Shut The Front Door!
Hire a Professional Mover
There’s a lot of them in the area. Talk to your friends that may have moved recently and use their recommendations with some of your own research to find the one that’s right for you. Be sure to get estimates or competitive bids before you decide and check their track record with the BBB.
Don’t forget to plan ahead. You think you’re busy, you need to get your mover on the calendar a minimum of 4 weeks before you move.
Splurge on some extra insurance.
Take a household inventory and make a list of your belongings. Lists like these are always good to have anyway, but during a move they’re critical. Your homeowner’s insurance often doesn’t cover minor damage claims so third-party insurance will help you rest easier. Make sure you understand the terms and coverage is what you expect—your great, great grandma’s rocker may not be covered if it gets a dent.
Digital cameras make this pretty easy to do. Afterwards, if something is lost or damage you have an image to prove pre-damage condition that will make it easier to assess a value.
Less stuff, less stuff to move. Take this time to decide if the things you’re packing are really things you need to keep. If you’re like my wife and I, you probably haven’t seen most of your stuff since the last move. Have a garage sale. Donate to Goodwill. Sell on Craigslist.
You’re going to need boxes, packing tape, markers, newspaper and bubble wrap. Lots and lots of bubble wrap.
You can buy new boxes from moving companies but you’ll pay a premium for cardboard. Call your agent, neighbors or nearby retail stores. They’re always looking to get rid of boxes.
Did we mention markers? Big, fat Sharpies work best. They’re easy to read from a distance and if you really want to make it easier, label the boxes on all sides, excluding the bottom, we don’t want you breaking anything Fragile.
Be Ready Prepared
Not only is this the Boy Scout motto, it’s something to live by when you move.
Give yourself a timeline and start preparing as soon as feasible. You’ll want to map out where your stuff is going and pack accordingly. Pack the heavy stuff first and put the lighter stuff on top. All those years of grocery-sacker training are going to be put to good use.
Put valuables and important documents in a lockbox and move them yourself. Pack items you’ll need right away in a separate box and make sure you can find it easily. See Survival Kit further down.
Honey, I Lost the Kids
Moving with kids can be testing. If they’re old enough, make them part of the plan. Anyone older than three can color a picture of the move, plan out their dream room, pick their room or pack their favorite toys.
For infants, do like my wife and I did when we moved. Pick a room that has similar lighting to your current nursery, if possible, then set that room up first. Baby will be sleeping most of the time and if you can keep them in their routine it will help you keep yours.
Smooth as Ex-Lax
Want to move things along faster? Make color-coded labels for each new room. Pack and label all the boxes for where they will be GOING in your new home, not were they CAME from.
Pack some essentials in a separate box that will be the first box you unpack when you arrive at your new place. Be sure to include:
- Toilet paper
- Utility knife
- Paper towels
- Dish soap
- Garbage Bags
And in a separate box or bag:
- Plastic ware
- Hand sanitizer
And, just like when you’re traveling, have everyone pack themselves one change of clothes and a toothbrush. Sure, it sounds silly but it will be good to have when needed.
Stop and Start
Your agent should have walked you through the utilities list but don’t forget to terminate or transfer:
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Mail Services
Notify friends and family of the move and locate services in your new neighborhood:
- Pet service
And once it’s all moved in, it’s time to unpack.
Give yourself a day or two to do this if at all possible and once you’re settled in.
Take a NAP.
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Finally, download The ABCs of Selling and Moving here. It's got more information and a checklist for everything from listing to moving.