I would know – this is my fifth time (one was cross-continents). Plus, I am in middle of the whole process of moving again. However, this time, I am armed with a knowledge and determined to make it easy. So here is the ultimate 25 tips no-stress move list.
- Give yourself plenty of time – I know sometimes a move is last minute, but most of the time you can plan ahead. Try to have at least 2 weeks for your move (I assume you already picked the new place; if not, you need more time). It will give you plenty of time to do a timeline, budget, collect boxes, call movers, and organize your stuff.
- Budget – in specific, think of a cost of connecting utilities, paying movers, cleaning company (if you are hiring one), large and small purchases (appliances, furniture, accessories). I would also recommend budgeting-in the miscellaneous costs such as cleaning products or food costs if you will be eating out more.
- Create a timeline – it’s sometimes hard to plan the move, because many of us don’t work with much experience. Most move only few times in their lifetime. If you like me have poor time management skills, it is helpful to create a timeline to stick to. Once you put things on paper, all you need is to follow it.
- Call movers and book a date – make sure you research well, and chose ones that have good reputation. You don’t want lost or broken stuff, movers not showing, or getting billed more than quoted. These things do happen tho, so be careful.
- Stock up on boxes, tape, old newspaper and markers – even if you are hiring movers, you do not want skip this step – trust me. They will come in handy to wrap and pack those valuables you don’t trust movers with, or some more intimate items.
- Clear up the clutter – before you start packing check the whole home for 3 things – things to sell, things to donate, and things to thrash. Selling some of the things you don’t need can be significant addition to your budget for moving, ex. this time we are selling our large closet, curtains, lots of books, and plenty of kitchen stuff. It adds up to a nice amount (almost enough to buy a new oven). I will also be donating bunch of outgrown kid’s cloths and toys.
- Connect utilities – things are moving much faster now, but I remember spending a whole month eating sandwiches, ramen noodles and takeaways waiting for gas to be connected. It wasn’t fun. So play ahead.
- Prepare the home you are moving to – I know it sounds counterintuitive, but cleaning a home before you move in is an excellent idea. Think about it – if you dust the ceilings and clean/paint walls, the dust has nowhere to go but on the floor. Better than falling all over the furniture. Next, clean the kitchen cabinets, and built in closets if any. That way, once you are in the home, you just need to put things away. Further, clean windows and doors ( I know doors will likely get dirty again, but you will just need to lightly wipe them again). After that clean toilets, so once there you can actually use them. You will appreciate having a clean place to go to, and clean shower at the end of the day. Lastly, mop and wipe the floors. Yes, they will get dirty again, but there will be nowhere as near dust and grime.
- Measure everything and make a sketch – Once all clean, take a measuring tape, measure everything and write down in notebook. Make sure you write down everything properly and organized by room. Then, make a sketch – online (you can use this and this), or on paper. It will come in handy when planning furniture layout, and purchasing items like appliances, curtains, and rugs.
- Purchase large items – I like to purchase new items before actually moving in, but after the first clean. Sometimes it takes time for those to deliver, and you don’t want to be living in home without oven, fridge, or beds. It is super inconvenient as you can imagine, but also costly if it means more takeaways.
- Clean and pack valuables and small stuff – I really like cleaning well everything before move (it saves so much time in unpacking). Of course things might get dusty again, but they might need just a light rinse then. I usually pack clothes first. I like to put them in luggage bags, but if not possible, place them neatly into trash bags, mark with markers, and put into market and sealed boxes. Next, pack any small kitchen stuff, dishes, pots and pans (make sure you wrap well). Mark everything. Btw you can always eat out of plastic plates until you move. If you wonder why would you do that, it is mainly because this way you make sure nothing breaks or gets left behind. You can also pack kids toys, books, accessories etc.. I like to take them immediately to new home and organize kitchen (usually takes longest) and put clothes into closets. This cuts so much stress on the moving day, plus as I said before, less chance of losing or breaking the small stuff.
- Clean everything – for example, we are sending 2 rugs/carpets and a mattress for professional cleaning. Once done they are packed tightly and ready to be put in new home. I also polish wooden furniture, clean bed frames, and clean other items I want sent. I know they will need another wipe down when they arrive, but this way grime wont mix with dust, and it will need just a quick wipe down.
- Take care of yourself – as stressful as moving is, don’t neglect yourself. Eat properly, take at least 20 mins to work out and sleep well. Plus looking presentable will cut so much stress.
- Delegate and include family – all members should help. Kids can chose what toys to donate/throw, and help with clothes packing. Other family members or friends can help as well, but sometimes they can also just create lots of mess and fuss. So delegate smartly.
- De-stress – stressful situations will happen. Furniture might not be delivered on time, there could be lost items, broken pipes and million other things. It the end tho, none of it is worth your health. Remind yourself calmly you won’t be able to enjoy the new home if sick. So, draw yourself a bath, light a candle, or drink some tea. Once calmer, address the problem to the best of your abilities.
- Wear comfortable clothes – on day of the move, pick an outfit that is super comfortable, yet presentable. You want it to be breathable, comfortable and stretchy. However, your neighbors will be getting first impression of you, so make sure you look decent too.
- Supervise movers – I know you think it’s better if you actually do something else, but it’s not. Movers already have a system, and work faster. Plus, you want to make sure everything is wrapped properly. I have had ripped upholstery, scratched irreplacable wooden furniture, and tape marks everywhere. Do not be afraid to speak up and ask to put another layer of protection on your most valued pieces.
- Have some snacks handy – it’s easy to get lost in time when moving, but don’t allow your blood sugar to drop. Have some banana, biscuits or thermos with warm tea or coffee ready.
- Keep an eye on the valuables – jewelry, personal documents and money should be on you at all the times. We like to carry it in a backpack that we don’t keep out of site for even a moment. Prevents lots of headache.
- Say a little prayer – on your way to new home, and once you enter your home it is good idea to say a small prayer if you are religious. Thank God for your blessings, and express hope for a happy life.
- Tip well and thank everyone for helping – Even tho you paid moving company, it is always a good idea to tip the movers. Also, tip well if you have food delivered. I know with moving, money is probably tight, but you don’t want any bad karma in your new home. Also, thank all friends and family who helped and sincerely offer to do same for them.
- Arrange furniture and clean everything as good as possible – clean up as much as you can, and as much as necessary to be able to spend the night there.
- Prepare beds, bedding, and towels – bedding and towels will be easy to locate if you marked everything. It will ensure you spend a wonderful first night in new home and get much needed rest.
- Secure the home – make sure all the windows and doors are closed. Many people saw you just move in – it makes you a especially easy target for all kinds of mischief. Make sure everything is secured before you go to sleep.
- Enjoy – although hard, moving into new home should be happy and positive experience. Bring the good energy and enjoy your new home.
Now that you have a plan a stress free move, it does not seem as bad, right?
Do you have any other tips for stress-free move? What was the most helpful tip for you? Let me know in the comments.
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And lastly, since you are moving, congrats on the new home. Lots of warm wishes sent your way.