9 Sure Fire Tips to Improve Your Move
Moving is a long, involved process—and pretty much no one likes it. But you can reduce your moving stress and ensure a smooth transition from old place to new with a little bit of planning and insider information.
Read on for nine tips on moving you won’t want to miss.
#1 Find your mover.
You need to find a good mover that has insurance, especially if you’re paying a lot to move fragile items. Look for referrals, multiple bids and website reviews on moving services before you hire. Keep in mind that movers may charge by the hour, the number of movers or the weight of your load. If you have very fragile items or furniture that could be broken or fall apart in a move, consider moving it yourself or getting rid of it altogether.
You should keep a list of mover quotes to get the best price for your move. Hiring a moving service can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000, depending on how much stuff you have and how they charge. Some movers also include additional packing materials — boxes, peanuts, bubble wrap — as part of their quote. That saves you on buying some of the materials at a home improvement store.
#2 Create a list.
Before you pack even one box, create a list. Use your phone, your computer or a notebook to detail what needs to go where, as well as when and how it will get there. You might keep a numbered system, organize items by room, or color-code your stuff; but find the system that works best for you and keep a record of it somewhere. Your list should also include a schedule of when you’ll pack each room, when the movers are coming, when you’ll clean up the house, and so forth. It helps to keep everything organized and on schedule for the move.
#3 Prepare your boxes.
Why pay for boxes when you can get them for free? Many stores have boxes they get rid of after receiving inventory in them. Consider furniture stores, pet stores, super markets, liquor stores, book stores, etc. Give them a call at least a week in advance and ask if they have any to give away. It’s also worth checking Craigslist, Freecycle and your workplace for free or cheap boxes.
Once you have your boxes, it only takes a few seconds and a cutting tool to make small triangle holes at both sides. This makes the boxes much easier to carry, especially if they contain heavy items like books or dishes.
#4 Pack before the move.
Pack anything you can before the movers come to save time and stress on moving day. You can pack up all of the clothes you won’t need at the time, for example. And you can also pack up knick-knacks, items in the basement and attic, and anything else you won’t be using. You only need to keep out any essentials you use on a daily basis, which you can then pack the night before. Everything else should be ready to go and in the garage for the movers (check out 6 Foolproof Tips for Saving Money on Your Move for more advice on movers).
#5 Make use of your luggage.
Use your luggage—suitcases, duffel bags, etc.—to store clothes, linens and other smaller goods. Moving and settling into a new home is less chaotic if you can easily find the clothing, towels and other items that you use on a daily basis.
#6 Keep documents close.
Birth certificates, school records, bank records, bills, realtor info, maps—all of these documents should be with you and stored somewhere with easy access. Don’t pack them in a box and have the movers take them. It could be days before you find them again at the new place, if they don’t somehow disappear in the move.
#7 Clean up the old home.
Once you’ve got the last box of essentials packed the night before, it’s time to make a last pass through your home and start getting everything cleaned up. The list of things to do include:
- Check every room for anything you might have missed.
- Check for damages and make quick repairs if needed.
- Write down your meter readings for the final utility bill.
- Clean everything quickly — vacuum, dust and run a quick mop over the floors in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Defrost your refrigerator so a power outage won’t cause flooding.
If it seems too overwhelming, you can hire a professional house cleaning service to do the thorough work for you. That way you know the house is spic and span when you go to turn in the keys to a realtor for walk-through.
#8 Don’t forget your internet.
You may be able to transfer your internet service when you move. But it makes sense to change to a new internet service provider (ISP) if you are unhappy with your current service, you are out of contract and looking for a better deal, or if your current ISP does not operate in the area you’re moving to.
Moving is the best time to look for the best deals on internet service—don’t miss out on the chance to find the best options in your new city. If you need to find a new provider, you can compare plans and prices in your new city here.
#9 Check after the move.
Make sure all the boxes from the move go into the right rooms, so you aren’t searching through kitchen boxes that end up in the bedroom. You should also check for damages to your furniture or fragile items, as these could fall under the mover’s insurance coverage. Make sure all of the boxes you moved out of your old home made it to the new place. Then, it’s time to start settling into your new home and getting everything unpacked!
Moving with kids or pets? Check out our tips for keeping the whole family happy during your move.