If you're moving, you know how daunting it can be. But if you create a blueprint for your move, the transition from house to house will go more smoothly. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a seamless transition.
First question is: Can you do it alone or should you hire a licensed moving company for a full-service or partial-service move? This is one of the first and often most difficult questions soon-to-be moving households face. The answer depends on your lifestyle, household size, budget and amount of time you have to get everything accomplished. Get written quotes from at least three licensed moving companies so you know you’re getting the best deal based on your specific moving needs.
Take photos of each room in the new home before you arrive. Room by room write down where each item should go in your next home before packing, and keep piles of boxes together by room. List out the major items that must be assembled first.
Be strategic about packing. If you have more than a month to ‘pick up and move’, start early. Whether it’s one room, one cabinet or a drawer at a time, weed through what may be years of accumulation. As you’re going through your belongings, divide everything into these helpful categories: Donate to charity, give to a friend, recycle, trash, pack now, or keep handy until moving day. You’ll be surprised at how much you can donate, recycle or give to friends.
Plan ahead. Consider daycare on moving day, or get help from a friend or family member. Provide lunch or some other appropriate thank you gesture if you do call in a favor. If that’s not an option, prioritize setting up safe places for your children to play in the new home on moving day so they’re not underfoot. This will help everyone remain happy and calm on that day.
Don’t forget the pets. Sometimes we forget that all the packing and constant in-and-out of visitors is stressful for animals. Consider checking your pet into a daycare facility, or setting up a time for a friend to take them or check them into pet daycare.
Keep track of small parts. Some items need to be broken down into pieces when moving, but do you know what to do with the small screws and washers that you end up with? Rather than tape them to the furniture, which can result in losing them, put everything in a baggie that is clearly marked and sealed. Keep all of the separate baggies together in one box on moving day and personally take it with you to your new home.
Take pictures of electronic hook-ups. Hooking up TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers can be challenging. Before unplugging any wires for the move, take a photo of the connections. This will create fewer headaches when setting up technology in the new home. Keep track of all loose wires using baggies or boxes that are clearly labeled, and personally carry these easy-to-lose items on moving day.
Packing cleaning products and toxins. Products such as detergents, pesticides and paint are heavy and unwieldy to pack. Dispose of as many as possible before the move in an eco-friendly way. Call your city’s waste disposal department for guidance on proper disposal. For items that must be transported, pack them in a small box within a larger box for protection against leaks. Don’t overstuff boxes with these items!
Consider marking these boxes in a different color, and seal them extra tight. Keep them separate from the rest of the boxes, particularly if you have kids and pets.
Consider getting full value insurance protection. If using a professional mover, it may cost a few dollars extra, but it provides peace of mind and eliminates later annoyances. Investing in full value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made at current market value, regardless of age.