Our calendars are filled with dozens of joyous celebrations like New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. But 40 million Americans append another date to the mix, a sort of anti-Holiday. “Moving Day,” written in red marker.
This two-word phrase is enough to instill fear in anyone — even those who have never had their first moving experience. Moving sucks and the actual day of the move somehow sucks worse. But there is a solution.
Moving day is notorious, but it’s not inherently awful. In fact, moving day can be cathartic if you know what you’re doing. Make moving easy with these six helpful tips.
1. Rent a Truck ASAP
Whether you’re moving out of a studio apartment or a two-bedroom family home, you’ll need a truck. With all the hubbub and preparation required during the move, sometimes the little things fall through the cracks. But a moving truck should not be one of those small things.
As soon as you know your moving date, call up a rental truck company. The fact of the matter is most people move at the same time: at the end of the month. With so many people competing for truck rentals, there aren’t always enough to go around.
Reserve your truck a month or two early. That way, you’re sure to get the truck you need at the right size.
2. Order Moving Supplies
Packing supplies are a trivial purchase in comparison to typical moving expenses. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on high-quality moving boxes.
You want these sturdy containers to hold up during and after the move. Imagine the cardboard bottom coming undone while you’re transporting fragile possessions! Now stop doing that, because it’s terrifying.
In addition to moving boxes, make sure you have ample packing tape. You should also consider other packing supplies, such as foam or bubble wrap. It’s easy to think these are just supplemental provisions until you’re trying to pack your plates without chipping them.
3. Organize With Labels
Create some type of organization system for the packing process. Most moving boxes contain a grid to mark and label the contents of each box. If this isn’t your thing, try a numbering system or color-coding the packages.
For a small move, this is more than enough. But larger homes can benefit from taking inventory, too. Create a separate master sheet that lists out the exact items in every box.
For example, record that box #3 contains HDMI cords, an extension cable, and a wall mount. It’s a more descriptive option than just writing “television accessories” on the side. Best of all, it can help you figure out if you’ve missed anything as you’re filling out the list.
4. Box Possessions Before Moving Day
Make moving easy and start boxing in advance of moving day. Seriously. You do not want to leave boxing to the day before or even the week before.
Of all the moving day tips, this one is the most indispensable. After you get your hands on packing supplies, feel free to start using them.
You probably have plenty of possessions you won’t need before the move, such as knick-knacks and stored items. Packing these up ahead of time will spare you some of the workload later on.
At this point, you should also consider getting your hands on a storage unit. This is a great way to store possessions you don’t want to bring with you on moving day.
5. Pack Essentials Separately
The deadline is fast approaching and you’re preparing to move house. As you continue packing things up, start setting aside essentials you’ll need at the other house. You’ll want to group these in an “essential” box so you can access them right away.
Admittedly, “essentials” are somewhat subjective. Once you arrive at your new home, you probably want immediate access to toilet paper, soaps, and other personal hygiene products. It’s also a good idea to store important documents along with these items, just in case.
It sounds silly now, but moving day is mentally and physically draining. You’ll collapse as soon as you make it to your new home. The last thing you want to do is find and open half a dozen boxes just to get ready for bed.
6. Contact Friends or a Moving Company
Helping hands are invaluable when moving day finally rears its ugly head. Talk to your friends a week or so before the move. Not everyone will be able to help you — or want to — but do your best to recruit as many people as possible.
With even a few friends showing up to load the van, you can save hours of time and energy. Reward them with some tasty treats during and after the move to let them know you appreciate their hard work.
If you don’t have a network to help you move, you don’t have to go it alone. That’s what a moving company is for.
Some people think moving companies only offer expensive and comprehensive services. However, they’re an affordable option when you need some extra hands.
For example, you can hire movers to load and unload the van. That’s it. By driving it yourself, you’ll net hundreds in savings.
Have a Day Like Any Other
If managed correctly, the dread leading up to moving day is the worst thing you’ll have to contend with. The reality is people hate moving because they don’t know how to move. Then everything crashes down around them once moving day rolls around.
But that won’t be you. Now that you’re prepared with these moving day tips, it will be a day like any other. Enjoy this transitional period and say goodbye to your moving day fears.
Still worried about the move? You’ll find more advice in our lifestyle and money-saving categories.