1. Get rid of anything you do not plan on keeping. Before you move, it’s a good idea to go through your belongings and purge anything you don’t need or want. Use this time as an opportunity to decrease clutter and/or sell furniture items. This will save you time & money on move day. It also helps you organize so packing & moving into the new home is less chaotic.
2. Starting packing early! Most people underestimate the time and effort it takes to properly pack up their home. Start by packing non-essentials one to two weeks before move day. A full day of packing can be exhausting mentally and physically, so it helps to pack in small bites! You don’t want to be overwhelmed on move day because you still have packing to do. Anything that can fit into a box should be packed. If the movers have to pack or move small individual items, it can make for a long day. Ultimately, this saves you money for moves billed by the hour.
3. Think about truck access before move day. You should look at both the origin and destination locations to determine what sort of access issues could arise. Do you need to talk to your neighbors or the City to reserve a spot? Is there an access elevator that you have to reserve? Are there any low hanging trees that need to be trimmed?
4. Formulate a general plan of where items will be placed in the new home. It helps to print out a floor plan and draw in where the main furniture pieces are going. Have a name for each room so everyone is on the same page. This will save you time, money, and effort. Also, check your appliances (like washer/dryer) and make sure you have the correct attachments to hook them up in your new home. This might be a good time to get new/clean hoses for your appliances. Old dryer vents can be a major fire hazard, they should be replaced every few years.
5. Keep your essentials in a designated spot. It’s a good idea to separate things like keys, paperwork, medications, etc. from the rest of the items being moved. Put these essentials in a backpack or box and put them in your car so you always know where they are.
6. Label everything. The more detailed you are in labeling boxes, the less likely you will struggle to find a specific item. Color coding rooms can be very helpful for you and the movers. If possible, avoid packing items from different rooms in the same box. Take the time to pack things like remotes with their corresponding item. It is also helpful to label boxes “OPEN FIRST” that you will want to open right away (bed linens, toiletries, lamps, coffee makers, etc.).
7. Use quality boxes. Having uniform/sturdy boxes can make a huge difference, especially if you are moving long distance or going into storage. Used boxes can work in a pinch but will crush/deform much more easily. Uniform boxes allow for more efficient stacking in the truck, which will save space and provide more stability for your goods during transport.
8. Contact utilities (cable, gas, electric, water/garbage). Make sure to confirm cut-off and activation dates. Also, be sure to submit a change of address form to the Post Office and DMV. You can do this online or by filling out a form in person.
9. Clean items before arriving in your new home. Vacuum rugs, wipe down dressers, and have clean bed linens so you can relax a bit once you are moved in. You will be glad you did!
10. Take the day off work. Inform your work ahead of time that you will need a day or two off during your move. You want to be able to focus solely on your move!
-Make a checklist of everything you need to do so there is no “did I forget something” feeling on move day. As you check each task, you will feel reassured that you didn’t miss anything.
-Defrost your refrigerator 24 hours before moving, especially for long distance or storage moves.
-Separate items that can’t be moved in a moving truck (aerosols, flammables, corrosives, etc.). You can dispose of them or move them in your personal vehicle.
-Do not pack perishables, especially if you are storing your goods or moving long distance. Don’t give pests any reasons to investigate your goods!
-If you want to save time, disassemble furniture before movers arrive.
-Take pictures of electronics and cords before moving them so you can refer to the pictures when reconnecting them.
-Check all closets, attics, crawlspaces before/after the move so nothing is left behind.
-If there are two of you, its helpful to have someone stay at the front door during the unload to direct movers. The other should be available to answer specific questions in the rooms.
-Have a set of tools available just in case. The movers should have tools, but you never know when you might need them for a small task.
-Measure large items beforehand (refrigerators, couches, beds) to make sure they will fit in the new spot you have planned. Look for narrow doorways at destination that could limit access.
-Were any of your items assembled in your home? Some items like refrigerators need to be disassembled to fit in/out of doorways.
-Have water/snacks to get you through the day.
-Inform movers of any items with pre-existing damage so they can take extra care.
-You can often leave clothing in dresser drawers. If the item isn’t too heavy, the movers can just plastic wrap and pad the dresser so the drawers will stay closed.
-If you are trying to save space, you can vacuum bag clothing/linens to reduce volume.
-Have a plan for kids/pets. If possible, find somewhere they can stay with friends/family for the duration of the move.
-Have felt pads ready at delivery so you can place them on the feet of items to protect your floor.
-Let the movers do the heavy lifting. Don’t risk your health, the last thing you need is an injury on move day.
-As difficult as it may seem, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before move day! You want to be able to get up early and attack the day with confidence!