Planning a Move: The Important Things to Do

When it comes to planning a move, there are several steps you must take. Smash that link if you're ready to sell your home and move to a new spot.

About 40 million Americans move every year. That’s about 13% of the population.

The majority of moves are local or within the same state. Only 4% of people who move leave the country. No matter where you’re moving to, planning a move brings stress and challenges like no other life change.

You’re uprooting everything and you have to reestablish yourself in a new location. You have new neighbors, new noises to get used to, and so much more.

Would you like to know how to plan a move without going insane? Read on to learn some of the best moving tips for your next move.

1. Make a Moving Checklist

The best moving tip is to approach it like reverse engineering. You probably have a date in mind, now you have to work backward from that date.

You should set about 2 months from your move date to get everything done. If you’re making an international move, there are some things that you need to have in place about 5-6 months out.

For instance, you want to have your flights booked and an initial plan. If you plan to stay in a hotel for the first couple of weeks, then get that booked as soon as you can.

You’ll need to create a budget for your move and set up a folder on your computer for documents, moving quotes, spreadsheets, and checklists. This should be stored on a cloud solution like Dropbox or Google Drive.

You’ll then have decisions to make about new schools and how much time off from work you need. Get these decisions handled early in the planning process.

2. DIY or Hiring Movers?

Another major decision that affects your budget and every other moving decision is whether or not you should hire movers.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. When you hire a residential mover, you save a lot of time, not to mention your back.

A DIY move will save money, but you still have to take the time to pack everything and hire a van. You may have to learn how to drive a moving van.

Hiring movers isn’t difficult. You should get three quotes from area movers with expertise in your move. They need to be licensed and insured.

Compare the quotes that you get. Look at the hourly rates and the minimums. The minimum is essential to look at for a smaller move. You’re contracted to hire movers for a certain number of hours, even if your move takes 45 minutes.

See if there are any surcharges and additional fees. A moving company will charge you for taking apart furniture, supplies, and extra labor.  

If you’re looking to save money, you can pack everything yourself, but you can’t claim insurance if something happens to the items. You should make sure that everything is disassembled and ready to go.

3. Get Packing Supplies

If you’re going to pack your items yourself, then you’ll need to get boxes. They’re expensive to purchase new.

There are creative ways to lower those costs. The first thing to do is to check Craigslist and other sites where people sell goods. You’ll often find moving boxes for free or for a small amount of money.

You can also visit local shopping centers. Behind the shopping centers are recycling bins full of empty boxes. Check with a few stores to see when they get deliveries and throw them in the dumpster. Ask them for permission to take some boxes off their hands.

Tape and newspaper work to wrap secure the boxes and keep fragile items safe. You might want to opt to get bubble wrap for those items.

4. Depart With Old Things

Do you think you have a lot of stuff? It’s a great time to reassess your belongings and start fresh. It also cuts down on your moving costs.

What should you get rid of? Anything that’s broken that you’ve been hanging on to.

Old clothes that you don’t wear anymore. Furniture that won’t fit into your new home. Anything that’s been sitting in your basement unused is probably a good candidate for purging.

There are plenty of good organizations that accept donations. Be sure to find out what they accept before you load up the car.

You can sell newer items and make a little cash to go towards moving costs.

5. Pack Things You Don’t Use Often

You should be left with just the things that you’re taking to your new home. You can start packing up now. Star with things that you don’t plan to use before you move.

Books, some clothes, and documents are things you don’t need for a while. Work your way through junk drawers and other areas of your home.

As moving day approaches, you can pack up most of your belongings. You want to have just enough towels and sheets before the move.

Pack up the kitchen a few days before moving day and plan to eat out since the kitchen is closed.

If you have large items like area rugs and drapes, this is a great opportunity to get them cleaned. Take them to the dry cleaners before you move. You start off in your new home with fresh materials.

6. Don’t Forget Change of Address Forms

The one thing you won’t think of until after the move is mail forwarding. You don’t want to wait to make the changes until after your move.

It takes time for the postal service to update its systems. You should do this at least a week before your move. You should also update your bank and any creditors so they can reach you.

Planning a Move That’s Stress-Free

Is it possible to move without a lot of stress? It is, and you just have to follow the steps in this guide. You want to give yourself plenty of time when planning a move.

That gives you time to make a plan, hire reputable movers, and purge things you no longer need. Check out the blog for more helpful lifestyle tips.


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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