Eleven Tips to Make Moving More Efficient and Less Stressful
Weed Out the ClutterBefore you start packing, honestly survey your belongings. If there is anything that you don't want or don't need, don't pack it! Instead, sell it, donate it, give it away, or throw it out.
Use the Right-Size BoxA large box full of books is very difficult to lift, while a small box containing only a throw pillow is a waste of cardboard. Before you start packing a room, figure out which box size(s) you need for the items in the room and prepare the boxes for use.
Tape Boxes CarefullyAfter you close and tape the flaps on the top of the box, wrap tape completely around the bottom of the box. Boxes can be weakened by handling and stacking. The length of tape around the bottom reinforces the box to prevent ruptures.
Label the BoxesThe labels should contain two pieces of information: what's in the box and which room it should be deposited in. If you fail to include the second note, you'll end up directing traffic all afternoon as the movers ask you where to put each box in your new place. For the same reason, it's also a good idea to label most other items to indicate their destination (unless the room is obvious).
Use Sandwich Bags for Small HardwareAfter taking apart furniture, curtains, and anything else that can be disassembled, store the screws, nuts, washers, brackets, power cords, and similar items in a sandwich bag. Then label the sandwich bag with a permanent marker and tape it to the back of the item.
Take Photos before Disassembling ElectronicsIf you foresee difficulty figuring out where the wires go when you must reassemble your computer center or your entertainment center in your new accommodations, take photos before pulling out all those wires! That will save you many hours rereading the instruction manuals.
Pack Important Items SeparatelyJewelry and expensive electronics should be packed separately. Important documents, such as your will, passport, and mortgage agreement, should be packed in a secure container. These items should travel with you rather than be packed on a truck.
Avoid Busy TimesMost people move around at the end or beginning of the month, so that's when movers and truck rental companies are busiest and their prices are the highest. If it's possible for you to move at an off-peak time, finding a mover or truck will be easier, and you'll probably save money too.
Get a Babysitter and a Pet SitterIf you have small children or four-legged friends, enlist a close friend or a family member to take them off your hands for the day. Otherwise, they'll get in everyone's way and possibly stray into dangerous situations.
Prep Your BathroomIf it's a short-distance move and there is sufficient time, visit your new accommodations the day before the move to prepare the bathroom. Do basic cleaning as necessary, hang a shower curtain, and set out soap and towels. Then the bathroom will be ready for use on moving day.
Prepare an Overnight Bag with EssentialsWhen nightfall comes at the end of your long and busy moving day, you'll be too exhausted to even think about unpacking boxes. So you should bring with you (not in the moving truck) a bag containing everything you'll need for that night and the following morning—medications, basic toiletries, a change of clothes, a laptop computer (if you have one), and anything else you cannot do without.
WESTconsin Realty, an affiliate of WESTconsin Credit Union, offers a low seller’s commission rate on qualifying properties and no administrative fees. Full-time, full-service real estate agents are located in each WESTconsin office area throughout western Wisconsin. Find more helpful articles at WESTconsinrealty.com.
The material in this article is provided for your informational purpose only and is not intended to substitute professional advice.