Moving 101: Tips for a smooth day

Couple with moving boxes.Prepping for the big move?   If you’re like most of us, the thought of moving can be an overwhelming proposition.  Tips & checklists abound, either from friends, your favorite magazines, blogs or an internet search. After sifting through some of the research & our varied experiences, we’d like to share some of our favorite tips for a smoother move…

First, the basics…
Determine the Movers – Self or pro?  
• The Professionals – Should you choose this route, shop around for the best deal.  Compare costs for packing/unpacking; materials/boxes, distance/weight charges; insurance; availability & length of notice required, etc.    Consider: Professionals hold insurance for any damage they may accidentally incur.
• Me, Myself & I – If this option makes the most sense for you, organize your schedule to minimize rushing around & allow for rests breaks.   The more fresh you are, the less mistakes, injury or damage may be incurred.  Reserve a moving truck, dolly & pads well in advance (at least 6-8 weeks) and confirm a week ahead of time.  Consider: You control the schedule.

Designate a Packing Zone – yes, keep everything together – your list (see next point), tape, labels, boxes, etc.

The List rules – Yes, make one (an extremely detailed one) & check it multiple times.   Deciding on a record system before filling one box will make the process so much smoother.   On either a computer print-out numbered list, or a bound notepad, number every box you pack and record the contents on your list.

Then, the prep…
Stock up – Plenty of boxes of all size, packing supplies (good packing tape,  large plastic bags, markers, labels, bubble wrap, packing paper), etc.   “Extra” boxes will probably be filled, and it’s far easier to return unused boxes than to run around trying to find enough at crunch time.

Color coordinate – Here’s a bonus idea – decide on a color for each major room (i.e. Kitchen is Yellow, Master Bedroom is Blue, etc.) & put a coordinating colored sticker next to the box number on each box.   In your new home, label each room w/the designated color & everyone will have an easier time unloading boxes.

Get ahead – don’t wait (or let your kids wait) until the last minute to begin assembling items to pack.   Unopened cosmetics or food items, off-season clothes, extra flashlights, books and electronics, etc.  – pare down to bare essentials as the time draws close & have the rest ready to go.

Dog Waiting in CarDon’t forget…
Necessities – keep everything related to your home in a binder (i.e. manufacturer & appliance info); Retain all moving related receipts for tax purposes.   Make all necessary changes/updates to your new location: School info, shut off old utilities, change of address forms, forward your mail, update subscriptions, etc.

Keep valuables handy at all times…
• Items (silverware, antiques, etc.) should be kept with you if possible.  In the case of a long-distance move, pack them well and number the boxes, but label them anonymously (i.e. “Miscellaneous Bedroom stuff”), and record detailed notes on your master list.
• Paperwork (birth certificates, marriage license, school records, mover estimates, employer contacts, realtor info, current bills, closing papers, maps, etc.) should not leave your side.

Happy moving!  Regardless of whatever is happening around you on the first night, sit down as a family and enjoy your first meal together in your new home.   Celebrate – You’ve done it!  Welcome home.

welcome mat