December 29, 2010

12 Helpful Tips for Moving

Unfortunately, I have moved several times in my life.  It’s very consuming and exhausting.  There are some ways to make moving a little bit easier.  Here are some tips I’ve learned that may make the process a little easier.

1.  Get organized. Keep a notepad handy for all the things you need to do.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget some of the extra tasks.  A “to do” list will help you stay focused and not stress about forgetting things.

2.  Pack ahead of time. If you have a choice, there is no need in waiting until the last minute to pack.  Start by packing the things that you don’t use regularly such seasonal decorations, clothing, books, and wall hangings.  Each time I move I am reminded that it was more work than I remembered.  You don’t want to be overly stressed, so start as soon as possible.  During the last week before the move, you should only have necessities left to pack.

3.  Begin saving packing materials and try to use what you have. If you know in advance that you will be moving, begin saving packing materials, bubble wrap, newspaper, boxes, etc.  See if you can bring home boxes from work.  I also like to use sheets, blankets, and towels for packing material.  Blankets work well for packaging wall hangings.  I fold the blanket around the wall hanging and then apply packing tape around the blanket to hold it in place.  No tape touches the frame.

4.  Purchase a roll of plastic wrap (Saran wrap). It may sound crazy to you, but Saran Wrap is actually a great moving tool.  Wrap it around dressers, cabinets, and small things that you might lose.  Saran Wrap doesn’t apply tape to surfaces that you don’t want to get damaged, but it holds things together.  I have used it to hold armoire doors closed to keep them from opening and breaking.  I have used it to wrap odd items.  It’s an inexpensive fix.

5.  Label your boxes well. Simply writing “kitchen” just isn’t enough.  After the move when you’re looking for your casserole dishes, you don’t want to hunt through 15 boxes before you find them.  It’s worth the extra few seconds of effort to write something like “kitchen silverware” or “kitchen pots and pans”.

6.  Declutter as you go. If possible, try to get rid of clutter as you pack.  It costs money to pack and move things you don’t need.  Have a separate area for items to donate.

7.  Ask for moving expenses. If you are moving or relocating for your work, ask if they help with moving expenses.  Be sure to save all of your travel and gas receipts, as well as the receipts for rentals and boxes.  You can sometimes claim this expense on your taxes if it is work related.

8.  If you are renting a moving truck shop around for rates with different companies. Find out if they charge extra for each mile driven or if there are a certain number of miles included in their rate.

9.  When renting a moving truck, it is best to call to make sure your truck is there. We usually do this the day before.  Even if you have reserved a truck and paid a deposit, sometimes the truck will not be there. I know it sounds crazy, but it has happened to us.

10.  ALWAYS inspect the moving truck before leaving the rental company. Check for dents in the truck, missing trim, and any other kind of damage.  Also, check to see how much gas is in the truck.  Make sure all of this is documented on your rental agreement. Otherwise, you might face unnecessary charges.

11.  If possible, use plastic totes for fragile items. When we moved a few years ago, I decided to spend $30 on totes so that my china would be in a safer place.  Sure enough, someone was helping us unload the truck and dropped a tote with china in it.  I was surprised that none of it was broken. Boxes can easily get damaged during moving and they can also collapse if heavy items are stacked improperly.  Get plastic totes if you can.

12.  If possible, move on a week day. We have found that moving trucks are more expensive and harder to find on weekends.  A week day move will most likely make for a smoother transition since businesses and offices will be open.

These are a few moving tips that I’ve learned along the way.  What tips make moving easier for you?

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