Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time or relocating to a different location, you might just be ready to pull out your hair from the neverending to-do list to prepare for the big move. Does it give you a headache just thinking about it? Well, you’re not alone!
I recently moved places myself so I totally understand how you feel. It was definitely a stressful event that took up a lot of time and effort weeks before the move to ensure everything ran smoothly.
Luckily, moving doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal if you’re organized, prepared, know what to expect and how to deal with the stress. In my post today, I’ll be talking about some of the tips and tricks I personally learned from my own most recent moving experience that I hope will help some of you out.
Preparing For A Successful Move
Preparation is the absolute key to success when you move and it’s so important if you want to have a smooth transition from your old place to your new one. That was one of the main lessons I had to learn the hard way from my most recent experience. If you’re moving places for the first time like I did, let me tell you that you’re in for one hell of a ride if you’re not prepared!
Even when you think you have everything planned out ahead of time, Mother Nature has a tendency to throw you curve balls and things don’t usually go perfectly as planned. Because this happens, you do not want to give yourself more stress by leaving things until the very last moment.
If you’re the type of person to plan things ahead of time and you’re super organized, moving will probably be a breeze for you. On the other hand, if procrastination is one of your weaknesses (you have a tendency to cram for tests or you like to always wait until the last minute to do stuff), you need to make sure you’re on top of things or else moving will be absolute hell!
Now without further ado, let’s get on with the list of things you’ll want to prepare yourself with in order for a successful move.
Determine A Moving Date
So you’ve finally found your new pad and now you’re ready to pick a date to move out of your current one. One of the very first steps to prepare your move is to determine the exact moving date. There are so many factors that might influence the day you choose. For example, if you live in an apartment that only has set hours and days of the week where you can move out, you will also need to coordinate with the hours and times of the new building in order to move in on the same day.
You might want to ask yourself these questions in order to determine your moving date:
- Do I need to take a day or two off work to move?
- Does my building allow me to move out on weekends?
- Can I afford to move out a little earlier? (Moving out a lot earlier than your last day can highly reduce stress especially if anything goes wrong or things get delayed.)
- Which days can I get help for the move?
- Will I need to hire movers?
- Which days and times can I choose to book a service elevator if I live in an apartment?
Hire Or Do It Yourself?
Once you’ve determined which day you’ll be moving out, another important thing you have to decide is if you’re going to hire professional movers or if you will do all of the heavy lifting yourself. There are pros and cons to each option and it will ultimately be up to you to decide which one is a better fit for you. I recommend that you do a price comparison of each option.
Hire A Moving Company
The first option is to hire a professional moving company. If you don’t have any moving experience, you’re unable to find help from friends and family, you’re moving long distance, or you have a ton of stuff to move, I’d strongly suggest that you consider this option. The great thing about hiring a moving company is that all the heavy lifting will be done for you, you don’t have to worry about renting a truck, and they’ll provide you with all the moving supplies needed.
Although you’ll probably have peace of mind that everything will be taken care of during the move, hiring a moving company is not all rainbows and lollipops! As you can probably guess, they can be very expensive as you are paying for the labor and materials of multiple people helping you do the heavy lifting. Rates will depend on the area you’re in and you won’t know if they’re truly reliable until you actually use their services. There’s also the possibility that they will mistreat your belongings or not show up at all on the day of the move.
You should definitely do your research and choose a good moving company. If you’re closely attached to your belongings or you have extremely expensive furniture, you might want to choose a more expensive option that is known for providing excellent service. If cost is an issue, you should probably just stick to doing it yourself.
Do It Yourself
If you find that hiring a moving company is too expensive, you don’t have that much to move, you’re moving to an area that’s close by, or you don’t like the idea of a moving company touching your stuff, that’s fine too! However, it can be a little more complicated. You have to ensure that you find the right help, which means not asking any friends or family who you know will be sloppy with your furniture and belongings. Not only will you have to find people to help out with the heavy lifting, you’ll also have to rent a truck and purchase your own moving supplies. If you’re all about moving on a budget and you think you’re capable of handling it, this is probably your best option.
Rent A Truck
The most important thing you’ll need if you’re planning on moving by yourself is to rent a truck. You’ll need to decide on which rental company to go with and the size of the truck that is the most suitable for you. I recommend renting a truck as soon as possible once you know which date you’ll be moving out. Bookings go fast especially if you’re moving out at the end of the month like everyone else!
Finding the right truck rental can be a tough decision because there are so many companies with different rates and options. Some will give you a certain number of kilometers for free and then require you to pay a charge for each additional kilometer. Other companies allow you to drop off the truck in a different city than the one you picked it up from but for a hefty price. Ultimately, you should make the decision based on your individual needs. One thing I would highly recommend you do is to figure out exactly how far of a distance you’ll need to drive as this greatly impacts the price you’ll pay.
Here are a few things you should consider before choosing the right company for you:
- Can I drop off the truck at a location nearby my new house?
- How big of a truck do I need to fit all of my furniture and belongings?
- How many kilometers do I need to drive from start to finish?
- Do I only need the truck for a few hours or for the entire day?
- How much will insurance cost on top of the rental price?
- Does the truck come with a loading ramp? (Having one seriously makes it easier to move heavy furniture on and off the truck!)
Gather All The Necessary Supplies
Once you’ve booked the truck, you’ve got to purchase packing supplies to keep your furniture and belongings safe during the move. A lot of times, rental truck companies will supply you with these if you pay extra for them. You can also choose to just purchase the items yourself.
Here is a list of packing and moving supplies you’ll need for a successful move:
- Packing tape
- Cardboard boxes
- Stretch wrap
- Moving blankets
- Bubble wrap
- Mattress moving bag
- Permanent marker
- Utility knife
- Garbage bags
Okay, so now that you’ve gotten all of the necessary moving supplies that you’ll need, here comes the most tedious part. You’ll want to definitely start packing earlier rather than later so I recommend giving yourself a few weeks to complete this if you want to pack at a slow but steady pace. Of course, this will depend on how many belongings and rooms you have.
Get Rid Of Junk
You might not notice it until you have to move but you accumulate a lot of junk over time (even if you’re not a hoarder!). To minimize what you need to pack and move to your new place, one of the first things you should do once you’ve planned out the logistics of the move is to start purging any belongings that you don’t want or need anymore. It’s a lot easier to declutter and then move fewer things than it is to pack everything up and find out that you don’t even want to keep half of the stuff you’ve moved. A good way to get rid of your junk is to donate them or sell them locally or on the Internet.
Disassemble Big Furniture
Next, disassemble any big pieces of furniture that can be taken apart. This will help you save space in your truck and it’ll be a lot easier to carry the parts out separately if they’re in smaller pieces. Once you’ve dismantled your furniture, make sure all of the small pieces are kept together in a plastic bag and taped to the main furniture piece so that they don’t get lost.
And just a side note: It’s so important that you complete this step before moving day because you never know what might go wrong. You might find that it takes you a lot longer than you anticipated and that’s something you really don’t want to have to deal with if you’re on a tight schedule.
Wrap Your Furniture
For the rest of the furniture that is left intact such as your couch, tables, and drawers, you’ll want to fully protect them from any damage during the move.
What I did was drape glass and wooden pieces with bubble wrap or moving blankets. I made sure to pay careful attention to furniture corners which are more susceptible to damage during the move. Then I wrapped the entire piece of furniture a few times with stretch wrap. Using stretch wrap seriously was the one thing that saved my furniture from any scuffs and scratches, so definitely purchase a big roll and wrap your stuff a few times to fully protect them.
If you’re also transporting your mattress, use a durable mattress moving bag to keep it safe and protected.
Use Sturdy Cardboard Boxes
And finally, estimate how many cardboard boxes you’ll need to fit all of your belongings and start packing! If you’re using cardboard boxes that all look identical, you’ll want to make sure that you use a permanent marker to label which room they belong in and which direction they should face. It’ll make things a lot easier on the day of the move because you’ll know exactly where you need to put the boxes without getting confused or wasting time and energy bringing them back and forth. Marking boxes as fragile if there are items in them that easily break is also a good idea.
Also, just a tip for transporting clothes: A great way to save space when you’re moving is to vacuum seal your clothes so that they take up less space!
Other Tips For A Successful Move
Now that you know some of the basics, here are a few more tips and tricks that might be helpful.
1. Give yourself more time than you need.
One of the most important things I learned from my moving experience was to give myself more time than I thought I actually needed. For a successful move, I encourage you to do the same because you need to expect that the unexpected will happen.
Maybe packing takes you longer than you need or you’re unable to get your couch out the door because it’s extremely big and it can’t be taken apart (this unfortunately happened to me!). There’s also the possibility that your truck rental reservation gets canceled at the very last moment and you don’t find out until moving day but now your entire moving schedule is messed up.
You have to allow yourself enough time to get through those small unexpected surprises. If you have an extremely tight timeline, it’s going to cause more stress and anxiety on top of whatever you’re feeling if you’re unprepared.
2. Pack your moving truck in a systematic manner.
First, line the bottom of the truck with either moving blankets or tarpaulin sheets. This will prevent the bottom of your furniture from scratching and getting dirt on your belongings. Then stack boxes along the perimeter of the truck to absorb the shock and protect fragile furniture from hitting the walls of the truck. Lastly, don’t forget to put moving blankets in between furniture pieces to prevent scratches and breakage during the ride over.
3. Keep used cardboard boxes for future use.
You may be tempted to throw away all of the used cardboard boxes once you’re done moving but they’re expensive and they’d be a waste to just throw away! If you purchased good quality boxes, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t still be in good shape after you’re done unpacking. Take advantage of that and use a utility knife to flatten them and keep them stored away until you need them next. When you have to move again, you can take them out of storage, tape them up, and re-use them again. Ta-da! It’s an awesome way to save money if you have the space to store them.
4. Clean your belongings before you start packing.
A really good tip to follow is to clean up your furniture and belongings before you pack up anything. Dust, hair, and dirt can accumulate on your furniture and belongings from everyday use so it’s always good to vacuum or wipe them thoroughly before transporting them out. You don’t want to bring in dusty or dirty furniture into your new place.
5. Vacuum your new place before moving in your furniture.
If possible, vacuum your new place before you even start to move in any of your furniture from your truck. You want to have a clean space that is free from dust and dirt before unloading all your belongings.
6. Figure out if you need to rent a storage room.
If you know you might have space issues at your new place, you might want to rent a storage room if you have a lot of belongings that you want to keep but currently don’t have room for. Calculate how much it will cost per month and see if it’s worth renting or if you should just donate or sell them.
7. Change your address ahead of time.
Make sure you change your old address to your new address ahead of time so that new mail doesn’t continue sending to your old address. Businesses and government offices can take a while to process the change once they’re notified so it’s better to let them know earlier than later. You can also set up a mail forwarding service.
8. Make sure you feed yourself well.
Lastly, make sure you feed yourself well during the move! Drink lots of water, eat nutritious meals, and other snacks because you’re going to need it with all the physical lifting you’ll be doing.
I hope some of these tips are helpful if you’re about to move places yourself. This was definitely a long post but I wanted to include all the tips and pointers I learned during my most recent moving process. Overall, moving really doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal if you’re organized. The key to having a successful move is to be prepared for the unexpected and to make sure you plan ahead of time so you can avoid any unwanted surprises!
Are you about to move? Or if you’ve moved recently, what are some things you’ve learned through the moving process? Let me know in the comments below!