Over the course of a typical calendar year, approximately 43 million people in the United States move to a different residence. If you’re one of them, congratulations! Relocating is fun and exciting, especially if you have the inside scoop on some stellar moving and storage tips.
Of course, you might feel a little anxious about your upcoming moving arrangements. That’s understandable. But with the following moving and storage tips, you should be able to sail through your adventure without too much stress, expense, or friction.
Toss Away Your Old Junk
First thing’s first: What do you actually need to take with you to your next home? Are all those elementary school papers something you need to hold onto? Will you honestly be wearing that dress from five years ago again, especially since it’s not on trend and hopelessly ill-fitting? Be brutal and start going through your old stuff.
When you find something you no longer want during this process, decide if it’s better to pitch it, give it away, or try to sell it. For instance, that beautiful necklace could fetch a little money on Etsy. On the other hand, your dads’ old ties that you somehow took to turn into a quilt that never happened? Well, they’re probably destined for the garbage can.
Believe it or not, this is one of those moving and storage tips that will help you feel so much better in the long run. Sure, it’s tough to get rid of things, but it will lighten your load as you continue with your moving necessities.
Clean up as You Go
While you’re walking through memory lane and deciding what to keep and what to pitch, pay attention to your house cleaning duties. You don’t have to spring clean your current home from top to bottom in one weekend, but you should concentrate on sanitizing and decluttering it a little bit every few days.
Remember: You’ll have to clean it anyway, no matter if you’re a homeowner or renter. So you might as well just make the best of it. Cleaning as you pack up each room and start to rearrange your stuff keeps you from having to do a last-minute scour that will keep you up all night.
Put Some of Your Furnishings in Storage If You’re Selling
You found the most gorgeous new place to live. Trouble is, you haven’t found a buyer for your residence. No worries. The key to packing things up while trying to show and sell a home is to make your house seem as roomy and neutral as possible. And that usually means putting some of your items into storage services until you can pop a “sold” sign in the front yard.
When you’re investigating storage facilities and solutions, dig a little deeper into your pocketbook and consider leasing a storage unit that’s climate-controlled. Knowing that your precious treasures aren’t cooking in an overly hot storage unit will give you tremendous peace of mind.
How much should you spend on your storage unit? The prices vary wildly from community to community. As with any service, you’ll want to make a few phone calls. When you find the perfect fit for your needs and budget, you might even want to ask the storage solutions professionals for their own moving and storage tips. You can never have too many moving and storage tips, after all!
Buy Decent Moving Boxes
Everyone talks about wanting to get a phenomenal deal on their packing supplies. For that reason, plenty of individuals and families look wherever they can for cheap or free boxes. While that’s fine for moving smaller or hardier things like books, it’s not a good approach if you’re moving valuables or breakables.
Sometimes, it’s smart to just buy boxes that were actually meant for moving. In other words, they were designed to hold up under the stresses of being loaded, carried, and unloaded. Heavy-duty moving boxes will also resist denting and crushing, which is important. Movers like to stack boxes on top of each other. And the boxes at the bottom of the pile should be able to withstand a significant amount of pressure.
Pack a Little Every Day
Unless you plan to pay expert packers to come to your home and tackle your packing needs, you can be sure that most of the packing will be done by you and others in your household. Sound like a daunting task? It can be, but only if you procrastinate.
Rather than waiting until the last week or two, start packing as soon as you know that a move is on the horizon. Otherwise, you’ll end up frantically tossing things into boxes right down to the moment the movers come through your front door.
If it’s tough for you to remember to pack a bit each day, use your phone and set a reminder. Or mark off time on your personal calendar to devote to packing. You’ll be so thankful that you took this pragmatic step and paid attention to this and other important but kind of dull moving and storage tips.
Label All Your Moving Boxes
As you’re packing a little every day, be sure to label your boxes. Whether you’re heading into a short or long distance moving trip, you can be sure that it’s hard to remember exactly what you packed in each box.
An easy way to label boxes without getting too involved is to color-code them. All blue-labeled boxes go to the kitchen. All green-labeled boxes go to your child’s bedroom. All yellow-labeled boxes head straight for the den. Color coding allows you to at least know where a box belongs, even if you didn’t have time to take an inventory of what was inside.
A side moving and storage tips hint related to this strategy is to photograph what’s inside every box before taping it up. Then, just put a number on the box that corresponds with the photograph. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to make use of your phone’s camera.
Get Quotes From Several Movers
Unless you’re paying your friends and family in pizza and beer to move hundreds of boxes, not to mention countless pieces of awkward, heavy furniture, you’re probably going to need some expert moving services. Plan to seek quotes from at least three to five movers in your area, and see if they will come to your home for a meet-and-greet. It’s always good to get a first impression of the people who will be charged with caring for your personal items.
Maybe you don’t think that ratings and reviews matter if you’re just moving from one small apartment or house to another. However, reputation does matter, whether you’re hiring professionals who routinely engage in moving modular homes or focus more on traditional residential moves. Although no moving company will have perfect scores, read through other peoples’ comments before making your final selection. You’ll be happy you took the time, and so will your finances.
Try to Move on a Weekday
After you’ve settled on a safe moving service, you need to lock in your preferred moving date. No surprise here: Weekends tend to fill up quickly. In fact, you might not be able to get your weekend of choice if you have your heart set on a Saturday or Sunday move.
For this reason, you should be a little flexible, if you can. In fact, this is one of those valuable moving and storage tips that most people don’t talk about enough. Getting a mover for a Tuesday or Wednesday can be so much easier than getting one willing to move you during the weekend. Yes, you’ll have to take time off work to be there for the move, but that’s okay. If you’re getting the moving date that you want, that’s all that matters.
As a side note, you may even want to ask your moving company if they conduct moves during unusual times of the year, such as holidays or big weekends. You might be shocked to learn that some moving companies will make themselves available. And the price won’t necessarily be significantly higher. Hey, it never hurts to ask.
Set up Your New Utilities ASAP
The last thing you want is to move into your new home only to discover that you have no electricity, Internet coverage, or water. To avoid this dilemma, call the utilities that handle the place you’re moving to. Set up an account right away and make certain that the services either won’t be interrupted or can be turned on by the time you move in.
Pack Essentials in a Place Where They Won’t Get Lost
Winding down to your moving date? Be sure to set aside a few boxes and pieces of luggage to pack with essentials that you’ll need right away. These may include clothing, footwear, personal hygiene items, kids’ and pets’ toys, food and beverages, cookware, utensils, paper products, cleaning supplies, personal electronics, and hobbies.
Consider putting these essentials in your car with you instead of on the moving van. That way, you’ll know that you have what you need to get ready right away and start making your next house a true home.
Buy Equipment to Take Care of Your New Digs
Are you moving to a home from an apartment? You’ll need equipment to properly take care of the property. Visit your nearest home improvement store and take a look at must-haves like garden hoses, gardening tools, edgers, wheelbarrows, and perhaps even a zero turn mower if you have quite a bit of acreage.
Having these items upfront will save you from needing to borrow from neighbors or go without necessities for too long.
Ask a Neighbor to Take Care of Your Kids and Pets During the Move
Kids and pets tend to experience quite a bit of stress on moving days, which is understandable. Rather than put your children or furry buddies through the hassle of dealing with a move, ask someone you trust to take care of them. Some families even have their kiddos stay with a grandparent or at a friend’s home so they can avoid the tensions and emotions of moving.
In the meantime, help little ones pack but understand that they might not understand what’s happening. You may have to wait until the week before the move to fully pack up a very young child’s bedroom.
If you have teens or older children who still live with you, they may want to help out, of course. They might even have some moving and storage tips of their own to contribute. Hear them out and bring them into the planning, particularly if they’re going to be a big part of the actual move.
Pace Yourself on Moving Day
No moving or storage tips could properly prepare you for the hustle and bustle of moving day. But you can take time before the day arrives and remind yourself that you can’t go full force from morning until evening. Unlike professional movers who deal with box trucks and taking furnishings up and down stairs daily, you’re not accustomed to that kind of intensity.
Never feel like you’re letting anyone down if you need a timeout to catch your breath. Have lots of water on hand and drink it throughout the day. Be sure to eat periodically so you don’t suddenly lose your energy levels.
Unpack Your Necessary Stuff First
Hurrah! You’ve finally hit the end of your move. You’re safe and sound at home after tipping the movers who expertly and securely brought your things from one location to another.
At this point, you don’t need to unpack everything, but definitely put your bed together. You’ll feel a million times better the next morning when you sleep on your own mattress in your new digs.
As for the future and all those boxes, just take it easy. Unpack them a bit at a time, just the way you originally packed them up. There’s no rush. After all, you’re home.
Beyond all else, remember that the more moving and storage tips and hacks you implement, the smoother your move is likely to be.