Ah, moving season. You can almost feel it in the air – a sense of urgency as the days grow warmer and longer, and a need for change. Moving can either be highly stressful or smooth sailing depending on whether or not you have a plan. Another major factor to consider is storage space – renting a storage unit during a move can come in very handy. To help make your next move a success, here is a helpful checklist that you can use to get organized.
1. Make a Moving Checklist
Moves can be overwhelming. That’s why the first thing you should do– before you do anything that involves physically moving – is sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of everything you need to get done before moving day. From getting boxes and packing supplies, to renting a
van or hiring movers, and packing up all of your stuff, there are a lot of things to keep track of, and now is the time to get everything written down, so you can stay organized.
2. Make a Decision: Professional Movers or DIY?
Hiring movers or deciding to do it yourself is a decision that needs to be made fairly early on in your preparations, as it will impact your budget and your time management. The pros of hiring movers are obvious: someone else does all the heavy lifting, they take care of clearing all of your belongings out of your old place and into your new one and they are professionals, so they will likely do it much faster than you would. With that being said, depending on how much stuff you have and how heavy it is, hiring movers can be costly. Renting a van and asking a few good friends to help you move is a less expensive route – and arguably a more memorable one – but not everyone is as efficient as you might like them to be. Whatever you decide, make this decision early and stick to it, so you can make a plan.
3. Make a Budget
Moves can be expensive. Get ahead of any surprise costs by budgeting for packing supplies, boxes, movers or van rental, mail forwarding, renting a storage unit or repairs. Keep track of every expense along the way, so you know how much you’ve spent and how much wiggle room you have for any last-minute needs that may pop up as you prepare to move.
4. Update Your Address
You will need to update your address for your driver’s license, utilities, voter registration, subscriptions and any number of things that arrive at your doorstep. To ensure your mail gets to you, consider paying for a mail forwarding service for the first few weeks to give you peace of mind that you’re not missing any important correspondence.
5. Make an Inventory
When it comes to moving, be like Santa – make a list, and check it twice. Know what you have, and as you pack, label your boxes, so you know where everything is and how to find it when you’re staring at a pile of stacked boxes in your new place. This inventory will also be helpful to ensure that you are not missing anything, and help you prioritize what you need right away or what you can keep in boxes in a storage unit, like seasonal sporting equipment or car tires.
6. Get Rid of Any Excess
We all have too much stuff. And there is nothing quite like a move to remind you of that fact. Small appliances, books and excess furniture can all be donated or stored away in a storage unit if you’re not quite ready to part ways just yet. But do a thorough comb through of your belongings and see what can be given away before moving day, so you have less stuff to move when the time comes.
7. Consider Having a Garage Sale
Now that you know what you want to keep and what has to go, consider having a garage sale for any gently used items and put the money you earn towards your move. It’s a win-win scenario: you get rid of excess stuff and cover some of your moving costs.
8. Keep Memorabilia and Fragile Items Safe
Mirrors, dinnerware, vases and any valuable items need to be carefully wrapped, packed and labeled as FRAGILE on the box. The easiest and most convenient way to maximize safety for these items is to rent a storage locker to store them temporarily. This will help you to avoid the risk of damaging anything valuable on moving day. Many boxes and bodies will be shuffling around and this is often when beloved items get broken accidentally. If you have a storage unit, you can keep anything of value safe and out of the way, and move them to your new place yourself when you’re ready – or keep them there for safekeeping!
9. Pack Strategically
Pack according to what you will need access to first in your new place. Kitchen appliances, clothes and anything related to day-to-day living should be packed neatly, with boxes clearly labeled for the movers, so they know these items are a priority. Wrap furniture to protect it from damage during the move. Seasonal items, picture frames, and any other items related to decor should be packed securely, labeled and grouped together, so you can keep them stacked neatly in your new place until you’re ready to tackle unpacking them.
10. Do a Final Check
Your movers are booked, your address is updated, you have your packing supplies, you’ve run through your inventory, packed and labeled your boxes. Now, review that list you made – did you forget anything? Take a walk through your place and look in every cupboard, drawer and corner for anything you may have missed. Moving day is approaching, and you want to make sure you don’t have any lingering feeling of having forgotten something.
The more organized you are for your move, the easier and smoother it will be. Moving into a new place is an exciting new chapter and with a plan in place, you can make room to be excited!