Helpful Tips for Planning Your Move

There are so many things to consider when you’re moving. It is easy to overlook so many things that can be taken care of weeks or months before moving day. Here are some pointers for how to stay on top of things and how to be as prepared as possible.

  1. Take care of notifying people of your address change before moving and spare yourself the annoyance of doing it after. Change of address requests rarely take immediate effect, so letting important contacts (you bank, insurance company, magazine subscription, etc) know in advance is a good idea.
  2. As soon as you know you are moving, make a chronologically-ordered list of everything you need to take care of between ‘right this second’ and ‘yay, all done!’ if you can, include deadlines for each task, and enjoy the extreme satisfaction of crossing off completed tasks. 
  3. As you read on, you will definitely find items to include on your list.
  4. If you are considering getting help from a moving company (especially recommended if you are switching cities or countries), shop around for the company that suits your needs and budget. Do not be afraid to make it known that you’re shopping around—this could result in a lower quote. If you’re flexible about your moving date, you can also ask to have your stuff added to a truck that is already moving to the same area: this will reduce the cost drastically for both you and the other customer. 
  5. Whether it is for a moving company, a rental truck, or just your friends’ help, MAKE ANY RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE! It is never too early to reserve services, or to let your buddies know the time is coming.
  6. PURGE. You want to move as little junk as possible, so take advantage of your move to get rid of things you don’t need. Even if your move is months away, start sweeping your belongings and getting rid of things. Donate to local charities, give away to friends and family, or organize a garage sale, if time and weather permit. 
  7. Estimate in advance how many boxes you’ll need, then add 15-20% just to be sure. Rather than buy boxes and wrapping paper, go to local stores and ask for their boxes. If you ask them what day their shipments come in, chances are they will be happy to leave some collapsed boxes aside for you. Make sure not to take boxes that were used for frozen food or produce, as they may be water damaged. Instead of purchasing wrapping paper, hold onto newspapers and catalogues in the weeks leading up to the move.
  8. Moving is a great time to clean some textiles that usually go without cleaning. Bed skirts, curtains, drapes, sofa & cushion covers, selected rugs… it’s a good idea to get these things cleaned before moving, so that you do not bring dusty or dirty fabric into your new place.
  9. If there is overlap between leaving your old place and getting into your new one (which is ideal, and spares you the added of stress of moving into and then back out of storage), try to get any work in the new place done before you move in. whether it is renovations or just a massive cleaning, you’ll be glad to have it done before the mayhem of boxes and furniture gets thrown into the equation.
  10. Plan your unpacking in advance: make sure all of your boxes are labelled with which room they should be left in, and write out any details that might help you keep your head screwed on while unpacking everything. This sort of planning can occur on paper of on a computer/tablet before you even have boxes. Also, take pictures of complicated electronic wiring before disconnecting it at your old place, so that hooking stuff up again will be easy. 
  11. Think about food. Try to use up, in the weeks leading up to the move, food from your freezer and pantry. Minimize groceries the closer you get to the date, and consider giving remaining food to neighbours, or donating non-perishables to local food banks.
  12. Finally, plan out a list of things that you will need to survive as soon as you move in: toiletries, change of clothes, essential kitchenware, etc. Put the essentials into suitcases or a clear, easy-to-find box. 

Moving can be incredibly stressful, but if you’re smart about it and organize yourself well, it can be very smooth and lots of fun. So good luck, and enjoy scribbling tasks off of your lists!

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