Sometimes the last step of a move is the most forgotten one: How to get settled in after moving? The Bookstore Movers van pulls away, and you turn around to a house full of boxes and furniture, you’re tired, you’re probably a bit hungry, and you’re generally overwhelmed. Your new life in your new house has just begun, the culmination of what can be years of searching in some cases. So, what do you do next? Here are our latest moving tips, designed to help guide you through this last step of the moving process. Unpacking: • Unpack the music first – an ipod with speakers, a laptop, a massive stereo, whatever your fancy, a little music makes whole process easier and makes an otherwise empty house feel like home… • Clean – We know, we know, it’s the last thing you want to do, and hopefully your house was cleaned before you moved in, but still just passing through a room with a broom or a vacuum before you start opening moving boxes might be a good idea. It will prolong the time before you next have to clean, and will give the whole place an even fresher feeling when it’s all set up. • Start with the … – The bedroom? The kitchen? The kids’ rooms? This is all a personal preference, what really matters though is to start with unpacking a whole room and work from there rather than just opening moving boxes hither and thither. Starting with one whole room will give you a beach head on the whole process, a place you can retreat to to relax when you need a break. If it’s late when you start, the bedroom might be the best bet; if you’re hungry, maybe the kitchen or dining room; if you have kids or pets, getting them set up first might save you some stress later. Whatever the solution that works for you is, just keep it organized. • Organize your trash – depending on where you live, a lot of moving supplies can be recycled. No matter where you live, lots of moving supplies are re-usable. Come up with a plan before you start unpacking so you know what you’ll be doing with the moving boxes and bubble wrap that are about to start piling up. Settling In: • Introduce yourselves to your neighbors – Knowing your neighbors can really change your impression of an area and your experience living there. When you’ve just moved in is the best time to swing by and say hello, you can ask them little questions about things like trash pickup and already feel settled in you new community. • Check out a local newspaper – or website or coffee shop bulletin board, whatever there is local to your town or neighborhood that will give you a sense of what is going on there and what you can get involved in. • Go for a walk – This can even be a great way to take a break from packing, just go outside to get some fresh air. Walking around your new neighborhood now that you live there will give you a different perspective on the place, you’ll see your new home in a new light and you’re bound to notice things you hadn’t seen before. Getting settled in after moving takes time. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll learn more about your surroundings and meet more of your neighbors. Hopefully it will all work out and you’ll never have to move again – but please do remember if you wind up changing houses, you know where the find the best movers in DC!
Moving day is pure excitement, but it can also be pure stress. It’s the culmination of so many events – an apartment or house search, negotiations over a lease and contract; it may even coincide with a marriage or a growing family; it may mark the biggest single purchase you’ll make in your whole life (a new home!). The day itself can feel like it’s bringing all these things together, but if you follow our moving tips, moving day can be stress-free. Here are our moving day tips: • Charge your cell phone. Everything will be more stressful if you’re running around looking for plugs and counting the bars your battery has left. • Be there when we are. We take arrival times seriously, so when we tell you what time we’ll show up at your place, we mean it. If you’re not there though, and we wind up sitting on the sidewalk waiting for you to come back from somewhere, it doesn’t suit anybody’s schedule. Beginning the day right means everything will go well. • Don’t be afraid to let the movers do the work. When we leave, we go home and get to rest, and that’s when your work begins. Unpacking, obsessing over whether the carpet ties the room together or not, it’s tiring stuff, so save your energy. Let us move the boxes and set things up for you. • Pack a moving day box. Keep your essentials handy in a separate moving box, including ID, your new lease, keys, medications, toiletries, extra eyeglasses, your cell phone charger, and a sandwich or two for snacks during the day and at night. There is nothing worse than rummaging through moving boxes looking for your keys when you arrive at your new place. Trust us! • Give the old place a final walk through. It can seem hectic when it’s moving day and we’re there packing things up and you’re wondering how we’re going to get to your new place, but it is worth it to walk through your old place one last time before you leave. You’ll often find you’ve forgotten something, and if you’re attached to your old home it can even be a nice way to say goodbye. • Food! Everything is more stressful when you’re hungry, so either make sure that moving day box has some snacks in it, or pick out a place near your new apartment where you’ll be able to get a quick bite if you’re feeling low on energy. • Hire a babysitter. The same might do for pets. If you have small kids, this is a great day to find someone else to take care of them. Don’t get us wrong – we love kids, but moving is stressful for them too. Knowing that they’re being taken care of will let you focus more on the move, and it can help keep things simple and complication-free. And hey, won’t it be cool when your kids come to the new house and find take-out pizza in the kitchen and all their stuff waiting for them in their new room? We live for moving day – it’s our job. We promise that we’ll be there and we’ll do our best work for you. If you are prepared and ready, then it’s all going to go perfectly, we’re sure of it. These are our ideas – let us know if you have your own thoughts on what makes for a successful move.
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.