5 secrets for a stress-free DIY move

November 27, 2014

By beginning early, scheduling tasks and thinking ahead, you can take much of the stress out of a do-it-yourself move.

5 secrets for a stress-free DIY move

1. Start by decluttering

A good rule of thumb is that if you haven't used something for a year, it can probably go.

  • If you're moving to a warm climate, the snow blower and skis can head for the garage sale pile.
  • Have the measurements of the rooms in your new home on hand and determine which pieces of furniture will fit, then donate or sell unneeded items.

2. Stock up on supplies

Items you'll need for an easy DIY move are boxes, packing tape and materials such as bubble wrap.

  • For boxes, one great source of sturdy free ones are liquor stores.
  • Start saving newspapers too, as they make great wrapping material.
  • Begin by packing things you won't be using, like seasonal items such as holiday decorations and off-season clothing.

3. Pack smart

Pack by room, labelling each box clearly.

  • Make sure boxes are either full or padded with bubble wrap to avoid shifting during the move.
  • Use the correct size box too—small boxes for heavy items such as books and larger boxes for linens.
  • Wrap each piece of china or glassware separately. When packing mirrors or pictures, use a picture box or place cardboard over glass and then wrap the item in bubble wrap.
  • For lamps, remove shades (all shades can be stacked together in a separate box).
  • If you're disassembling furniture, use labelled plastic bags to store small items such as screws.
  • Put items such as clothing and medication aside and pack into suitcases.

4. Make a moving schedule

Take the stress out of the process by making a schedule, not forgetting items such as utilities and change of address.

  • Have a "moving" file into which you can store receipts, estimates and necessary forms.
  • Decide if you will need a moving truck or container.
  • In general, short moves are better done with a moving truck while with longer moves, container moving will probably be more economical.

5. Choreograph the move

Having friends help you load up sounds tempting, but it can lead to frayed tempers.

  • Schedule friends over two weekend days for short stints. Too many people running around at one time can make things confusing and difficult to manage. Remember to have plenty of food and refreshments to keep spirits up.
  • Pack a few boxes with a "survival" kit of dishes and cookware that can tide you over until unpacking is completed.
  • Once you get to your new home, place boxes room by room, unpacking kitchen and bathroom items first.

Few people relish the idea of moving—it's one of those necessary chores that many put off for as long as possible. Instead of waiting until the last possible minute, get a jump start.

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