8 stress-free ways to prepare for moving day

Moving day can be a stressful time for everyone. To help you prepare and make the experience as painless as possible, here are eight ways to streamline your worldly goods and plan each step of the way.

8 stress-free ways to prepare for moving day

[Image credit: iStock.com/humonia]

1. Get rid of whatever you don't need

Before you move, take an objective look at what items can be sold and what can be donated.

  • Anything you don't need or that wouldn't be useful to someone else should be thrown away or the materials recycled. Otherwise, you'll waste time, energy and money packing (and then carting to your new home) stuff you don't want.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to make these decisions.

2. Find the best moving company

Contact a few moving companies to get estimates at least six months before you move. Otherwise, you may get stuck with some less-than-reliable movers who charge you top-dollar prices for lousy services.

  • Don't pick the first name that you see in the phone directory. If you're entrusting your worldly possessions to movers you'll want to ensure (among other things) that they know what they're doing; have a good reputation, and are insured.
  • While checking out moving companies, ask about extras that may make the process easier for you. Movers sometimes offer packing services or sell packing supplies.

3. Moving yourself? Reserve early!

Reserve a truck, if needed, at least a month before your moving date – earlier if you're moving during the peak season, which is from May to September. The last thing you need is to get caught without wheels to transport all your stuff.

When you call to reserve:

  • Ask about insurance and liability.
  • Check your own vehicle's insurance policy – some cover rental trucks or offer insurance riders that will insure your possessions in transit.
  • Reserve ropes, dollies, furniture ties, padded straps, blankets and pads from the truck-rental company.

N.B.: Make a list of what you're moving and how much it's worth before you pack. You'll need this list later should you have to submit an insurance claim.

4. Get organized

Don't wait until the day before the move to organize your paperwork.

  • Start central files or folders for move-related documents and anything that pertains to your new location.
  • Collect receipts, as you may be able to claim them as a tax deduction.
  • Request information on schools, parks and recreation, community calendars and maps well ahead of time. Then stash them where they are easy to find.

In the chaos of moving, you'll be glad everything is tucked away and readily accessible.

5. Pack and label boxes clearly

As you begin to pack, mark each box with the room where it is to go and a numbering system that tells you how important it is to open each box.

  • Pack the seldom used items first.
  • Save the packing of essential items for last and mark these boxes "Load last. Open first."
  • List specific contents, too, so you can find what you need without too much searching.
  • Label which boxes contain breakable items. Consider moving them yourself if you're concerned about damage.

6. Ensure your mail goes to the new address

Among many others, you should notify the post office, friends and family, any magazines to which you subscribe, and credit card companies of your new address well in advance of the move.

7. Create a to-do list of reminders

You can make life easier by writing out a list of things you'll need to do on (or before) moving day. That includes:

  • Contact the utilities in your old location and your new one so that you can stop service in the one and start service in the other on moving day.
  • Plan your grocery shopping so that you have as little as possible on hand while moving.
  • Arrange to keep pets out of the way. Place your dog or cat in the home of a willing neighbour or kennel for a day or two.
  • Have the number of the truck rental company handy. If you are driving a rental moving truck, make sure their number is easy to find when you pull out of the driveway. That way, you can call if you have problems along the way.
  • Monitor the unloading process carefully. Appoint one person to check items off the inventory list as they're unloaded and have somebody else direct the movers on where to place the items.
  • Plan to take your time unpacking. Arranging and organizing your household shouldn't happen all at once. Instead, take a week or two and do it right.

8. Be meticulous on moving day

When the big day arrives, review the paperwork with the movers and take inventory as each piece is loaded onto the truck.

  • If the move is over a long distance, verify when the truck will arrive and plan to be there when it does.
  • Roll up all bed linens from the beds and pack them in a "Load last. Open first" box.
  • Finish packing the suitcases and loading the car.

Preparation is key in creating a stress-free moving day. Follow these simple tips to help the move go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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