By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
Storage.com is your number one ally when moving to a new home. We’re here to provide you with useful moving tips and hacks, or additional storage whenever necessary.
Planning Your Move
The moving process has been known to steal hours of sleep, raise irritation levels, and push relationships to their limits. However, you can ensure as smooth a process as possible with a few easy preparation steps, the first of which is setting up a plan.
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail—and this is especially true when moving. Sure, you won’t have to schedule and track every step, haul, or trip, but laying down a few simple points in a timeline will greatly help reduce your stress during a move.
1. Determine Your Time Frame
Do you have two months to move? Or do you need to relocate in less than three weeks? It’s a simple question, but it’s a question that frames everything else you should do during your moving process. By determining your moving timeline, you know how much time you have for each task and you may save some money if you have time to search for deals on packing supplies or truck rentals.
Another consideration in your timeline should be whether or not you’ll have a gap in time between moving out of your current residence and into your new home. Should such a gap occur, a storage unit can provide you a secure location to keep all your nonessential things until you can move into your new apartment or house.
2. Make Some Deadlines
Your deadlines will depend on how much time you have before your move. However, no matter how long before moving day, you will benefit from setting deadlines for a few key tasks ahead of the big event. Below is a list of moving milestones you will want to add to your timeline:
- Buy Packing Materials: One of the first things you’ll want to do is decide what packing supplies you need and where you want to buy them. Give yourself some time to research for best prices, but set a date for when you’ll have your supplies on hand so you can get started with packing your belongings.
- Pack Nonessential Items: It will be a big relief to get your nonessential items packed well in advance of moving day so you have time for other last-minute details.
- Secure All Arrangements for New Home: You’ll want to make sure all the plans for your new place are complete and paperwork is signed long before moving day. If this isn’t possible, you’ll want to have a self storage unit reserved to store your belongings until you find a new place.
- Forward Mail to New Address: You can request that your mail be forwarded to a new address, starting on your moving day, before the actual date arrives by submitting an online form to the United States Postal Service.
- Schedule Utilities Cut-Off: Likewise, you can contact all of your utility companies in advance and schedule to have your utilities turned off the day after your move, or a few days later, if you plan to return to the property and clean.
3. Set a Budget
After determining how much time you have until moving day, the next question is how much money can you afford to spend during your relocation? Setting a budget is a great way to make sure you stay accountable and avoid overspending, which can only lead to more stress and other personal problems. When setting your budget, make sure you take into account whether you’ll be hiring professional movers or doing it yourself. Even further, will you be renting a truck or trailer to haul your things?
If you’re relocating due to a job, it’s quite possible your employer is helping cover some of your moving costs. In such a case, be sure to record everything in writing. This way, should any accidents occur, you can be properly reimbursed for any losses during your move.
Speaking of accidents, be sure to account for repairs and replacements in your budget. For one, your previous home will likely have acquired some bumps and scrapes during your stay that will likely need to be addressed. Secondly, your things may jostle and hit against each other during your move, which can cause a few dings and tears.
Essentially, accidents happen, and while these accidents remain out of your control, you can at least help control how much they will affect your budget in the long run by planning ahead.
4. Sort Your Belongings
You’ll often hear that you should make a list of your belongings when moving or using storage, but the way you organize your list is also very important. Take an inventory of all your items—from the new entertainment system to those gym shorts you’ve had since high school—and sort them into three separate lists: nonessential, essential, and unneeded.
You can start packing up your nonessential items as soon as you’re ready. These are items you can’t part with, but are not needed on a regular basis. For instance, if you’re moving in the spring or summer, chances are you will not be needing your winter clothing anytime soon, so go ahead and pack heavy coats and boots into a marked box of winter gear. Other nonessential items may include books, special collections, craft supplies, and more.
Save packing your essential items for last, as you’ll need these up to your actual moving date. While toiletry items such as your toothbrush may seem like a given, be sure to also keep out things like a few dishes, silverware, and a pan so you can keep cooking and eating. Also, keep any paperwork you may need during your move in a special file separate from the rest of your office records. When it does come time to pack these needed items, place them all in the same box or set aside the boxes you use, apart from the rest of your packed boxes. Carefully mark these boxes as “Essentials” and pack them into your truck last to avoid rummaging through your belongings later.
Lastly, you’ll have your unneeded items. This last section is entirely up to you, but moving can be a great time to purge your home of all the clutter. Ask yourself if you really need that antique ironing board or wobbly coffee table. If not, you have the option of trying to sell it for some cash or giving it away to someone who’d use it more!
Make sure you take into account perishable items like food or old documents for the unneeded section. These items cannot be donated or sold and may need special care, such as shredding.
5. Call for Help
When moving day finally comes around, you’re going to want assistance. In some situations, you may not have friends or family to help you move, but the point is to make sure you find help if you need it. Friends offer a great way to move on a budget, as most will likely be happy to help at the cost of buying pizza afterward. However, it’s best to not wait until the last minute and ask the day before your move. Try to get a commitment at least a couple of weeks in advance.
While more costly, professional movers are a great way to relocate larger and heavier items such as antique furniture or appliances. It’s literally their job to help you move, so they come equipped for most moving situations to help keep your items in ship-shape during their period of transition.
If you’re going to hire a professional mover, it’s important to reserve your help as soon as you can. This goes back to knowing your moving timeline. Ensuring you have a truck or professional help on your actual moving date is key if you plan to move during high traffic times, such as when colleges end their spring semester.
If you’re moving your items into a storage unit while between homes, look for a storage facility that offers use of a moving truck with your storage unit rental. A great way to save money and your back muscles, a free truck rental with use of a handcart makes the job of moving into your storage unit much easier. Rent a unit with drive-up access so you can easily unload and load large furniture and boxes directly into your storage unit.
By making some basic plans as soon as you know you’re going to move, and getting some deadlines on the calendar, you can tackle the task of moving in a logical progression and get the job done without too much strain or stress.