Proper preparation can make packing and unpacking boxes a less stressful part of your move.
Every year, millions of us pack up our homes and head across town or across the country to new digs. While the thrill of living in a new place can be exhilarating, the prospect of sorting through belongings, packing boxes and loading trucks is considerably less exciting.
Here are eight things you can do to prepare your home for a smoother move:
1. De-clutter your home
Home design consultant DeAnna Radaj recommends asking yourself these three questions when sifting through your belongings: Do I love it? Do I use it? Do I need it? If you can’t answer “yes” to at least two of those questions for each item, then you should sell, toss or donate it, she said. Consider holding a garage sale to get rid of unwanted stuff, said Brandon Morris, president of North Dallas Moving and Storage. “This can help you save on packing expenses, because
why pay to pack things you do not want?” he said. “The money from the garage sale
could also pay for your packing expenses on the things that you do want.”
2. Consider storage
If you’re selling your house and moving away, you may want to stash some of your stuff in a storage unit. Leave only those belongings that’ll benefit the stagingof your home.
“This should be
considered a short-term measure while your house is on the market, rather
than a long-term storage option,” professional organizer Amber Kostelny said. “Don’t waste your money paying to store
items you don’t plan to use in your new home.”
3. Pare your pantry
In advance of the move, use canned food, frozen food and other items that won’t travel well. “Buy only what will be used before moving,” Morris said.
4. Pack room by room
Label each box to indicate its contents and the room where it’s supposed to go. For boxes packed with items you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your new home, write “Open First” on them, professional organizer Allison Flinn of Raleigh, NC said. Those must-have items include toilet paper and bath towels.
For extra piece of mind, you can number each box, then track it and its contents in a spreadsheet, Flinn said. Color-coded labels also can come in handy to identify your belongings by room; for instance, green for the kitchen and orange for the garage.
5. Set aside important items
Hang onto passports, checkbooks, medication and other critical items. They should be kept separate from your everyday belongings, according to Dan Komm, brand manager at Humboldt Storage & Moving. Don’t put them in boxes that’ll be heading off in a moving truck.
6. Remove distractions
Make arrangements for your children and pets to be away from your home on moving day, Morris said. That’ll ease the stress for you and the movers.
7. Remember the utilities
Schedule the disconnection or transfer of utilities, such as electricity and cable TV, for the day after you’ll be out of your home. This way, you’ll have access to power and other services.
8. Take stock of your home
If you’re selling your home, be sure you document its condition before the moving crew shows up. Make a list, and take photos or video.
to walls, switch plates, fixtures and flooring can derail a sale if a buyer
chooses to ask for compensation after a final walk-through,” said Orlando, FL real estate agent Don Harkins. “It’s important to know who caused the damage so that you don’t get stuck with an added
expense as a seller.”