No one likes dealing with the hassles of moving, and as someone who has had to move twice within the past year, I can definitely understand what a pain it is.
But just like everything else, moving can become much easier (and cheaper) if you prepare properly and do not just wait until the last minute to cram everything into some boxes. Here are some tips which you should use to make moving relatively stress-free.
Know how you’re going to move
Will you be moving your stuff out yourself or will you hire a moving company? Will you be able to count on your friends to help you out? If you are making the move yourself, will you rent a truck?
Asking questions like these is critical before you actually start moving, and you should know the answers to them weeks if not months in advance. Make reservations for your moving day with a company or friends. This is especially so if you intend to move during the summer, which is peak moving season.
Moving is a fantastic opportunity to go through your stuff, figure out what you really need, and get rid of the rest. Getting rid of clutter will result in a better, freer living space as you have less room occupied by stuff you may need “someday.”
Becoming Minimalist has an excellent guide on things you can do to get rid of clutter, but the simplest step is to look at clothes or stuff you have not worn or used within the past year. Ask yourself if you really need those things. If the answer is no, host a yard sale or donate it to a charity.
Ask for free cardboard boxes
Good corrugated cardboard boxes are essential for a successful move, and you can get good boxes from places such as the Home Depot for little more than a dollar. But while that may seem cheap, the fact that you will need so many boxes can add up.
Retailers can be a good place to get cardboard boxes for free, particularly big-box stores like WalMart. Ask the store manager or the employees if there are any boxes which you can take off their hands, and they should be happy to give them to you. Just make sure that the boxes are of good enough quality.
Use clothing as stuffing
Popping bubble wrap may relieve your stress, but buying it will not. Instead, your clothes can serve as a good stuffing or packing for your more delicate objects. As a child, I remember watching my mother take our good mugs and glasses, wrap a shirt or sock around them, and then layer each glass into a box or suitcase. None of them ever broke even when we moved across the country.
Pack a survival kit in advance
When you get to your new home, it will take some time for you to get everything out and accentuated to your new home. And while you deal with the stress of unpacking, you should have a survival kit which will let you easily access items that will help you live better over those tough days of unpacking.
Some recommended items for a survival kit include medication, toiletries, and a blanket. I would also note that important documents such as your Social Security card should go in the survival kit as well so that you know where they are at all times. Don’t make the kit too large – it should be the size of a small, carry-on suitcase.
So you finally reach your new home, get the boxes out of your U-Haul or moving truck, and then get confused because you don’t remember what is in which box. This makes moving far more stressful, as you go through an entire box looking for that one object only to find it in another box.
Instead, label everything in advance so that you know what is in which box. While you could use a Sharpie, I think stickers are a better, more visible choice. Some guides recommend that in addition to writing down what the object is, you should write down how heavy it is and where it should be placed. This will make it easier for the movers.
Take a photograph of your new place
This is particularly important if you are renting a place. When you move into a new home or apartment, make sure to take photographs of the place as soon as you can. Pay particular importance to cracks, holes, or general signs of damage.
The photographs will prove that you did not cause the damage, which thus means that you are not liable for them. If you do not, then your landlord could claim that you caused the damage and thus use it as an excuse not to give you back your deposit when you move out.
Featured photo credit: Karl Baron via flickr.com