PLAN, PREPARE and pack for the day of move!
The following moving tips are meant to help you stay focused, organized and have a stress-free and seamless move to your new home!
Tip #1 - Have a Notebook, just for the move!
Use a notebook for a moving journal to plan out and organize your move!
to make your move more simple, designate a notebook or blinder separate from your regular agenda or filing system that can hold everything from To Do Lists to budget breakdowns and receipts.
Utilize colored post-it notes or page dividers for easy accessibility to must read sections.
If you are using a binder, it would be advantageous to have a leaflet holders or pockets to slip in important documents for quick removal and use.
Make any mental notes or reminders to yourself about where certain things are packed or where they need to be packed for the move.
If you are interested in DOWNLOADING or printing a pre-made moving checklist to start basing your planning from, I recommend this one.
Tip #2 - calculate Moving $$$
Add up your total estimated moving costs to make a budget for the move
Prior to starting your moving preparation, it is imperative to calculate what you are willing to spend towards your move to help you abide by it along the way.
Whether you would like to hire professional services or move on your own, there are a lot of expenses to factor. Everything comes with a price tag and can quickly add up unless planned for properly.
Furthermore, it may be a chance for you to find out if your employer will be offsetting any costs and how much they will allot. Don’t forget to keep your receipts as well as you may be entitled to government grants and income tax reductions.
Moving Costs to plan for:
Tip #3 - change your address before your move
Don't forget to change your address!
Before you begin packing, take a section of your notebook and jot down all the essential utilities, organizations and people whom you may need to contact prior to moving. This would include setting up address changes through your postal service, forwarding mail for at least the first month or two, setting up electricity, telephone lines, cable, etc.
Make sure to update your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles, your insurance companies, with any other company that sends you bills, and with your family and friends.Allow for the non-essential hookups to take place either later in the day of moving day or the following day. This will alleviate any stress of having movers and utility professionals stepping on each other’s toes while getting set up and organized in your new home.
Don’t forget to update your doctors, dentists, etc before you leave….especially if you are moving long distance or out of state. Most professionals will be able to refer you to a new location in your new town or city.
Follow the link for the official USPS change of address form online.
tip #4 - Get free packing & Moving supplies
Don't spend unnecessary money on moving supplies, You can get for FREE!
If you are on a stringent budget, it is ideal to cut back on costs wherever possible. One of the simplest, most cost-effective means of doing so is to stock up on free packing supplies versus paying for them. Visit your local supermarket or stores which may have varied sizes of boxes handy for use without dishing out a penny. Keep in mind as well that smaller boxes make for good use with narrow hallways and for storing valuables.
tip#5 - How to hire a moving company
Hiring movers will save you a ton of stress and labor if you have the money.
Getting moving quotes or/and hiring a professional moving company could save a lot of time, work and hassle on your move.Depending on the distance that needs to be traveled as well as the amount of heavy furniture or bulky items you have to move, it is a very smart decision to hire the services of a professional company.
Feel free to shop around and don’t be afraid to get multiple free quotes from different movers and van lines to find the lowest rates for your situation. Also, search for reviews on the chosen company prior to selecting them and go over their insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage for all your property.
The worst thing you can do is just “pick” the cheapest moving company available for the job without doing your homework first. While most of the professional moving industry abides by federal and state laws, unfortunately there are still a lot of companies out there that love to scam people out of their money. Always make sure the movers you choose are licensed in the states your are traveling, offer a “binding estimate”, and are well-reviewed and trusted.
Moving home is renowned as being one of life's biggest cause of stresses, close behind divorce and bereavement. Yet 2011 looks set to be the year for moving. "The total number of homes for sale is 44 per cent higher than a year ago," reports analyst Henry Prior who runs www.housingexpert. net. Meanwhile, the Association of Residential Letting Agents reports that rentals have reached an eight-year high, with demand far exceeding supply.
The good news is that if you plan ahead, the potential for things to go wrong is significantly reduced.
Who to tell
This is the most tedious part of moving, but a comprehensive checklist of people to notify helps – available online from websites including www.iplan2move.co.uk and www.bbc.co.uk/homes, as well as some estate agents.
Most important are banks, credit and store cards, pension and share providers, insurance companies, loan providers, council tax, employers, schools, your cable provider, and your doctor. Remember to organise switching off your phone line, nternet connection and all your utilities, as well as arranging them to be connected at the other end. Shop around for best prices using websites such as www.uswitch .
Rob Hill, director of Greater London Properties, advises using the Royal Mail redirection service. "It's vital with identity theft on the increase," he says, adding that the quicker you tell the council, the quicker you'll get your refunded council tax.
Pushed for time? www.iammoving.com allows you to change your address details and notify over 1,500 organisations ranging from utility companies to club cards for free. Meanwhile, estate agents John D Wood (www.johndwood.co.uk) provides a service for buyers and sellers, that includes reading meters, closing or transferring utility accounts to the new property, valuation and auctioning of unwanted furniture and chattels, house clearance and locks changing. The service is free except for supplier charges. For a charge, moving specialists such as www.abels.co.uk handle absolutely everything to do with your move.
Get at least three written quotes from established removal firms, ideally using personal recommendations.
"Find out as much as you can about the firm," says Martin Rose, spokesman for NGRS. "How long have they been in business? Will access to the new property allow for the size of their vans? Can they provide references? Most importantly, don't assume cheapest is best. A lot of people do. They see removals as an unskilled job, but there's lots of risk involved. Also remember quotes may not be comparable. Does the quote include VAT? Does it cover insurance of yourpossessions in transit?"
If possible, get the packing done professionally. "Contrary to popular belief, it's not expensive and there's a chance insurance won't cover anything you've packed yourself," says a spokesman for BAR. "Also, packing can be the most time consuming and frustrating part of any move."
Don't take for granted that all your furniture will automatically fit into your new property, says Andrew Scholey, founder of www.helpiammoving.com. "If you have any doubts, check the removal company can dismantle it."
Ensure you get cancellation protection in case the date is changed at the last minute and label all boxes, says Linda Jeffcoat, regional director of Stacks Property Search and Acquisition. "A sensible belt-and-braces approach to this is colour-coding boxes and rooms."
For DIY moves, hire a van from a reputable hire car or van company such as Thrifty, Enterprise or Europcar and always check around the van before collection for any scratches or dents. A man with a van is another option, but always check they have a valid address rather than a PO box number and a landline rather than just a mobile. Don't forget insurance and if you need boxes, www.helpineedboxes.co.uk and www.theboxstore.co.uk sell good quality ones, while www.eco-boxes.co.uk supply ones that can be collected afterwards.
Declutter and clean
There's no better time for a clear-out than when moving home. Declutter one room at a time, including all cupboards, cabinets and drawers – not forgetting the loft and garage - and remember William Morris's dictum that "everything must either be useful or beautiful." Can't face it? Hire a professional clutterologist via www.housedoctor.co.uk, www. workingorder.co.uk or www.clutter- clinic.co.uk.
Delcuttering will save you time and money, insists Romaine Lowery, who runs the Clutter Clinic. "Get together ornaments, clothes, jewellery and furniture you could sell, then use the money to buy one thing you really need for the new house. You can easily sell items on eBay, at auction or on Gumtree." And if you dispose of unneeded items before your removal quote, it will be less.
If you can afford it, employ an established cleaning company to clean the carpets in your new gaffe – it's much easier than when your furniture is all in, although avoid a wet system, which takes more time to dry out.
Better still, give the whole place a once-over. Some companies such as www.servicemasterclean.co.uk do both. If money is tight, then consider a carpet cleaning machine rental company, such as www. rugdoctor.co.uk.
Fact files, which include instruction leaflets and service information for the heating system and appliances you're leaving, are a godsend and can save you a lot of "How do I?" phone calls. Compile one for the people who are moving into your home and ask for one to be put together for your new property.
Fact files should also include details of rubbish collection and recycling schemes, doctors, tradesmen and other useful services. Better still, detail paint brands an colours used on the walls, as well as useful informationsuch as where the stopcock is located.
"Speak to the tenant or owner of your new home too if you can," adds Rob Hill. "They have lived there, so will know all the pros and cons of the house from rubbish and recycling collection to the technique to unlocking that sticky side gate."
If the new property has a burglar alarm, get the code. "We had a buyer move into a house where the vendor had set their alarm as they always did. None of us could turn it off and the vendor had moved to Australia," recalls Graham Lock, co-founder of www.housenetwork.co.uk.
On the day
Get someone to have your children and pets and round up all the keys to your old home from neighbours, friends and relatives. Change the locks in your new home too – you never know who has a set of keys. "Better still, arrange a security assessment, says James Grillo, associate director of Chesterton Humberts' country department. "Statistics show that you're almost twice as likely to be burgled in the 12 months after moving house – 4.6 per cent compared with 2.5 per cent."
If you're using a removal firm, make sure they have the colour- coded layout of your new home. Arrange for permission for vans to park outside the property if necessary and if you're renting, check the itinerary very carefully and always get your new version countersigned by the agent or landlord. Even the smallest crack in the paintwork can become a big crack during the time you live there and you don't want to lose your deposit.
"Give yourself a deadline of when all boxes will be unpacked at your new home. Mine is three days," says Romaine Lowery. If you can't face unpacking, www.reallymoving.com provides details of trained workers to do it for you.
"Introduce yourself to neighbours if you can," advises Lock. "It's a nice way to start your new life and they'll be able to give you some advice about the area."
Two (super-quick) men and a van
Sorting through, packing and moving the assorted bits and bobs you acquire from several years of moving from rented flat to rented flat is a task you don't look forward to – moving house is stressful. And when you work five-days-a-week you can multiply the stress rating by four. So when a friend suggested Green Man and Van, a carbon-neutral removal company who come into your house, pack everything (they'll even take your pictures off the wall), move it and then recycle the boxes and wrapping paper, I was as close to excited as you can be about such things. The first question though, was would it be too expensive? Surprisingly not. For £55 an hour you get two super-quick removal men who managed to wrap, pack, box and deliver a full Transit van's worth of my stuff from west to east London in little more than two hours. They arrived bang on time and even labelled the boxes with the rooms they were taken from: cups in "kitchen" box; clothes in "bedroom". And while a $110 isn't a insignificant sum, when you considered they turned a day's work into half a morning, it seems thoroughly worth it.
After death and divorce, moving home is the biggest cause of stress.
Moving sucks. There's really no way around that, but it can be a lot more tolerable and a lot less stressful. Here's a look at our best recommendations for an easier and more efficient move.
A lot of moving generally takes place over the next few months, and while everyone's experience and needs vary a little, a lot of the work involved in moving is the same no matter who you are. There's a lot to go over, so feel free to skip around:
Transferring Your Information
Before you move, be sure you know all the utilities you're responsible for and make the transfers. The further in advance you can make the call the better, as sometimes certain utility companies will not be able to come out the next day to make the switch. Another switch you can make in advance is filling out a change of address form, which you can do online. If you change your address online, be sure you have a credit card that uses your current address as the billing address, since that's how the postal service verifies the request.
Finding Packing Supplies On the Cheap
There are a lot of places to buy packing supplies, but boxes and tape can add up to quite a bit of money. You can avoid this additional cost by hitting up one of quite a few places handing out free boxes. Most retailers receive a lot of shipments, but your best bet is to contact furniture stores. While your average retailer may be able to provide you with some used boxes, you'll be able to find a greater range of sizes from furniture stores. Be sure to call them up at least a week in advance of when you want to start packing, however, as box disposal isn't necessarily a daily task. If your friends are moving before you, another way to get used boxes is to ask them to give them to you when they're finished. You may also be able to find boxes in the office you work in, or ask a friend to bring home any boxes they can find at the office. For more ideas, check out these tips on scoring free moving boxes.
Score Free Moving Boxes by Looking in the Right PlacesBrand new cardboard boxes can command a hefty premium. Skip paying for moving boxes by looking in…Read more
The downside to reusing boxes is that they're not always in the best condition. If you want brand new boxes (and other packing supplies), you can get a pretty good deal through ULine. They offer moving kits and will deliver to your door. Generally I don't like to plug a single place, but I've used ULine for my last four moves and they've been consistently helpful and inexpensive. One recommendation, however, is to avoid their cheap tape. When packing, good tape is surprisingly important, and the tape you get in ULine's moving kits is far from good enough.
In addition to packing supplies, you're going to want some tools for the actual move. It's fairly inexpensive to rent a hand truck and furniture dolly—both of which you'll want to have—from a truck rental company, but if you've got room to store them in your new place, it's not much more expensive to buy them. You can generally find these items for around twice the cost of rental at online retailers, hardware stores and discount clubs like Costco. When purchasing, just be sure to get a hand truck that can handle at least 150 lbs. and has a pretty solid build construction. Thick, solid wheels are also a plus, as you won't have to worry about deflation during the move. When the move is complete, a good box cutter is also helpful. It's an inexpensive tool and makes things a bit easier than a pair of scissors or a regular knife.
Everything you own may fit wonderfully in your current home, but it may not in your new one. It can be easy to make assumptions and forget to measure, so be sure to set aside some time to do it. Make an appointment at the new place, if necessary, to be absolutely certain your furniture will fit the way you want it. All you need to bring is a tape measure and the measurements of your furniture. If you really want to prepare, consider templating your furniture.
Moving Tips: Template your furnitureBlogger Josh Smith describes his method for finding a place for his furniture before the move by…Read more
Also, if you're planning on applying wallpaper (or hiring someone to do it), you're going to need to know the measurements of your walls. The same goes for hanging various items on the walls. What looks nice in one space may look awkward in another. You'll never be completely sure until you've moved and tried it out, but you can measure and estimate in advance to get a pretty clear picture.
If you want to go all out, AutoDesk HomeStyler is a great, free webapp that helps with the layout of your new home. If you want a complete plan, this is the way to go. Here's how it works:
Getting a Truck
Maybe you prefer to have a moving company help you out, but I've always found that my moves go faster without one. If you're taking the DIY approach, you're obviously going to need a truck. UHaul tends to be the commonly recognized brand for local moves, but you should be sure to look at your options. There are a few things you're going to want to consider when renting a truck:
Moving is not something you should do alone—it's not impossible, but it can be a miserable experience. Moving with friends is a lot more fun, and it makes everything gomuch faster. This isn't news, but if you've tried to coerce your friends to help you move, you may have found it's not the easiest thing to do. While you can win over some with the promise of free food and help with a future move, many people do not want to commit to a full day of physical labor. Instead of asking for the full day, make it easy on them and schedule your friends in shifts. For a one or two bedroom apartment, you won't really benefit from more than four or five people helping you. If you have enough friends, ask some to come in the morning and some to come in the afternoon. With less of a commitment you're more likely to find the help you need.
PackingMore than anything, I hate packing boxes because of how long it takes to do it well and how many things there are to consider. On top of that, you have to think about what you can't pack and actually need on a day-to-day basis. When you're surrounded by everything you can't yet pack, it gets a little stressful, so let's take a look on how to break up this enormous undertaking.
Pack Like You're Going on Vacation
We'll get into the big stuff next, but first things first: set aside the essentials. You're going to need mainly clothing and toiletries which should fit pretty easily into any standard carry-on suitcase. While you may want to wait until the week before you move to do this, put everything you need in that suitcase and live out of it. This isn't as comforting as having everything in its usual place, but you'll know where your necessities are and you won't accidentally pack any of them. When all your other packing is complete, you can just zip up your suitcase and drive it over to your new home.
Packing by room is an ideal worth pursuing, but it's not necessarily realistic. Some of the time you'll have electronics from the living room fraternizing with the soft pillows and sheets from the bedroom in order to save on packing materials. At times you may want to wedge a book from another room into a box that has just a little extra space left. There are all sorts of situations in which you may want to mix contents from room to room, but it makes keeping track of what's where a lot harder. If sorting by room does work for you, stick to it. If you want more flexibility, there are other options.
If you have a lot of extra sheets, pillows, blankets, and soft items, you should put them all in one place. Assume you'll be using one for each box, so as you unpack you'll know the first thing you'll need to do is take that soft item to its appropriate place. Be sure to set aside bedsheets and the minimal number of pillows for their own box so you have them ready to go as soon as you move in. If you have room, include these items in your essentials suitcase.
You'll also find that you have a lot of miscellaneous items that don't belong to any particular room but just happen to be wherever they are. Find all of these items first, set them aside, and use them as filler for any box. Packing these items in a particular way (such as placing them in a plastic bag with a specific marking on it, such as a star) will help you keep track of what's miscellaneous filler and what isn't.
Overall, however, you'll want to keep boxes as room-specific as possible. Even if you're moving to a small apartment and not a multi-floor home, having everything in its correct place when it's time to unpack will prevent unnecessary stress. You'll be in a new environment and won't know where you put every single thing you've moved. Staying very organized while packing will save you a lot more time and effort in the long run. Know your system and stick to it.
Labeling and Managing Your Inventory
Unmarked boxes are no fun when unpacking, but there are so many ways to keep track of your stuff—and label it informatively—that it can be hard to find the best system. The most common method involves a black marker and room names on your boxes. I find this method really annoying, however, because you generally have to bend yourself in an awkward position to write on the box. Space to write is also a concern, especially when it comes to smaller boxes. Searching the list for what you're looking for can also be more difficult since 1) you have a lot of items on the box and 2) you can't search hand-written text. I think inventory and labeling is one of those things best handled on a computer—or at least electronically in some way. With my most recent move, I explored some new options.
Mobile Inventory Software
Back in April we looked at the Five Best Home Inventory Tools and, as you can see, they're all over the map. In fact, only two of the five are actually designed for home inventory, and Delicious Library specializes in media rather than handling everything. While there are some specific options for keeping a detailed database of your stuff, not much handles moves. After looking around for awhile I almost opted to write a web app to handle everything, since there wasn't anything simple, easy and cheap/free. While I still feel there's a bit of a void, I found an option for the iPhone that works pretty well.
Moving Van costs $1.99 and attempts to take you through the entire packing, moving, and unpacking process. You can photograph your stuff, add that stuff to specific boxes, assign those boxes to specific rooms and ultimately email your inventory to your computer. While the app feels rough at times and wasn't always the paragon of stability, it got the job done pretty well. I was concerned about entering a large amount of data on a smartphone, but it wasn't as time consuming as I'd expected. You're really only typing a couple of words for each item, and if you consider the time it would take to walk over to your laptop and type in the item you'll find it really isn't any slower. Adding photos is considerably faster, of course, because you can use your iPhone's built-in camera. Even with its faults, Moving Van was my favorite tool this time around. When you're all over the apartment and you still don't know where to find something, being able to look it up on your phone is an enormous help.
While I haven't come across a comparable or better app for Android, please share options in the comments if you've found anything good.
If you prefer to handle your move via webapp, previously mentioned MoveIdiot is a feature-rich option that'll help you organize your move and stay on track.
Labeling by Weight (and Other Information)
Labeling by room (i.e. Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, etc.) is a given (even some nifty tape can help), and labeling boxes with their contents can also be helpful. What most people don't consider when moving a box is actually moving it. A box is a very basic-looking object that doesn't tell you too much about itself just by its form. Relevant to moving, you don't know know which side ought to be upright and how much it weighs. When physically moving the boxes from one place to another, weight and orientation are important. For example, you don't want to place a heavy box on top of a light one. Labeling your boxes with relative weight (light, medium and heavy) will make each trip to and from the truck a lot easier.
Encoded Labeling with QR Codes
A few years ago I tracked my box inventory in a text file. In some ways it was great: I could print it, view it on mobile devices, search it and easily move an item from one box to another if I entered it in prematurely. On the other hand, when it came to labeling, I found it difficult to fit the entire inventory on a label. Additionally, there are certain circumstances where you might not want the contents of your box exposed to the world—for example, if there's something expensive in the box and you can't watch the moving truck every single second of the move or if you just have a few things you don't want your friends to know about (like your ultimate Justin Bieber collection).
While they introduce their own inconveniences, I found QR codes to be a decent solution. What you can do is manage your inventory in a text file and then copy the contents of the boxes to a QR code generator like this one. A single QR code can handle 250 characters and that's often enough for the contents of a single box. If not, fitting 2-3 on a standard size shipping label is no problem either. Using the QR codes keeps the contents of your box relatively hidden and provides a way to fit the contents of the box into a much smaller space. You can then read the codes easily with one of many mobile phone apps, such as QR App (iPhone, free) and Barcode Scanner (Android, free — browse to Google Shopping on your phone, choose "More" and then "Scan Barcode" to install). While this solution is pretty geeky and certainly not for everyone, it's a fun way to label your boxes that actually solves some issues as well.
If you've taken the time to prepare, unpacking shouldn't be too difficult. Nonetheless, you'll still have a number of tasks ahead of you. Here are some things to consider when moving in to help everything go smoothly.
Hopefully your couch made it over in one piece, but some furniture—like your bed—is probably best when transferred in disassembled form. If you find that you don't remember how to put things back together again and the manual isn't available online, you can often have instructions sent to you from the manufacturer by just making a quick call. If email isn't an option for them and snail mail will take too long for you, often times you can convince the company to fax the instructions. A quick Google search will turn up several 30-day free trials for fax services that you can use to get your instructions and then cancel as soon as you have what you need.
Clean and Dust First
If your furniture wasn't dusty or dirty when you loaded it into the truck, it probably is now. Before you bring it into your home it's best to wipe it down just a little bit. You can dust more thoroughly once inside, but definitely be sure to do it before you put the furniture to use.
Use Your Closets
It's easy to clutter up your home when unpacking because you'll have stuff everywhere. It can become a little intimidating when you have to move it all around. If you can manage, fill your closets first—even if it's only temporary. This will help keep clutter out of the way and leave you more room to unpack the important stuff.
Trash Disposal and Recycling
When you're all done, you'll have papers, boxes, and other items left over. Getting rid of boxes can be as easy a a quick post on Craigslist. You can't pass everything along, however, and will need to dispose of it properly. If you're moving into an apartment, it's best to check with your building's management before seeking out trash and recycling. The building may have un-posted policies you're not aware of.