These are my best tips for packing and moving successfully.

Moving is a stressful time in anyone’s life! It can cause great anxiety, especially if you are transitioning from being a renter to owning your own property.  Avoid feeling overwhelmed by preparing ahead of time for the upcoming changes.

If you just bought your first home, be prepared for a shift in responsibility. When you’re a renter (or live with family) and the air conditioner suddenly stops working, you call your landlord (or your parents). When you’re a home owner, YOU are the landlord. Now, you will have to pay someone else to get work done if you can’t do it yourself. Becoming a homeowner means that the burden of repairing the broken air conditioner or backed-up toilet is now all on you.

Discuss potential repairs that will be needed in both the short and long term with your real estate agent. A thorough home inspection should be a part of every buying process, as a trained home inspector can spot issues that nobody else may notice.  Your realtor should also be able to give you referrals to local contractors and service providers if you need them.

Tips for a Smooth Move!

Often people find themselves scrambling to get everything done, and making sure it’s done correctly. By following some simple steps, you can ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible and without the typical headaches.

1. Hire a Good Moving Company – The easiest way to ensure your moving day goes smoothly is to do your homework ahead of time. Clearly communicate your needs and expectations to a professional mover, check their references and keep a record of all conversations and estimates. See my blog about choosing a quality mover here:  http://northernvaneighbors.com/how-to-choose-a-moving-company/

2. File a Change of Address with the post office and your bank/financial institutions.

3. Establish Utility Services or transfer existing ones, if applicable.  Your agent can advise you of utility providers for your home.

4. Withdraw Children from Schools – and make appointments to enroll them into their new ones. Sometimes children will need to receive additional immunizations to become enrolled in a new school. It is best to find this out before you relocate so that your child can visit the same doctor they are used to seeing. There is also the issue of your new high school not accepting the same credits as your old one. You will want to iron these details out before your move.

5. The Packing Process – On moving day, your job is to supervise the movers. If they are packing your items beforehand, pay special attention while they handle your valuable or fragile objects. If you are doing your own packing, start your packing early. Packing can be tedious and cumbersome! Having an organized approach will save you a lot of time when unpacking. You don’t want to be so rushed that you stop being careful and start jamming things into boxes any which way. When it comes time to unpack and you can’t find the things you need, you’ll regret that! There are various methods to pack for convenience, but here are some of the most common:

Boxes:
You can go to places like Lowes, Home Depot, U-Haul or the UPS Store and purchase boxes in a variety of sizes, but there’s no need to do that. Stop into your local liquor store, grocery store or price club, and ask if they have any boxes they can give you. The nice thing about liquor boxes is that they are pretty sturdy. They also typically come equipped with partitions for glasses and bottles, as well as open hand slots on the ends which make it easier to carry them.

See-through Garbage Bags: 

No need to take all your shirts and dresses off their hangers. Take a 30-gallon garbage bag and work your clothes inside from the bottom up, then tighten the drawstring. Everything stays together, is protected from dust and dirt, and it will be easy to put them away once you arrive at your new house.

Ziploc Bags: 

These work great to secure smaller items like shower curtain hooks, makeup items, children’s playing cards and kitchen utensils. they also work well for already opened items containing liquids or gels.

Plastic Cling Film: 

Wrap empty furniture in cling film or plastic stretch wrap to ensure items stay protected. You can also use it to group similar items or cords together.

Color-Coded Labeling: 

All boxes full of items that go into a specific room should be color coded. You can purchase different colors of masking-tape, or get multi-colored sticky labels from your local office supply store, for example. Label all boxes on two sides so it’s easy to see the labels.

Use Towels or Clothing as Padding:
Rather than using bubble wrap to protect fragile items such as glass or pottery, consider wrapping them in towels or even your clothing. It’s a cheaper packing alternative and helps the environment!

**For an organized approach to packing,  Grab My FREE Packing Checklist Here

 

6. Enlist the Help of Family and Friends – The process will go smoother and will be more fun with familiar people around. Friends and family can add extra eyes to the process and take care of running simple errands for you.

7. Take a photo of the backs of your electronics – Your TV, DVD/Blue ray, Surround-sound and your computers all have various things plugged into various ports. These days, most cords are color-coded, but better to be safe than sorry. Take pictures of the backs of your electronics before disconnecting them to make it easier to hook everything back up in your new house.  When you take apart your electronics or other items, keep all the hardware together in Ziploc baggies.

8. Pack an Overnight bag – Make sure each member of your household packs an overnight bag.  Pack clothing for a couple of days, tooth brush and toothpaste, deodorant, make-up and so on. (Once you get moved into your new home, you may not have the energy to start unpacking that same day).

9. Pack an Easily Distinguishable Container for your Essentials – Even when you label your boxes, they’ll still be hard to sort through immediately. There are certain items that you’re going to want to access right away. I recommend using a plastic bin stocked with scissors or  box cutters, chargers for your electronics, toilet paper, paper towels, pet food, stuff to cook and eat a quick meal along with paper plates and plastic utensils.

10. Animals – furry family members will need an adjustment period to acclimate to a new environment and schedule. Animals rely a lot on scent, so try spraying your new home with the same air freshening sprays you used in your former home to reduce their anxiety. Show them all around the inside and outside of your new property. Try not to leave them alone for a few days after you’re moved in. Keeping their routine in tact will also help ease any discomfort.

 

You’re Finally Done! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Once you’re moved in, go ahead and introduce yourself to your new neighbors. When you become a home-owner, you may be having more neighbor-to-neighbor discussions. Remember that communication is a good way to get referrals for reputable service providers in your area. It can also help you stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood. You never know – a new neighbor could easily become a new best friend!