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Getting Ready: What to Do Before You Start Packing

Moving and packing can be a stressful time for many and finding ways you can make the process easier on yourself, and those involved is very helpful. You’re making a transition into a new chapter of your life, and it should be an exciting time with little to no stress or concern. Adopting proper planning techniques and strategies will help keep your move organized and run smoothly.

Keep a Dedicated Moving Notebook or Folder

Purchasing a notebook or binder to organize all your moving paperwork is extremely helpful, so all information is located in one spot. This will help you keep track of the many moving pieces of a move. Utilize colored post-it notes or page dividers to color code and make it easy to navigate through each section. Many different items can be stored in this location, such as:

  • Moving Checklist
  • Timeline
  • Moving Paperwork
  • Lease or Other Contracts
  • Receipts
  • Personal Documents
  • Financial Documents
  • To-Do Lists

 Along with the items listed above, it’s also helpful to have open pages throughout your binder or notebook for notes, reminders, or brainstorms as it’s recommended to keep all information regarding your move together, so nothing is lost.

Calculate Moving Costs

Accounting for all your moving charges and getting quotes wherever needed is vital to making sure your move is executed correctly. Calculating how much money you’ll need post-move to make your new home comfortable should also be included. Once you have these numbers available, you’ll be able to determine the budget required for your move. Make an Excel document with all cost information paired with your budget so you can stay on track and make sure you’re not spending more than you had planned. It’s also encouraged to keep proof of all expenses and receipts in a safe place, like your moving notebook or folder, so you can easily access them. If you’re struggling to identify possible moving expenses, here are a few to help you get started:

  • Hiring a Moving Company
  • Renting a Moving Truck or Container
  • Storage Units
  • Temporary Housing
  • Bills Due at Old and New Homes
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Travel Costs
  • Moving Supplies
  • Emergency Funds

Create a “Do Not Pack” List

Moving can be hectic, and often you get lost in the chaos forgetting to leave certain items out. Before your move, it’s encouraged to create a list of items you don’t want packed, so you have a constant reminder. These items can consist of your moving day survival kit, your overnight bag for when you first reach your new destination, sentimental items you would rather have on you, and much more. Once the list is made, designate a box or suitcase that you can put these items in and keep track of it. If you don’t feel up to packing it right away, leave the list on the storage receptacle, so yourself and any helpers are aware that it has a purpose.

Plan New Rooms Before Packing Old

Before you start packing your belongings, it’s helpful to have a printout of the layout or pictures of your new home. Utilize the layout or photos to identify where you want furniture and other household items located in your new space. Having a visual will help you imagine how the new space will look, and you’ll be able to label boxes accordingly for each room. This will also help you determine in which order items should be packed or discarded. While it may seem time-consuming, completing this exercise will help you have a smoother transition while unpacking, and anyone that’s helping will have a clear direction as to where each box or item can be placed.

Establish an Organized Labeling System

Keeping your boxes organized and labeled correctly will save you a lot of time when it comes to unpacking in your new home. It’s recommended to label your boxes clearly with colored packing tape or markers, so your friends and movers are aware where to unload each box. If boxes aren’t labeled correctly, it can lead to you having to open each box to search for misplaced items, which can be aggravating and time-consuming. Another helpful tip for an organized packing system is to number each box and create a virtual document that has what contents are in each box.

Donate Unwanted Items

Moving is a perfect time to do a clean sweep and get rid of items that you no longer need. It’s highly recommended to take advantage of this as it makes the packing process easier for you and the unpacking process easier for those that are helping you. Any items that you no longer want to keep can be donated or sold to get some extra cash in your pocket, which can be helpful as moving can be expensive. When going through your items, it’s beneficial to set aside anything you haven’t used or worn the past year, as this will likely eliminate a good amount of your items.

Get Packing and Moving Supplies

Finding sturdy boxes and high-quality packing supplies is an essential piece to guaranteeing your move goes well. It’s important to have a variety of sizes in boxes so you can have options when packing; however, take inventory of your suitcases as these can be utilized for packing and save you money. There are many different sizes and styles of boxes that can be purchased from wardrobe and picture boxes to kitchen boxes. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, many stores are more than happy to donate boxes they’re getting rid of, such as grocery or liquor stores.

Ask Friends and Family for Help

If you have decided to hire a professional moving company to help with your move, it’s also recommended to contact friends and family to help in days leading up to the move and also the day of. Be proactive and determine how they can help you and create lists of what you would like each person to focus on as it will help the process run more smoothly.

  • Packing Up a Room
  • Watching Kids or Pets
  • Disassembly and Assembly of Large Furniture
  • Donating Unwanted Possessions
  • Lifting Heavy Belongings and Furniture
  • Patching Up Holes and Painting

 If you can plan your moving day for a weekend, this will likely allow you to have more manpower as your friends and family will be able to plan accordingly to make sure they’re available. Often, providing an incentive for those that help you is a great way to encourage them.

Schedule a Babysitter or Pet Sitter As Necessary

Moving can already be stressful and complicated, so having extra stressors isn’t beneficial for anyone. Be proactive and find a place for your children or pets to go as this will save you a lot of energy. Young children and pets require a lot of your time and can get in the way of movers, which can be hazardous. It’s helpful to schedule a few days of care during packing so you can focus, and then additional care on the day of your move so everything can run smoothly and efficiently with little distraction.

Closing Thoughts

If you follow the tips listed above, your move will likely be very successful, and you’ll be settled into your new home in no time. As mentioned before, moving can be a busy time that can come with many stressors, so utilizing your support system and resources will help ease the mind. Additionally, there are many other tips and tricks out there that will help you with organizing and packing. Start getting organized for your move today!

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