Decluttering | General Organizing | Moving
Best Moving Tips From a Professional Organizer
The following is a list of the best moving tips I can offer to help you avoid unnecessary stress and ensure a smooth move.
Over the years I have helped a multitude of families prepare for an upcoming move. I either help with packing and the moving process or with unpacking, space planning, and organizing after a move. In this post, I share the best moving tips I have collected along the way.
Taking the time to research, plan ahead and gather helpful moving tips is the key to making a smooth transition into your new home.
Moving to a new home is a time of new beginnings and inspiration. Chances are you have already started thinking about fresh paint colors and furniture arrangement. But there are several important steps you can take to get from your current home to your new home successfully and efficiently.
The best moving tips I have gathered over the years:
1. Declutter early on.
This tip comes first because it is not only important but it should be taken before you take any other step. Why pay someone to move stuff that you no longer use? You also don’t want these things cluttering up your new home.
Several weeks before your move, take the time to go through and declutter your whole home. Weed out anything that no longer serves your needs. Be sure to hit hot spots like your basement, garage, and other storage areas. These storage areas collect household clutter more rapidly than other areas.
2. Create a moving binder.
To ensure that your important paperwork is not lost during your move, create a binder for everything moving-related. Keep all estimates, receipts, room measurements, checklists, etc. in this binder. Be sure to keep this binder handy at all times…don’t accidentally pack it away in a box!
3. What to do if you are hiring movers.
Schedule an on-site visit and get several estimates, don’t rely on a phone estimate. Research the company thoroughly before you hand your belongings over to them. Decide if you want them to move everything or if you only want them to handle the heavier items like large furniture and appliances.
4. How to space plan.
Take measurements of the rooms and wall spaces in your new home to ensure that your furniture will fit there. You don’t want to waste time and money moving a sofa just to discover that it doesn’t fit in your new living room.
Once you decide how furniture is going to be arranged, tape a sign to the nearest wall, to alert movers as to where to place heavy furniture. For example: PLACE BED HERE. This will speed up the process of your move. It will also ensure that you don’t end up having to move heavy furniture yourself to get it placed where you want it.
5. Begin packing seldom-used items early.
If you are planning on doing your own packing, begin with those items that you use infrequently. But, one caveat here…notice I said use infrequently? Be sure that the things you pack are worth moving to your new home. See moving tip #1. Donate rather than pack the things you haven’t used in ages.
6. Label boxes and furniture.
Be sure to label every box with a general description of the contents and clearly state what room the box is going into, not what room it came from. This will prevent movers from wasting time on moving day, waiting for you to tell them which room to put a box or furniture item in.
If you are moving to a home with several bedrooms, label the boxes with rooms #1, #2, and #3, etc. On moving day, place signs next to each bedroom door so that the movers know which room is which. You can also number each box to ensure that they are all accounted for when you get to your new home.
7. Make moving less stressful for your pets.
Moving can be extremely difficult for pets. On moving day, it is best to board them with a family member, friend, or pet boarding facility. If this is not possible, find a safe, secure, out-of-the-way room to keep them in. This will not only minimize their anxiety but will ensure they don’t escape and get lost. It will also keep your pet from getting underfoot while movers are hauling things in and out.
8. What goes on the truck first, comes off last.
Pack your more important, often-used items last so that you can access these things as soon as you get moved into your home. Bed linens, pillows, snacks, and bathroom essentials are all examples of items that you might want to have handy as soon as possible.
9. My best moving tip of all? Pack an essentials box.
Pack everything that you will need right away in an “Essentials” box and haul it in your car to keep it with you at all times. This way you won’t be caught without the things that are most important to you. This will go along way in keeping you grounded when the moving chaos begins.
Suggestions are Medications (for you and your pets), healthy snacks, paper plates, cups and utensils, dish detergent, paper towels, other kitchen essentials, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, pet food, bottled water, and last but not least… supplies for making coffee in the morning – a must if you are a coffee drinker like myself.
10. Pretend like you’re going on vacation.
A few days before your move, have every family member pack a suitcase as if they were going on vacation for a week. This will ensure that everyone will have everything they need the first few days after your move.
11. Handle highly valuable items yourself.
If you are traveling to your new home in a car, be sure to take valuable and delicate items with you. Small valuables like fine jewelry, cash, and gift cards can disappear as they are easy to steal without notice. Some plants and irreplaceable heirlooms are also best handled by you rather than the movers. You will also want to bring your essentials box and suitcases with you so that there is no chance of being separated from them.
12. Use a good Moving Checklist with a timeline as a guide.
To ensure that you don’t miss a step, Allstate Insurance offers a great free resource full of important moving tips. Their free 17-page Printable Moving Guide is comprehensive and will keep you on track as your move date approaches.
13. Who to notify of your move.
Whether you need to disconnect a previous service, establish a new service, or update your address, refer to page 7 of Allstate’s Moving Guide. Here you will find a complete list of businesses to contact when you move. It will also tell you when you need to complete these tasks.
14. Do not let your movers leave before heavy items are in place.
On moving day, be sure that all of your heavy furniture is arranged exactly where you want it, and that all beds are assembled before you let the movers leave. Also, make sure all boxes are placed in the rooms that they belong in. You don’t want to get stuck moving these heavy items yourself.
More than once I have needed to help families after their move because the movers left all of their boxes in the garage! They lived in a multilevel home and it was too overwhelming a job for them to tackle on their own.
15. Best unpacking practices.
If you want things to be organized in your new home, don’t allow the movers to unpack boxes. Leave this job for yourself or a family member. Take advantage of your move as an opportune time to get organized. Consider hiring a professional organizer to unpack your kitchen or other important spaces to ensure everything is stored and organized in the most functional and practical locations possible.
If you unpack yourself, be sure to unpack more essential items first. Make your beds, then get your kitchen and bathroom boxes unpacked as soon as possible. Leave the boxes for spaces like the basement, garage, and storage room for later…but not too much later.
16. Be sure to unpack all of your boxes.
You would be surprised how often I get calls from families who moved into their new homes 6 months, a year…even two years ago. They quickly unpacked all of the boxes holding necessities and other often-used items. But, when they got to the seldom-used items, they simply set the boxes aside to unpack later. Just because you’re not missing whatever is in those boxes, doesn’t mean they deserve to take up space in your home for years and weigh heavy on your mind. Commit to unpacking every box now rather than later.
17. Take a critical eye to the contents of your last boxes.
Since these boxes hold the things that you are not missing, be selective about what you keep. Other than some keepsakes and holiday decor, these are the things that you likely don’t need to keep. Have a box or bag for donations handy while you unpack these boxes. This will encourage you to donate anything that you no longer need as you work.
While the moving process can evoke anxiety in even the most composed individuals, a bit of pre-planning can ensure that your move goes smoothly and with the least amount of stress.
To learn more about how to schedule an individualized virtual assessment for your unique space, visit my Virtual Organizing page. You will receive valuable transference of skills just as if we were working side-by-side. As a professional organizer with over 10 years experience I have a wealth of knowledge to share.
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