Moving can be a stressful time, but planning ahead will help you from becoming overwhelmed. Below are some helpful hints to ease you through the process.
First and foremost, it is essential to purchase the proper packing materials, such as bubble wrap, boxes, peanuts, paper and tape – all of which can be bought from moving or truck-rental companies. They often sell kits; for example, a dish cell for protecting china and crystal, or wardrobe boxes that allow you to keep clothes on hangers.
If you are hiring a professional moving company, it is a good idea to inquire for estimates approximately 6-8 weeks prior to moving, if possible. This is especially important if you are moving during the peak summer season between May and September. There are two types of estimates offered; a binding estimate, which guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the statement, and a non-binding estimate, which is an approximation of the cost and is subject to change. Once you have decided on a company to use, call to schedule the date of the move. As your moving date approaches, call to confirm the arrangement with the company.
It is important to plan ahead and start packing early. Choose a “packing room” where you can store packed boxes and packing materials. Begin packing items that you won’t need a few weeks before the move and box up a few items each day. Because many things cannot be done until the last minute, it is essential to do as much as possible before that time.
Pack one room at a time and be sure to label each box with its destination as well as a description of its contents. This will make unpacking easier.
When packing a box, pour a layer of packing peanuts on the bottom for cushion. Make sure to place the heaviest items on the bottom. Once the box has been packed, use packing peanuts or crumpled packing paper to fill empty spaces and prevent contents from shifting. Make certain after you pack a box that you can still lift it easily. To reduce the chance of breakage, unpack fragile items over the box that you are taking them out of, so if you accidentally drop it, it will land on some cushion.
Remember that hazardous materials may not be shipped. These items include paint, nail polish and remover as well as cleaning and laundry products. It is best if you personally transport irreplaceable items, such as keepsake photos, financial and legal documents, medical records, jewelry and other valuables. Also, make certain that each family member has a bag packed with essential items for the first few nights. These items should be carried with you rather than packed in the moving truck. It might be a good idea to have some snacks as well as a simple meal that you can just heat and serve for when you arrive in your new home. Don’t forget to have sheets, bath towels and kitchen utensils handy.
Once everything is packed, it is important to have a strategy to load the truck. It is best to first load items that you need the least and make sure to put the heaviest items on the bottom. House plants should be loaded last and unloaded first.
Make arrangements for children and pets to spend moving day with a family member or close friend. If you can, move on a weekday, when banks and utility companies are open. Most moving companies only accept cash, certified check or money order. All charges must be paid before your shipment is unloaded at your new house.
To make the change-of-address process smoother, order preprinted address labels with your new address as soon as you know it. Send out change of address notices to family, friends, employers, schools, banks, credit cards, doctors’ offices, utility companies, etc. Keep a checklist so that you know who you have informed of your address change. Don’t forget to transfer services for your utilities. If possible, make sure that power and water are functioning properly at your new home before you arrive and leave them on at your old address for a few days so you can do any necessary clean-up after the move.
Getting Rid Of Extra Items
The idea of moving can seem daunting, but it is also the perfect opportunity to get rid of the extra items that you have accumulated. Now is the time to go through your house room by room and toss out any possessions that you do not need. This will prevent you from spending time and money packing things you will not want.
Develop criteria that will help you to weed out items that are not worth taking with you to your new home. Here are some questions to consider:
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Who gave it to you?
- Does it have monetary value?
- Does anyone use it?
- When is the last time it was used?
- Will you use it again before you would want an updated version?
- Is there room for it in our new home?
- Will you miss it if it is gone?
Take inventory of everything you decide to keep and assign replacement values for insurance purposes. Plan to sell or donate anything that does not make the cut. Make sure to properly dispose of any hazardous materials, such as cleaning products and paint.
Pack away stuff that you know you will not use for a while. Since so many things need to be done at the last minute, it is a good idea to pack as much as possible before crunch times comes. Use up items that cannot be moved, such as foods that are stored in your freezer.