Moving day – it’s something nearly everyone experiences several times during their lifetime, yet few know how to prepare for. Along with the excitement of moving to a new home comes the stress of the moving process. If you’re moving across town you may have the option of having friends help you with the move, but if you’re moving to another state or across the country, you’ll likely need to use the services of a moving company. These moving tips are designed to help make the transition smoother and less stressful.
1. Book in Advance
Make sure you book a moving company at least several weeks in advance, especially if you’re moving toward the end of the month. People who rent tend to move at the end of the month when their lease is up. If you are planning to move during a holiday, be sure to make time to celebrate with your children to help transition them into the new living space by making it a fun place to be.
Each moving company has its own rules. Make sure you understand if you are supposed to have everything boxed up and ready to go, or if the moving company will box things for you. You also want to be certain you understand the moving company’s insurance policy. Insurance may not cover damages if you don’t adhere to the policies.
3. Make a List of Important Phone Numbers
Make a list of phone numbers that includes the movers; electric, water, gas, cable and internet companies, etc. If you have small children, you may want to include the number to their new daycare and make plans for them to attend daycare on moving day so they won’t be bored while the movers get everything loaded at the old house or unloaded at the new house. If you children are school age, be sure to gather their school records or have them sent ahead to the new school so they will be ready to start when you arrive at the new home.
4. Make a To-Do List for Both Ends of the Move
In the excitement of the move, you may be overwhelmed and things will go much smoother with a to-do list, such as - clean old house, clean kitchen and bathrooms at new house, have electricity, water, cable, gas, and internet turned on at new house, etc.
Get rid of items that no longer serve you. Have a garage sale, sell them online, or donate them to charity. There is no sense in hauling items you don’t want from one place to another. Let your kids go through their toys to donate and try to make it as fun as possible as you prepare them for the move.
6. Change Your Address
Submit your change of address with the USPS a few weeks prior to your move. Also, submit a change of address with other government agencies, such as the IRS, State Motor Vehicle Agency, State Election Office, and if applicable, the Social Security Administration and Department of Veteran Affairs.
7. Pack a Few Boxes for Car Transport
Fragile keepsakes, important documents such as tax info, etc., cleaning supplies, paper towels, and toilet paper, should all go with you in the car. Don’t forget personal items such as medications, toiletries, a change of clothes, sound machine, chargers for phones and computers, and pillows. You’ll want these items to be easily accessible once you arrive at your new home.
8. Make Hotel Reservations if Applicable
If you’re moving cross-country, you may want to consider stopping at a hotel for the night instead of driving the entire way. Book reservations in advance.
9. Decide Where Your Furniture Will Go in Your New Home
Decide in advance where you want your furniture to go in the new house. You can change your mind later, but having some idea of where everything is going to go makes your job a lot easier if the movers can place furniture in the rooms in which it will be staying.
10. Make Arrangements for Parking and Move In
Depending on where you’re moving, you may need to make arrangements ahead of time for parking and move in. Many high-rise condominium and apartment buildings in larger cities require you to block off time for the freight elevator. Don’t get caught off guard and have no way to move your furniture in. Check with the manager of your building at least several weeks in advance.
11. Make Final Preparations
Prior to moving day have your clothes picked out (something comfortable), coffee ready to make, and the items for car transport together. Be sure to pack a small bag with travel games, games to keep their brains coloring books and other small items to keep the kids busy during the drive or flight to the new city or state.
12. Try to Relax on Moving Day
When moving day arrives, try to relax before the craziness begins. Get up early and have a cup of coffee, sit for a moment and enjoy the final moments in your old home. Once the movers arrive, oversee the packing process. If you are unable to supervise yourself, have someone there to do it for you. Make certain you get a bill of lading from the moving company and that you understand it.
13. Nourish and Hydrate
Of course, you want to make sure you eat and stay hydrated, but it’s also a good idea to nourish and hydrate the moving crew. It is not required, but the moving company you hire will appreciate your generosity. Have bottled water on hand and order pizza or have someone pick up take-out food.
14. Make One Last Check
Once everything is loaded onto the truck, you’ll want to clean your old house and do one last pass-through to make sure you’ve gotten everything. Check all closets, drawers, shelves, medicine cabinets, garage, etc.
15. Arrive at Your New Home Before the Movers
Try to arrive at your new home before the movers so you can oversee the placement of your stuff, especially heavier furniture items that you’ll want to avoid having to move again later. Do a walk-through, and clean the bathrooms and kitchen prior to the movers’ arrival.
16. Just Breathe!
Now the excitement of living in a new home and a new city begins. Take a deep breath. You did it!