Packing for moving houses can be a time consuming and frustrating job. Many people end up wasting tons of money and even feeling physically and emotionally frustrated and drained during the process. This brief guide can help busy people organize their lives better when they are planning a move.
1. What to pack first when moving
This first step is the most important and can help you keep a track of things. If you are wondering what to pack first when moving, this is it. Always start with your paperwork. Over the years, we all accumulate tons of important documents, which, while moving, can be easy to lose track of. The following things can help:
- Buy Binders- Binders are great to keep all papers together. You can place different papers in different binders as per categories like credit card statements, insurance papers, bank/checkbooks, property documents, job offers, appliance warranties, realtor details, contract papers, school or college certificates and so on. The more detailed you are in labeling these binders, the easier your life will be.
- Boxes- Next, buy special boxes to place these binders and other stuff in. You need to keep the binders with you in case you plan to get professional movers to pack for you. Make sure you keep your personal paperwork binders in your personal luggage to take with you in your car/flight etc.
Keep the paper work in handy location. Return it to the same location each time you use them.
2. Consider the costs
If your move is related to your job, you could get your employer to pay for you. In such a case, you could consider hiring professional packers. First of all, you must keep all moving related receipts with you to claim these costs later. Almost all costs of moving and packing as well as transportation are deductible.
3. Get informed
One of the first decisions you need to make when packing to move is whether to DIY or hire professional packers and movers. DIY option is great if you are moving a few blocks away or just across town or have friends and family to help you pack. It is also a great option if you do not have too much furniture or money to move. Here are different types of moves:
- Full DIY- You pack, you load, you drive and you unload.
- Partial services- This can include different packages. Some companies pack and load but leave the driving to you. They could help with the unloading as well. Other packages include you packing, professionals driving and you unloading and unpacking.
- Full service-The movers pack, load, drive, unload and sometimes, even unpack things for you.
Several factors can help you decide the type of service to avail. Consider the time, money and energy you have. Talk to different companies and get quotes. It is a good idea to consider insurance which can help protect your money and expensive belongings.
4. Moving tips and checklists when hiring movers
- Get at least 3-4 quotes but consider only those companies that are bonded and licensed for interstate moves.
- The reps from each company must do a walkthrough of each room. In-home estimates will give you the most accurate pricing.
- Note that different movers charge differently-some charge per load, some charge hourly.
- Ask the company for tips to save money. A good company would be forthcoming with this information.
- Get separate bid for packing material and moving.
- Ask about insurance.
- Consider keeping extra packaging materials on hand on the day of the move.
Better Business Bureau can help you get honest reviews about the company you are considering
5. Create a home inventory
Now comes the most important of all moving packing tips and tricks: taking an inventory of each and every room.
- Go methodically from room to room. Sort items that you need to keep and throw away. You can sell items or donate them. Also sort items that will need special packaging.
- Take photos on your Smartphone to document each room.
- For insurance, you have to value all items. For example, you can mark the boxes as: dresses $200, Sony Plasma TV purchased in 2015 for $2500 and so on. If possible find and keep all paperwork of expensive items. Place these in the binders that you will carry with you. This can come in handy for claims.
The step may be the most time consuming but it is also the most important step when moving. You may want to record everything on video and even do a running commentary for each room.
6. Use moving checklists
If you have to pack to move in a hurry, you must use moving checklists.
- Things to do-This checklist can help you stay on top of things and prevent you from missing out on anything.
- Checklist of things to keep with you- This includes an inventory of items that you need to keep with you. It can include electronics, jewelry, cash, documents, gadgets, clothes to wear immediately until the packers bring in your things etc. This is especially necessary if you are moving cross country while the packers drive your stuff days later.
7. Donate or sell things
Sometimes, the best way to pack house in one day or 3 days is to sell things off or trash the unwanted stuff. Collect things you cannot take or no longer need. Organize a garage sale. Place items out in the yard and inform neighbors and friends to collect what they need. It will help if you can mark down prices so as to get things sold off. You could even auction off the items on eBay. In some scenarios, one may even have to sell off their house. Selling house needs time and organization. You need to repair, paint and beautify your house first. Call a good estate agent to guide you. You may want to arrange for carpet and oven cleaning, kitchen cleaning, yard maintenance etc. Check out my article with tips to sell your home faster.
8. Make actual arrangements
- Contact your kids’ school and get their paperwork/records.
- Book a hotel room for you to stay till you find permanent dwelling or until your things arrive.
- Contact your doctor and obtain medical records of all family members while also asking for recommendations for another doctor in the new place. If needed, contact medical/dental insurance companies as well as property and vehicle insurance companies.
- Have your prescriptions filled and also get them transferred to the new pharmacy.
- You may want to consider temporary storage.
- Do not forget to contact your utilities company about the move.
- Change your address at the post office.
- Alert your friends, family, neighbors, employers, banks, subscription services, telephone/TV company about your move.
- Make arrangements for pets. Get clearance from vet for long distance flight or car travel. If needed, arrange for pet boarding or pet sitting.
9. Last minute stuff
- Once you start the actual packing, you must label all boxes properly. Keep an inventory of each box-which room it belongs to.
- Use up items in freezer, refrigerator and pantry. Empty out the fridge completely on the day of the move. Unplug and clean the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Throw away or donate items you cannot take with you.
- Take rugs to the cleaners-they will come rolled up and cleaned and ready for your new place. Do not forget to pick up dry-cleaning.
- Properly dispose of all aerosol cans, alcohol, matches and hazardous items.
10. Get your vehicle ready
If you plan to drive, get your car ready for the trip. You need to load the vehicle up with items you’d need immediately-change of clothes for each member, toilet paper, snacks, phone charger, medicines, personal care items and so on.
Packing to move home is never an easy job but it does indicate the start of a new life and what can be more exciting than that!! We hope these things help make your life a litter easier! Good luck!