Let’s face it: Unless you’re a minimalist, moving is one of the biggest household tasks there is and it can be extremely overwhelming. But if you can get a head start and stay organized, you should make it through this mammoth process unscathed and ready to enjoy your new abode.
Here are five tips to help you avoid moving day chaos:
Get organized early and figure out your moving plan
Avoid leaving anything until the last minute. Unless you have to pack up and leave in a hurry, chances are you have between 30 and 60 days to make a plan and ensure that moving day runs smoothly. Create a countdown list and itemize everything you need to accomplish week by week.
How are you going to get from point A to point B on moving day? For shorter moves, you’ll either need to assemble some very nice friends with trucks or consider renting a truck for the day. If you have a big amount to move or you’ll be moving a long distance, you’ll want to price out moving companies.
Once you’ve made your plan, keep your movers in the loop. Communicate with your moving company and explain all the requirements and expectations prior to booking. Your mover has to be aware of all those minor details in order to estimate your total move time and cost, and have proper equipment available. That includes informing the company about any overweight items (i.e. a piano or fridge), access restrictions (small elevator, walk-up only, narrow driveway) and whether you’ll need help with disassembly or assembly of furniture.
Seize the opportunity to purge
Moving is a great chance to organize your belongings and get rid of items you no longer use. If the time of year permits, hold a yard sale. Or, take the time to sort and donate gently worn clothing to Goodwill, put furniture up for sale on a site like craigslist.org, recycle old magazines and catalogs and shred old documents.
Take inventory and label everything!
This is especially necessary if you’re hiring a moving company. Having a record of your household items is useful if something goes missing. Consider keeping a spreadsheet of the contents of each box. Then, assign each box a number and all you have to do is write that number on each side (maybe with the appropriate room listed, as well). Label all sides of the box (avoid the top). Whoever is carrying in your boxes might not make sure all labels are facing one way for your easy retrieval. Try labeling each side in marker so you can easily find what you need in a stack.
Protect your valuables
Find a safe place to store your valuables on moving day. Insure anything that’s valuable or breakable if you’re using a moving company. And if you’re moving a computer, do a quick backup of important files just in case something happens in transit.
If you’ve made some new furniture purchases for your new home, such as a couch or dining room suite, schedule the delivery for after your initial moving day. That will help you focus your attention on moving day itself and will avoid any congestion between delivery people and the movers.