There’s no doubt about it—moving isn’t a fun process. It requires you to box up your life, only to unpack it in a new location. For those of us who are more unorganized than others, it can require days sorting through forgotten belongings.
On top of packing, you’ll have to deal with other issues such as forwarding mail to your new address, changing utilities, purchasing packing supplies, and scheduling movers (friends or professionals).
This guide will make your move less stressful, so you can spent less time worrying, and more time enjoying your new home.
Two months before the move:
- Get rid of what you don’t need. One of the benefits of moving is that you can start over with a clean slate at your new house. Sort through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, donate, or toss. A good rule of thumb is to purge anything that you haven’t used in a year.
- Request on-site estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies. Avoid getting estimates over the phone. Always do your homework before hiring a moving company. Ask around from family and friends for suggestions, read online reviews, or check the Better Business Bureau website for complaints. Remember, if the price sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- If you plan on having friends or family help you move, ask them to mark your moving date on their calendar.
One Month before the move:
- Purchase moving supplies, such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, permanent markers, and any specialty containers like wardrobe boxes, dish boxes, etc.
- If you’re going to be relying on a professional moving service or truck rental, select your company and obtain a written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details.
- Start packing. Packing early will help ease your stress levels, and will also help you with your organization. Take the time to properly pack and label everything with detail. If you leave everything to the last minute, you run the risk of becoming burnt out, in which case you will quickly throw items into unorganized boxes.
- Create a separate box for valuables, sentimental items or important documents that you will transport on your own.
- Fill out a change-of-address form at the post office, or do it online at usps.gov. You should also notify your employer, banks, creditors, publications and credit card and insurance companies.
- Contact your utility company at your current and new residence to cancel service/have it set up.
Two weeks before the move:
- Be sure to take off work on your moving day.
- Contact your moving company and reconfirm your moving arrangements, pricing, and other details.
- If you move long distance, make arrangements to have school, medical, dental and veterinary records transferred.
One week before the move:
- Finish up your general packing a few days before you plan to move. Make sure to pack a suitcase for everyone in the family with a few days’ worth of clothing, toiletries, medications, etc.
- Pack a box or two for essentials, such as the coffee maker, blow dryer, toilet paper, trash bags, sheets, towels, etc.
- Disconnect, defrost and prepare any appliances that will be moved.
- Contact your utilities provider and be sure that they will disconnect your current location and have it moved to your new residence by the time you arrive.
Day of the move:
- Read the bill of lading thoroughly before signing it. (A bill of lading is a legal document from your moving company detailing the type, quality and destination of the items being carried. It also serves as a receipt of shipment when the items are delivered at the predetermined destination.)
- Before the movers leave, take inventory, and keep a copy of the signed bill of lading.
- Check your possessions as they are moved into the house, noting any damage.
- Be prepared to pay your mover in full.
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