I have moved 16 times, most of which have been with four to one kids. I understand it can be stressful and daunting if you have been in the same location for a while. We always accumulate more stuff than we think, and although you may consider yourself a minimalist, all your things must be packed and labeled before relocating. The key to reducing moving stress is pre-planning!
5 Step Plan for your Move:
- Declutter before a professional stager enters your house, and do it once. For tips on how to tackle this job, click here.
- Safeguard important things. Create a box or lidded bin for all critical paperwork and label accordingly. Decide what electronics you need and have a backpack or box specifically to hold them and any power plugs (this should be per family member.) Designate an area for all precious items, coins, jewelry, etc., and personally move those items yourself.
- Do your research when choosing a mover. Select a professional mover with the AMSA (American Moving & Storage Assoc) accreditation. Ask for friends’ referrals, get three estimates, and choose licensed and insured movers.
If you plan to do this yourself, check into renting a truck or trailer (assuming you have a vehicle with the appropriate hitch). You can select and hire moving labor paid hourly through the U-Haul website.
- Order packing supplies. If you are going with a moving company, they should tell you what boxes are necessary and provide them with your estimate. You will need wardrobe, picture and mirror, and TV boxes. Pack books in smaller, easy-to-carry boxes. There are special boxes constructed to hold dishware to prevent breakage. If you plan to order packing supplies yourself, check out prices online at your preferred home store. You can also order used cardboard boxes online; click here to learn more about this earth-friendly option.
Label all the boxes on the top and the side using a coding system that makes sense for you and is consistent. If you have multiple family members, each box should be labeled with their initials or name to ensure the movers know where things go and for easy identification.
- On the day of the move: If you have children or pets, plan to have a family member or friend take them for the day. Many kennels offer a daycare situation that you can arrange in advance for your pets.
Keep your wallet and car keys safely with you on the day of the move. Don’t rely on keeping your handbag sitting around while the movers are in and out of the house. Either store it in pockets on your body, in your locked car or use a hip pack or crossbody bag to keep with you.
Create a survival kit that can be a box or crate that will include all last-minute cleaners, paper towels, toilet paper, sponges, dish soap, and dishwasher soap that can be grabbed quickly. Have bottled water and healthy portable snacks available for the move-out day and into your new home!
Helpful tips: If you have kids and are moving out of state, schedule all doctor appointments to ensure all medical school enrollment requirements are current. You want to avoid the added stress of establishing a new pediatrician when you move to your new location. For tips on school enrollment requirements, click here. For a printable checklist of moving tips, click here.