Before you even pack your first box, you need to know the most important rule of moving… hire movers! Just kidding – I mean, you can hire movers, but you may not have to. The most important rule of moving is to get organized! Without great organization – you are doomed. Okay, maybe not doomed, but definitely more stressed than you need to be.
- An inventory notepad
- Lots of boxes and moving materials
- Some kind of labeling system
- An easily accessible filing system
30 Days Before Your Move
- If you have more than what fits in your vehicle(s), you’ll want to look into either renting a moving truck, or hiring a moving company (make sure you shop around and read reviews, and watch for mileage charges – they can take a great deal to a ridiculous rate, quickly).
- Purchase or borrow any packing supplies you’ll need: boxes, sealing tape dispensers, bubble wrap and/or newspaper for insulating, and whichever labeling method you want to use – be it label maker, label stickers or the minimalist Sharpie approach.
- Take a first glance inventory and decide if there’s anything you can part with, and if so, organize a yard sale – the less stuff you have to move, the easier your life will be.
- Start working on changing your address on things like insurance, credit cards and bank statements, then go to the post office and fill out a change of address form.
14 Days Before Your Move
- Pack everything that you can live without for two weeks and begin your inventory list so you can better track the boxes.
- Labeling Tip: It may be easier to label boxes names like “kitchen 1,” “kitchen 2,” etc. and the detail items on inventory list as opposed to writing all contents on the actual boxes – this will save you a lot of time when unpack. In your inventory, which you can keep on paper or spreadsheet, list your labeled boxes and details of each box’s contents. This is the level organization we were talking about earlier that will make your life WAY easier on moving day.
- Resist the urge to buy anything until you get to your new home – the more you bring in now, the more have to move. If you must buy a new sofa or other furniture piece, have it delivered to your new place.
- Start collecting and organizing all important documents – you may want to invest in a lock box or accordion folder for items like birth certificates, titles and deeds. Stow it in a secure place until the moving chaos is done!
7 Days Before Your Move
- Start packing any valuables that you personally will be transporting – add these to a more detailed, separate inventory list. You may also consider adding your more fragile items to this list as well.
- If you are using a moving company, or renting a truck – call and confirm the date and time. If they’ve misplaced your appointment or reservation, now is the time to fine tune the details.
- If you have decided not to use a moving company, group text everyone you know and bribe them with free food to help you move.
- Continue packing and labeling less essential things.
1-2 Days Before Your Move
- Pack an overnight bag – especially if you decide not to use a moving company – you will be exhausted upon arrival, and after unpacking boxes all day, the last thing you want to do is conduct an hour long search for your toothbrush.
- Clean out and defrost your refrigerator (if necessary).
- Prepare cooler of meals and snacks for moving day.
- Check the weather for your move date and prepare accordingly! Break out the sunscreen or ponchos as needed.
- Send your new address to friends and family.
Your Moving Day
- If you are using movers, supervise them and utilize your inventory list – making sure that everything gets from point A to point B.
- If you did not hire a moving company, but rented a truck, pick up the truck as early as possible and hope that your friends took you up on your free food offer!
- Turn off your thermostat and unplug any remaining appliances (if necessary).
- Coordinate a key drop-off with the landlord, new owner or real estate agent.
- Take a final walk through and make sure you have taken everything. The last thing you’ll want to do is leave behind a prized possession you’ll miss later!
Upon Arrival At Your New Home
- If you are using movers, make sure that all of your boxes have made it – check for any damages before signing-off on their work.
- Make sure your utilities are on and working properly.
- Make sure that your keys and locks work.
- Begin unpacking and enjoy your new home!
Moving with Babies & Toddlers
This can present a bit more of a challenge, but here are a few ways that moving with little one can be made easier!
- Before moving into your new house, take them to check out the new space and explore. Allow them to get familiar with the space and make a fun game out of imaging what the house will look like once you’ve moved!
- All hands on deck is a good motto when moving with babies or toddlers. Odds are, you’ll be busy on moving day unloading and unpacking box after box. If you have in-laws or a sitter who is willing to tag along to entertain your little one, the more you’ll get done and the less your baby will get burnt out!
- It’s a good idea to pack your child’s room last, so you can unload it first. While he or she may be more interested in playing in boxes and with packing tape than their own toys, it’s good to have the option there for them – not to mention their own bed for the inevitable nap time!
Moving with Pets
For families with fur babies, moving to a new place can be a big adjustment! Here are a few accommodations you can make to help your pet transition more smoothly:
- Consider securing your pet in a crate with plenty of food and fresh water as you unload and move large furniture items. The sounds of moving furniture and unpacking boxes could startle your pet, and you don’t want your fur friend to run off in the midst of your moving.
- Pack a pet bag filled with toys, treats, bedding, and all the things you’ll need to reach for in the care of your pet, so your pet can get settled in – even if you’re days away from having your last box unpacked.
- Make sure your pet’s tags are updated with your new address and correct contact information.