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How to Prepare for a Move - MovingLocal
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How to Prepare for a Move

It is no secret that moving can be one an incredibly stressful experience. There is so much to take into account when preparing to move. From the cost to the logistics of everything—not to mention how overwhelming it can feel if you are moving to a new city or state. 

However, in all of the tension and stress, we hope that you don’t lose sight of just how exciting moving can be! In order to help you better focus on the excitement and in order to help alleviate some stress, we have compiled a moving checklist that you can utilize when you are preparing to move. 

Our hope is that the information provided in our moving checklist will take some of the guesswork out of how you should manage and plan your move. And in doing so you will be better able to go with the flow and enjoy the new adventures that await you in your new home. 

What is Covered in This Moving Checklist?

Our research has shown that one of the main sources of anxiety when it comes to preparing to move stems from the fact that people tend to jump all over rather than focus individually on each step. They may simultaneously be trying to figure out who their moving company is going to be, while also thinking about how to pack for a move. 

What this results in is an overwhelming feeling where it seems that there is just too much to do!

By following our moving checklist you will be able to focus solely on the task at the hand. And as you move your way through each part you will begin to notice a weight being lifted off your shoulders. You may even notice that you are enjoying yourself to a certain degree. 

How to Figure Out How Much You Have to Move

The first thing that you have to do when preparing to move is to figure out how much you have to move. This is a step that is oftentimes overlooked but it is vital to ensure a successful and smooth moving process. 

One of the best ways to figure out how much you have to move is by first looking at how many rooms you are going to have to pack. Do you live in a small apartment and only have a few rooms to move? Or do you live in a two-story house with multiple bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, and a large kitchen?

By breaking down your move room by room you make the task of figuring out how much you have to move more manageable and palatable, similar to the goal of the moving checklist itself. (Not to mention that this information will help you better budget and work with the moving company).

Once you have figured out how many rooms you are going to have to move, you should then turn your focus to the contents of the room. How many large items are there in the room? How many small items? Are these items fragile and in need of extra care when moving? Or are they items that can be packed easily? 

When you have a better grasp on this you will then be able to plan accordingly and estimate how many boxes or other moving supplies you will need for each room and therefore how much you will need for the move overall.

We go more in-depth into the topic of how to figure out how much you have to move here if you need further guidance. 

How to Find a Moving Company 

Many people want to attempt a move themselves. While this is admirable, after numerous moves ourselves and after talking to many people about this topic, we have found that hiring a mover is almost always the way to go. Yes, it may cost you a little more, but in the long run it will save you a ton of headaches and will allow you to better enjoy your life and the move. 

Given how extensive Internet searches are today, it can be difficult to find the right moving company in your area. This is why the best way to find a quality moving company is still word of mouth. Go out and ask your friends and family about moving companies they have used. And if they have had positive experiences then call that company and get an estimate. 

However, if this is not an option for you and you are at a loss for how to find a moving company, then websites like Yelp or the American Moving & Storage Association can be very helpful. It should be noted though that you shouldn’t just take an online review at face value. But rather you should do your own due diligence and look for some of the following factors when finding a moving company.

  • Does the moving company take an inventory of your belongings?
  • Do you get a thorough and complete walkthrough?
  • Do you have to pay a large deposit?
  • What “extra fees” does the moving company think will apply to you?
  • Is their quote truly guaranteed?

For a complete list of what you should look for in a quality moving company, click here.

What Supplies Will I Need

As you can see we’re making our way through the moving checklist fairly painlessly. And at this point, we already have some huge chunks of the move taken care of. 

Now it is time to turn our attention to a question that every person preparing to move asks—what supplies will I need? 

There are usually a number of supplies, like boxes, tape, and packing material that come to mind immediately but as you dive deeper into the packing process, you may find that the expenses for these items are mounting rather quickly. With that mind, we will not only answer the question what supplies will I need for my move, but we will also show you cheap and sometimes free ways to get some of these supplies. 

For starters the most common supplies that you will need for a move are:

  • Boxes
  • Shipping Tape
  • Tape Gun
  • Box Cutters
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker
  • Packing Material
  • Felt Pads
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Rope

As to not overwhelm you, we have only listed the essentials above and a more complete list with in-depth explanations can be found here

One of the best tips, or life-hacks as they are sometimes known, for moving, is that you can get boxes for free at your local Target, Wal-Mart, or supermarket. If you go to the customer service desk and ask them if they have any boxes in the back they should be able to help you with this. It is usually best to do this early in the morning because the boxes will not be in the baler yet. However, if the boxes have already been destroyed then ask a manager on duty when is the best time or day to get boxes. 

Deciding Whether to Take it or Leave it

Deciding whether to take it or leave it during a move is most people’s’ least favorite activity. In fact, most couples that were surveyed admitted to fighting over this very step of the moving checklist at least once during their move. 

Practical experience would state that you cannot, nor should you, take everything with you. For instance that junk drawer in your kitchen that you have been throwing random batteries and various items into over the past few years. There is probably a lot of stuff in there that you do not need to take with you to your new place. 

However, with some other items that have sentimental value deciding to discard them before a move can be difficult. In TV sitcoms this usually is a neon sign of some sort that the guy in the relationship wants to hold on to. Yet when it comes to a move you can’t fool yourself about value. When deciding whether to take it or leave it you really have to be honest about whether or not you need or want that item. And whether or not it has a real place in the new life you will be creating. As difficult as this can be (and we explore the psychology of this a little further here) there are some tips that can help guide your decision-making process. 

The most important tip that we have on this subject is to think of your move as a fresh start. You have the ability to only take items with you that translate into the beginning you are making, so use this opportunity to shed yourself of material items that no longer play a role in who you are or who you want to become. 

What to Find Out About Your New Home Before you Leave/Move

We are almost through our moving checklist! How do you feel so far? Not too overwhelmed we hope. But if you are, remember, this is exciting! You are about to be in a new amazing home and those butterflies in your stomach are reminding you of that. 

The penultimate item on our moving checklist is what to find out about your new home before you leave/move. This is not to be confused with what you should look for when finding a home (but there is some overlap). For simplicity sake we have compiled a complete list of information here, and will be giving a brief synopsis below.  

  • The exact floor plan and size of each room
  • What are you neighbors like?
  • If in a gated community, how do guests and yourself get through the gate?
  • If you purchased the home, what repairs will need to be done?
  • How old are the appliances that are there?
  • If renting, whom should you contact in case you need repairs?
  • Are there only certain days that you can move in?
  • Having all of this information will help to quell any lingering anxieties you may have and in doing so you will be better prepared and better able to enjoy your move.

Tips for Packing Boxes

The last item on our moving checklist is tips for packing boxes. There is so much that can be written about this subject and a more comprehensive guide can be found here

However, some of the most common, and applicable tips for packing boxes are: 

  • Pack room by room (and mark what room that box came from)
  • Clearly mark each box with its contents
  • Gently shake the box after it is packed to make sure it is secure
  • Write fragile on boxes that contain breakable items
  • Try to keep like items together
  • Don’t over-pack a box
  • Double tape the top and bottom of the box (an explanation is given here)
  • Use more packing material then you think is necessary

And you’re done! Congratulations! You have made it through the moving checklist and you’re now on your way to a happy and successful move. We hope that this information on preparing to move was helpful. And remember it is sometimes beneficial to revisit this moving checklist during your move. So don’t be afraid to skim through it to make sure that you are on the right path.