10 Tips to Prepare for a Move

It can be a challenge to move everything from one house to another. It’s better to plan ahead than to just wing it and hope that everything will be done on time. If you do this, you will find yourself having to pack the entire house in a week.

You can find many reasons to move. Your family is growing. You may be looking for a lower rent, or you might want to move in order to have a more comfortable home. A new job or a job transfer may have landed you in another city.

These moving and packing tips will make your move easier, no matter what the reason.

1. Make sure you update your address first

After you have unpacked the last box in your new house, you may want to celebrate with a drink or a meal, or even collapse on your newly-arranged couch. You don’t want to be faced with more tasks to do at that time.

You can save yourself a lot of hassle by submitting your address change requests as soon as possible.

Notifications are not always immediate, so you should notify the bank, post office and any other important contacts, like any subscriptions you pay for, before you begin packing. This will help ensure you have everything updated by the time you move in.

Schedule your utility services in advance as well. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Create a master list of moving tasks

Making a list will help you remember the things you have to do. You can also check off your to-do list as you go.

You should create a moving checklist several months before your move to help organize your thoughts. Include deadlines; some tasks must be completed before others. Schedule deadlines and adhere to them.

Make an inventory while you are in the list-making phase. This will help you with insurance. The inventory will also be useful when you are unpacking to make sure you don’t miss anything.

book your mover

3. You don’t have to pay for packing supplies

Even if your move is to a cheaper place, moving can be a hassle. Why pay for moving supplies when you can get them for free and save money?

How many cardboard boxes will you need to store your items? Multiply that number by 20% to be on the safe side, then head out to your nearest appliance or department store.

Try your local grocery store or package store, but be careful to avoid any boxes that contain frozen food or produce. They may have been damaged by water or stained with food. You can ask someone in the store when they expect shipments. You may be able to get some packing materials and boxes for free.

You can find all the boxes, cardboard dividers and packing paper you need without having to pay for them by stopping by the right stores.

Save household items such as toilet paper rolls, tissue paper and small cardboard boxes. Even the plastic bag you used to buy groceries will come in handy when you need to wrap fragile items. You’ll only need packing tape.

4. Plan new rooms as you pack the old

It’s impossible to recreate everything exactly as it was before in your new house. And who would? You can create new ideas in your new home.

Taking pictures of each room before packing your items can help you plan the unpacking. You will also save a lot more time. Snap some important documents while you are taking photos in case they go missing on the move.

It is easy to remember what you need and what didn’t work (perhaps your dining table should be placed directly beneath a chandelier). You may also find something hidden in a box that has not been packed. You can avoid major headaches by knowing, for example, that your scissors are not in your toolbox but with your office supplies.

Take pictures of complex electronic connections, like those for entertainment systems. This will help you reassemble them. You’ll be able to create a more detailed plan if you find the floor plan of your new house.

Color-code boxes by room when packing. You can label boxes with colored tape or stickers.

5. Research Moving Companies

You might consider hiring movers if you are short on time, or if you don’t like the idea of carrying heavy boxes up and down the stairs — or if you’re moving across the country. Professional movers are not always expensive.

Do not be afraid to shop around and get multiple quotes. You might get a better quote if you let companies know that you are shopping around.

Ask about the different options available, from semi-DIY to full-service residential moving. Create a budget for your move based on the research you’ve done.

Ask if you are able to wait until a truck is heading to the same location. It will lower the cost of moving long distances.

Last but not least, ensure you are aware of your rights and that you have additional insurance in place if needed.

friends helping you move

6. Ask your friends for help

You’ll still need help moving items from your old home to your new house, even if you do not hire movers.

You need to be sure that your friends are committed to helping you. You should also start lining up your friends’ help early on.

It’s best to move on a weekend, when the majority of people are not at work. Plan what you want your friends to do when they arrive. Assign each one a set of boxes, or a certain room.

You should thank everyone individually. Even better, you can schedule a formal thank-you event for all of them, like a barbecue or dinner at your new home the following weekend. They deserve it.

7. How to get your new home in tip-top shape

You might have some ideas for your new home if you are moving into a fixer upper. You can paint, make minor repairs, carry out extensive renovations, or just give it a nice, clean shine before you start unpacking.

You will complete your projects faster and easier if you finish them before the boxes and furniture arrive.

Consider hiring someone to help you with your moving tasks if you do not have the time. Your plans will be more likely to become a reality.

8. Learn how to drive a rental truck

Before you hit the road, you should learn how to drive a rental van or box truck. When driving a box truck, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, if your normal vehicle is a sedan you will find that the truck you drive will be wider.

The truck is also heavier, so it will not stop as quickly. Always leave a distance of at least one car’s length between you and the vehicle in front.

Avoid backing up as much as possible. Pay attention to signs about trucks. Never pass a vehicle going more than 40 mph. It’s tricky.

dirty rug being cleaned

9. Get rugs, drapes, and slipcovers clean

When you move, it is the ideal time to clean some items that have been neglected for a long period of time. If your couch comes with a removable cover, you can send it along with the slipcovers of the cushions to the cleaners.

Rugs can be cleaned in the same way, depending on their material. Other fabric items to wash before moving include bed skirts, curtains and drapes. Cleaning your fabrics before moving is important. You don’t need to move dirty or dusty fabrics.

10. Purge

By getting rid of things, you can maximize your space and reduce the amount of items that need to be packed. Why waste time on packing clothes that you no longer wear?

You may want to plan when you will tackle each pile before moving. You should go through each pile several times, putting the obvious items in trash bags on the first sweep. Then you can move onto the less obvious items.

Remember that many items can be donated to charity. Find out what local charities are available and which will be most benefited by your donation. Keep a record of your donations and obtain a tax receipt.

You can also plan a garage sale before moving, if you have the time. This can be a nice way to cover some of the moving costs, but does come with extra work.