Whether you’re moving across country or just across town, moving can be a stressful, complicated process. There are utilities to deal with, mail to handle, movers to schedule—and then all that packing.
The good news is there’s a way to make moving manageable. A little upfront planning can go a long way in taking the hiccups out of moving day. You just need to know how to prepare for a move.
Things to Do Before You Move
The key to a good move is to get started early. Here are 10 steps to take to make sure your big move goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Sort Through Your Stuff
There’s no reason to move stuff you don’t want or need. Instead of packing everything in your home, separate the things you want to keep from the things that can go. Host a yard sale to earn a little extra cash or make a tax-deductible donation to a charity or thrift store so that someone else can make use of the things you no longer want.
2. Collect Packing Supplies
You can either purchase boxes in the shapes and sizes you need or opt to save money by looking for secondhand boxes. Grocery stores and recycling centers will likely have plenty of used boxes they can give you for free. You’ll also need some additional packing supplies, such as tape and cushioning materials. You can purchase bubble wrap or packing peanuts to snugly pack your breakables, but that can get expensive. Be creative and use things you already have to cushion your breakables, like bed linens, towels and even T-shirts.
3. Reserve a Moving Truck
First, you need to decide if you will hire professional movers or rent a truck and haul your belongings on your own. Once you’ve figured out what best fits your budget and needs, call at least three companies to get quotes. Then pick the one that best fits your needs and make a reservation for your moving day.
4. Reserve a Storage Unit
Renting a storage unit, even if only for a month, can give you the breathing room you need during the move. It can be especially helpful to pack up items you don’t use on a regular basis and move them into the unit. Then, once you unpack your everyday items, you can retrieve those boxes.
5. Start Packing
There are a lot of things to remember when moving, so don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. Start filling boxes several weeks in advance with things you won’t need before your move. Even spending an hour each day sorting your stuff and packing will make your move less stressful in the end. Also consider making dinner with food already in your pantry and fridge so you have less to worry about moving on the big day.
6. Change Your Address
Notify the post office, in person or online, of your new address and schedule a start date for your mail to be forwarded. You’ll also want to touch base with your bank and credit card companies. For a complete list of who to notify of your new address, check out this helpful list.
7. Disconnect Your Utilities
Before you move, call all of your utilities—water, gas and electricity—to schedule a stop service date. You’ll also want to cancel or transfer service for your phone, TV and Internet. The sooner you let these companies know the better as there may be specific rules or fees for rush disconnects.
8. Set Up New Utilities
A week or more before you move, call to schedule a start service date with the utilities in your new area. If you’re moving to an energy-deregulated state, the process will be slightly different. Instead of calling the utility, you can sign up for natural gas and/or electric service from one of dozens of competing companies. You’ll need to spend some time shopping for the best deal.
9. Schedule Time Off
Your move might be more than you can tackle in a weekend. If you need a few days or weeks to trek across country and get settled, arrange to take time off work. Your move will be a lot less stressful if you’re not rushed.
10. Put Together a Moving Day Kit
Come moving day, you don’t want everything packed away in the truck. Keep a small bag or box handy that has all the essentials—snacks, water, first aid supplies, toilet paper and a change of clothes—just in case. There’s nothing worse than wasting 30 minutes of valuable moving time digging through boxes to remember where you packed your jacket.
How to Prepare for Moving with StorageMart
Whether moving day is in a few days, weeks, or even a few months, take a few minutes to set up a plan of attack and cross these important items off your to-do list. Keep in mind your local StorageMart offers a wide variety of moving and packing supplies, as well as a friendly and clean place to store belongings during the transition or while you settle in. Check out our storage unit guide or rent a unit online today.