Over 30 Moving Tips
Actually, I’m moving for the 18th time in my life. I like to say it gets easier, but no, just more organized. I’m moving back to my home state for work and to be closer to my family and friends.
I’ll try to sneak in a post or two, but packing starts immediately with the official close/move date in June. I’ll be back to posting on a regular basis in July once I get my new kitchen set up.
Thank your for your patience during this exciting new chapter in my life.
Here are my top moving tips to make moving less stressful.
- As soon as your have your closing date, call the utility companies (electric, gas, water/sewer) and also your internet providers to cancel service in your old location and set up service in your new location.
- Moving Quotes: Create a spreadsheet for the movers to give to the estimator when hiring them. The spreadsheet should have each room, furniture, measurements of each item listed and how many bins/boxes you expect to move. You can measure your furniture to get the sizes or do an internet search. This may be more difficult if your furniture is older. This will get you a more accurate estimate and ensure they bring the correct size truck. Pictures of items are also very helpful for the estimator.
- Moving Quotes: Consider selling any furniture you don’t need. Patio furniture takes up quite a bit of room on a truck. You may tell them that your patio chairs comes apart, but I can pretty much guarantee that no mover is going to spend time to take apart 4-8 patio chairs. If they don’t stack well, you will not have enough room for everything.
- Be kind to yourself. Moving is stressful and packing/unpacking can be exhausting. Take some vitamins to keep your strength up.
- Donate anything you don’t need before the move. If you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
- Toss anything broken. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you probably won’t. We have a service here called JunkShuttle. You can arrange for a truck to come and take anything that needs to be tossed, broken, etc. You can search out a similar service in your area.
- Everything should be packed before the movers show up.
- If you are renting, make sure you take photos of how you left your rental so you have proof if they try to keep your security deposit.
- Change your address at least two weeks prior to your move. Don’t forget to also change your address as soon as you move on bank accounts, retail store accounts, etc. I like to change retail store accounts a week prior to the move so nothing gets shipped accidentally to the old address. This can be a real issue if moving out-of-state.
- Always pack an overnight bag with all of your essentials. Moving is exhausting and you will just want to collapse when you get to your new place. So unpacking may not get done that day. Pull together a couple of change of clothes, nightwear, medications, chargers and toiletries. Don’t forget soap, body wash, shampoo, hair conditioner and anything else you use to take a shower. You will also need towels and a washcloth or the like.
- Have a tall kitchen garbage can filled with several rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, plastic cutlery, garbage can trash bags, dish washing liquid and glass/wood cleaner. You could also put this in a clear plastic bin so you can see the contents and put this in your car. I like to have a garbage can because the movers will have small pieces of garbage that need to be thrown out.
- Try to use up your laundry detergents, fabric softener and dryer sheets prior to the move. If you have to move any of this, put them in a box, tape and plastic wrap the tops so nothing leaks out. You will need to take these items in your car. Most movers won’t take them.
- Move your laptop, printers and any computer equipment including cables in your car. That also goes for any jewelry or other valuables.
- Tape and plastic wrap the tops of anything with liquid like shampoo, hair conditioner, etc., especially if they have been opened. Again this should all go in your car. Most movers don’t like to take anything like this.
- Food! Try to use up all refrigerated and freezer items prior to the move. Give any refrigerated or frozen items to neighbors if you are moving a long distance. If you move into new construction or a vacant apartment/home, the refrigerator/freezer may not be at the optimal temperature. Make sure you check this prior to moving if you plan to bring any refrigerator or frozen foods with you.
- Food! As soon as you know you are moving, start using up the food you have in the house. Can goods are heavy to move and you will most likely need to move these yourself. The last couple of weeks before the move, you can always use frozen meals like Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, etc or use a food delivery service.
- Food! Yes, you can order a pizza at the new location, but having a box of cereal, snacks, etc. will make sure you don’t immediately have to run to a store. Have a grocery list ready for anything you will need to pick up. Most likely, you won’t be moving things like milk, juice, eggs and other refrigerated items. Order groceries for the new location online if available to make your life easier. You can look into this option and set up a new account if needed prior to the move. I won’t be moving until June and I already have this set up for the new location. You can also research restaurants that will deliver for the first couple of days.
- Wine, Liquor – you can order wine shipping boxes to put your wine and liquor bottles in to move from companies like Uline
- Cooler – If you are moving in warm weather, pack a cooler of bottled water and other cold beverages.
- Label every box with the room and contents!!! Label, label, label!!! Did I mention label!!! There is nothing worse than movers putting boxes in the wrong rooms. Use large Fragile labels for anything that is breakable.
- Blankets, towels, sheets and clean clothing can be used to wrap anything that is breakable. You don’t have to spend a fortunate on bubble wrap.
- Clean or get a cleaning service in to clean everything in the new location – windows, floors, woodwork, etc. before you move. This is especially important in new construction when there may be additional construction dust. Typically you just need to sweep the floors before you leave your last house. I always have the house cleaned by a service, especially if renting. Helps to ensure you get your security deposit back. I also leave one roll of toilet paper in each bathroom and a roll of paper towels. I typically leave my kitchen garbage can behind and buy a new one. The new owners/renters can use it until they get a new one.
- If the movers have to take anything apart, have a box with ziploc bags so they can put screws etc. in them, along with a marker. Everything should be labeled (i.e, mirrors/dresser screws) and put into the same box so any screws/etc. are all together and can easily be accessed as soon as the mover unload. That box should be the last on the truck on the first box off or put in your car.
- Cables for TV equipment. Again, keep it all together in one box. Take a photo before you pull anything apart so you know how everything goes back together. Same for computer equipment.
- Suitcases, laundry baskets, etc. can all be used for packing clothes, towels, etc. I have also wrapped small figurines in clothing and packed them in suitcases buried in the middle so they are safe.
- Use vacuum seal bags for bedding and pillows. I love these!!! You can buy bags on Amazon that come with a pump that pulls the air out so you don’t need a vacuum cleaner.
- Container Plants – Most moving companies have a list of hazardous or other items that they won’t take on their trucks. Items like paint, dirt in containers (worried about pests/bugs and spilling in the truck). If you know you are going to move, you will need to make arrangements to move your container plants yourself.
- Pets – Moving can be very stressful for pets. Talk to your vet about using CBD for Pets or a mild tranquilizer. Consider leaving your pet with a relative for a couple of days so they are not in the middle of the move. If they need to be there, make sure they are in a crate out of the way. Safer for the pet and movers, so they are not underfoot and it will ensure they don’t get out and get lost while the doors are open.
- Pets – Make sure you update any pet chip registries with your new address. Research Veterinarians in the area and get a new pet visit on the books quickly after the move so they get established with the new vet. The same goes for Doctors for your self and your family.
- Young Children – Consider a babysitter or have them stay with a relative if possible.
- A friend just reminded me about something else. Alarm clocks that run on battery and also smoke detectors with alarms. We moved and I kept hearing an alarm go off among the sea of 100 boxes that we still had to get through. I was searching all these boxes thinking it was an alarm clock. I finally found the box two days later. It was actually the smoke detector. I had left the batteries in it and apparently it didn’t like being in a box.
- Finally, have some cash on hand to tip the drivers.