Plan out your move.
If you have lots of time and you want to get started, systematically go through each room and declutter everything from closets to cabinets and even under the beds. As you are going through everything ask yourself: Is it worth it to move this to the new place? Do you need it and do you use it? If you are moving far and need to cut down on what you bring to save money, this step is even more important to make sure you aren’t packing things that you would just throw out once you are at your new place and unpacking. When it comes time to pack, it will be so much quicker because you don’t have to make decisions on things, you just need to pack it all. If you find things you want to sell or donate do this as soon as possible while you have the time.
If you do not have a lot of time to pack it’s still important to pack according to a systematic list to make things easier on you by not packing the most frequently used things first. If you have not decluttered, that’s okay you can still do it as you go. Ask the same questions listed above about the things you are moving. Don’t pack things unless you know for sure you are going to want/need it at the new place.
Ahead of move day
Refill prescriptions, do car maintenance like oil changes etc, make sure bills are paid. Do returns and other errands. If you have a pet make sure your pet is up to date on Vet visits. A move becomes consuming quickly so you will want to be up to date on other areas so things don’t fall through the cracks. Make sure you do research on moving companies ahead of time and choose the best day to save money if possible.
Tips for making your move go smoother...
A moving folder is a good idea. Keep any paperwork that is pertinent to your move all together in one place.
Make a list of less needed categories to be packed such as toys, games, extra linens, etc. Walk around your place and really take a good inventory. Put them in the order according to how much you need access to something. Example, with board games you could probably go a little while without having access to them so pack them before your toiletries. On this list assign a day that each category or room will be packed up. If you finish early you can start on the next day. If you are behind you need to finish the previous day packing before you start the new day. Allow yourself minimum about a week to get a large home packed and several days to do a smaller home or apartment. If you are working you will need longer.
If you are unsure if you will need access to certain things like bathroom products for example then just pack the bathroom products and leave the boxes in the bathroom they were packed in so that if you do have to access something it can go back into that box. Pack your kitchen last and unpack it first.
Don’t pack everything. Leave clothing on hangers if you can. This will save you so much time if you can just lay things inside a box on hangers and then retrieve them and hang them up. Leave the dresser drawers full and just pull them out and carry them seperate so the dresser is not too heavy. If a moving company is involved they may want you to do this differently, but if not you can put drawers back into the dresser for transport and then remove them when you unload. Once your dresser is in the room it will stay in then you can slide the drawers right back in. If you have things stored in bins already then leave them in the bins for moving-after a quick declutter check to make sure you are keeping it all. If you are moving nearby you can lay down a sheet or blanket, lay hanging stuff on each other and wrap like a burrito and carry over your shoulder.
Pack boxes for one room. If you have space in a box use packing paper or choose a box that fits better. Don’t throw random things from multiple rooms in the same box. When you arrive at the new place unload all boxes directly into the room they go in. That way if you are looking for something you know what room it is in. Don’t just stack things in the front room or garage. Take them to where they will need to be unpacked.
Pack before moving day. It is too hard to be packing and moving in the same day.
Boxes and tape. Make sure you get different sizes of boxes. Heavy things like books should go in smaller boxes so they don’t get too heavy. Use a tape gun and tape a lot of boxes on the bottom at one time so you can walk up to your options and choose the size you need quickly. Call grocery stores or other businesses you know that may have boxes they will just send to recycle. This will save you money on buying boxes and lower your carbon footprint. Always get more than you need if it’s offered. Nothing is more annoying than having to stop when you are making progress to go get more boxes. Make sure you get special boxes/packaging for things like TVs or expensive art and furniture.
Garbage bags. These are great if you want to take off your bedding and pillows and keep all together to throw on your bed in the new place. When moving your kitchen and beds should be a priority so you can sleep when you are ready instead of wearing yourself out and being exhausted and THEN trying to do your beds.
Kitchen packing. Extra towels and linens are great for helping with padding in your kitchen packing.
Labeling. It goes without saying how important labeling is. To save money you can write with a permanent marker right onto the box what is inside and you can list things out that may be important when you are unpacking or in a rush to find things. Instead of writing just “bedroom #1” on the box be more specific.
Consider a suitcase or duffle bag packed with some clothes, toiletries medications and anything else you will need the first day or two you are in the new place in case you don’t get to unpacking as soon as you would like to. If it is a close by move you can just put some of these things in your car so they don't get mixed up in the moving boxes and you know where they are. If you are are moving farther than a suitcase is ideal packed for a couple days trip.
Calling utilities and notifying other important people. Make it a priority to call a week or so ahead for disconnecting in your old place and connecting in the new place. Sometimes companies are booked out and it’s better to be ahead of the game then going without services. Make sure you notify the post office, DMV, medical doctors-(get records transferred if you are moving far), insurance company, your bank, credit cards, any subscriptions you have, your employer of your new address. It’s a good idea to contact a locksmith at your new location to change the locks as soon as possible. Cancel memberships like fitness clubs if you will be moving far.
Plan food. The day before and the day of the move plan easy things that don’t need dishes or have paper products handy. Count on your kitchen dishes, cooking utensils, pots and pans etc.,being unavailable those days.
Unpacking. This works best if it is systematic as well. Decide which rooms are most important to unpack first. You can use post it notes in the kitchen to plan out where you want silverware, glasses, dishes, large appliances, utensils, hot pads, towels, tupperware, cooking pans etc. If you have people helping you then this is even better because you can go unpack something else after showing them where you want everything. Delegate unpacking things like books, games and linens if you have help and you can rearrange later if you want.
Children. The day of the move plan somewhere for them to go so they are not underfoot. If you don’t have this option try to find someone that can come and hang out with them so you can focus. If you are moving pediatricians arrange for records to be transferred to the new doctor ahead of time.
Pets. if your move is far away there will be a lot to consider for a pet. How are you getting them to the new location? If you are staying in hotels while traveling make sure they are pet friendly. Check that you have enough food for the pet before it is time to leave. Research where you will take your pet to the vet ahead of time in case anything happens when you get there.
Schedule a cleaner to clean your old place while you are at the new house unpacking.