There are definitely some moving strategies I’ve learned through the years that make each time we move a little smoother. This move was no different. These 10 items below really made the process of moving and unpacking so much smoother and I think you will find them very helpful. Continue reading to learn how to move into a new house with as little stress as possible!
- FORWARD YOUR MAIL – Once you’ve closed, or you have your closing date scheduled, you need to go online and visit the US Postal Service’s website and set-up your mail forwarding. Of course, you have to make sure you’ve installed your mailbox first, but getting your mail forwarded will be one less thing to worry about once you’ve moved.
If you handle all of your accounts online, be sure to visit the websites and change your mailing and billing information for your:
• Credit cards
• Bank and other financial institutions
• Insurance companies (health, life, home and auto)
• E-commerce sites you frequently use such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy or PayPal
• Apps on your phone with payment information including itunes
For example, I changed a credit card billing address online and when I went to reload my card on my use my Starbucks app, it gave me an error that my billing zip code didn’t match the one used in the app. The same goes for your iTunes account. Update your information and these avoid issues before they happen. Our lives are so electronic now; it’s easy to forget how many different places our personal information is scattered. Moving definitely will remind you of that!
- PACK A SUITCASE – The day before your move pack a suitcase like you’re going on vacation! This moving strategy worked perfectly for us. I included clothing perfect for unpacking (nothing fancy and that I didn’t mind getting dirty), but I also included a couple of work outfits, toiletries, hair dryer, flat iron, and any other essentials I use when getting ready every day like prescriptions. This turned out to be a lifesaver and didn’t have us searching frantically for our personal belongings amidst a sea of boxes. It was very nice knowing everything I needed to resume life as normal was within reach in our suitcase.
- MOVE SOME ITEMS YOURSELF – Move your valuable personal items yourself unless they’re too large to safely do so. We chose to move several items ourselves including jewelry, watches, family heirlooms, and some expensive breakables such a Baccarat and Waterford crystal. I certainly trusted our movers, but I didn’t have the movers pack anything for us and I wasn’t sure if I trusted our packing abilities entirely, so it was worth a few trips hauling items I wanted to ensure made it safely. We moved pantry and refrigerated food items we wanted to take to our new house plus the jars with vegetables used for decoration on our kitchen counter like you see in the photo here. We moved houseplants and most of the contents of our garage ourselves including gasoline cans, lawn equipment, cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, paper towels, paper plates, and napkins. That way we had supplies readily available if messes were made during the move. You can also be sure that you might not be cooking right away, so having paper plates and napkins available made meals on the go easy and quick to cleanup. Also, don’t forget to have your pet’s food readily available, or you’ll be wasting time making a trip to the store.
- HAVE A FRIEND WATCH YOUR PET FOR THE DAY – Speaking of your pet, don’t attempt to have your pet at your old residence, or your new one the day of the move. It is too easy for them to slip out the door during all of the chaos and then you’ll have much more added stress! See if a friend or family member can watch your pet for the day and then once the movers are gone, you can pickup your pet and transition them safely into their new environment.
- BE AT YOUR NEW HOME WHEN THE MOVERS ARRIVE, NOT SOMEONE ELSE – Have someone at home with the movers so they can instruct what stays and what goes. In our case, we had most items stored in a family member’s basement, and of course they had their own items in their basement as well. It’s important whoever is there knows the stuff that needs to be moved and nothing makes a trip that shouldn’t. The same goes for the receiving end of the move. I recommend the homeowners be there when the movers arrive to unload. We were there, but so were our parents. They were very helpful when it came time to unpack, but as items were unloaded off the truck and the movers asked, “Where does this go?” More often than not, they weren’t sure where furniture was supposed to be placed. You don’t label furniture like you do boxes. And, you don’t want the movers wasting time putting furniture in the wrong rooms only to have to move it after everything’s unloaded. Remember, you pay them by the hour!
- USE THE GARAGE TO UNPACK – Because we had many boxes stored for quite some time in a basement, we instructed the movers to put those boxes in the garage. The last thing I wanted to do is bring unwanted pests into our new home. Spiders, roaches or even mice could’ve found their way into the boxes through the years and they weren’t going to make it through our front door as far as I was concerned! Although the basement where things were stored had been treated for pests, you can never be too sure. Plus, our laundry room is connected to our garage and so when linens and towels were unpacked I could easily drop all of them right into the washing machine. And, all of the wrapping paper and boxes were right where they needed to be thrown away or put in the recycle bin. Another perk of keeping these long stored boxes in the garage was it kept all of the dust and dirt that had accumulated on them outside of our new home.
- FIND A ROOM’S OPEN SPACE FOR BOXES – Determine a place where you don’t intend on furniture being placed for the movers to stack up your boxes that do make it into the house. The last thing you want them to do is bring in the boxes (which most often happens before the furniture when unloading), and then have to move them again to get the furniture in the right place. If at all possible, have a mental picture of where your furniture will go before the move and things will go great.
- KEEP THE MOVING TRUCK OFF YOUR DRIVEWAY – When the moving truck arrives at your new home, if possible don’t let the moving truck park in your new driveway. This may just have to be the case due to distance from the street sometimes, but if the distance is short, by all means keep their truck off your newly poured concrete. It can take up to 60 days for concrete to reach 100% strength and you’d hate to have cracks and chips occur your very first day. Concrete is expensive, so this will make sure it lasts longer than abusing it the first day you live there.
- COVER ALL FLOORS – Before one box or piece of furniture leaves the truck, insist that the movers cover all floors throughout your new home. Minor scratches and dings on the walls will likely occur when moving large items into your new home, but you can keep your floors safe by having sticky plastic covering spread out onto the carpets and flat cardboard boxes secured over all of the hardwood. Make sure they secure everything and no seams are sticking up. It can be dangerous when people are carrying things in and they can’t see their feet or the floor if there are raised edges or seams that can cause someone to trip or fall.
- DONATE ITEMS IMMEDIATELY IF POSSIBLE – Now that all of the boxes and furniture have been moved in, here comes the fun part – unpacking! Because we had some boxes packed for a very long time, so I couldn’t begin to think what was in all of them. So, I had a large empty box open in every room. As I unpacked items I would often decide right then and there if the item would be useful or needed. If I didn’t think so I immediately put it in the box. Sometimes I couldn’t be entirely sure until I determined how everything would be decorated, but for the most part, I knew right away if something would be wanted or needed. Those boxes filled with up very quickly with random items such as misfit towels, souvenir shot glasses, duplicate kitchen tools, plastic cups, old pots and pans that didn’t match the good set, old food storage containers that didn’t have lids, as well as mismatched sheets and pillow cases. Before we knew it, we had several boxes to donate to Goodwill. And, another perk less junk in the drawers and little junk stored in the basement. Also remember to always have a recycle can or trash bag ready in every room so the items not good enough to donate can be discarded. And, I did the exact same process when I unpacked my clothes. Although I did a thorough sweep of my closet prior to the move, a few things still weren’t needed and ended up being donated. Who doesn’t like a tax deduction? Or, donate to your favorite charity; you will be glad you did.
If you stick to these 10 moving trick, I guarantee you will make your life much easier when unpacking begins and you start to settle into your new home!