Feeling a bit overwhelmed with an upcoming move? It’s understandable given that you have to find somewhere to live, pack up all your belongings, and set yourself up in a new home (or even a new city or state). Fortunately, you can make your move easier and avoid common mistakes with these 5 tips for planning a move. Whether you’re worried about a time crunch, your moving budget, or figuring out what to tackle first, we have you covered.
One of the most important things you can do as soon as you know you’re moving is to come up with a game plan. The easiest way to do this is to create a moving checklist that allows you to break down the tasks you need to do as you approach your move out day.
To get yourself as organized as possible, here are a few things you should focus on:
- Determine your moving budget
- Figure out your timeline
- Create a to-do list of all the tasks you need to complete
- Work out the logistics of your move
The last thing you want to do is pack up things you don’t use and take them to your new place, where they’ll continue taking up unwarranted space. You might dread downsizing for several reasons—it takes a lot of time and patience, you have to part with things you once cared about, and you’ll have to figure out what to do with the things you’re getting rid of—but the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.
To make downsizing as efficient as possible, set some rules for yourself. For example, you can establish a minimum number of items you’ll get rid of or commit to getting rid of things you haven’t used for a certain amount of time. Once you have a system for how you’ll downsize, you also need to figure out whether you’ll be throwing the items out or if you’ll be donating them.
Keep in mind that if you’re getting rid of larger items like furniture or appliances, you may need to arrange a special pickup with waste management. If you’re donating, find out how to go about that. For example, there are usually a variety of options to drop off donations, or you could schedule a pickup in Seattle or any other big city.
Packing room by room will make your life a lot easier when you get to your new living space. Plus, it makes getting through packing more manageable because you can set goals to do certain rooms each day or week. That way you’re not left having no idea where to start and what to accomplish next.
When you’re packing, make sure to label everything carefully. This should include the room and at least a general idea of what’s inside the box (electronics, clothes, etc.), if not a detailed bullet list. When you’re unloading the truck, you can then place the boxes in the appropriate rooms and have a better plan for unpacking.
It isn’t necessarily impossible to rent a moving truck, load up your stuff, and move it all into your new place, but it isn’t exactly easy either. If you have the budget for it, consider hiring movers to help you.
Your first thought might be that it’s a waste of money or you can’t really afford it. However, movers are more experienced in loading and unloading, meaning they can make the moving process more efficient, make sure your belongings are properly protected, and help you avoid being physically overwhelmed.
As far as cost goes, do some research before you write it off. By doing a quick search for service providers in your location—for example, movers in San Diego—you’ll quickly see that there are options for all budgets.
When you get to your new residence, you’re going to want things up and running as soon as possible. To help you prevent having to go without essentials like lights, hot water, and yes, internet, you should make sure to set up service ahead of time.
Contact your service providers and let them know you’re moving. They’ll then help you figure out when to shut off service at your current place, set a time and date when it will be turned on at your new place, and determine whether a technician will need to be present.
You may also need to do your research and find a new company to work with if you’re moving outside their service area. For example, you might need to find a new internet service provider in Dallas if your current WiFi company isn’t the primary provider there. Try to check this off your list a few weeks in advance in case any scheduling conflicts arise.
Whether you’re trying to move across the country during the unconventional times of the COVID-19 pandemic or you’re just relocating to a better rental in your current city, having a plan for moving will make it much easier and more enjoyable. But don’t take our word for it, try some of these moving tips yourself and see the difference some good preparation can make.