Anyone who has ever moved, and that includes the majority of the planet, will tell you that it is more complicated and more work than anticipated. While there is no shortcut for moving from one place to another, there are some steps to take ahead of time to make things go smoothly and with a minimum of anxiety for all involved.
Step #1 – Pick the date you are going to move. This sounds silly out of hand, but there are an amazing amount of problems and cost that can be minimized by identifying the date you are officially going to wake up in one place and go to sleep in another. Depending if you are renting or buying, there may be some financially related reasons for picking a date that will minimize the amount of overlap between the place you are leaving and your new home. Having a firm date will also become important in some of the steps to follow…..
Step #2 – About 2 months before you plan to move, start collecting boxes. Buying cardboard boxes can run into serious money if you need a lot of them and you can often get boxes for free from retail stores or other businesses that receive their supplies in cardboard boxes. They will be happy to get rid of them and will most likely be willing to keep them intact if you can take them off of their hands in a timely fashion.
Step #3 – Sorting your stuff into 3 categories will help a lot with the moving logistics. First, identify stuff that you really don’t want or need. This can be hard for some people, but everything you can either sell or give away is something you won’t have to pack, haul, and unpack. The second category should be reserved for stuff that you seldom use but want to keep. This stuff can be packed weeks, if not months, ahead of time and will help you to avoid the confusion that happens on moving day. The third category will be things you use each day and have to be left out until the day of the move. Try to keep these items to a minimum to save time and frustration on moving day.
Step #4 – Communicate to everyone concerned your new address and the day when it will become active for you. This is where step #1 becomes important. Banks, employers, relatives, friends, and other places you do business with need to be sent a change of address notice. Be sure to tell the Post Office as well.
Step #5 – Make sure to make arrangements to reclaim your deposit on the place you are moving from.
Step #6 – Check with your new home to make sure that you will have access to the freight elevator on moving day. This is also a good time to find out if there are going to be any access issues for trucks or other moving equipment.
Step #7 – If you are moving into a rental, make sure to note any pre-existing conditions in your new place. Document, sign and date the list and get your landlord to sign as well.
Step #8 – Internet, cable, and other media services will need to be switched from old to new. Don’t wait for the day before you move to try to schedule the switch.
Step #9 – Try to manage your grocery shopping and meal menus so as to use as much of your food up as possible before moving day. Perishables and open bags or boxes of food can be a pain on moving day, so try to avoid moving any more of your foodstuffs than is absolutely needed.
Step #10 – Pick a mover and reserve your move date. Ask for references and get your quote in writing. If you have packed most of the stuff yourself, they will probably want you to take responsibility for any damage done as a result of improper packing. This doesn’t have to be a problem, but it does need to be discussed and addressed to everyone’s mutual satisfaction.
There you have it. Follow these 10 steps and your move will probably still be nerve wracking and stressful, but at least you will have anticipated and managed the key components to a successful move.