New year, new… home?! The new year is always a natural time for change… and for some, that might mean packing up, leaving their old life behind, and moving somewhere new. Whether that’s a result of a shiny new job, a family change, or a sense of adventure… go you!
Of course, before you start your new life in that new place, you have to figure out how you’ll get there… and how you’ll get all your stuff there.
If you’re looking ahead to a REALLY fresh start with a big move this year, here are ten moving tips that will make relocating a breeze.
1. Start Early
Earlier than you’d think. Like, now.
Beyond moving day itself, there’s a LOT that goes into moving, from organizing your things to scheduling movers to decluttering your space to packing and so much more.
Trust us – no matter how early you start, there’s no way you’ll ever think to yourself, “I wish I’d packed more last-minute.”
2. Make a List
Moving is more than just taking your belongings from one house to another. Even if you’ve only been living at your current address for a short time or you’re just switching apartments in the same city, the small tasks required to uproot your life and plant it somewhere else can really add up.
Make a list of everything you’ll need to do before, during, and after your physical move. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- School enrollment
- Address changes
- Transfer of utilities
- Moving medical records
- Transfer prescriptions
- Cancel/change local memberships
- Cleaning your current home
- Hiring movers and packers
3. Throw It Out
The new year is the PERFECT time to declutter. And, think about it: the less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to move. It makes for a faster packing, moving, and unpacking experience, and it feels GOOD to let things go.
Whether you’re downsizing or you’re just interested in Marie Kondo-ing it and tidying up your life, give yourself ample time to go through your belongings and assess what you might not want to take to your new place. Be mindful of how you dispose of these things, too – some might need to be thrown out, but others could be sold in a garage sale, donated to a local charity shop, or passed on to a friend.
4. Use the Right Tools
The right packing materials make a HUGE difference. They can help keep your items safe, organized, and easy to transport.
Procuring packing supplies doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – a good place to start is by looking on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for spare boxes, or stockpiling boxes from any packages you receive in the weeks leading up to your move.
You can also get smart & use what you have. Pack empty suitcases, laundry baskets, dresser drawers, and storage containers full of other belongings. And instead of bubble wrap, wrap blankets or clothing around breakable items to protect them.
Aside from boxes, here’s a list of other things that might be helpful to have on hand as you pack:
- Bubble wrap, shrink wrap, packing paper, or newspaper, to wrap breakables
- Screwdrivers, for disassembling furniture
- Measuring tape, to gauge which items can fit in which boxes
- Labels and permanent markers, for labeling each box
- A dolly, for moving large items
- Bungee cords, to tie down large items
- Sofa or mattress bags, to transport large cushioned items
- Tape, and lots of it
Move 4 Less provides professional-grade packing supplies to make moving easier.
5. Pack to Move…
You’re not just trying to fit everything in a box. You’ve also got to make sure your belongings are easy to move and don’t get damaged during transport.
As you’re packing, be sure not to leave empty spaces. Your belongings might be damaged if there’s room for things to move or roll around inside the box. That being said, don’t pack a box so heavy that it breaks or can’t be lifted. Put the heaviest items on the bottom, and put very heavy items in small boxes.
Additionally, plan on putting toiletries in plastic bags or wrapping them with plastic wrap – that way, if anything leaks, it won’t damage everything else in the box.
6. And Pack to Unpack
We’ve all been there: you pack everything up in a frenzy, and then once you actually arrive at your new home, you have no idea where anything is or should be. It’s best to look ahead and pack with unpacking in mind.
This starts with labeling EVERYTHING. Trust us, by the time you get to your new place, you won’t remember that the box that’s a little dented on the side contains your comforter.
At a minimum, label boxes based on where they belong in your new house – bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc. You might also want to list essential items that might be contained – pillow, utensils, etc – so you don’t have to dig around for important things before you’ve unpacked every box.
Also, pack and clearly label one box that will hold essential items you’ll need right away when you get to your new place. This might include device chargers, medications, pet food, personal documentation, and pajamas.
7. Budget Wisely
Moving is always going to be associated with certain costs. If you’re planning on DIYing most of your move, keep track of how much each step will cost, from procuring your own packing supplies to taking time off of work to pack/move yourself to renting a moving truck to gas/mileage fees.
If you’re planning on hiring professional movers, get a quote in advance so you can budget accordingly. Move 4 Less offers a free moving estimate so you know exactly what you’ll pay before moving day – no hidden fees or surprise costs.
8. DIY With Care
We’ve found that hiring professional movers saves a TON of hassle & is often more affordable than you’d think. But if you’re intent on doing things yourself, that’s great, too!
Some things you absolutely can do yourself as long as you have the time and patience. Packing and renting a moving truck may not be fun, but they’re totally doable.
But there are a few moving-related things we wouldn’t recommend DIYing, no matter who you are. Leave it to the pros if you need to move any excessively heavy and/or valuable items such as pianos, gym equipment, priceless art, or heavy furniture. . Moving them yourself could cause serious damage to the items and/or the people trying to move them.
9. Store Well
Without the right plan, moving can turn into a never-ending multi-step process: organizing, packing, moving, unpacking, packing again, moving again, storing… then doing that all over again when you realize you actually need that stuff you just stored!
Treat moving and storing as part of the same process – rather than a decision you’ll make once you move everything.
If you hire a full-service moving company, this is often a given – they can pack, move, and store your items in the same easy step. If you’re moving by yourself – find a self-storage unit near your new home before your move, get organized, label carefully, and pack everything that will go in your storage unit separately to keep it all together and make it possible to unload in two separate locations.
10. Hire the Best Professional Movers
Hiring a professional moving company can make moving day so much easier. Full-service companies don’t just take care of moving your belongings – they can also pack, store, and move everything from door to door so you don’t even have to think about it, whether you’re moving just around the corner or across the country.