From planning to unpacking, there are a lot of moving parts when relocating yourself or your family. Even if you’re moving on up, the process can still lead to some stressful situations. Minimize the hassle—and save time and money in the process—with these moving tips.
Planning for your move:
Collect free boxes
Call your local grocery stores for large shipping boxes and ask wine/package stores for wine cases, which are great for packing glassware. Old shoe boxes are great for small items like papers and photos you want to hold onto.
Calculate moving costs
Include supplies, on-the-road expenses, storage, moving trucks, movers, etc.
Moving costs vary, as you’ll need to choose between DIY and a professional moving company. They also are a wide range of prices when considering if it’s a local move or long distance move.
Here’s a list of some moving costs you’ll encounter, because unfortunately a lot of companies are a la carte for pricing:
- Truck rental
- Truck mileage and gas
- Moving materials (boxes, packing tape, etc.)
- Labor (typically calculated by the hour)
Keep, sell, donate, or toss
Having trouble letting go? Keep in mind that sold items make you money, donated items equal tax deductions, and tossed items are less items to move.
Keep costs lower by having physically less for the moving company to take out of the house, since labor is typically per hour.
Organize a moving folder
Include moving quotes, contracts, and all receipts (many moving expenses are tax deductible).
Having a dedicated spot for these items will alleviate some stress when it comes time to review bills and contracts. This may seem intuitive, but moving can stress and distract enough to wipe you clean of organizational thinking.
Assign a color to every key area of your home. Print colored labels to tape onto boxes with clear tape. Using a number system, prioritize boxes you should unpack first and ones that can wait. Make a moving key on your computer with your color code and number system, and then print.
Print your labels on sticker sheets you can pick up from your local office supply or drug store.
Smart packing solutions:
Take reference photos of cords before unplugging
Taking a quick snapshot of the cords on the back of complex electronics is a small action that you’ll be thankful for later. Hooking up your TV, monitors, and devices in your new home will be much more of a breeze with reference photos.
Keep hardware organized
Tape screws, bolts, and nuts directly to furniture, appliances, and picture frames. Use a ziplock bag for larger hardware, label it, and attach the bag to the item. Organize your furniture in a way that will make assembly much easier to understand with your frazzled post-move brain.
Pack heavy items in rolling luggage
Books are a great example as their weight adds up quickly. You might also consider plastic tubs with wheels that have gained popularity in storage systems since most people don’t have a ton of suitcases lying around.
Put your extra fitted sheets to good use by doubling them up around mattresses to keep them clean. Fit them around both sides since the mattress will be touching the truck and floors on both.
Clean as you go
As you pack, quickly clean off items to avoid carrying excess dirt into your new digs. Cleaning wipes are efficient, or just have a spray bottle and rag handy.
To help make the process as organized as possible, plan out your big event with this moving time-frame worksheet.
And don’t forget to let your cable company know. Use this change of address checklist to make sure all of your accounts are notified of your change in residence.