THE BLOG

7 Best Tips on Moving

03/04/2015 06:05 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015

Moving is a long, involved process that you'll want to get right from start to finish. Otherwise, you could be looking at a potential disaster -- whether it is at your old home, in transition or at the new place. By planning for the move, you can ensure a smooth transition from the old place to the new. Here are some tips on moving from one place to another:

#1 Create a list.
Before you pack even one box, create a list. Use your phone, your computer or a notebook to detail what needs to go where, as well as when and how it will get there. You might keep a numbered system, organize items by room, or color-code your stuff; but find the system that works best for you and keep a record of it somewhere. Your list should also include a schedule of when you'll pack each room, when the movers are coming, when you'll clean up the house, and so forth. It helps to keep everything organized and on schedule for the move.

#2 Find your mover.
You need to find a good mover that has insurance, especially if you're paying a lot to move fragile items. Look for referrals, multiple bids and website reviews on moving services before you hire. Keep in mind that movers may charge by the hour, the number of movers or the weight of your load. If you have very fragile items or furniture that could be broken or fall apart in a move, consider moving it yourself or getting rid of it altogether.

You should keep a list of mover quotes to get the best price for your move. Hiring a moving service can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000, depending on how much stuff you have and how they charge. Some movers also include additional packing materials -- boxes, peanuts, bubble wrap -- as part of their quote. That saves you on buying some of the materials at a home improvement store.

#3 Pack before the move.
Pack anything you can before the movers come to save time and stress on moving day. You can pack up all of the clothes you won't need at the time, for example. And you can also pack up knick-knacks, items in the basement and attic, and anything else you won't be using. You only need to keep out any essentials you use on a daily basis, which you can then pack the night before. Everything else should be ready to go and in the garage for the movers.

Photo courtesy of Organize This in Ashland, MA

#4 Utilize luggage.
Use your luggage -- suitcases, duffel bags, etc. -- to store clothes, linens and other smaller goods. Moving and settling into a new home is less chaotic if you can easily find the clothing, towels and other items that you use on a daily basis.

#5 Keep documents close.
Birth certificates, school records, bank records, bills, realtor info, maps -- all of these documents should be with you and stored somewhere with easy access. Don't pack them in a box and have the movers take them. It could be days before you find them again at the new place, if they don't somehow disappear in the move.

Photo courtesy of North Raleigh Home Cleaning in Raleigh, NC

#6 Clean up the old home. Once you've got the last box of essentials packed the night before, it's time to make a last pass through your home and start getting everything cleaned up. The list of things to do include:

  • Check every room for anything you might have missed.
  • Check for damages and make quick repairs if needed.
  • Write down your meter readings for the final utility bill.
  • Clean everything quickly -- vacuum, dust and run a quick mop over the floors in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Defrost your refrigerator so a power outage won't cause flooding.

If it seems too overwhelming, you can hire a professional house cleaning service to do the thorough work for you. That way you know the house is spic and span when you go to turn in the keys to a realtor for walk-through.

#7 Check after the move.
Make sure all the boxes from the move go into the right rooms, so you aren't searching through kitchen boxes that end up in the bedroom. You should also check for damages to your furniture or fragile items, as these could fall under the mover's insurance coverage. Make sure all of the boxes you moved out of your old home made it to the new place. Then, it's time to start settling into your new home and getting everything unpacked!

Photos courtesy of DesignMine