So you’re moving to a new place. Congratulations! Moving homes can be both exciting and scary as you pick up your entire life to start over somewhere new. Moving can also get overwhelming very easily if you’re not properly prepared. That’s why we’ve created the complete checklist for moving to your new place!
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Step One: Decide When You Want to Move
If you have the freedom to pick when exactly you want to make your move, there are several things to consider. One is cost. If you want the cheapest rates from moving companies, you want to move during off-seasons, such as the spring or late fall. You’ll especially want to avoid booking your move on the weekends, over the summer, or on the first of each month. This is when rates will be at their highest.
However, there are certainly reasons why you may want to book your move during these peak times. Summer has ideal weather for moving. As a result, the weather is less likely to damage your belongings because of the cold or due to changing temperatures.
Additionally, if you have children in school, summer is the time your move will be the least disruptive to them. That way, they won’t have to change schools mid-way through the year—we know that’s no fun for anyone. In the end, when choosing when you want to move, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to figure out what is most important for you.
Step Two: Determine How You Want to Move
Once you’ve chosen when you are going to make your move, your next step is deciding how you will make that move. Many people opt to hire movers. This can alleviate a lot of stress on moving day, as once they arrive, they’ll be the ones doing all of the heavy lifting (literally). Choosing the right movers can be stressful, however.
My biggest tip is to get recommendations from friends, neighbors, co-workers—anyone you know and trust who has moved recently. That way you’ll know that you’re hiring people you can trust who will get the job done well. You can also look on savings sites like Living Social to see if they have any deals on movers. Just make sure you read reviews first so that you know what you’re getting into!
Movers, however, can get quite expensive. If you think you’re up to it, and you’re not moving too far away, why not do the move yourself? Rally up some strong friends to help you (bonus if someone has a truck). You can reasonably move all of your belongings in a day. If no one has large cars, you can also rent a truck or U-Haul relatively inexpensively. It’ll still be much cheaper than hiring movers. I’ve moved several times with my mom and we only used actual movers when moving out of state. It may be exhausting, but if you do the move yourself you’ll know that it’s done the way you want it. Plus, you’ll save loads of money.
Step Three: Find (Don’t Buy) Your Boxes
Once you’ve decided when and how you want to move, next comes the truly daunting part: packing up all of your belongings. The first step to packing is finding some boxes. There’s no reason to buy lots of boxes for your move. My mom and I have never bought boxes in the many times that we’ve moved houses. So many stores will have unwanted boxes just lying around.
Go to your local grocery store or warehouse like Costco and ask if you can have some of their boxes. You can also keep an eye out in your neighborhood for anyone who has recently moved. They’ll likely have plenty of boxes they no longer need and chances are they’ll be happy to pass them on to you.
Step Four: Start Your Packing
Ideally, you should start the packing process as soon as you know that you’re moving. If you pack a little bit every day, the process won’t feel quite so tedious. Begin in less frequented rooms, such as your basement or guest room.
However, my number one tip is to decide carefully what you want to take to your new house. If when going through your basement you find items that you haven’t used in a year, donate them or give them away. It's no use wasting valuable energy moving items that you’re never going to use again.
It's also helpful to pack literally everything in a box. It may seem silly to put things like lamps into boxes, but it'll make your life so much easier when you can stack all of your boxes and not have to worry about making a ton of extra trips to carry out and in things like lamps or flower pots.
You should also clearly label every single box you pack with what is in it and which room it should go to. This will help immensely when you arrive at your new home and start the task of unpacking everything. Make sure you label the sides of the boxes in addition to the top so that you can tell where they need to go when they're stacked on top of each other. If you want to be even more organized, you can number your boxes as well and keep a detailed list of what exactly is in each box. That way unpacking will be a breeze.
Step Five: The Night Before
Your house is finally packed, barring what you need that night. What do you do now? If you haven’t already done so, make sure you have an overnight bag or “open first” boxes that you’ve packed or will pack in the morning with all of the essentials you’ll need on your first night in your new home. You’re never going to unpack everything your first night, so you want to make sure you have all of your necessities in one place for when you arrive at your new place.
This should include sheets and pillows for your bed, pajamas, toiletries, towels, soap, and toilet paper for your bathroom (and shampoo/conditioner if you’re going to want to wash your hair that night), any medicines you need, and clothes for the next day. You’ll also probably want some food in an easy-to-reach location because your move is definitely going to leave you hungry.
There you have it: your complete checklist to moving to your new place. Moving can seem daunting, but if you plan it out well it doesn’t have to be quite so stressful. Good luck with your move!