Before You Move: Tips for Pre-Planning a Stress-Free Move

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Even the simplest move can be stressful if you’re not properly prepared. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do before the big day to get yourself prepped and ready. Below, we’re sharing some great tips on how to plan a stress-free move. Let’s start with the most obvious tip.

Hire a moving and storage company!

Moving and storage companies make things so much easier when you’re in the process of relocating! Not only do these companies help you pack your items, they also assist you by providing storage facilities where you can place your items safely. Using moving and storage services also ensures that your belongings will reach their destination in perfect condition.

As you search for the right moving and storage provider, don’t be afraid to reach out and get quotes or discuss the scope of your move.

It’s often a good idea to invite a representative to come to your home and provide a visual estimate. Price often depends on the amount of furniture and other items you have, as well as on the truck or pod space needed to transport it all. An estimate usually takes very little time, and an experienced mover can quickly calculate your expense by counting the number of rooms and large items.

Here are a few more tips for finding the right moving and storage company as you gear up for a local or long-distance move:

  • Check reviews and ratings. First and foremost, make sure the moving company is licensed and insured. As different states have different requirements, check with an official agency to make sure the moving company is legitimate. Another way to find a trustworthy mover is to ask a local real estate agent, friends, or online groups for their recommendations.
  • Gauge their capabilities. The benefit of hiring a franchised moving company is that they are established. They have a reputable organization to support them and are not likely to burden you with any extra cost. These companies are best for people with a huge house and tons of furniture as they will pack, organize and adjust everything for you in the moving van.
  • Understand restrictions: There are movers who hesitate to move certain possessions like pool tables, pianos etc. due to insurance claims, weight and liability issues associated with these items. It’s a wise decision to ask a moving company about its terms and conditions before hiring them.
  • Ask Questions. Ask simple questions to know more about the company, like how long they’ve been in business or whether they are licensed and insured, and so on. Make sure to ask questions about the insured value of your belongings and any surcharges not included in the estimate.

A little bit of research prior to your move will always help. It’ll ensure the everything runs smoothly and that you hire a company that’s capable of handling everything. The last thing you want on top of a stressful moving preparation is careless movers or a surprise charge on your final bill!

Bring forethought to your move

Moving isn’t just about packing boxes and relocating them to a new abode! There’s a lot that goes into getting yourself and your family established in a new home. As you begin to think about your upcoming move, make a list of things beyond packing and transport that you need to do in advance of your relocation.

  • Transfer medical records: Have you found a reputable doctor and dentist near your new home? If not, do it right away. If you’re on medication, ensure your pharmacist transfers your prescription to the new address without any difficulty. If this is not possible, get a written script from your doctor before leaving.
  • Make an essentials box: An essentials box is required to keep the items that you might need on your way to new home. These may include snacks, toiletries, clothes, important documents, toys and a first aid kit. Often, the box is best packed as a backpack—something you can keep with you at all times and have on-hand when you need it most.
  • Drain gas: Transporting gas-powered tools? Make sure you’ve drained the oil and/or gas from belongings, such as kerosene heaters, snowblowers, lawnmowers, gas grills and the like. This is an important safety factor to consider and one that’s easy to overlook!

It’s also a good idea to inform your neighbors of your moving date, so they know what to expect. Additionally, if you have any spare keys out there or anyone has access to your home, it’s a good idea to collect them and dispose of them properly, or hand them over to the new owner via your real estate agent.

Spend an afternoon walking around your home and taking note of things you need to do before you leave. Sometimes, just having a list is a great way to give yourself peace of mind. It’s good to know what you need to do!

Packing specialty items and belongings

When the time does come to pack up your home, don’t simply toss things into boxes. Be methodical and careful as you determine what needs to be packed and how to best pack it. There are plenty of packing guides out there and tons of great tips. Here are some of the most valuable:

  • Boxes and moving kits: In the long run, it pays to purchase the right packing materials. Sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and packing peanuts can be purchased at moving companies and truck-rental firms. Supplement with copious amounts of crumpled paper, blankets and pillows; even clothing can serve as a buffer between breakable objects.
  • Packing the electronic items: Try to repack your computer and equipment in their original boxes if you still have them. If possible, double-box your electronics. Moving parts should be immobilized and wires should be color-coded to allow re-installation.
  • Furniture packing: In order to assure your furniture arrives unscathed, it’s recommended you wrap them up in blankets and bubble wrap. Place sofa cushions in garbage bags to provide filler in the moving truck. To prevent scathing, coat fine wood furnishings with wax.
  • Packing and moving dishes and glassware: Pack plates on their edges and try to place dishtowels or other cushioning on the bottom and sides of the boxes. Wrap dishes and glassware in tissue and fill in empty spaces with newspaper to provide more padding.

Packing up your home is a time-consuming task and one that’s bound to frustrate you at one point or another. We recommend breaking it up room by room and packing over a period of a few days or even weeks (see below). The more you can do to make packing stress-free, the simpler and more convenient your total move will be.

Plan as far in advance as possible

Moving to a new place with all your belongings is undeniably a stressful job. However, if you start completing the tasks weeks before, you’ll end up having a tension-free moving day. Here’s a quick timeline for moving, starting four weeks in advanced of your desired moving day.

4 weeks before moving

  • Give your new address to mobile, satellite, cable and internet service provider and inform them your moving date.
  • Provide your new address to your credit card provider, to avoid any billing inconveniences later.
  • If you have children, inform their date of joining to new school and the date of leaving to their old school.
  • If you’re moving out of the area, don’t forget to register again with a new dentist, doctor and/or optician.

2 weeks before moving

  • Send the change of address notification to financial institutions, family and friends, post office and others from whom you receive mail.
  • Give your new address to water, gas and electricity providers, and make sure you have service start dates available.
  • Start the packing process if possible and be sure to practice downsizing while you pack. Give old clothes and toys to charity.

3 days before moving

  • Get rid of items that aren’t making the trip to your new home and stop buying perishables. Plan meals in advance, to try and cut down on stocked food.
  • Start packing your more essential belongings and plan for 3-5 days-worth of clothing, toiletries and other essentials.

Moving day

  • Get all appliances disconnected by an electrician and make sure there’s nothing left hooked up in your home.
  • Keep your inventory slip and registration number with you. This would help you later, in case there is a delay in shipping.
  • Once all your belongings are loaded in the truck of a moving company, take a final walk-through of your home to ensure nothing is left behind.

Plan before you move, for a stress-free experience

Moving can be a very stressful and expensive experience, on top of being an emotional one. You’re not just moving into a new home—you’re leaving an old one behind. And, in order to move, you need to pack up everything you own and make sure it’s safely relocated.

The furniture you purchased for your living room and bedroom. The refrigerator and microwave. The fine china and glassware. Your favorite shoes and jeans, and even the small trinkets you have collected through the years. It all needs to be wrapped, sealed, marked and loaded onto moving trucks and moved.

Whether you’re a minimalist or have a hard time throwing things away, it takes time, patience and care to pack your belongings carefully and safely so all your precious memories remain intact. A little common sense—along with some care—goes a long way.

Follow the tips and advice above to make your move as stress-free as possible. Whether you hire a moving company or not, it’s worth doing everything you can to make moving as simple and easygoing as possible.

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