You’ve experienced the excitement of purchasing a new house or renting a new apartment; now comes the reality of the actual move. Carting all of your stuff from one place to another is where the real work—and the real stress—begins, but a little before-the-move planning and organizing can help make the day a little easier to handle.
Purge, sell, or donate
Before making a move, take time to inventory your furnishings and belongings to determine what you can purge. There’s no sense in moving items that will just sit in boxes and take up space at a new location. Valuable items you no longer want or need can be sold online or taken to a consignment store. Other items might be garage-sale worthy with the leftovers being donated to charity. Not only will you clear out clutter, you also can end up with a few extra bucks in your pockets or a charitable donation deduction for your tax returns.
Movers, rentals, or friends?
Depending on how far away you’re moving and how much stuff you are taking, you can choose between hiring professional movers, renting a moving vehicle or rallying your friends and their pick-up trucks. If you choose to use a moving company, make sure the company is licensed and insured, and get three different bids before making a decision. Ask if there are any extra fees such as carrying items up and down stairs, and make sure you read the contract before signing it. If you’re renting a moving vehicle, determine how large the trailer or vehicle should be and reserve the appropriate size. Also find out if the rental agreement includes unlimited mileage. If you’re relying on friends, make sure you provide them with food, drinks, and plenty of appreciation.
Packing it up
You can go green during your move by collecting used cardboard boxes from grocery and liquor stores, then recycling them once you’re unpacked. You can also think outside the box. Empty suitcases, laundry baskets, hampers, waste baskets and drawers make good moving containers that can be reused. Plastic wrap can form a lid to secure items in your creative “boxes.” You can pad breakables with your towels, linens, bedding and even some items of clothing. Rumor has it that clean socks are perfect for packing glassware.
Wardrobe boxes can be invaluable when moving. You can fill paper bags with items to line the bottom, tightly pack your hangered clothing and then fill in the top with purses, shoes or other items.
Once packed, use colored stickers or colored masking or duct tape on the outside to color-code what room the boxes and containers will go into. Be sure to list the contents on the outside of the box to make unpacking decisions easy. Label all sides of the boxes and containers, not the tops.
When disconnecting electronics for packing, take photos of how everything is connected and place cords in a labeled, re-sealable plastic bag. You can either attach the bag to the electronics or keep all the bags in one place to make re-assembly easier.
Pack your least used items first and then progress to packing an overnight bag filled with everything you will need right away including clothes, toiletries and medications. Take important documents such as passports, birth certificates and social security cards with you on moving day, along with valuable jewelry and laptops.
The big day
If you have children or pets, you may want to take the kids to a sitter and kennel your pets for moving day. Moving is hectic enough without having to keep track of your smaller family members. Be courteous to your new neighbors and don’t block their driveways or do other things that will start you out on the wrong foot. Make sure everything is completely packed when your movers or friends show up.
If you have to clean your old place after emptying it of your belongings, have a box ready with all needed cleaning supplies to do the job. Hopefully, you won’t have to use those same supplies when you move to your new place, but you’ll be ready just in case.
Once you get everything into your new home, you’ll be glad you planned your move and unpacking will be much easier.
And remember, always used a licensed real estate salesperson or broker for your sales transactions and make sure a property management company is run by a licensed real estate broker. Click HERE to check a license.