Preparing for a move, whether you’re staying in town or moving cross country, can be a tiring process. Luckily, a little advance planning and budgeting can help the process be less difficult. You’ll be able to stay organized, choose among moving companies with ease, and get on the road with few, if any, delays. Try some of the following tips to make your transition between homes a little easier.
1. Plan ahead
This tip may seem simple but a plan of action can make the time leading up to moving day less hectic. Schedule specific days for utilities to be disconnected. There’s little sense in starting moving day without a hot shower and cup of coffee if you can leave the gas and electricity connected until you’re ready to pull away from the curb. Similarly, you’ll want to charge mobile devices you’ll need on the road, like cell phones. Dipping into your moving fund before the journey has even begun – for instance, needing to stop at Starbucks for coffee that would’ve been free at home – can quickly add up and make future purchases difficult at a time when money might already be tight.
2. Create a budget
The costs of a move can seem to spiral out of control if you aren’t prepared for them. Make a list of anything you need to buy or pay for within 48 hours of your arrival at your destination, such as groceries or a deposit on utility service. Be mindful of what you’ll need as you settle into your new home, such as a vacuum if you’re moving from hardwood floors to carpets. You might also need to secure a new piece of furniture if you’ve decided not to haul a living room set with you. Part of a new residence’s allure is sitting on a still-packed box and eating a slice of pizza but the novelty will wear off after that first night.
3. Reduce your inventory
A local thrift store or service like Freecycle will be glad to take unwanted belongings off your hands, from household goods to out-of-season clothing. Are you moving to a city with a different climate than you’re currently living in? Maybe you can ditch bulky winter coats that will take up unnecessary room in the moving truck. Same goes for cumbersome items like patio furniture or treadmills. If you’re moving from a home to an apartment or downsizing, know what will and won’t be useful in your new space. Purging extra belongings from your life will make your move easier and set-up in your new location that much easier. Remember to get a receipt when you make a donation to places like Goodwill; items you donate are generally tax deductible.
Packing your belongings before professional movers arrive will also help you keep things moving full steam ahead, especially if you prefer to pack or label items a certain way. The most important box to pack and maintain control of is the bin that contains items you’ll need immediately upon arriving at your new home, such as hand soap, phone chargers, toiletries, and utensils. Things can get turned around easily with a move; organize and keep your wits about you.
Loading up all your belongings can be quite the undertaking, but not if you do a little advance planning and have a good idea of where your money will be spent between destinations. There’s never been a better time to get organized, look at your immediate financial needs, and reduce clutter. With a little control comes success.
written by: Nan Gibbons