Even if you’re trading up from a tiny hut to a large mansion, the process of moving is never, shall we say, fun. Packing, planning and coordinating a complicated relocation can be downright stressful.
Thankfully, though, you’ll be popping celebratory post-move bubbly in no time. To make your moving experience as painless as possible, we’ve put together a list of ten especially important, yet often overlooked steps, to add to your moving checklist:
1. Find the Right Moving Company
Unless you plan on moving yourself (and have the muscles to do it), you’re going to need to hire one of the many licensed and insured professional moving companies available in your area. To avoid scams, make sure to check company reviews and BBB (Better Business Bureau) ratings.
Compare at least three different moving company quotes before committing.
2. Choose Your Moving Date Wisely
Believe it or not, you can save money and time on your next move just by choosing the right moving date. According to research from Moving.com, demand is typically lowest during mid-week and mid-month days between the months of September and April. Consequently, rates for professional moving companies and rental trucks are typically lower during this time as well. Bottom line: If possible, choose a move date between late fall and early spring to save on moving costs.
3. Double-check Your Current Lease
Moving out of a rental? If you’re planning to break your lease, you’ll need to double-check for specifics on the appropriate way to terminate it with your landlord. Make sure you notify your landlord as soon as you can. It’s possible that your landlord will allow you to sublet your room to a new tenant. If so, you and your landlord will need to start searching ASAP for a reliable renter to replace you. If your signed lease does not allow sublets as a possibility, then you will need to contact your landlord about payments for the remainder of the lease.
4. Change Your Address
Unless you want your old mail delivered to the wrong person or your credit cards declined online, don’t wait to change your address until after the move.
I recommend notifying USPS of your change in address about three weeks prior to your move. To forward your mail, simply go to USPS.com and choose the date you wish to begin forwarding. Changing your credit card billing address can easily be done online, and so can most newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
5. Notify Utility Providers
Along the lines as the previous tip, you’ll need to notify your utility service providers of your change in address well before the move. I recommend informing your gas, electric, and cable companies about the upcoming move, roughly two to three weeks prior. This way you’ll have your heat and electricity up-and-running on day one in the new place.
6. Get The Correct Number of Boxes
As someone who has moved (what feels like) a bajillion times, I know how painful it can be to fork over hard-earned money for something so simple as a cardboard box (eek!). However, unless you have all the time in the world to scout them out for free, you’ll most likely have to buy a few boxes. To avoid buying more than you need, you can utilize this easy-to-use Packing Calculator. The calculator helps you estimate the number of boxes and supplies you’ll need to box up every room in your home.
7. Eliminate Clutter
Moving is a great excuse to declutter once and for all. So stop hoarding, and start donating. After all, the less stuff you have to move, the better (and cheaper) your moving experience will be. Based on the condition of your items, you can either donate to an organization, such as Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill, or you can sell them online , a garage sale or at a consignment store. If donating, don’t forget to keep those donation receipts in case you can use them come tax season. Looking to store your things while downsizing? Compare prices of self-storage units in your area.
8. Clean Out Your Pantry
Unless you’re moving down the street, you probably won’t be able to bring all of your snacks and pantry goods. However, throwing all of that perfectly good food away isn’t the solution. Before you move, I recommend donating your non-perishable food items to a local food bank. Tip: If you hire a moving company that is partnered with the Move for Hunger organization, you won’t have to do anything. The relocation company will collect and donate your food items for you. Simple as that!
9. Pack an Essentials Bag
While packing your things, don’t forget to set aside a “first night” bag of essentials. Make sure to include necessities, such as toiletries, extra clothing, chargers, and (of course) toilet paper. Trust us – you don’t want to spend the first night in your new home rifling through boxes in search of a toothbrush. Plan ahead, and you won’t be sorry.
10. Let Family, Friends and Neighbors Know
Finally, don’t forget to tell your family, friends and neighbors that you’re moving! It could be as simple as a text, email or social media post – either way, it’s important to let people know about your change in address for correspondence purposes. Sharing your new address could also have the added benefit of prompting your friends to offer extra moving boxes and supplies. They may know contacts in your new neighborhood as well.
Once you’ve checked off these boxes, you’ll be well on your way to a successful move. Happy packing!