes for a few days and ensure you have comfy moving clothes.
Pack an ‘Open First’ box
Because you may be tired when you first move in, ensure you pack a box with basic toiletries like soap, toilet paper, paper towels, wash cloths, sheets, toys for the kids, pet food, games for the kids and anything you may want like granola bars and bottled water. This will be the box you open first when you arrive and if you’re exhausted, at least you will have the basics so you can take your time with the rest of the boxes. If it’s going to be a long ride to your new place, pack night clothes everyone can change into, as well so you can relax and crash as soon as you get settled into your new place.
The Night Before
Get to Bed Early and Get Ready
You should have your phone and charger in your bag that is going to stay with you at all times. Also ensure you have the sitter’s number, moving company phone number and any cash that you may want to give the movers as a tip. Pack a sandwich or two for the morning and empty the fridge. You may want to put the coffee on tonight and just reheat it in the morning before you seal up the microwave. Get your comfy clothes out, set your alarms and have your checklist nearby.
Start Early on Moving Day
Ensure you’re up early with the coffee ready to go! Have a protein bar and get your checklist out. Call the moving company to confirm their ETA. If you have to pick up a truck, get it as early as possible and ensure it’s gassed up. Also be sure that if movers are coming to you that you mark a clear space for them to park in front of your home or apartment building and let your building manager know if it’s an apartment so they can pad the elevator or direct them to a freight elevator. Ensure all boxes are sealed, taped and labeled before they arrive because once the movers get there, the process is relatively fast.
If you are the one moving, ensure you load big objects first like sofas and beds. Padding goes around TVs and stereos. Also ensure if you are loading the truck that nothing heavy is stacked high and everything is tightly packed together so you can tie it off to keep it in place and nothing will shift during the move.
As you unload, keep track of your labels and let moving help know that doors have been labeled. If you have a second or third bedroom in the basement, make sure to let them know so they don’t take things upstairs first. Don’t worry about unpacking as soon as you arrive, just get everything off the truck if you are paying your workers by the hour. Once their gone then start sorting things out. Just ensure you have heavy items in their proper places before they leave.
Stay Accessible and Keep Your Phone On
Whether you have 2 movers or 10, they may have questions. Make sure you’re at one location and if needed, keep your spouse at another if they are making multiple trips. You want to stay at your old house until everything is out and the cleaning crew does a wipe down or you have time to do it yourself. Also ensure you keep your phones on as movers may have questions about boxes. While you may have tried to label everything, they may still be unsure of where you want big items.
Clean up or Have a Cleaning Company Scheduled
Once the movers leave, you’ll more than likely see more dust bunnies than ever. Do a quick wipe down of everything with paper towels and water since everything else is likely packed, or use the cleaning company that wiped down your new home and ask them to do the same here.
Feed Your Army
Some people like to provide their crew with food, but ideally, they will arrive ready to go. A better alternative is when you get to your new place order dinner for your family, throw in a few cold drinks and subs or a pizza for your moving crew – that way if you still need a few big pieces moved and they’re off the clock, they might still pitch in!
Take a few breaks and remember to leave the heavy lifting for the moving men. Ensure you bend at the knees and get help when you need it. Stop and take a few water breaks especially if you move in the summertime. Don’t over do it or you’ll feel it the next day!
Unpack, but Don’t Do Everything Today
Set deadlines for unpacking the essentials so you can get settled in and set up before everyone gets tired and wants to go to bed. Essentials include bedding, bathroom necessities like towels and sheets. You can always do the rest over the next few days and let’s face it – moving is hard work and you’ve already done the majority of the work.
Clean Up and Order In
If you didn’t have a chance to hire a cleaning service to wipe down counters and to do the windows and floors before you moved in, wipe everything down when you first get to your new home. You don’t want to move clean things into a dust-filled home. Also ensure you put up curtains first and take out any kitchen items you want for dinner that night or order and have a delivery service drop off dinner.
Have the Sitter Drop Off the Kids and the Pets
Pets can be picked up and you can have the sitter get them when she brings the kids to your new home. To alleviate added stress on moving day, keep pets in a separate area while you sort out moving boxes. Don’t forget to let the kids get involved by helping to move their toys into their room. This gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility, too. You’ll also feel better knowing they are tidying up their rooms as they go!
Once you are all settled in, the work is over. Order a pizza, pop in a movie and enjoy your new home!
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