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The process of moving involves a lot of moving parts. With all the different things you need to do for the move to your new home, it’s easy to overlook an important step. Use this moving checklist to help you avoid making a moving mistake and make your move easier.
1. Before You Move
You can make your move less stressful by preparing as early as possible. Once you know you’re moving, start getting ready to move using these steps.
Make a Plan – Many people overlook the importance of planning for their move. Planning out your move, however, can help you stay organized in the chaos of moving. Your moving plan should include deciding between hiring a professional moving company or moving by yourself. You’ll also want to determine your moving timeline and the budget for your move.
Get Rid of Unwanted Items – Decluttering your home is a great way to reduce the number of things you’ll need to move to your new house. Categorize your unwanted belongings into piles to donate, sell or throw away. Be sure to call ahead to any donation centers to make sure they’re accepting donations. You may also want to investigate local community programs for donations, such as donating used sporting goods to a local team.
Pack Smart – Packing is one of the most difficult and stressful parts of moving. You can make the process easier by planning and staying organized. Plan to pack up each room in your home completely before moving on to the next room. This should help keep similar items together, such as all your kitchen supplies in one set of boxes. Another way to stay organized is to use colored markers or sticky notes to color code your boxes.
As soon as you know you’re moving, you can make a packing schedule and set packing goals for each day leading up to your move. Start with packing the things you use least and pack more essential items, such as bathroom or kitchen items, as your move gets closer. Spreading out the packing process can help to reduce the stress of packing up your belongings.
Change Your Address and Utilities – Update your contact information with your friends, family and colleagues and let them know when you’ll be moving. Make sure you also change your address for services as well, such as your insurance provider or doctor’s office. You could also consider setting up mail forwarding about a week before your move. Forwarding mail before your move allows you a chance to catch any mail that accidentally gets delivered to your old address.
Remember to cancel or transfer your utilities when you change your address. Many utility companies, such as electric or internet providers, will allow you to set a shut-off or cancellation date in advance. Set your utilities to be turned off no earlier than the day after your move so you have power when loading the moving truck.
2. Preparing Your New Home
Before you move your things into your new home, you should visit the house and take a few steps to make moving in easier.
Change the Locks – You don’t know who has access to your new home via spare keys. Neighbors, friends of the previous owners and service professionals might have an extra key. The first thing you should do after you get the keys to your new home is to change the locks.
Measure Furniture – You don’t want to move into your new home only to find your existing furniture doesn’t fit. Measure your furniture and take pictures of the layout at your old home before moving it over to your new place. You can use masking or painter’s tape to create an outline of your furniture to make sure it fits the way you want. Don’t forget to measure the doors and windows in your new home as well to make sure your furniture will fit through the door.
Clean the House – Your new home is likely fairly clean already, but giving it a good scrub before moving in your things is usually a good idea. You’ll also have a chance to inspect each corner and crevice as you clean. Keep an eye out for signs of mice or insects so you can take care of them before all your belongings arrive.
Locate Utilities – Before you move into your new home, locate the breaker box and main water valve. Knowing where these utilities are located is important if you ever have a home emergency, such as a water leak or loss of power. You can also check that the power is working from all the outlets in your new home as well as checking the faucets throughout the home.
Secure Adequate Insurance – Having the right amount of insurance and the right coverage can help you protect your home. Double-check your homeowners insurance to see what is and isn’t covered by your policy. If you’re unsure if you have enough coverage for your new home, be sure to talk with your agent about your concerns.
3. Moving Day
The day of the move is usually the most stressful of the moving process. Make it easier with these helpful tips.
Safety First – It’s easy to get behind schedule and begin to rush when moving. Taking your time, however, helps keep you and your belongings safe during the move. Practice safe lifting techniques when moving heavy boxes. Proper clothing can also help keep you safe while moving. Wear comfortable clothing that fits loose enough to move around comfortably but not so loose that you’ll get caught on things as you move around. You should also wear closed-toe shoes with a grippy sole to reduce your chances of slipping when carrying boxes.
Small children and pets can easily be injured during a move. Considering hiring a baby sitter or pet sitter on moving day so there are watchful eyes to keep your children and pets out of trouble. If possible, having children or pets in a different location during loading and unloading can help keep everyone safe.
Take Care of Movers – Whether you’ve hired a moving company or recruited friends to help you move, you should offer them something to eat and drink. Having enough water to drink is important to keep everyone hydrated when lifting boxes and walking to the curb and back. You may want to also offer access to your bathroom during the moving process.
Clean Up – Don’t leave a big mess in your old home. Recycle or throw out trash after you’ve removed everything from your old home. Remember to check the refrigerator and pantry for any old food that needs to be cleared out. Cleaning up also gives you a good chance to go over your home and check that you haven’t left anything behind.
4. Unpacking and Settling into Your New Home
When you’ve finally unloaded the last box into your new home, it’s time to begin the unpacking process. These tips will help you get unpacked and start making your new house feel like home.
Inspect Boxes – Take the time before unpacking to look over your moving boxes and check for damage. Open any boxes that seem to be smashed in or have punctures first to make sure your belongings aren’t damaged. Checking for damage is especially important if you hired a moving company. If you find belongings that were broken during the move, you should contact your moving company right away.
Prioritize Unpacking – Unpacking can seem almost as intimidating as packing. Much like packing, however, you can make the process easier by planning your approach. Prioritize your unpacking by room. Start with your kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms so you can cook, wash up and sleep comfortably. The living room or recreational rooms can usually be unpacked last.
Add a Personal Touch – Moving to a new place, even if it’s your dream home, can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Make the transition to your new home easier by putting up a few personal touches during the unpacking process. Try hanging a few family photographs or making a point to add one personal touch to each room in your new house.
Throw a Housewarming Party – Get to know your new neighbors and invite old friends to your new home with a housewarming party. You can make it as casual or formal as you like. Whether you have pizza and temporary seating on boxes or a formal dinner, relax and enjoy being done with your move with family and friends.