For many, the moving process feels either like drowning in a sea of to-do lists or trying to push through a tornado of chaos without a clear direction. Whichever type you are, it’s probably safe to say it doesn’t feel so comfortable.
Planning and organization are paramount to having a smooth transition out of your old home and into your new one. But you don’t need to opt between a million tasks or total pandemonium. Believe it or not, there’s a simpler way that is still effective. And it starts with planning ahead.
The right preparations will help ensure you can stay on time, on budget, and have the energy left to enjoy your arrival in your new place.
Take Care of Housing Issues
There are a few housing-related considerations that should be at the start of your moving adventure. The first step is to decide whether you’d like to rent or buy and what type of housing you’re looking for. Is it a spacious home, or a cozy condo? You can likely answer all of these questions in a moment’s time, but that doesn’t make them any less crucial to the process.
If you need to sell your current home or you plan to buy your future place, you’ll want to enlist the help of professionals. Do that early on as it can take some time to finalize – that goes for selling and buying alike.
Whether you plan to rent or buy, take some time to decide on your budget. It’s easy to be tempted by a fancy new space but if you know your budgetary boundaries before you start looking you’ll be less likely to find yourself over-committing financially.
This is also a good time to take an overview of what – if any – repairs you may need to schedule before you move out.
Organize and Downsize
Somehow, we all collect more stuff than we need. In fact, we all often collect more stuff than we even know we have. That is, until it’s time to move…
Things accumulate pretty easily, whether that means paperwork you don’t need, clothes that no longer fit, or extra items that you either aren’t using now or won’t use in your new place. Taking the time to sort through and downsize at home will help you arrive fresh. It will also ensure you’re not packing – or moving – more than you need.
Take it room by room and go through your belongings. Create sell, donate, gift, and trash piles so you can easily take care of the things you’re not keeping. It’s also a good time to make sure that all of your items are in the right rooms which will help you in the packing phase.
Chances are there are people in your life who will be shocked or hurt to get the news last minute that you’re moving. Make sure you start spreading the word early.
If you have kids, make sure you start there. Moving can be disorienting for children so have a chat with them about the move, what to expect, and so they can share how they feel about it all. Make sure you get them involved along the way so they don’t feel like they’re simply being uprooted.
Next, you’ll want to tell friends and family, especially those who are local. If circumstances mean you’re moving mid-school year, alert your child’s school as well to learn how best to make a smooth transition. Update your coworkers and employer with enough notice to not leave them hanging.
Make a list of places you’ll need to update your address, such as credit card statements and bank accounts. It may create some confusion if you file too early, but do it with enough time to ensure you don’t miss any important documents along the way. You can schedule mail forwarding with USPS as well to catch anything that may have slipped off the list.
Hire the Professionals
Professional movers are your best allies when it comes to moving. Rather than trying to take too much on yourself, let the experts do some of the hard work.
Full-service moving companies will even pack and unpack your things for you, bringing all of the supplies you need and taking them away on the other side. Even if you opt to pack your own boxes, a professional will handle the heavy lifting. They’ll make sure your boxes and furniture are moved swiftly and secured in the truck for safe transport.
There’s no reason to save packing until the last minute. You can start packing early with the things you use less often. Designate a space in your home to collect boxes as they’re packed so you don’t have to navigate around piles until moving day. Make sure you pack an Essentials Box with all of the items you’ll want for your first night or two in your new home. That will save you digging frantically for sheets, towels, pajamas, or medications when you need them.