It’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed with the prospect of moving. Your home purchase has closed and you look around where you are now, room by room and closet by closet, you start to see how much stuff you actually own. The task of putting everything into boxes, labelling them and storing them out of the way until moving day is daunting, to say the least.
It’s at this point many people choose professional movers that take care of packing everything up for you. The cost is higher than simply hiring a couple of moving men and a truck for a day but the level of sanity you maintain may make the investment well spent.
If the cost is out of reach for packers and movers, don’t fret. You can bring the stress levels down by following some basic moving preparation rules.
Declutter your living areas. Put everything in its spot and if it doesn’t have a place you can likely sell or dispose of it.
Hold a garage sale and/or donate used but still usable items.
What to Pack First, What to Pack Last
Finding A Moving Company
Finding a moving company when your moving budget is unlimited can be quite easy, finding an affordable and reliable moving company can be a different matter.
Give yourself plenty of time to find, research and book a moving company, 4 to 8 weeks is suggested, and at least 6 weeks if you’re moving on the last or first day of the month which are the busiest moving days.
Many people will turn to Google and search for a moving company, and consider the top search results to be the best companies but this isn’t always the case. Recent news has shown that in some areas the top moving companies in search results may be the worst offenders for customer service, honouring estimates and even outright scamming customers.
Your experienced real estate sales representative can give you the names of three reliable moving companies to give you a quote on your move. Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations too, but always do your homework on the companies you are considering to handle your household items so you don’t end up a moving scam victim.
Understand what your moving company is charging you for and how they get to that final number. Is your move a flat-rate charge or are there hourly fees?
Will they provide blankets, boxes, labels and other needed items to pack and protect your items?
It’s also important that you understand what the moving company’s insurance covers including breakage, lost items and even what happens if their truck breaks down.
If you are a pet owner your move can be even more stressful with an anxious cat or dog (or fish, bird, etc.).
Start with an appropriate sized pet carrier so you can keep control of your pet as you move into your new area. Many pets are curious and won’t stay by your side when the door opens but want to explore as soon as possible, sometimes leading to a “pet search” within the first few hours of arriving at your new home.
Put your pet in one room in your new home and put a sign on the door “Do not open, pet inside”. Allowing your pet some time to adjust to their new surroundings will help to relieve their stress levels. Check your property, fences, hedges, etc., for openings that your pet might find. Seal them up as best you can.
As soon as possible leash your cat (if it’s an outdoor cat) or dog and take them for a walk around your new neighbourhood.
You should do this as often as possible in the first few weeks so your pet learns where they live now and will be more likely to find their way home if they are outside and get lost.
Be sure your pet has an identity tag with your new address or phone number on it. Update any information in embedded chips your pet has with your veterinarian.
Planning how long everything takes and allowing the right amount of time to complete the task ahead of you is the first step to avoiding moving day stress and regrets.
Give yourself appropriate an amount of time to complete your move, right from the start of planning to closing the door of your new home. A good rule of thumb is to allow one day of packing for every room in your home, which may mean 10 to 20 packing days, and breaking down your packing routine this way will alleviate a lot of the last-minute rush packing that can happen.
The Move-Out/Move-In Checklist
File change of address with your bank, credit card companies, utilities, etc.
Be sure that the power and water will be on in your new home.
Keep your important financial and medical documents within easy reach, don’t pack them away in case you need them.
Know your new neighbourhood including gas stations, grocery stores, hospitals and walk-in clinics. Your experienced real estate agent should be able to provide addresses of these places to you.
Boxes with lids are your best packing friends, don’t use boxes that don’t have tops or are crumpled, they won’t hold up to being stacked every well and you risk breaking your items.
Buy boxes if your moving company does not supply them. A couple dollars per box goes a long way for peace of mind
Clearly label the box contents, what’s inside and what room the box needs to be moved into.
Use spare sheets and towels to pack fragile items, put crumbled paper in the bottom of boxes of fragile items.
Wrap items individually (plates, glasses, etc), they’re easier to pack and unpack when they are separate.
Use boxes to pack your pictures, mirrors, electronics and computers to keep them safe from being jostled around.
Leave your clothes in drawers and use appropriate boxes for hanging clothes and outerwear.
Make certain caps and lids are on tightly to avoid unpleasant leaks for your medicines, cleaning supplies and foods.
Move packed boxes out of the way as they are filled up.
Don’t lose track of some needed tools such as a hammer, screwdrivers, drills, etc. You may not use them last but you’ll likely need them first when you arrive.
Better Business Bureau //www.bbb.org/search/
This information is meant as a guide only. This information may not be accurate for your specific location or specific circumstances. Please consult a REALTOR® professional for more information on moving resources.