Moving tips and advice
1. Get rid of everything
Packing all your possessions into boxes, bags, and more can be overwhelming. Make it a little bit easier on yourself by cutting back on excess and clutter as much as possible. Before you pack a single box, do a merciless purge of unused or unnecessary items. You’ll have less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack—and you’ll start life in your new space with a clean slate.
2. Make a moving folder
Start collecting new addresses, rental or purchase papers, moving contracts, and more in one folder. (Consider a hard copy, rather than a digital one, in case computer or phone batteries die during the move.) If any questions come up during the planning process or the move itself, you’ll have the answer (and records of agreements, payments, and more) on hand.
3. Pack as far in advance as possible
Ideally, you’ll know about a move (even if you’re not sure of the final destination) weeks or even months in advance. Start by packing off-season items and the items you won’t miss. When it’s time to pack everything up, many items will already be ready to go. In the stressful final weeks and days just before the move, you won’t be worried about not getting everything packed in time.
4. Book early
If you’re hiring moving services, renting supplies, or having services such as painters or cleaners work on the house, book early. Waiting to do so could mean paying a higher price or not being able to get a truck or movers at all, particularly if it’s peak moving season.
5. Schedule utilities for your new place
Once the dates are finalized, contact your utility providers to schedule service at your new home. You don’t want to arrive there, tired from the move, to find that the electricity, water, or heat is off. Schedule it ahead of time, and keep records of your requests in your moving folder. At the same time, request service stops for your move-out date at your current home.
6. Keep the essentials with you
On the night before the move, tuck everyday essentials—a change of clothes, a toothbrush, must-have stuffed animals or toys for the kids, medications, paperwork, etc.—into a suitcase or bag you’ll keep with you in the car, the truck cab, or on the plane. If catastrophe strikes and the moving truck gets lost, at least you’ll have some essentials with you.
7. Invest in Equipment
A few days before the big move, stock up on supplies. The last thing you want is to have to make a run to the store while loading boxes or making sure everything is out of the house. Order or purchase box cutters, adhesive bandages, permanent markers, packing tape, paper towels, and garbage bags. If they aren’t all used during the move, they’ll still be useful afterward, especially during unpacking.
For larger moving equipment, considering renting moving tools from a moving company. (If you hire a moving service, they’ll likely have their own.) If you move very frequently, you may be better off purchasing these tools. Either by buying, renting, or borrowing, make sure you have a furniture dolly, furniture pads or covers, and tie-down straps or rope at your disposal during the move.
8. Get a truck with a loading ramp
If you’re a DIY mover, you absolutely need a truck with a ramp. It may be cheaper to rent a truck without one, but the hassle (and struggle) of lifting every box and piece of furniture high enough to get it into the truck will add hours—plus sore muscles—to your move.