Moving to a new home ranks consistently in the top 10 stress-producing experiences in a person’s life. It can be notoriously hard on even the best planners and list makers. There are plenty of good tips that can make a move easier and more streamlined. Here are suggestions to reduce your workload, make packing and unpacking simpler, and remind you of things to do before moving day arrives
- Set a Moving Budget
A move is expensive and you don’t want surprises. Get bids from three moving companies. Price packing supplies. If you have a car to move, include that price in your budget.
- Choose a Good Moving Company
Verify the credentials of the companies you are considering. Determine if they are licensed and insured and what services they perform. Read reviews and complaints to see what their customers thought about their care and reliability. Ask people you trust for referrals.
- Call Utility Companies Early
Let your utility providers know the shut-off dates for your old house and the activation date for your new one as soon as your moving date is set. You’ll have that item checked off your to-do list, and it won’t be a last minute responsibility that you might forget.
- Eat Everything
Make a last run to the grocery store a week or more before moving day. Then try to eat up as much as you can out of the fridge and pantry. Perhaps you can give leftover perishables or canned goods to a local food bank.
- It is very important to be packed the day before the truck comes. Last minute packing is a scramble that will hold up progress. Also, the movers will load the truck very quickly, so you need to be ready.
- You’ll want to be able to easily identify the contents of each box and know where it belongs. Write on each box with markers or use colored stickers or colored packing tape. Whichever system you choose, you want to be able to see at a glance where each box goes. You can also number them so you know which ones to open first in each room.
- Instead of packing dresser contents, wrap the drawers with plastic wrap. If the dresser isn’t too heavy, replace the drawers and wrap the whole dresser to secure them.
- Move hanging clothes on the hangers, either covered in plastic bags or placed in wardrobe boxes.
- Nest smaller items inside larger ones instead of putting everything separately in packing boxes. Use plastic kitchen containers for spices. Put small kitchen gadgets in pots and pans, then secure them with plastic wrap.
- Use linens and towels in place of packing material around fragile items.
- Don’t make boxes too heavy, but pack them full. Fill empty spaces with packing material to keep items from shifting when they are moved.
- Take photos with your smartphone when you disassemble items such as cribs, bookcases, or even a complicated swing set. When there are many pieces to put together, you will be glad for a photo guide to help you. Taking pictures of electronic set-ups can be helpful, too.
- If you are moving yourself, pack larger and heavier pieces up front, then stack around them. Pack tightly like you are working a puzzle. Major shifts inside the truck during the move could be disastrous.
- Move valuables, such as jewelry and important documents, yourself. It’s safer than shipping them in the truck.
- Pack an overnight bag for everyone, including a change or two of clothes, shoes, pajamas, and toiletries. Keep it with you. Also, pack an ice chest or picnic basket with food for the road and for snacks when you arrive at the new place.
Tackle the Unpacking
Start in the kitchen. It’s frequently hard to figure out where to put everything, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s done. However, you don’t have to cook right away. Give yourself permission to bring in carry-out meals for a couple of days. You’ll have little time to prepare food or go to the grocery store, and you’ll be exhausted! Plan ahead to make mealtime easy so you’ll have a chance to relax.
Unpack your kids’ rooms right away. They will feel more at home with their belongings in place, and they can hang out there while you put everything else away.
Decide on an unpacking schedule and stick to it. Get the major things done first, then move on to all the rest. The stress will ease when the job is finally finished, so keep at it. Do a little bit at a time, but keep going. Think about how happy you will be when you cross that finish line!