Now matter what size your current home is or how much stuff you have, moving can be stressful and difficult. Approaching your move in an organized fashion can reduce your anxiety and help to ensure that you'll be ready to roll come moving day.
1. Hire the Moving Company
Six to eight weeks before you plan to move, start shopping for moving companies. You may need even more lead time if you're moving during the summer, and less if you'll move between Thanksgiving and New Years. If it's already too late to schedule your move well in advance, you may be able to find a mover willing to fit you in at the last minute, but you'll probably pay a higher fee.
2. Gather Packing Supplies
Make the rounds to local stores willing to give you boxes for free. A store employee can tell you which days of the week work best with their delivery schedules. Consider purchasing specialty boxes for odd-shaped and delicate items, such as framed pictures, lamps and televisions.
You'll need plenty of padding material, such as newspaper, plastic grocery bags, packing paper and bubble wrap. Also have on hand packing tape, markers, string, scissors and a pad and pen.
3. Set Up a Packing Station
Clear out a space in your home that you can devote to packing. Set up a large table to work on, and organize the boxes and other supplies next to or underneath it.
4. Clear Out the Clutter
Before you start to pack in earnest, box up belongings you don't want to keep or throw away, and store them out of the way until you can arrange to sell or donate them. Throw away everything not worth keeping or giving away. The only items left in your home should be things you intend to pack.
5. Pack Nonessentials
Pack up housewares, photos, books, CDs and DVDs, decorative items, and clothing and linens you won't need until after the move. Label the boxes with their contents and the room you want the movers to put them in your new home.
6. Evaluate Your Progress
About two weeks before your moving date, take a step back and evaluate your progress. If you're not on schedule with packing, decide whether you need to change the moving date or enlist your moving company to help you pack.
7. Pack Up the Kitchen
The week before you move, give away everything except staples that are too expensive to replace or that you'll need shortly after your move. Also clean out the refrigerator, and keep it clear of everything except items you'll eat or drink between now and moving day. Pack up dinnerware and cookware you can live without for the next several days.
8. Finish Packing Bedrooms and Living Areas
As you continue packing your belongings, keep the boxes in each room organized. Put an empty spare box in each room for last-minute items.
9. The Night Before the Big Day
Use suitcases to pack toiletries, medicines, sheets, towels, jewelry, and a day or two of clothes for each family member. Each family member should also have a tote so they can keep a few toys, books and devices close at hand. Take these items in your car to prevent your necessities from being temporarily lost in a sea of boxes.
10. Moving Day
Make a list of all the rooms and other areas, such as your garage or tool shed, that have boxes or items to move. By this point, the last-minute boxes should be sealed and ready to go.
Strip the beds and gather up dirty laundry items and store them in a plastic kitchen or leaf bag.
Pets need special attention on moving day. Crate or leash them and have a family member sit with them outside, or, better yet, have a pet sitter care for them in the sitter's own home.
As tough and stress-inducing as moving is, going in with a plan makes the job go faster, helps to prevent last-minute glitches and allows you to settle into your new home as quickly as possible. Talk with a moving company, like United Moving & Storage, to see what other tips they suggests for preparing for moving day.