Moving is regarded as one of the most stressful activities with all the emotional and physical upheaval it entails. The best way to reduce the pressure is to make sure you have done everything you can ahead of time to ensure the process goes smoothly.
By following the five tips below, you will have eliminated most of the problems that cause hassle during a residential move.
Get organized early
When you’re planning a house move, there is no such thing as starting too early. Even before you’ve signed contracts you can be creating a basic ‘to do’ list as some tasks you might be able to complete without a firm moving date (e.g. researching moving firms).
Make a note of everything you have to do and, as soon as it’s possible to do so, organize them into a timeline based on the moving day (e.g. moving day, one week before, two weeks before, one month before, three months before, etc.)
Give yourself plenty of time to choose and book a decent moving company. It may seem a long way before your move but it doesn’t take long for weekends and holidays to get booked up. Read customer reviews, check the company’s listing on the BBB website and enter their USDOT number (which should be marked on their website) into the search box at https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/search.asp
Using a decent professional moving company can make all the difference between a smooth, hassle-free moving day experience and frustration caused by delays and mishandling of your possessions.
Rather than leave it until the last minute, decide on a packing plan everyone is happy with. Some people choose to move methodically from room to room while others empty the least used rooms first and use those rooms for storing packed boxes.
Don’t forget to contact USPS and set up mail and package forwarding. This will stop you worrying about whether you have remembered to update your address details with all of the companies you receive regular mail from.
If the new property is empty and you have the chance, arrange to visit ahead of time to give it a thorough clean. While you are there, measure the doorways to make sure your furniture and white goods will fit. If you are changing carpets or window fittings, take measurements of the space too.
De-clutter before your Move
The less you have to pack and move, the less time it will take and the less money you will spend (especially if moving interstate where weight is factored into moving rates).
As soon as you know you are going to move, go through each room and create three piles for anything you want to sell, donate or recycle/throw out. By the time you’ve been through your entire house you will probably be amazed at how much stuff you have saved yourself the hassle of moving. Hosting a garage sale is a great way to lighten the load while making a buck or two and saying goodbye to the neighbors.
If you are torn between transporting or buying new, think about how heavy the item is compared to its value. For example, if you are moving a long way, it can often be more economical to leave heavy items of furniture or white goods behind and buy new on arrival.
You will also need to find out what items your moving company will not carry so you can make alternative arrangements for them. For example, chemicals, tins of paint, potted plants and hazardous materials are often prohibited. If you have a lawn mower, you will probably have to empty the gas out before a moving company will take it.
Pack an essentials bag
An essentials bag (or box) should contain everything you are likely to need should your moving truck be delayed or you’re simply too whacked to be bothered with unpacking at your destination.
The actual contents will vary depending on what your family considers essential but most will include:
- Food which can be quickly and easily prepared (eggs, sandwiches, chips, fruit, canned beans, candy bars, soup, etc.)
- Bottled water
- Plate, bowl and set of cutlery for each family member
- Washing soap, dishcloths and dish towels
- Basic cleaning items (bleach, small pan and brush, surface cleaner, cloths, etc.)
- Cell phone chargers
- Basic tools (hammer, screwdrivers, wrench, box cutter, etc.)
- Change of clothes per family member
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Hand towels
Your essentials bag will travel with you so make sure it is clearly labelled and doesn’t get packed away by accident (it happens!)
INVEST IN GOOD QUALITY PACKING SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
The importance of stocking up on good quality items from a movers equipment supply company should not be underestimated. Equipment and packaging failures are a big source of unnecessary hassle that you should avoid at all costs.
First, second hand cardboard boxes from the local store are not a reliable substitute for brand new moving cartons from a specialist supplier. Moving cartons are tested to ensure they can resist the hazards that come from moving including being crushed under the weight of other boxes.
Despite appearances, second hand boxes could be very old and may have suffered mistreatment, spillages and more. This will have weakened the structure of the box and increases the risk of damage during the move.
It is worth considering investing in specialist cartons for certain items. For example, wardrobe boxes make it easy to store your clothes without taking them off their hangers while telescopic picture cartons will expand to fit any size of artwork or mirror.
Good quality packing tape, shrink wrap, newsprint and other supplies will all pay off in the long run by saving time and maximizing the protection of your valuable items.
It is best to spend a bit extra on good quality cotton moving pads. These will provide the best protection for your furniture and white goods. You might want to even considering buying your very own 2 wheel dollies to help you to move boxes and furniture between rooms, reducing hassle as well as the chance of injury.
Follow a useful labeling system
There’s one thing guaranteed to lead to hassle, it’s failing to label your cartons properly. There are many different labeling systems out available.
First, you should label each box with both the room it is destined for together with a few bullets highlighting key items (e.g. blender, coffee machine, toaster). Make sure that you write this on the top and all four sides of the box. This means that it doesn’t matter which way round they are loaded in the mover’s truck.
Next, make sure that each box has a clear arrow pointing to the top to ensure the cartons are stored the right way up. This is another reason why professional moving cartons are best because they usually have arrows pre-printed on them.
Finally, mark any boxes containing fragile items clearly.
By taking care of the five areas covered above, you will reduce the chances of unforeseen problems adding to your stress levels. You might even give yourself permission to enjoy the process! Here’s to a hassle-free move.
Mr. Levine has served at New Haven for forty years. He has had several positions within the company prior to becoming CEO, including serving as General Manager of the Louisville, KY office; Vice-President of the Texas Companies, and President of New Haven. Get in touch via Facebook.