The dream of moving to a better, more stylish home often prompts a move, but sometimes you need to relocate for your career, your significant other’s career or to live closer to your family. Although moving is an exciting adventure, if you do not plan properly, our move will cost you extra time and money. Especially when you have to move quickly or unexpectedly, you often get so caught up in the big picture, that you miss small but important details that can make the process easy and even enjoyable.
What I’ve Learned About Moving Through My Experiences
As soon as you know that you will move, you need to start the preparation work, so when moving day comes around, you can relax and enjoy a smooth transition to your new home. During my recent move, I realized that there were a lot of details that I probably should have known but didn’t before I relocated. If I move again in the future, now I will know all the steps that I need to take, even the ones that aren’t so obvious, to make my move stress-free, cheaper, and easier.
1. Check out your dream home and the surrounding neighborhood at different times and under different conditions.
Before you sign on the dotted line, not only should you drive from your potential home to work to decide if your commute will be acceptable, but you should also visit the home and surrounding area at night, on weekends and during bad weather, to make sure that your home is what you want under a variety of circumstances.
2. As soon as you know that you are going to relocate, start the preparation work of giving notice and transferring services.
Informing your children and keeping them involved in the moving process, will help them feel better about the change and will give them enough time to mentally prepare to leave behind their friends and schools and to move.
When you first decide that you are moving, give notice to any schools that your children attend and start the process of enrolling in their new schools.
Because many services require advance notice of change of address, you will want to find out your utilities’ policies and notify them at the right time, in addition to notifying other people you do business with and getting records or memos, including your mechanic, hair stylist, dentist and doctors.
Your new home or homeowners association may have strict screening procedures or rules about moving in, so call ahead and find out what steps you will need to take for a smooth moving date that doesn’t break the rules or the bank due to HOA fines for breaking the rules.
3. Declutter your current home and donate or discard anything you don’t want or need.
An often overlooked aspect of moving is that you typically cannot move large quantities of frozen or refrigerated food, so you will want to reduce your grocery shopping to only the necessities and eat what you have to avoid wasted food or wasted money.
Books, paperwork and old clothing often makes up a large part of our personal belongings, so removing anything that you do not need or want to save will greatly reduce the amount of possessions that you have to move.
4. Look for free moving supplies or buy used ones to save a lot of money.
I never knew that when you cannot find free boxes, you can buy used moving boxes at half price or even cheaper; had I known, I would have saved a lot of money on my last move.
If you live in an apartment or condo, check near the trash chutes for used boxes that you can put together with some packing tape, but you may also look for boxes being discarded at the ends of people’s driveways.
Look on free online advertising boards to find addresses to pick up discarded boxes or find people selling used boxes cheaply to drastically reduce your moving costs.
5. Learn how to pack before you move.
Unpacking will be so much easier if you learn the right way to pack before you begin.
Pack most of your belongings, but leave the most important items, such as your toothbrushes, sheets, towels, toiletries, pillows, pajamas and clothes for last because if your movers load those items onto the truck last, those items will be the first items off the truck.
Label all boxes on all sides with the room name where the items will go, but also list the major contents of your boxes on one side to make finding items and unpacking easier.
Pack your cleaning supplies last because you will want to clean up your old place at the end and clean your new place at the beginning, and if you have extra cleaning supplies, you may want to leave some behind for your home’s new owner.
6. Some things cannot be packed until you have finished all other packing.
Make sure that you have necessities for you and your movers during the packing process, including basic first aid, over the counter and prescribed medications, plastic silverware, cups, paper plates, toilet paper, paper towels and snacks because you will need these items to keep everyone happy and working quickly.
7. Moving usually takes longer costs than you think.
You can counteract many costs and avoid wasted time by planning ahead and doing it yourself, especially by packing and unpacking boxes yourself.
Movers charge extra to pack and unpack your boxes for you, but they pack according to their standards, not yours, and their unpacking is very expensive and will not necessarily help you because they will not know where you want to place your belongings.
8. Check out your movers before you hire them.
Friends’ horror stories about movers that they hired without any references or insurance shocked me. You definitely should read online reviews and at least check that your movers are licensed and insured before you sign a contract.
Read your contract with your movers carefully to know exactly what your rights and their rights are and to know what you can do to create a backup plan if something does not go as expected during your move.
9. Plan for your pets.
Pets usually become stressed during a move because they do not fully understand what is happening or why, so you need to make a plan to keep your pets safe and happy during the moving process.
You can help your pets stay out of the way of your movers and feel better about the process by putting them in a comfortable room with food, water, toys and their beds while you pack the rest of the house.
10. Worry about the move first and decor and getting settled later.
A big mistake that I made when I moved was that I bought new home decor before I moved and worried about decoration as I unpacked.
When I got to my new home, unpacking took longer because I was so focused on getting everything perfect, and then I also realized that much of the decor didn’t look the way I thought it would, so I spent extra money buying even more home decor items later.
You can save time and money be decluttering any unwanted decor before you move and waiting to buy new decorative accents until you are fully unpacked and have a better feel for how you want your new home to look.
11. Flexibility makes your move so much easier.
My move had problems, such as my movers ending the job before me late and then having their truck break down on the way to my house.
Because I had planned ahead by moving out well before my closing date and scheduling extra time off from work after my move-in date, my movers starting late on my job, although disappointing, did not ruin my plans.
You will feel less stress and have fewer troubles if you learn from your own past mistakes and the mistakes of others to make the best plans for your current move.
Relocating is a time of change, and although most people are resistant to change, if you take care of the details, you can use your move as a time of cleansing, renewal and a fresh start.