A successful move isn’t just a question of hiring the right moving company – it’s also about planning ahead. Below are some tips on how to prepare your move. Over the coming weeks we’ll add a few more posts on other moving tips, including how to prepare for moving day and how to get settled once the moving trucks pull away.
For starters though, here are some moving tips on how to plan a successful move:
• Assess your budget. Be realistic about what you can afford, but don’t try to cut too many corners. It can be better and safer to do a move yourself then to sign up for some too-good-to-be-true offer you find online and that’s likely to turn into a moving scam or to cost much more than you expected. Most importantly though, incorporate moving expenses into the estimated cost of your new house or apartment so that you’re not left with a nasty surprise on closing day when you realize your bank account is empty and so is your new house…
• Load up on boxes, tape, and moving supplies before moving day so you don’t find yourself stuck at the last minute. You really can’t get too much, when it comes to moving supplies, and you’ll probably need twice as much as you think. As a general (and very imprecise) guideline – for a sparsely furnished 3-bedroom house, 100 boxes ought to do it. If you’ve got a lot of heavy items like books, think more boxes. Better to have lots of small heavy boxes than a few enormous and immovable ones. Craigslist can be a great source for cheap boxes and moving supplies. Home Depot is another good bet.
• Simplify! The less stuff you have on moving day, the easier the move, so take this as an opportunity to simplify your life. Do you need as much furniture in your new place? Would you be better off without 7,000 pairs of shoes? If you never use that set of weights, is it worth lugging them across town? Locate your nearest Good Will or Salvation Army and find out if they’re interested in any of the things you’re getting rid of and your moving day can even do good in the community. (And your movers will thank you!)
• Eat eat eat! There is no need to move half-filled boxes of pasta, single-serving soy sauce packets from the Chinese takeout place, or any of the other random bits of food that might be hanging out in your kitchen. If you start eating through your stocks before moving day, you’ll save yourself some hassle and you’ll have a cleaner kitchen when you unpack.
• Forward your mail. Either go to the post office or just arrange with whoever will be replacing you. Even if you think you’ve called everyone to let them know your new address, there will inevitably be someone who slips through the cracks – knowing your mail is following you is really reassuring.
• Reserve elevators and loading docks. Take care of this as early as possible, especially if you’re moving during the summer or near the beginning or end of any month, those are peak times and service elevators can get busy.
• Start early – Even if you’re hiring movers to pack for you, it’s good to prepare things in advance. When you wake up the day before moving day, if nothing has been packed up or even prepared, the move will be much more stressful than if you’ve at least looked through your things and figured out what needs to be sent where.
Moving can be stressful, but with the right moving company and the right preparation, it can come off without a hitch. Oh, and if you think of any other preparation tips we haven’t included, let us know and we’ll add them on.