Plain and simple while moving to a new home is often exciting the actual packing, scheduling and hiring of people to do the job can be a drag. You never know why anyone has to move; a new job or needing more space for a growing family. Whatever the circumstance, preparing to move an entire family can be stressful and overwhelming. I have moved many times including moving to five different states. Here’s a few tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into whether moving across town or across the country.
To Buy or to Rent: Money and the amount of time you’ll be living in a particular area are always the biggest issues when trying to figure out whether buying or renting makes the most sense. Some financial advisors would say living somewhere three years may be enough time to take the plunge and purchase. Monthly rent will certainly be higher than the average mortgage (depending on where you purchase) but you must also consider down payments, closing costs, realtor fees, taxes, and resale value of the home you want to buy. There are helpful calculators online that help you crunch numbers to know how many years you need to live in a place to start building equity in your home.
Purge: Oh boy, this is a tough one! How hard is it to get rid of those things that hold so much sentimental value yet they’re really taking up space because, well, you don’t use them anymore? As hard as it is to let go, take the time to purge unnecessary stuff. Each moving truck you rent will only add to the overall cost of your move. Let go of items, especially furniture, that’s broken, no longer fit, or can be replaced easily. This will open up space on the moving truck for the items you’ve decided are important and special to your family. This is particularly true for families who are moving cross country. Let friends know you’re moving and give stuff away. Have a yard or stoop sale. If you have time, take advantage of neighborhood online yard sales. People love a bargain!
Get Prepared: It will make your life so much easier if you have all you need beforehand. Getting sturdy boxes, packing tape, boxes for hanging clothes, bubble wrap, and sharpie markers are crucial. You can purchase boxes from places that rent moving trucks. You can also get free ones from many groceries stores and, believe it or not, even ABC stores. Spend a little extra time to wrap precious or breakable items. Blankets and quilts are great to wrap around furniture to prevent scratching.
Make a Plan: Unfortunately, life often doesn’t stop simply because you bought a new home. You may even have to start that brand new job in a new state when your home is filled with boxes. Make your life less stressful by planning your move. If at all possible, try to pack one room at a time. This is helpful if you know these items will simply go into that same type of room in your new house. Be sure to label boxes for the room they need to end up in if it’s a different space from the room they are currently in at your former home. This will help with unloading.
Pack a Bag: You may think that once you’re in your new home you’ll want to unpack as quickly as possible. It’s wise to remember the factor of the unexpected! And you’ll definitely want everything you need for your first shower right where you can find it. You may want to wipe out drawers in your new home before unpacking. You may still have to go back and clean the old place while cleaning the new space, which delays unpacking. So, pack a suitcase like you’ll be away from home for a week. This will give you clothes, pajamas, toiletries, towels, and maybe even sheets to get you through the first few days living with boxes and a bit of feeling disoriented. Also, if at all possible, keep important documents like id’s, prescriptions, passports, banking information, etc. in a file box with you.
Pack Your Bed and Mattress Last: Many people want to load the largest items first once the moving truck arrives. I totally understand this logic but I would advise you to load your bed last if at all possible. It is so helpful for your bed to be unloaded and put together as soon as possible once you are at your new home. It will be ready for you as you collapse at the end of moving day even if the rest of your new place is in disarray.
Get Insured: If you decided to use a moving company, be sure you have a contract with pick-up and delivery dates. Be sure you the company is insured and has great reviews. You should know what happens if something is lost or broken.
I hope these suggestions make your move less stressful. I also hope they help keep you from digging endlessly through boxes for essentials in the days after your move!
Congratulations on your next big adventure!