6 Essential Tips for Moving Home

If you are considering a house move here are some great tips to be aware of before your move. Moving house at the best of times is stressful so knowing some of the tricks of the trade can save you time, money and stress.

1. Start Organizing Early

Before you start packing it is a sure thing that you have got more possessions and things to pack than you think. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to pack all your possessions and furniture, you don’t want to be rushing to the finish, stuffing boxes when the movers are there at your doorstep.

  • Create lists of your items per room and inventory everything you have. Planning the date of the move is critical for a number of reasons.
  • Try and schedule your move during the week, when more services like banks, utilities, government offices, mechanics and towing services are open in the event that you might need one or all of the above during your move.
  • Check on the weather statistics for the day you move as well, moving in the rain is not much fun.
  • Once you have decided on a move day then you are ready to schedule your move. This schedule is a plan of what you need to do and when you need to do it.
  • Make a list of who needs to do what on the move day. Many moving companies will have a checklist for you to follow but there is no harm to start your own list and getting off to a very good start with planning your move.
  • Checklists provided by moving companies usually schedule 8 weeks in advance, but if you don’t have the luxury of the two month time gap until your move day there are checklists and plans for 4 weeks and 2 weeks and so on. Just ask them, it will make your life much easier.

Moving House

2. Get a Quote

If you have decided to get the professionals in to do the move for you then it is time to a) find the right moving company and b) get a quote you are happy with. It is now time to do your homework and research the right moving company. Ask friends, neighbors, your Realtor, and family member who they would use if they had to move home.

Reputable moving companies’ schedules will fill up very quickly so be sure to make your booking well in advance as you can. Be careful to make sure that your movers are licensed and bonded. Take pictures and videos of your valuables and possessions before the move and put it on a disk or pen drive marked ‘household move file’. Take this file with you for insurance and replacement purposes.

  • There are scams out there and by choosing a good moving company, and one which has been referred to you by someone who cares about you, you will ensure that you are covered for all the possible outcomes of the move.
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints about the moving company you have chosen. Never sign a blank check for a moving company.
  • Get a quote and be aware that you are likely to have underestimated your amount of possessions, sizes and bulk! Getting the quotes from the moving companies will likely focus your attention on which possession you want to take with you and which you will want to sell or donate.
  • One great tip is to take each item into a room and decide if it is worth taking or leaving. If you are downsizing this decision is quite often a very hard one to make as there may be so many emotional attachments to your possessions.
  • This de-cluttering process is quite cathartic as well so you may also feel a weight has been taken off your shoulders when you do pare down your possessions pre move.
  • When you are budgeting for your move make sure you take into account other expenses such as storage of items, the packing materials, temporary boarding for pets, permits for loading and unloading vehicles, food and lodging costs for you and your family if needs be.

3. Packing

If you are moving in 2 months, start packing now. If you are moving in two weeks, start the packing now! Essentially the earlier you pack the better. It will seem like a never ending task otherwise and the worst thing that can happen is for movers to be waiting outside the door on your move day whilst you are still getting organized.

  • The earlier you pack the less stressed you will be. Mark all the moving containers with the contents and the desired location in your new home.
  • Be sure to mark all sides of the box with a magic marker, and make sure that the top of the box is marked as such.
  • Movers have no idea otherwise which way up your tea set should go! Use different coloured post-it notes for different rooms, and write which room each box belongs to. This will save you so much time at the other end of the move and make the process much more efficient.
  • Use plenty of tissue paper for valuables and breakables and bubble wrap everything as much as you can. Styrofoam peanuts will cushion your possessions as much as possible when they are in transit and these are very cheap to purchase and may save you from anything getting broken during the move.
  • As you are packing try and delegate some of this task to your family members. Kids love to get involved in this and it is important for them to know where their treasured possessions are stored, such as ‘teddy’.
  • Identify items which you need to have easily at hand and make sure that they are packed separately from the rest of your items. Have your emergency numbers at hand, clothes, school books, glasses, dog’s leash and food at hand etc.
  • If you have hidden any valuables around the house be sure to find them before you go! Valuables should travel with you rather than being transported by a moving company in their van.

4. Notify Everyone

When moving home it is important that everyone and his dog knows! Send out a moving announcement to friends and family. Makes sure your utility companies, credit cards, satellite provider, banks, stocks and bonds companies, insurance companies, lawyer, phone companies, all know that you are moving and when you are moving.

  • A change of address has many legal considerations so be sure to be straight with all these companies and institutions. Contact a lawyer if legal matters are involved.
  • Change your address with the Post Office and schedule your utility companies for the new address. You might want to set up a checking account in your new town or city and getting this arranged before-hand is a good idea.
  • If you have library books out on loan be sure to give them back. Set up appointments with the local doctors and dentist in your new area, if needs be.
  • Get copies of family members medical and dental records before the move. Make sure you transfer any prescriptions at the local drug store.
  • Get veterinary records for your pets. School records for your kids if they are moving schools.
  • Be careful to update your utility bills and pay them before you leave. They can dent your credit records if you leave and don’t pay the outstanding bills from your old address.

5. Pets and Kids

If you have pets make plans well ahead to ensure that they will be looked after during the move, and how you will transport them to your new home. Cats often need a couple of weeks inside a new address before they are let out of the house. Sometimes cats that have been moved from one address to another will go missing as they want to go back to the last home they were familiar with.

  • Make sure that you purchase pet carriers in advance. Moving companies can’t transport pets or plants (or kids) so have these arrangements made well in advance. You may want to leave your pets with a friend or family during the move.
  • Perhaps if the kids are young then this might be a good idea too. If the children are a littler older and understand what is going on then getting them involved in the move, the packing and the planning is a great way of helping them make the transition to their new address.
  • Make the kids feel special by having their own boxes to pack with their own possessions. If the children are actively involved in the local community events then find out what is similarly on offer in the new location. This way they will settle in better once you have moved.
  • Find out about registration at the new school and be mindful that it is much easier on the kids to move at the beginning of the school year than half way through. They are far more likely to make new friends this way and settle in to the new school quicker.
  • Try and resist the urge to throw out young children’s toys and clothes when you are packing. This can make them feel insecure about the move and often can cause behavior problems further down the line.
  • Assure kids that they can keep in touch with their friends by email. Give older children a disposable camera and ask them to photograph your move. Once they have moved in it is time to create a ‘moving house’ chapter in the family photo album.
  • Get the children excited about their new rooms in the new house and ask for their input on decorating ideas for their rooms.

6. Furniture

Moving house is really hard on your furniture. Furniture is the bulkiest and heaviest of all your possession and these are the most likely to be the possessions that get damaged in transit.

  • Be sure to wrap the legs of furniture in bubble wrap, and wrap the large pieces in plastic wrapping. Mattresses have special bags for moving house.
  • Disassemble as much of the furniture as you can. This reduces the bulk and makes better use of the storage space in the back of the moving vehicle.
  • Place pads under the legs of items of furniture when they are being moved around the home. This will stop any scratches on the floor or strain on the furniture legs.
  • If you can get any of the furniture onto wheels then this is the best way of moving these items around.
  • If you disassemble the furniture be sure to tape the screws, nuts and bolts in a bag to the items with instructions on where each nut and bolt goes when it comes to putting the furniture back together again at the new home.
  • Don’t clean upholstered furniture before the move as the moisture can cause mold if the furniture is being placed into any form of storage.
  • Photograph all your furniture before the move and note any scratches and dings that may be present. This is wise for insurance purposes.
  • Label where each piece of furniture is to be carried to so the movers know exactly where to place the items when they are carried in to your new home.

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