It’s spring, and that means the beginning of moving season. Moving can be stressful. First, there’s the effort of packing up all of your belongings, and then unpacking them at your destination. Then there’s dealing with all the little details involved in leaving one residence and starting up another. You’ll have to close out utilities, change your address in all sorts of places, and start up new utilities at your new home. But a little planning can make moving a lot less stressful. So here are our TrustDALE tips for a smooth move.

Tips for a Smooth Move [infographic]

Start Well in Advance

Whether you are moving across town or across the country, starting on certain tasks well in advance of your move will lower the stress level.

1. Notify Friends and Family

If you are moving cross-country or a long distance, let friends and family know a few months in advance of the move. You’ll want a chance to see everyone before you go, and your friends may have things they want to do, too. Letting people know in advance of your move is a courtesy, as well.

2. Hire a Moving Company

It may seem early, but hiring a moving company can take time. Also, if you have a specific date in mind, it pays to book as far in advance as possible to save your date. If you will be moving in the spring or summer, peak moving season, booking in advance is a necessity. Make sure to get at least three estimates before booking your move. Moving can be expensive, but just how expensive varies from company to company. However, don’t just look at the bottom line. Check on the movers’ insurance, what services they offer, and how well they are rated. Look at ratings online and ask for references. To find some excellent TrustDALE certified movers in your area, click here.

3. Start the Purge

If you’ve lived in one place for at least a few years, you’ll be amazed at how much stuff you have accumulated. As you start to go through all of your belongings, you may find that much of it isn’t really worth moving. Start going through your stuff as early as possible. Take your time and make sure you aren’t moving junk. Some stuff is trash, but a lot can be donated. If you have large items you want to get rid of, like furniture, call up a local charity and see if they will pick it up.

4. Plan Your Own Transportation

If you are moving out of state, you will need to move more than just the items in your moving truck. You will also need to get where you are going. One option is to drive. An advantage of driving is that you can bring some of your precious or important belongings with you, like jewelry, heirlooms, and important personal papers. Another advantage is that it gets your car to your new location. If you are flying, you will have to arrange transportation for your vehicle. Look up companies that ship cars—usually on a truck—but shop around and read reviews. Prices and quality vary widely.

The Month of the Move

The month of the move, you will need to kick your moving into high gear. Give yourself at least a month to pack up everything, especially if you plan to do all your packing at the same time that you are working or going to school. Trying to pack a whole house on nights and weekends will require a few weeks of work.

1. Gather Your Moving Supplies

Moving takes lots of supplies. You will almost certainly need more than you think, so overbuy. You can always return extra supplies after the moving truck leaves. First, you will need boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. Get boxes of various sizes, but make sure to get a lot of medium boxes. Large boxes are suitable for light, bulky items, but filling them with heavier objects will make them too heavy to carry. You’ll also need lots and lots of packing tape. Make sure you buy packing tape and not duct tape or some other kinds of tape. Some types of tape, including duct tape, don’t stick well to cardboard boxes.

You will also need plenty of packing material. We don’t recommend packing peanuts because they get everywhere. Instead, buy several large rolls of bubble wrap and several packages of packing paper. You may also want to try some air pillows, which are those little bags of air that you get with many online orders. They are a great lightweight option for filling in empty spaces to avoid shifting, and they adjust to fit into all sorts of shapes.

2. Determine an Order of Operations

It’s probably not a good idea to pack your toothbrush a month in advance. Before you start packing, determine an order of operations, what you can pack in advance and what you need to leave for last.

Two things you can always start early are books and out-of-season clothes. Chances are good that most of your books are not in regular use. Their simple shape also makes them relatively easy to pack, so it’s an excellent way to get started and feel like you’re accomplishing something. Use small boxes for books, because a box of books can get quite heavy.

For out of season clothes, you can use large boxes, since clothes are usually not that heavy. For items that you don’t want to fold, you can purchase wardrobe boxes. A wardrobe box is like a miniature closet, with a bar for hanging clothes. Try to pack your clothes tightly, so they don’t shift around too much. To make the best use of the extra space, fill some bags with light, bulky items like sweaters or bedding and place those at the bottom of the box, beneath your hanging clothes. If you have space above your clothes, shove in some pillows. You don’t want a lot of wasted space, and you want to make sure everything is packed tightly enough that it won’t move around.

3. Keep A List and Label Boxes

As you begin to pack, organization will be your friend. Keep a list of every box and its contents. To organize your list, you can use a simple number system. On each box, write a number. On your list, write down the number and the items inside of it. Try to be specific. Instead of writing clothes, write Jack’s sweater, scarves, and winter clothes. Next, assign each room in your new home a color. The kitchen is green, the master bedroom is blue, etc. Put a colored sticker on each box to indicate which room it goes to. It will make unpacking much more manageable.

The Week of the Move

It’s coming down to the line. The movers will be here in just a few days, and everything needs to be ready. Now it time to wrap up all the loose ends and make sure you are ready to go on the big day.

1. Pack Your Remaining Items

Now is time to pack everything that is left. Hopefully, you have already packed the things that you don’t need on a daily basis. Now it’s time to pack even the things you use daily. Pack up your kitchen. You may spend the last few days eating on paper and plastic or eating out. Don’t leave any packing for the day of the move. The only items you should leave out are personal items you will need on the day of the move, like toothbrushes and a couple of sets of clothes.

2. Organize Boxes

Getting all of your boxes into one area, or even just collecting all of the boxes into the center of each room, will make it easier for your movers. If you are making a local move, you will be paying your movers by the hour, so anything you can do to make your movers more efficient is money in your pocket. Even if you aren’t paying movers by the hour, getting your home as organized as possible will help you clean and help avoid leaving anything behind.

3. Clean Your Home

If you don’t own your home, you will need to get your home pretty clean to satisfy a landlord. Even if you own your home and are selling it, it’s a good idea to get the place as clean as you can before you leave it. Cleaning should be easier with all of your belonging packed up. Vacuum, mop, and wipe down areas you may have neglected or been unable to reach in years. Don’t forget to wipe down the insides of cabinets and drawers. This is also a good way to make sure you aren’t leaving anything behind stuck in a drawer somewhere.

4. Starting Closing Out Utilities and Changing Addresses

Contact your electric, gas, water, sewage, cable and other utilities to arrange to end or transfer service. You may have to return cable equipment, to plan to make time for that. You also need to change your address in all sorts of places. All of your bank and credit cards need to be updated. Any subscriptions you have should be switched to the new address. Make sure you have the documents you will need to apply for a drivers license if you are moving to another state. Also

Moving Day

Hopefully, everything is packed by now. The movers are coming, and you’d better be ready.

1. Personal Items

Pack your personal items—toiletries, chargers, a change of clothes, etc.—into an overnight bag. Everything else should already be packed.

2. Moving Day Necessities

There are a few things you can have on hand to make moving day more comfortable. First, if you plan on tipping movers—you don’t have to, but it’s a nice way to thank them for a job well done—have cash on hand. Second, prepare a cooler of bottled water. Having some cold water available for you and your movers will make the day go smoother. Also, don’t forget that you will have to eat. Purchase some on-the-go snacks ahead of time so that you won’t be starving, because you probably won’t have access to your kitchen or even your refrigerator.

Moving can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a lot of stress. Let us take some of the stress out of your move by sharing the best TrustDALE certified movers in your area.

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