Whether you're moving just yourself across town or packing up an entire family for a cross-country move, you can make it easier on yourself with a few helpful tips:
Tips for stress-free packing
- As obvious as it sounds, pack as much as you can ahead of time, saving yourself stress on moving day by packing items like out-of-season clothes and cookware in advance.
- If you don't use it, don't bring it. Make your move simpler by leaving behind items in the garage, attic and basement you haven't used in more than a year.
- Keep valuable possessions, computer files and paperwork with you at all times, using a lockbox for items you won't need right away.
- Utilize wardrobe boxes for your clothes and hangars, which are also great for comforters, blankets and pillows.
- Pack smart and systematically by putting things in the same room together in the same boxes, along with any accessories, and label what each box contains and what room it belongs.
Tips for hiring movers:
- Research companies by getting recommendations from people you know, and go online for an initial screening of customer reviews.
- Once you have narrowed your choices, get several estimates by having moving consultants come to your home. Don't get estimates over the phone.
- Review the estimates carefully and make sure they are a "written binding estimate". Compare the bids to see why some are high and others are low.
- Review the contract and make sure you understand everything in the agreement before you sign it. Take your time and ask questions rates, charges, liability and dates. Know whether it is binding or non-binding.
- Ensure your preferred company has the license and insurance it needs on safersys.org. Ask about the company's U.S. DOT number and research complaint histories at protectyourmove.gov.
Tips for moving yourself
- Have the packing finished before you start moving it. When the friends you have recruited arrive, having packing left to do only slows the process.
- Renting the right truck, trailer or van is essential. Don't get caught with too much or too little space than you need or get something you're not comfortable driving or pulling. Rent in advance to save.
- Utilize tools that will make the whole process easier like mattress bags, furniture covers, furniture pads, forearm lifts and hand trucks. They are often worth the price.
- Give yourself extra time. The need to rush will only make moving more stressful, so schedule an extra day for things you can't control, like traffic, parking problems or rental issues.
- Pack the truck smartly, using straps and furniture pads to make sure everything is tight and secure. Inevitably, your items will shift during the move. Keep valuable possessions and fragile items with you in a separate car if possible.