You’ve finally got the keys to your new home and can’t wait to get moved in and settled. By now, you’re already planning how you’ll decorate the walls and organize your new kitchen. But one major obstacle stands in your way: moving day.
The process of moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips to make your moving day run more smoothly, whether you’re moving down the street or across the country:
Long-distance moves are among the most daunting. Instead of being able to rent a small trailer or borrow a friend’s truck, you’re stuck trying to figure out how to get everything you own hundreds of miles away in one trip. The key to a successful long-distance move is proper planning beforehand.
As soon as you know you’re making a big move, start deciding how you’re going to transport your things. Unless you have a van, truck, or trailer large enough to haul everything yourself, you have two options for moving your belongings:
- Hire a moving company: Moving companies are generally more expensive than renting a moving truck. But they’re also more convenient. Most moving companies provide movers who will load your things from your old home and unload them at your new address. This can make moving across the country much more efficient.
- Rent a box truck or moving van and haul everything yourself: Renting a moving truck is most often more cost-effective than hiring movers. But understand if you go this route, you’ll end up doing a lot more of the work yourself. You’ll have to pack, load, unload and drive the truck yourself.
One last note on this: with a moving company, you and your things are unlikely to arrive at the same time. You may be left without most of your possessions for the first week or two you’re in your new home. Meanwhile, renting a van or truck allows you to stay with your items throughout your move so everything will arrive with you.
Packing for a Big Move
Before you start putting things into boxes or bins, make an inventory list of everything you own. Pack things up one room at a time and label each box with the room, your name, and a number. Make a numbered list of each box and what’s inside.
Unlike with a shorter move, your items will be on a truck for a while. This jostling and bumping can damage your belongings. Invest in bubble wrap and packaging paper to help reduce the movement of items in your boxes.
After You Arrive
Once you and your belongings have made it across the country to your new home, check your numbered list to the boxes in your home. If you hired a moving company, make sure they don’t leave until you’ve checked that you have all of your boxes.
Moving down the street or just across town makes your move much simpler than a long-distance move. For example, you can run over to your new place and check the door measurements to make sure your king-sized bed will fit.
But the best way to make your local move less stressful is to resist the temptation to throw things into your car and go. Always take the time to pack items by room or category. That way, you’ll have a good idea of which items are in which boxes when you’re ready to unpack.
Try to avoid making a lot of back and forth trips to the new place. You could lose something important, such as a set of keys, without noticing. And when you do finally realize you’ve lost something, it can be almost impossible to figure out where you put it or on which trip you brought it to the new place.
Moving from an Apartment to a First Home
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting moments in life. You’re excited to move from your rented apartment and into your first piece of property. Before you start moving, you’ll want to make sure your new home is ready for you.
Change all of the locks on your new house and make spare keys for each new lock before moving in. This ensures that previous owners, neighbors, or repairmen no longer have spare keys and access to your home. If your new home needs small fixes, such as new paint in the bedrooms, complete these projects before you move in. This keeps you from tripping over boxes as you spruce up the house.
Go through your house and make a note of where the utilities are located. In an apartment, it’s easy to find the hot water heater or breaker box, as they’re usually located together in a closet. In a house, these things are usually more spread out. Make sure you locate your breaker box, hot water heater, and the main water valve.
On moving day, make a point to get to know your neighbors as well as your home’s features. Reaching out to meet your neighbors is a great way to start a friendly relationship. If one of you goes out of town, you can watch each other’s homes. Being on friendly terms with your neighbors can also help keep your neighborhood safe by having an extra set of eyes watching for suspicious activity.
Making Your Move Less Stressful
Moving to a new home is going to come with some amount of stress. You can lessen your burden by planning ahead and staying organized. Follow these quick tips to make any move less stressful:
- Get Organized: Take the extra time to get organized during packing. This includes making a plan for loading boxes on the truck so they make unloading and unpacking the easiest. If your new home features the kitchen farthest away from the front door, place your kitchen boxes on the moving truck last. This way you can unload them first and fill your home from the back to the front.
- Use Your Phone for Inventory: We live in a digital age, so use the smartphone in your pocket to help you inventory your belongings. You can take pictures or video of how your living room was set up in your old place to help you organize the new house.
- Be Ready to Go: Make sure your boxes are packed and set up for the movers the night before your move. The last thing you want is to wake up and have to run around trying to pack boxes.
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