Moving Tips

Going it alone? Here are some ways to minimize stress and make the move more efficient:

  • Pack an overnight bag with toiletries, a change of clothes and some snacks and drinks. Bring this with you to the new house.
  • Consider what you will have for lunch that day – and whether you will bring in food for the movers (a nice touch so that they don’t have to leave to get lunch, but not a necessity).
  • Pack or remove all valuables (e.g., jewelry, valuable artwork, antique or sentimental china) before the movers arrive.
  • Pack a box of essential items, including toilet paper, garbage bags, cleaner and paper towel, extra light bulbs, a hammer, screwdriver and picture hangers. Place this in your car so that it is easily accessible.
  • Create a file of important paperwork (financial, insurance, checks, stamps) that will be needed during the move.
  • Create a file of magazine and favorite catalog labels, which you can use to change address prior to moving.
  • Gather all house and storage keys, as well as garage door openers, in one location to be turned over to the new owners. Also include any appliance manuals or warranty information.
  • Arrange for your new house to be cleaned and painted prior to moving in.
  • Order any new shades or curtains that will be needed 3 – 6 weeks before moving.
  • Determine if you are responsible for cleaning the existing house once it is cleared of contents; arrange for a cleaner to come in once your furniture is on the moving truck.
  • Clean area rugs prior to move; leave rolled for moving.
  • Put items that the movers should not pack into the bathtubs. Hang a “Do Not Move” sign on the shower curtain.
  • Donate or throw away unused belongings before the packers arrive – you don’t want to pay to move items that you no longer need!
  • Separate out bedding and towels so that they are easily accessible once moved; consider moving these yourself.
  • For local moves, move lampshades yourself, to cut down on the number of boxes moved (movers will usually put 2 shades in a large box).
  • Also consider moving framed pictures yourself, to cut down on boxes moved.
  • Measure your furniture and determine its placement in the new house. Draw floor plans for each room so that you and anyone helping you can direct the movers.
  • Move all items into the room that they will live in at your new house; this way they will be packed in the correct boxes and will be unpacked in the correct room.
  • Designate a space in each room for boxes to be stacked – choose a location that does not block traffic, and that you can work around in case the boxes remain there for a few days.
  • Designate a space for empty boxes. As boxes are unpacked, flatten them and carry them out to that space. Determine what you will do with the empty boxes – recycle, throw, or have your movers take them.
  • Unpack wardrobe boxes first, as they take up a large amount of space.
  • Place toilet paper and a roll of paper towels in a convenient bathroom so that you and the movers have a bathroom to use!
  • Identify your bedding box as soon as possible, unpack and make your beds so that everyone can go to sleep at the end of an exhausting day!
  • Unpack your kitchen, then bathrooms, then main living areas.

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