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Moving tips: organizing for a successful move

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by Courtney Yates

Moving from one home to another is often a time-consuming, stressful process that requires extensive planning and organization. While there is no easy way to move, there are many things you can do in the weeks before the moving day to simplify the process and reduce the stress of moving. Here are some great tips to follow that will make the move to your new dream home a success.

dad and child moving into their dream house plan

4-5 Weeks Before Moving

  • Select the moving process - The first step in the moving process is deciding how you will transport items to your new home. The easier, but most expensive method, is hiring a moving company to pack all of your items and transport them to your dream home. If you choose this option, be certain to get multiple quotes from professional movers. Schedule a time for moving agents to visit your home and prepare written estimates. This will ensure that you are making the best and most affordable decision when it comes time to move. Another option is to pack your personal household items yourself and use a moving company to handle the rest. If you decide to do the packing yourself, remember that moving companies will not be liable for items that you have packed. If you do not decide to use a moving company, be certain to carefully plan how much you have to move and what items will require special handling before renting a truck or asking your friends and family for help.
  • Collect moving supplies - Be certain to collect moving and packing supplies if you decide to do the packing yourself. Boxes can be purchased from moving companies or moving supply companies, or you can visit your neighborhood grocery store or supermarket to obtain boxes and other packing supplies such as scissors, markers and packing tape.
  • Decide what items to keep - It is a good idea to choose which items you would like to keep before moving into your new home. If you decide to dispose of several items, you should either consider having a garage sale at least two weeks before the move date or give your items to a local charity. Items that you donate, often times, can be deducted on your tax return, so be certain to obtain receipts from charitable organizations showing the approximate value of the items you donated.
  • Get Familiar With Your New Community - Whether you are moving across town or across the country, it is important to gather information on new schools, parks and recreation, and libraries from the local Chamber of Commerce. Also get copies of your medical and dental records and ask your current doctors, dentists and any other medical professionals for recommendations of any doctors and dentists in your new town.


2-3 Weeks Before Moving

  • Schedule services & inform others of your move - Notify the Post Office that you are moving by either calling and requesting a Change of Address Form, or fill out this form online on the United States Post Service Web site. It is also important to prepare a list of friends, family, businesses and others who should be aware of your move including water companies, lawn services, cable companies, banks, etc. Remember to have any services disconnected from your present home the day after your scheduled moving day, and any services connected at your new home on your moving in day.
  • Ensure items are safe for moving - Many items that represent a hazard are not allowed to be shipped. Dispose of any partly used items including cans of paint, bleach, thinners, or other substances that may be flammable. Also drain oil and gas from your lawn mower, snow blower or other power tools to ensure these items are safe to move.
  • Make final arrangements with movers - Make sure you inform your moving company of any items that you plan to add or subtract from your initial moving list, and do not forget to mark your boxes “Fragile,” “Do Not Load,” or “Load Last.” In addition, confirm your mailing address and phone number with the moving company in case they need to contact you on the moving day.


1-2 Weeks Before Moving

  • Decide what to do with household plants - In most cases plants can not be moved with other household items because they may suffer from water and inadequate lighting in the moving process. If you cannot move your plants, you may want to give them to friends and family, sell them in a garage sale or give them to a local organization or hospital.
  • Arrange for transportation of pets - It is helpful to ask your friends or family to care for your pets during the days of the move. If this is not possible, be sure to close open doors and gates so your pets do not escape. Another option is to have your pets boarded at a kennel until you are officially moved into your new home. Taking your pet in your car or via the air is the best possible option to ensure your pets are safe during the move.
  • Return and collect items - Return all library books and movies and other items you may have loaned from your neighbors or friends. Do not forgot to pick up any items that are being cleaned, stored, or repaired such as dry cleaning or furniture.
  • Clear out storage spaces - Attics, closets, and cabinets are spaces where items can easily be missed. Be sure to double-check these areas to ensure that no items were overlooked.
  • Empty kitchen appliances - Take the time to clean and defrost your refrigerator and clean your stove at least 24 hours before the moving date to ensure your home is free from any odors. Baking soda is a helpful remedy that takes away odors in a short period of time.
  • Pack up items you need in transit - Prepare items for your family as if you are going on a weekend getaway including toiletries and a change of clothes. This way you will have everything you need while your things are being moved.

Now that you have a checklist to follow throughout the moving process, you will be prepared and stress-free when the moving day arrives. Remember that once you have all of your boxes unpacked and everything in their proper places, you will be able to relax and enjoy your new dream home.

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