The prospect of a new home is exciting. Collecting things and moving them – not so much. The biggest mistake people make when they pack for a move is not being specific enough. Spending time organizing on the front end will provide a much better experience of moving and unpacking.
Here is a weekly checklist to help you pack for a move
In order to prepare yourself right and have enough time for all tasks, you need to make plans from the day you decide to move. There is no better way than making checklists. That way you are making sure not to forget something important.
8 weeks ahead
- Start a folder. Keep everything related to your move in one place: packing lists, estimates, receipts, mortgage documents, etc.
- Make an inventory. Go in order, evaluating the cubic length of your items to determine how many boxes you need. Measure large furniture to find out what goes where in the new house.
- Clear what you can. Anything you take will cost money to move, so do not transport unused items from the attic to the attic; be ruthless and get rid of surpluses. Sell it on eBay or donate and take a tax deduction.
- Order new appliances. If your new home does not have a refrigerator or a stove, or you need an update, order now so that the equipment is delivered before your entry.
6 weeks ahead
- Research moving companies. Get personally, written assessments and check recommendations with the Better Business Bureau.
- Save any special movers. Moving expensive or fragile items such as art, antiques or a grand piano? Find movers that specialize. For example, an expert is usually required for the dismantling and reconstruction of billiard tables.
- Take a look at your mover’s insurance. Make sure that the liability insurance that your potential movers are carrying will cover the replacement cost of anything they could damage.
- Contact utility companies. Make sure that utilities are turned off at your old home and turned on at the new location. Find out the dates of collection and recycling, as well as any restrictions on the collection of garbage.
- Organize all the arrangements. Moving over long distances or shipping a car? Make travel and car arrangements now. Pets? Schedule a kennel or ask a friend not to let your four-legged friends into chaos.
- Get ready to pack for a move. Some movers provide boxes. Stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Staples sell them. And some stores give them away. Get more boxes than you need, especially small ones that are easy to pick up. Don’t forget the packing tape, color tape and markers for labeling boxes, bubble wrap for mirrors and prints, and packing peanuts.
4 weeks ahead
- Start packing rarely used items. Pack your seasonal clothing and holiday decorations before moving to more frequently used items.
- Track items you already packed. Create a color-coded spreadsheet for each room and enough columns to cover all the boxes in the room. When you pack for a move, mark and number each box (for example, “Kitchen 12”) on its 4 vertical sides with the corresponding color of the tape. When you seal each box, list its contents in your spreadsheet so that you and the loaders know what is in each box and where it goes.
- Use special containers. Get specialized boxes for TVs and cabinets. Put garbage bags on hanging clothes in clumps and tie ropes of bags around hangers to keep contents clean and easy to handle. Use the color codes of these bundles too. Seal liquids in plastic storage tanks with lids.
- Keep your equipment together. Put screws and other equipment from everything that you disassemble – sconces, TV wall mounts, shelves, etc. – in sealed plastic bags attached to the objects themselves. Just be careful not to attach the bags to a surface that can be damaged by tape glue.
- Change your address. Fill out USPS forms to forward your mail to the new address. Give your new address to family members, your banks and credit card companies, magazines and newspapers, the Department of Motor Vehicles and your employer.
2 weeks ahead
- Complete packing at home. Mark the boxes that you pack most recently in which your most frequently used items are stored – laptops, telephones, everyday utensils, remote controls, etc. – with 3 strips of colored tape. Tell the movers that these boxes should be easily available in a new place.
- Confirm your dates. Call utility companies to make sure your services are scheduled for the correct day. And double-check your moving time with your movers, which is one of the commonly overlooked moving tasks. If you have agreed with someone to clean your old house, then it is worth checking out this also.
- Defrost your refrigerator and drain the gas equipment. Unplug the fridge to give it time to defrost and drain. Drain gas and oil from mowers and similar equipment and remove liquids properly.
- Make the “First Night Kit”. For each family member, bring along a box or bag for the night with a change of clothes, toiletries, and medicines. As well as favorite toys for children and pets. Include detergents, toilet paper, snacks, a multipurpose knife (for unpacking) and a first aid kit.
- Pack your valuables. Carry jewelry, medicines, easily damaged items and other valuables with you.
- Do last-minute assignments. Get money to tip loaders and buy pizza for the family. Take your pets to the kennel or leave them with a friend. Take the keys to your new home.
- Arrive ahead of the moving truck. Give yourself plenty of time to figure out how to arrange furniture and where everything goes.
- Direct the operation. Explain your system to the head of a local moving company and give him a copy of the spreadsheet before his team starts working.
- Take care of your movers. Moving is hard work, so plan to provide water and lunch for movers. As for the tip: for half a day, the $10 each is a rule of thumb; for the whole day – $20 each.
- Give your old home a thorough cleaning. If you are a homeowner, you may have to do this before closing. If you rent and you have a security deposit, take photos after you have done so – in case of disputes.
- Unpack the bedrooms first. Arrange the furniture first to make sure there is a clear path to the bed. Make the beds immediately so that at the end of the day everyone can just fall down exhausted.
Moving is not always exciting, regardless of whether you are moving in the neighborhood or in the city. In City Movers, we do everything we can to make any move more relaxed. We can even help you pack for a move. So you can focus on enjoying your current and future neighborhood and not worry about moving.