Moving isn’t fun for anyone, and it’s something many people dread. Around 11 percent of people in the United States move every year. There are a number of ways to move, including hiring a moving company to do most of the work (even some of the packing), doing some of the work yourself or utilizing family and friends to complete the move. No matter which method you choose, there’s a list of things you’ll always need to complete to move successfully.
1. Line up a New Place
Your first step, if you haven’t already completed it, is lining up a new place to live. There are a lot of things you should consider as you seek out a new apartment or home:
- Figure out your budget. How much can you afford for rent? Use a rent calculator to figure out a range that meets your income.
- Consider added expenses, such as paying for parking in the city and which utilities the monthly rental fee includes.
- Think about how close the new place is to work and if there is public transportation nearby.
Even if you think you know a neighborhood, take the time to pull up crime reports, research walking and transportation options and talk to nearby neighbors.
2. Figure out the Logistics
Your next task on the checklist is choosing a day for the big move and lining up how your items will get from Point A to Point B. Follow these steps:
- Choose a moving day that allows you enough time to get everything out of the old place before you have to give it up, and include a little extra time for cleaning.
- Decide whether you’re hiring a moving company or need to reserve a rentable moving truck.
- Line up family and friends to help move. Pizza and beer are usually appreciated enticements.
While it does save money to move your items, if your help doesn’t show up or you aren’t sure how to move big pieces, you may wind up damaging your favorite belongings.
3. Start Packing
As soon as you have a confirmed moving date, it’s time to start packing. There’s a specific process to packing that will make your life easier both now and on the other end of the move:
- Gather all the supplies you’ll need. Go and get boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap or something to protect delicate items. You’ll also need a black sharpie or labels for the outside of boxes.
- Label each box as you pack it with the room it must go in and a short description of what’s in the box. For example, “Kitchen/Spices.”
- Start with the items you use least — such as those in storage or rooms you don’t use — and move inward toward the items you use most.
There are any number of ways to organize your packing list. Some people create Excel spreadsheets to easily locate specific items, but you don’t have to get quite that detailed. Simple is often best when moving.
4. Prepare for the Actual Move
If you’re moving across town, you may not need to prepare quite as much as if you’re moving across the country. Still, there are some things you’ll want to complete before moving day:
- Call all utility companies and give them a move-out date for the old place and move-in date for the new place.
- Gather important documents, such as IDs and birth certificates, and place them in a secure location. It’s a good idea to start a backpack filled with items of vital importance. Keep that bag on your person during the actual move.
- Remind family and friends who agreed to help, and set up a time for everyone to arrive.
Before you move is also a good time to put a plan in place for any pets you might have, figuring out the least stressful way to get them from the old place to the new one. Think about safety. You don’t want a cat running loose while movers come in and out shifting furniture, for example.
Enjoy Your New Home
Unpack and enjoy the new location. You’ll still have a few minor things to wrap up, such as changing your mailing address and hosting a housewarming party, but the most difficult part of moving is behind you — you can now enjoy your new place.