Moving into a new home can be incredibly exciting, but, unfortunately, it’s also one of life’s stressful events. And though moving will never be enjoyable, here are ten things you can do to make the daunting task of moving homes at least a little easier.
1. Create a Timeline
As soon as you know you’re going to move, create a timeline for all of the tasks you need to complete and assign dates for when you’re going to do them. This includes, getting boxes, hiring a mover, purging, packing, and everything else on this list.
2. Get Boxes for Free
We all agree cardboard boxes are bad for the environment, so instead of spending money on new boxes and creating more waste, see if you can get free boxes from your local grocery store or by checking Craigslist’s free section. If that doesn’t work, rent reusable plastic moving boxes, which can be delivered and don’t require assembly or tape. Even if you hire someone to move your stuff for you, you’ll have things you want to box up before you bring them in (plus, it saves time and money).
3. Hire a Reliable Mover
You’re about to trust a stranger with all of your worldly possessions. Make sure you read reviews, get in-home quotes, get everything in writing, and all of this stuff.
4. Don’t Wait Until Moving Day to Pack
Yes, moving is stressful, but you know what’s going to make it even more stressful? Packing at the last minute. You’ll end up moving stuff you don’t want to keep and there’s a good chance the time pressure will keep you from creating any kind of organizational system. The best thing you can do to ensure moving and unpacking are as stress-free as possible is to start packing weeks ahead of time. Yes, it means you’ll live in a bit of chaos, but that chaos will ultimately be a huge stress saver.
5. Use This Opportunity to Purge
Now is the time to be very thoughtful about your possessions and get rid of/donate anything you don’t want, need, or use anymore. Not only does this mean you won’t pay to move things you don’t use, it also means you’ll have a fresh start in your new home and won’t waste space on that box of confusing box of cords and widgets you’ve been filling up for the past 20 years. You’ll also want to try to finish any food/cleaning supplies/etc. so that you don’t end up moving it.
6. Create a Floor Plan for the New House/Apartment
The best thing about hiring movers is that they do all of the heavy lifting for you. Literally. But their job isn’t to rearrange your furniture until it’s perfect. This is why it’s important to have a floor plan drawn out (it can just be a rough sketch) so that all of the big pieces of furniture land in the right place the first time.
7. Hire a Pet/Baby Sitter
If your kids are old enough, then by all means: put ‘em to work! But if you have pets or young kids, you’re going to want to hire someone or ask a family member if they can watch them on moving day. A house with strangers coming in and out and lots of open doors is not a safe place for toddlers or dogs.
8. Designate a “Doesn’t Go on the Moving Truck” Zone
This is the place where you put anything that should not go on the moving truck that you’ll be moving yourself, including your overnight bag (see #10), jackets, pet food/bowls, snacks… whatever it is you’re going to need throughout the day and as soon as you arrive in your new home.
9. Pack an “Open First” Box
This box is the last one to go on the truck and the first one to come off and should contain sheets, pillows, towels, a shower liner and hooks, some basic cleaning supplies, and a few plates and utensils. (Although we highly recommend getting pizza delivered on your first night. It’s basically a moving rite of passage.)
10. Pack an Overnight Bag
When you get to your new home, the last thing you’re going to want to do is search through boxes for your pajamas, a change of clothes for the next day, chargers and electronics, as well as toiletries and prescriptions. Put the items you’re definitely going to need that night and the next morning in an overnight bag. This includes the all-important document folder, which should contain all of your important documents (moving paperwork, passports, house deed, insurance papers, etc.).