If you have to disassemble furniture or home appliances for the move, take photos of the back configuration. This will help you reassemble everything easily in your new place.
Start packing nice-to-have items before tackling the need-to-haves. This will save time and energy.
Number each box and keep an inventory list in a notebook to avoid lost or misplaced items. Also, consider having your movers shrink-wrap upholstered pieces of furniture.
1. Start Packing Early
If you’re planning to move by yourself, it’s a good idea to start packing early. This way, you’ll have all of your supplies ready when the time comes to pack, and you’ll have plenty of extra tape to make sure everything is properly sealed.
You should start by packing rooms that you don’t use on a daily basis, such as the attic or basement. This will minimize the disruption to your home life as you move from room to room.
Ideally, you should also begin by packing items that can be easily transported. This includes clothing on hangers, kids’ toys in baskets and suitcases, and books in boxes or in suitcases on wheels. This will help keep your belongings safe during the move and will save you space in boxes. Also, consider putting liquids like condiments and shampoos in plastic bags to prevent leaks.
3. Pack a Day at a Time
Taking a day-by-day approach can help you feel more manageable during the packing process. Start the day by walking through your closets and cabinets and donating or tossing anything you don’t need in your move. You may also want to remove fixtures from furniture pieces, especially those that have loose parts. For mirrors or large framed pictures, make an ‘X’ using masking tape over the glass to minimize damage in the event of breakage.
Start packing your dining room items, making sure to protect delicate dishes and utensils with paper, kitchen towels or linens before stacking them in boxes. Then, pack your bedroom. Be sure to keep essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste with you while you’re moving, or leave them in their original cases. Also, be sure to clear a path for the movers and keep extension cords and wires out of the way.
4. Make a Moving Checklist
Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, there are certain things that must be done before your move-in day. Make sure to cancel or redirect deliveries, notify your post office of your address change and double-check that all items that require special care are prepared for the movers.
Do a final clean of your home and sort through closets, cabinets and storage areas. You may be surprised to discover how much you can declutter by donating, selling or tossing items that you haven’t used in a while.
Create a file or folder for all of your moving-related research, estimates, receipts, important signed documents and notes. This way, they’re all in one place and easy to find when you need them. Also, make a “day” box to pack with toiletries, medications and clothes for your first few days in your new home.
5. Have a Plan for Your Pets
For some pets, moving can be stressful and affect their health. It’s best to find someone who can watch them or keep them in their safe place during moving day. This can help reduce their stress and keep them away from the boxes and other items.
It’s also important to have a plan for your pets in the event that you are temporarily hospitalized or pass away during the move. Have a short-term plan in place with a neighbor or friend who lives nearby and knows your pet and can care for it, as well as a long-term estate planning decision that addresses your wishes for what will happen to your pets (whether dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish, or guinea pigs) if you cannot provide care for them. This can be done through a trust or life insurance.
6. Schedule Utility Service at Your New Home
It’s important to get your new home set up with power, water, and Internet access. This helps ensure that you’ll have what you need when it’s time to start moving in.
Call your utility providers and inform them that you’re moving. Be sure to give them your move-in date as well as the exact dates you want to have service shut off at your old house and turned on at your new one.
Also, inquire about overdue payments before you move. Settling these accounts early can save you a lot of money in the long run.
8. Schedule a Cleaning Service
When you’re moving out of a home or apartment, it’s important to leave the property in good condition. This is especially true if you’re renting and want to ensure you get your deposit back or if you’re putting the home on the market and need to present it in its best light to potential buyers.
Cleaning services can make this process easier by taking care of the dirty work for you. They’ll clean carpets, baseboards, appliances, bathrooms, and more so that you can move in knowing your new home is spotless. This will give you one less thing to worry about during the move and help your family adjust to their new life more quickly.
9. Schedule a Moving Inspection
Depending on the type of mover you hire, an inspection may be part of the process. If so, it’s important to do a thorough inspection. It’s also helpful to have photos of any items that are damaged. Taking these photographs can help you negotiate with your moving company if any damage occurs.
Landlords should be sure to schedule a move-out inspection as soon as the previous tenant has completely vacated the premises. This helps avoid any instances in which potential damages are hidden by rugs, furniture, or boxes that the tenants have not yet removed. This will help ensure that both parties are on the same page in terms of the condition of the property and can address any disagreements quickly and efficiently. Ideally, the inspection should be conducted in person so that both parties can have clear communication.
10. Schedule a Final Walkthrough
A final walk-through is an important part of the closing process. It gives the buyer the opportunity to make sure that all of the contingencies in their contract have been addressed and to check that any repairs that were supposed to be made are complete.
This is also an opportunity to test any appliances that will be staying in the home (like the refrigerator and oven), as well as check for things like sagging floor boards, cracking ceilings, and discoloration on walls or floors. Ideally, you’ll bring the inspection report along so that you can compare what you see to what was noted in the report.
If something significant is discovered during a final walk-through, it’s possible that the buyers can back out of the sale. However, this should be a last resort and only after working with the seller to find an acceptable solution.