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Moving is a demanding process and the more you think about it the more steps there seem to be involved in it. From the moment you decide to move till the day you have settled in your new place, there are bound to be several occasions where something that you wish you had thought of earlier occurs to you. However, moving does not need to be stressful. If you want, you can make it smooth and fluid through a little bit of focus, pre-planning, and organization. This is even more important if you are not a naturally well-organized personality. Let’s discuss some easy and practical ways to get organized for a move that MPR Movers has gleaned through its experience. Follow these to keep your enjoyment high and stress low.
Once you have decided on a moving date, do not wait till the last minute, start your planning well in advance when you know you are moving. When you start early, you will be able to take your time and will keep away from feeling rushed or stressed.
Begin at least two months before your moving date. Set weekly tasks and benchmarks to work at a tempo that will get the work done without much pressure building up.
First thing on your schedule will be to declutter. Get rid of all items and paperwork that are not worth carrying along anymore. If you decide to use movers, get quotes from three reputable movers. Hire a moving company at least one month before your move. Start looking at new doctors/dentists/childcare/etc. in your new area.
Make your inventory list. It will also be helpful in getting a more accurate quote from the movers. Start packing any items you will not be needing between now and till after your move. Respect the required notice periods in giving notices to your landlord and other suppliers. Contact your insurance company to transfer your insurance with good effect.
When just one month remains, start packing things you do not use very often and can easily go a month without using e.g., books. Make any travel arrangements that you may require such as travel bookings, hotel, babysitting, pet sitting etc. Get your car serviced as you may use it more than usual during and after the move. Get done any repairs that you may be required to complete as the seller or tenant of the property. Yes, fill in those nail holes, will you please!
Two weeks before the move, decide what you need to last to moving day and pack everything else. Start from non-essential items. Re-confirm with your moving company.
As you enter the last week before moving, finish packing and make sure to label everything. Schedule and complete a walk through with landlord/new owners. You do not want to be dealing with this a day before your move or on the moving day. Pull out cash that you will need to pay the movers.
One day before the move, clean and prepare all appliances whether you are leaving them behind or taking them with you. Defrost your fridge and freezer, clean it, and remove any water. Drain the gas and oil from lawn equipment, grills, and other items. Do a sweep of all your drawers, cabinets, storage areas, and other nooks and crannies for any missed items. Walk through every room and space in your home and make sure you have not missed anything. Gather all keys you need to hand over on the moving day.
On the day of move, do a last walk through of your old house and yard to ensure that everything is in order before you leave. Make sure there are no hurdles in the way of packing and moving crew and their truck.
Begin with contemplating and understanding all that you need to accomplish. Initially not many things will come to your mind, but once you take time out and start noting things down, you will realize that there is a lot about your move that you need to keep an eye on. Otherwise, you are likely to forget or overlook a few things in the rush of things.
Keeping a list will cover all the items that you need to do and then you can track your progress against your list. If a new item comes to your mind, you can add it to the list. At any time, you will know how far you have come and how much remains to be done.
Also make a list for the moving day as it is likely to get hectic. Instead of carrying and juggling bits and pieces of paper, you are better off creating and monitoring your list on your phone. That will be easy and will keep your record instant on all times.
Whether you are moving within the same neighborhood, to another city, or to another province you are better off choosing and hiring professional movers early in the process. This is a very important item on your list of things-to-do for moving and getting it behind you will instill some relief.
Movers can be in high demand during certain periods such as summer months and weekends. If you schedule your movers early, you will have greater possibility of getting a booking for your preferred date and also greater flexibility to adjust your dates if you have to.
Starting early means that you can make a better choice by taking your time to read reviews and talking to a few movers before finalizing. Depending on the prices you get and the service levels on offer, you will have more lucidity to decide how much you want to outsource to professionals and how much you can do yourself. For example, if yours is a simple move, you may want to pack on your own to save money.
Full service moving companies will turn up with packing supplies and materials, pack your boxes, disassemble furniture, and load everything on the truck. On the other end, they will unload, unpack, reassemble, place as you tell them, and take all the packing materials with them.
Even if you hire a full-service mover to do everything for you, you will still have to take time before that to sort through your belongings. You do not want to move and waste time and money on things you no longer need. Go room by room and identify what you no longer want. Put those items together in piles and get rid of them by giving away, selling, or trashing.
This step needs to be taken care of early because it will help you know how much you need to engage professional help for. Plus, if you have to sell somethings that may also take some time before you get an acceptable buyer. Donating things also needs a bit of time. You have to establish where you will take the items to and confirm with them that they will accept the items you are donating. Many donation outlets have receiving days and times, so make sure they are open before you load the vehicle to make the journey to them. Plus, you need to clear up space early on to give yourself enough space to work. It will help you in packing if everything is where it belongs, and your house is not too cluttered.
Once you have identified and removed all the items you wanted to get rid of, you can turn to packing. If you are packing yourself, do not leave it to the last minute. You can always start with items that you do not need very often or are not in season for now. Art, decor, and seasonal items can all be packed at an early stage in the process. Make sure you give yourself enough time to take an orderly approach to your packing.
If you are strategic about packing, you can start early and still continue to have access to the things of your frequent use. There are plenty of things you do not often use or wear and they should find their way into a box first. Start with your off-season clothing, lesser-used small appliances, and other items you will not need before you leave. Then you can start packing things that you use more often. Finally, you will end up with essentials last, like linens for the bed, fresh towels, nightwear, some daily wear clothes, the coffee pot, medications, and other things of everyday use.
As you begin to pack, be careful in filling up your boxes. Do not just force things into settling wherever they fit. Pack things in the right order, bigger items at the bottom and smaller on top. What you use the most goes in last, so that it will come out first on the other side. Keep in mind where each box will go in your new home.
Sorting and packing is not the end of your job. You also need to make clear labels. Do not kid yourself that you will remember what each box contains. Be specific about noting the contents of each box. Start the label with the room it belongs to and then mention the contents. For example, “BEDROOM – CLOSET – SPORTS JACKETS” on a box will tell you what the box carries and that the contents are ready to hang. You can thus unpack and organize while moving systematically from one room to another.
Make your labels with good quality waterproof markers so that the labeling you make will survive the vagaries of time, weather, and travel. Label the boxes on at least two opposing sides and the top. So, you will be able to easily tell what is where and which way up a box is.
Make sure you do not have to keep stepping or hopping over already finished boxes as you progress. Designate one or more spots, depending on the size and number of floors, in your house to gather packed boxes. As you pack things or boxes, move them into the designated space.
Do not forget about the services and utilities disconnections or transfers. Call each provider in advance and schedule your supply disconnection. Understand how they will determine your final bill. Where you have access to the meter, make a record of the final reading before you leave. Also remember to change your address at the post office and elsewhere as appropriate.
Sign and obtain a copy of the bill of lading and inventory list from your movers. If your stuff is travelling without you, make sure you sign and get a copy of all your moving paperwork before it takes off. Find out exactly when it is programmed to arrive and verify that they have the right address. It is a good idea to exchange numbers with the truck drivers, just in case something changes in the plan or you need to speak to them.
Check that water and electricity are turned on in your new home. Test appliances, faucets, toilets, smoke detectors, etc. to ensure that everything is in working order. Walk through your new place and document everything as required. If needed, document the condition of everything, from the floors to the doors to the appliances to the ceilings. If you have rented a furnished apartment, document the state of the furniture as well. Make a note of every detail, even if it is a small thing like a thumbtack hole in the wall.
Even if you arrive in the morning, set up your beds first. You are going to be tired before the day is done. That way your refuge will be ready for you when you are too tired and need it. Plus, beds are the focal points of a bedroom, and you will feel more at home when they are made. This will also make arranging stuff easier, as in bedrooms other things are usually set up with beds in mind.
Start to feel at home by unpacking your stuff. Finding your familiar things scattered around you makes you feel at home. Focus on your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom stuff first, and any electronics that you regularly use. If you have people around who can help, give them each a room to work on so everything gets unpacked faster. You can always rearrange or set up things later but let your house feel like home by getting boxes out of the way.
Inspect furniture and appliances you have moved for damage. If you spot any damage or breakage, photograph it and contact the moving company as soon as possible. Change the locks and relax in your new home.
Asif has authored four widely selling books –Happiness: A way of Life, The Stuff of Life, Sell to Excel, and Face Time. He also blogs at masrif.net and he also blogs at MPR. Subscribe and get Daily Life Tips from this Youtube Channel The Stuff Of Life