A Six-Step Checklist to Make Your Next Move the Easiest Yet

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Written By Adeyemi Adetilewa

It is no secret that moving is stressful, especially if you’ve lived in your current home for a long time. Even though it is exciting to know you are getting ready for a new adventure, most of us dread having to pack everything up.

The good news is that moving doesn’t have to be hectic.

All you have to do is focus on the reason that you are moving, whether you are starting an exciting new job, buying your first home, or resettling for retirement. Use that positive energy to get motivated and start planning to set yourself up for a successful, organized move.

Creating a moving checklist can help simplify this often lengthy process. To get started, use this example checklist for your next move.

Review the following best practices to help ensure that your moving checklist accounts for every task you need to take care of before relocating.

1. Determine Your Moving Budget 

Moving Homes? A Simple 7-Step Checklist to Make It EasyVarious factors affect the cost of moving. Some of these will change depending on the time of year, making them easier to predict.

You should use these variables to calculate the costs of the services you’ll need:

a. Distance

How far are the new home and the old one? This will determine how much you’ll have to pay the movers because almost every service will charge less for an in-state move than a cross-country move.

Instead of calling several different places, you can use a moving cost estimator to get free quotes from movers in your area. If you are not working with professionals, you can use the length of the trip to figure out how much you’ll end up spending on gas for your car or rental truck.

b. The Season

Moving is more cyclical than you’d expect. According to several studies, about 80 percent of moves occur between April and September.

If you move during the winter, you might be able to negotiate a better deal because the movers have less business. However, you may not have control over when you move, especially if it is for school or work.

c. The Size of the Household

The more the merrier is one saying that doesn’t always apply to moving: Having a bigger home or more people to manage usually means you’ll have to spend more time packing and getting organized.

If you have enough time to do so, you should consider hosting a yard sale before the move to sell some of the stuff you won’t need. This will reduce clutter and help grow your moving budget.

d. Movers or No Movers?

If you are just moving into a new apartment across town, you probably won’t need movers. But families and people who planning long-distance moves can benefit from hiring professionals.

Though paying for movers will be more expensive, you will end up saving lots of time, effort, and stress. Plus, working with an experienced moving company will free you up to handle other major tasks, like setting up the utilities at your new home and going to work.

2. Clean and Pack Before the Move

Moving forces you to decide which items you can and can’t replace. One easy way to save time and money is to get rid of the junk you’ve been hoarding. Before you start packing, take some time to check every room and decide what needs to be dumped.

We know that packing is long and tedious, so here are a few tips to help keep everything organized:

  • Put items that will end up in the same room in the same box and label them. This will make it easier to organize items when you’re unpacking.
  • Create an “open first” box with toiletries, plates, and other items that you’ll need during the first night in your new home.
  • This might seem obvious, but pack fragile items individually and clearly label them as fragile so that you or the movers know to be gentle with them.

3. Communicate With Your Movers

Moving Homes? A Simple 7-Step Checklist to Make It EasySome moving companies will do everything for you. Others will only give you a quote and the time that they’ll show up. Make sure you figure out which services you’ll be getting and what you’ll need to do yourself.

If you are moving on your own, create a list of the supplies you’ll need at least a week or two before the move. Some of the most common moving supplies include:

  • Packing tape
  • Boxes and crates
  • Dollies
  • Bubble wrap
  • Newspaper and other cushioning materials
  • Mattress bags

Instead of buying traditional cardboard boxes, you might consider renting moving boxes as this can be easier, faster, and cheaper.

4. Check Out Some Moving Apps

Staying organized during a move can make the whole experience less stressful. But, that is easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few apps that can provide you with some structure:

  • Move Planner generates to-do lists to help you stay on track and simplify packing.
  • Sortly is a handy app that makes sorting and finding things easier. It even lets you create a packing inventory and print out labels with QR codes for each box.
  • Mint is a free app that will help you calculate the costs of the move and keep track of your spending.

5. Get Your New Home Clean

You always hope that the previous tenants left the place clean, but that is not always the case.

If a house or apartment has been on the market for a long time, it might be more dingy and dusty than you’d like. Performing a deep cleaning of the space before moving in will make sure it’s ready for you and your belongings.

Here is a brief breakdown of which areas to focus on:

  • Get rid of anything that was left in the fridge and pantry. Use a rag and a cleaning solution to wipe all of the shelves and counters.
  • Mop the floors.
  • Scrub the toilets, tubs, and bathroom counters.
  • Check for mold and mildew on every surface, under the sinks, in the shower, and on the AC vents.

6. Additional Moving Services to Consider

Moving Homes? A Simple 7-Step Checklist to Make It EasyYour life shouldn’t come to a standstill just because you are moving to a new home. Here are a few services you may need aside from a moving company:

Pet sitters: Moving to a new home can have a profound effect on pets. It might be a good idea to let your furry friend stay at your old home with a sitter until you’ve fully settled into your new place.

A baby sitter: Young children won’t be able to help much during a move. Plus, they might not love having their toys and other items packed up in a box for a few days.

If you have a family member or close friend who can watch them during the day of the move, that might help you avoid additional stress.

Moving insurance: Moving companies are required to provide some amount of compensation for any damaged property. But if you have lots of valuable possessions, bare-bones coverage won’t cut it.

Many third-party companies can provide you with comprehensive moving insurance to make sure you get full value for anything that gets broken.

Cleaners: Hiring a professional cleaning service can ensure that your old home is spotless and help you get back your full deposit. You can also have cleaners stop by your new home the day before you move in.

Take a deep breath. Do you feel more prepared for your move? Well, that is the whole point of creating a checklist and planning ahead. There will certainly be some surprises along the way, but at least you’ve covered all of your bases.

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