In 2017, approximately 11% of Americans moved to a new home. Moving can be extremely stressful, whether you’re relocating within your city or across the country. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prepare before moving day. The following tips apply whether you’re moving yourself or hiring commercial movers.
Tip 1: Use a Notebook as a Journal to Plan Your Move
This is a simple method for making moving easier. Select a binder or notebook and use it for budgeting, task lists, receipts, organization, and all other aspects of moving that should be put on paper. Use colored sticky notes or tabs to divide the notebook into sections so you can get to them quickly. A binder might offer pockets or folders to secure important papers; this way, you’ll always know where those papers are. Jot down an inventory of packed items, noting the contents of each box.
Tip 2: Figure Out Your Moving Costs
Before you begin to prepare for your move, it’s important to have a carefully calculated budget. This is important whether you plan to use commercial movers or to move on your own. Costs can mount quickly if you don’t decide beforehand what you’re willing to spend.
If your employer is willing to reimburse you for certain moving expenses, it’s crucial to keep track of receipts. You’ll also need receipts when it’s time to work on your income taxes.
Some moving costs include: hiring commercial movers or renting a truck you’ll drive and pack yourself; boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and related moving supplies; cleaning products you’ll need to leave your previous home in good shape for the next residents; gas, food, motels, and transportation by bus or air if you’re moving long distance; car maintenance prior to a long distance relocation; emergency funds you may need in the process of moving; and fees for storage and temporary housing if your new home isn’t move-in ready.
Tip 3: Provide a Change of Address Before You Leave Your Current Home
Use a page in your moving notebook for a list of anyone you might need to contact before your move. This list might include: friends and family; the United States Post Office (they have change of address forms); companies that provide essential services like power, water, garbage removal, and Internet and cable service; shopping websites that will need your new address; the Department of Motor Vehicles; insurance companies; banking and credit card institutions; and other companies or institutions that send you important mail.
Tip 4: Find Free Moving Supplies
To save on moving material costs, get boxes of different sizes for different purposes from a grocery store or large department store. Ask friends if they have boxes you can use if you promise to return them.
Tip 5: Hire Commercial Movers
If you can afford to pay a moving company, you’ll reduce much of the time, effort, and worry of moving. The cost will depend in part on the weight of the furniture and boxes you’ll be moving, so be sure to get free estimates from a number of commercial movers. Go online and read customer reviews for all the companies you’re considering. Read their insurance information to ensure that your property will be covered. Make sure movers hold licenses in the areas through which they’ll be transporting your belongings. Before you make a final choice, get a binding estimate.
Tip 6: Get Assistance from Friends and Family
If you hire commercial movers, you’ll still need help from family and friends before the move and on the day of the move. Assess what each person is willing and able to contribute. Some may be best at packing if they tend to be organized. Only friends and family members with enough physical strength should be asked to move heavy items. Do-it-yourselfers will be good at fixing holes in walls from thumbtacks, nails, and screws, as well as cleaning and painting.
Moving is a big job, whether you hire commercial movers or do the driving and unloading yourself. A successful move involves planning ahead, making detailed lists, getting assistance, and staying organized. If you’d like professional help, contact a moving company near you today for an estimate.