Planning a Move?

    Warm weather is here, the school year has ended, and “moving” is in the air!

    The process can be overwhelming! Even though you may mark boxes for their room destination (“kitchen”) or contents (“dishes”), the first morning in a new place is not the best time to have to open several cartons to find the coffee maker and a mug. suggests that you mark a box “first night” with your toiletries, pajamas, and articles you might need in the morning, like your hair dryer, clothes, a few dishes and silverware. Sounds like a good idea!


    The efficiency of your move is dependent on your preparation. The process is detailed and time-consuming but preparation is essential.

    To ensure that your utilities will not be delayed, be certain that you know well in advance which ones to contact and how to make the transfers. Set up mail forwarding and notify companies, friends, and relatives of your change of address.

    Packing supplies can cost considerable money; get free boxes from a number of sources. You can usually obtain a good size range of free boxes from furniture stores if you give them advance notice to save boxes for you. If you have a friend who has recently moved, they might give you their boxes, or collect some from an office or workplace. Copy-paper boxes generally have good lids and may be perfect for that heirloom china from your aunt. If you cannot find good, reusable boxes and don’t mind buying them, ULine will deliver moving kits to your door. An important expenditure is some good, sturdy tape for closing your boxes; you don’t want your belongings scattered inside the moving truck or across the lawn.

    If you’re doing your own move, you will want a hand truck and a furniture dolly. These can be rented from a truck rental company and can often be bought for about twice the price of rental if you will have any future need for them; hardware stores, discount clubs, and home improvement stores are good sources for these. Your hand truck should have thick, solid wheels and be sturdy enough to handle at least 150 pounds. When it’s time to unpack, a good box cutter is much more effective than scissors or a regular knife for opening cartons.

    In your current home, you know where everything goes. The “fit” may not be obvious in your new place. To help with moving day, make an appointment at your new home and bring a tape measure and the measurements of your own furniture. You can then plan the arrangement of each room so that you can better direct the movers on the big day. Even better, measure the wall spaces of your new place and sketch it out. Then go home and draw the rooms on graph paper, make templates of your furniture, and work with this to maximize your furniture arrangement and perhaps decide what you may no longer need or what needs to be added.

    You might choose not to hire a moving company, in which case you will need to rent a truck. To start, determine your approximate distance; most truck rental companies charge about $1 per mile, but some include a certain number of miles in the rental price. Short moves may benefit from a cheaper rental rate with an every-mile charge; longer distances with included miles and a higher rental rate may save money overall. If you’re moving between cities, you might be able to rent one-way and drop off the truck near your destination. Check out the rental company’s cost of insurance in case of an accident. Insurance is typically offered at different levels and may exceed the cost of the actual rental; be informed about high deductibles and what is actually covered. May a decision before you pick up the truck. Shop online and call for a reservation as far in advance as you can to ensure availability. Summer and weekends can be very busy.

    Moving is not a solo job! Enlist the help of able-bodied friends or relatives. You might promise free food and to return the favor when they move.


    Decide what you’ll need first: this should fit in a carry-on bag. Reserve a box marked “first night” to hold the things you may need right away – a coffee maker, mugs, a few dishes and silverware, hair dryer, etc.

    Packing a single room at a time may not be practical since sheets and towels may cushion the electronics from the great room, but it’s a good plan when possible. Extra linens are, however, ideal for packing with breakables, such as china and glassware. It seems that miscellaneous items will always find their way into random boxes, but packing by room or by the intended floor for the new house will help when you get there. Mark your boxes with the destination – dining room, bedroom #2, bedroom #3, etc. Plan to label the doorways in the new home on moving day to help the movers deliver boxes to the correct rooms.

    If labeling with a black marker is too old-school for you, lifehacker recommends the Moving Van iPhone app which costs $1.99 and walks you through packing/moving/unpacking. You photograph your things, pack them in boxes, assign the boxes to specific rooms, and email your inventory to your computer. Whatever your labeling choice, be sure to mark with an arrow or “this side up”, “fragile.” “HEAVY,” etc. when appropriate.


    First things first, if you had a DYI move, put your bed back together while you still have energy to do it. If you had other furniture that was taken apart to move, hopefully you made notes or kept all the screws and little pieces together (Baby cribs come to mind!). If you can’t find needed instructions or manual, you might do an online search for a free download or manufacturer phone number.

    Even if you left a clean home behind, moving may have left your furniture dirty or dusty. Clean it before you use it. For wood pieces, a quick once-over with Murphy Oil Soap Soft Wipes can brighten them up and leave them clean again.

    Move what you can into closets. It gets things out of the way and will help you to start to feel organized.

    Get rid of the packing, boxes, and crumpled newspapers as soon as you can. Friends may want boxes or post them on Craigslist. Hopefully, you have already contacted your trash/recycling company and know when your first scheduled pick-up is.

    Enjoy your new home!

    –> Also, be sure to check out our 20 Smart Moving Tips.




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