Getting ready to move for the very first time? Congratulations! Moving into your own place is an exciting experience and one that comes with many freedoms. You’ll get the satisfaction of being self-sufficient, as well as the confident that comes with living on your own and developing your own lifestyle.
Before you can get settled into your very own abode, you’ll need to go through the moving process. It can be stressful and cumbersome to move everything you own into a new place, but it’s definitely worth it once you finally get settled in. To help you get to that point sooner and avoid some of the most common headaches that come with moving, we’ve provided some tips for first-time movers. If you’re getting ready to pack up and strike out on your own, here’s what you need to remember about moving:
- The moving process starts when you sign your new lease. You might not actually be relocating for two weeks, but as soon as things are solidified, the moving process begins. Start packing non-essential items as soon as you can and make sure you’re well-prepared for a move far in advance of the actual moving day. Most first-time movers don’t realize that the only thing they should be doing on moving day is moving!
- While it might be fun to bribe your friends with pizza and beer, it’s often a better idea to hire a moving company for your first moving experience. Professional movers will be able to help you avoid may of the pitfalls that can come from this brand-new experience, and will help make sure you get settled in your new place quicker.
- Be as organized as you can. Most first-time movers make the mistake of thinking they can just toss everything into boxes and bags and make the move. While this is certainly true, you’ll cause yourself all sorts of frustrations when it comes time to unpack. You won’t be able to find what you’re looking for you’ll have trouble staying organized. You might also end up misplacing things or losing during the process if you don’t have a system for keeping track of your items.
- Make a budget! Too many first-time movers take the cost of moving at face value: whatever it costs to hire a moving company. The fact is, there are many more moving costs that need to be monitored and tracked. Building a budget is a great way to address these costs upfront and make sure you’re accounting for them. It’s also a good way to make sure you’re not over-spending and, if you are, it can show you opportunities for recouping some costs elsewhere.
- Make a checklist. If you try to go with the flow of a move, you’ll constantly get distracted by all of the tasks and chores associated with relocating. Make yourself a checklist and stay on top of the essential tasks you list on it. This will A) make sure your most important items are getting due attention and B) help you stay focused when you’re not quite sure of what to do next.
- Make a huge list of all the “change of address” tasks you need to do. You won’t realize how many places your address is listed until you start tracking them all down to update them! Everything from your phone bill to your drivers’ license, voter registration to your employer’s records needs to be updated with the change of address. Consider everything from banking institutions to bills as you compile this list, and make sure you’re also remembering to forward your mail!
- Pack an “essentials” bag, just in case anything comes up during your move. Lots of new movers fail to anticipate the length of the unpacking process and don’t realize that it might be a couple of days before they have all of their items unpacked and moved in to their new place. AN essentials bag should have a couple changes of clothes, some basic toiletries, charging cables for personal electronics, and anything else you might need in the next 24-48 hours. Instead of digging furiously through packed boxes, you’ll have these important items on-hand.
Talk to other people who have moved and ask them for their tips. Everyone has a different experience when they’re moving and any wisdom you can glean will make it easier to relocate for the very first time. And, if you do run into headaches or problems, make a mental note for next time. Your first time is very likely not going to be the last time you move, so it’s wise to squirrel away knowledge that makes your moving experience simpler every time you do it.