I have moved 16 times, and the majority of those have been with four to one kid. I understand that it can be stressful, and if you have been in the same location for a while, it can be daunting. We always accumulate more stuff than we think, and although you may consider yourself a minimalist, all your things will need to be packed and labeled before relocating. The key to reducing moving stress is pre-planning!
- Declutter before you have a professional stager come in 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 with you 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.
- Movers or DIY – do your research! If you plan to hire a moving company, be sure they have the AMSA (American Moving & Storage Assoc) accreditation, click here to find movers. Moving.com recommends that you ask for referrals from friends, get three estimates, and choose licensed and insured movers. For more tips on finding a professional mover, click here.
If you plan to do this yourself, check into truck or trailer renters, click here to start. Through the U-Haul website, you can select and hire moving labor paid hourly.
- 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, 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 in pockets on your body, store 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, dishwasher soap that can be grabbed quickly. Have bottled water and healthy portable snacks available for the day of the move-out 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 up to date. You don’t want the added stress of having to establish 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.