Moving is always a process, but it doesn’t have to be a painful process. Here, we’re going to outline and detail some of our favorite expert-approved Do’s and Don’ts when moving to a new house.
Having moved 10 times in the last 25 years, we turned to military veteran and current home stager for Blue Diamond Staging and Design, Kasia McDaniel, and asked her to offer up some pro tips she’s learned from her own moving wins and losses.
This concise, actionable advice makes it easy to take the proactive and positive steps you should take (the Do’s), while avoiding any stressful or expensive pitfalls (the Don’ts). In doing so, you can achieve the best possible outcome: a streamlined moving process that ensures a well-organized transition from old home to new home. Let’s get started!
What’s covered in this article – click on a link to learn more:
DO’s to Make Your Move a Success
DO Start Early and Plan Ahead
Prevent any moving headaches and give yourself a head-start by starting moving prep ASAP.
DO Provide Sufficient Notice
If you’re renting, notify your landlord in advance to avoid complications with lease agreements.
DO Create a Moving Checklist
Prioritize tasks in a moving timeline to stay organized and on track. This checklist will keep you on track from 2 months before, right up until the big day.
DO Declutter and Downsize
Before packing, go through your belongings, and take stock of what you no longer need. Lighten your load by selling, donating, or giving things away.
DO Organize and Label Boxes
Start the packing process right with our guide on packing preparation, and ensure a smooth unpacking process by categorizing and labeling each item and box with its contents and destination room.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “We have four mattress/box spring sets, so you’d think we’d remember which room they’ve come out of. Well, we don’t! Our solution? On the move out, label each mattress, box spring and bed frame with the person’s name right on the item (not just the inventory sheet!) so you know exactly which room to put them in.”
DO Hire Professional Movers (if needed)
Keep your stress levels low and your belongings secure by turning to the pros. Research and compare movers to find the most reliable company at a fair price, and book them early to secure your preferred moving dates.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “Don’t pack your own stuff to put on the moving truck because then the movers are not responsible for any damage to the contents. Let them do the packing!”
DO Protect Fragile Items Properly
Use adequate packing materials to safeguard all your items, paying special attention to your most fragile and valuable possessions.
DO Notify Utility Companies and Change Your Address
Inform utility providers of your move and change your postal address with USPS for a seamless transition.
DO Pack a Moving Essentials Box
Prepare an essentials box containing crucial items, like toiletries, clothing and bedding, to sustain you during the first few days in your new home.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “Go ahead and write in big, bold letters “open me first” on your box of essentials. And, whether it goes in the essentials box or the car, bring a small toolkit that contains screwdrivers, pliers and allen wrenches. Any furniture that gets taken apart by the movers, should be put back together by the movers at your destination. In the event that they don’t have the proper tools, yours can act as a backup!”
DO Take Care of Yourself
Don’t overlook self-care during the moving process! Keep stress levels low by getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and asking for help when needed.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “You can start buying gift cards to grocery stores, your favorite take-out places, and gas stations months in advance of your move.” This will help defray the out-of-pocket costs during the most stressful part of the move, and take the pressure off when you’re getting hangry!
DON’TS to Avoid Moving Mishaps
We know it’s so tempting to push things off to another day. Get the moving checklist, and avoid any last-minute rushes at all costs! Future you will appreciate it.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “It is never too early to start planning a move whether it’s putting together a yard sale, getting those last doctor’s appointments in before the move, or getting contractors in to finish some things around the house.”
DON’T Overpack Boxes
Make sure you have the best packing supplies for the job, and go easy on your and the mover’s backs by packing no more than 50 pounds per box.
DON’T Neglect to Research Moving Companies
Suspiciously cheap quotes are just that – suspicious! In your search for the best mover, prioritize reliability over low cost, and request an in-home cost estimate to obtain accurate pricing.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “Remember, the movers aren’t under any obligation to come back and pick up your empty boxes, but they will take away any boxes opened and emptied on move-in day. Try to open as many boxes as you can on the first day so you’re not stuck with hundreds of empty boxes needing to be recycled.”
DON’T Forget to Inform Contacts of Address Change
Update your employer, medical providers, and any other important contacts with your new address.
DON’T Forget to Update Your Insurance Policies
Contact all your insurance providers and make sure they have up-to-date address information.
DON’T Delay Booking Movers
Secure your preferred moving company early to ensure availability and competitive rates.
DON’T Leave Packing for the Last Minute
Planning a big move takes preparation, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
Kasia’s Pro Tip – “When using movers, they must keep an inventory, but sometimes they oversimplify it. As an example, I had one mover write down ‘compressor,’ but I revised it to include the size and brand. If it were to get lost or damaged, I want our replacement to be a comparable 33-gallon compressor, not a small 5-gallon compressor that they might have replaced it with if the inventory list was not specific enough.” To anticipate all the little things that could go awry, preparation and forethought is key!
DON’T Pack Hazardous Materials
Check with your moving company for a list of hazardous materials. Put safety first and secure your possessions by transporting flammable, explosive, corrosive, or perishable items through the proper channels.
DON’T Forget to Backup Important Files and Documents
Use cloud storage services, external hard drives, or create physical copies of critical documents, photos and videos, and verify that any data transfers were successful.
DON’T Panic or Stress Out
Moves can be nerve-wracking, so prioritize your physical and mental well being. Stay organized, take breaks to relax and recharge, get help from your support system and professionals, and visualize a successful transition!
You are capable of making your move a smooth and successful experience with the right approach. By taking the time to figure out what you should do and what you should not do when moving, you have the power to master your move and enjoy a stress-free relocation to your new home.