As the pandemic started and the work from home wave swept the whole nation, many families have seen the opportunity to move to smaller towns from big cities.
It is one of the best ways to reduce your monthly expenses.
If you are also looking to move out of your current state or city, these moving tips will help you make packing and moving easier.
Relocating from one home to another is quite stressful if you have been living in the same home for years. It gets more complex if you’re owning your home and want to relocate to another city, state, or even to another country. Careful planning and preparation can reduce the complexity of moving.
Stress-Free Planning before Moving
1. Understand where you are moving to
This is vitally important as it will help you plan your full move from an old home to a new home. Assess your new requirements for a new home. Knowing your reasons for moving is important too. E.g if you are moving from a big city to a smaller town to downsize your lifestyle, you may not need a bigger house. A smaller home will have fewer needs than your current home. This will help you downsize your current belongings.
We decided to move from a suburban home to a city due to work change. The houses in the city were exorbitantly expensive. There was no way we wanted to pay upwards of 3k a month towards rent. So decluttering a 3-bedroom to a single bedroom was our most important goal.
Know beforehand, if you are going to move into a multilevel home or a building. Know the floor number. Check if that new location has an elevator. Check if the new place has any move-in restrictions or requirements.
2. List everything you will need post-move to a new location
This is important because if you’re going to move to an apartment building where there are more facilities like an indoor swimming pool, a gym, or even a big-size trampoline for kids, will you need to pack and carry your large size gym equipment or trampoline?
Similarly, if you are going to move to a bigger house, you may need your specialty furniture, gadgets, or even organizational containers to store all your essentials. So do not throw them away. Buying them again at a new location can get very expensive. Keep your moving stress-free by looking at a trade-off between expenses and time.
Our FREE moving checklist will help you plan this aspect of moving well in advance.
3. List everything you will need during the move if you’re moving long-distance
Long-distance moving can take anywhere between 2- 4 days. If you are going to do the moving yourself, you can access your belongings. But if you are going to hire a moving service company, you will not have access to your belongings.
Even though you are moving your belongings yourself, it gets tiring to look for things when you are traveling from old home to new home. So, keep these essential things separate for now. And pack them at the last to avoid the stress of packing and unpacking regularly used items 10 times.
4. Take stock of things you never used or will no longer need at the new location
It will free up your headache from packing them. E.g we know that we will not have our garden and huge backyard in the new place. So there is no point in packing the garden supplies and lawnmowers. They will be sold first.
Take a look at your budget and the time availability into consideration as well. If you are going to move into a bigger city with lots of activities to do on weekends, you wouldn’t necessarily spend the weekend in your garage. Get rid of the big garage accessories or tables you have now.
5. Start decluttering for a stress-free move now!
Start with the things that are easiest to let go of. Recycle them in one go. E.g we inherited the huge encyclopedia a few years ago. It was fun going through those books and seeing how our grandparents used to live in the 1950s and 1960s. But after a few months, they just sat on the bookshelf. It was time to let someone else enjoy them.
Once the easier items are gone, start getting rid of heavier items that will have no space in your new home. List them in the Facebook marketplace, Offerup, or other shops. Negotiate for a fair price but do remember that you have a deadline by which the items must go. So if someone is coming home to pick them up, any deal is a better deal, else you need to pay someone to remove them from your house before moving out.
This article has good collection of decluttering tips for you.
6. Start no spend challenge a few months before the move.
Avoid more stuff to pack and unpack over the next few months. Speaking of no spend challenge, use up the material you have at home, including food- especially perishable food, oils, butter, sauce, etc.
Then use up cleaning supplies, personal care items, and items that you tend to purchase every week.
Start saving up money for emergencies during and after the move. This no-spend challenge will come in handy as you will get some unexpected expenses within a month of moving to a new place. It always did for us.
And if even if they don’t come, it is good to have some balance to decorate your humble new abode.
7. Plan for the essential services and utilities
Plan the utility service cancellation for electricity, water, internet, and any other services you and your family use. Start in advance and let them know your day of the move. That way you do not have to figure out expenses at the last moment.
8. Plan and start cleaning the house early
Plan the time for early deep-cleaning of your home. Set aside a few deep-cleaning taks sfor every week. Create cleaning zones in your house and tackle one area every week. This way you will have physical and mental energy to move stress-free.
Smart Packing Tips for stress-free moving
1. Make a packing supplies basket or reserve a location for it.
Keep adding all the packing supplies you find in and around your house in one place. Recycle all those supplies you get in Amazon delivery boxes.
Spread the word to our friends and extended family about the upcoming move. Let them know that you will use any useful packing supplies and moving boxes they want to get rid of.
You’re going to need it when you’re ready for packing. You will also save a ton of time and money by being a little organized beforehand. I tend to sell a lot of things before the move, so I always keep a collection of packing supplies at hand. You can get packing boxes for FREE from USPS too. TIP- Get those long tube boxes from USPS, they store all your delicate clothing nicely. All my summer wardrobe has fit in 4 small triangle tube boxes. They stack up well in our storage unit and are so light to carry.
2. Create color-coded labels for stress-free packing and unpacking
Create color coding labels for each room in the new house or the type of content you need for your daily use. In our last move, we had to pack the stuff from 3 bedrooms and were going to place everything in the 3-room condominium. So we color-coded the contents for each purpose.
E.g Blue was for office supplies, Green was for kitchen supplies, Orange was for entertainment supplies, Pink was for my craft supplies, etc. Choose a color-coding method that makes sense to you and your family. It helps in locating the boxes when you want to unpack them in the new home. This is the biggest stress-free moving tip of the century.
3. Prioritize the packing
Start packing the easiest things that you will not need regularly from now until after the move. Keep them aside and label them. E.g. If you are moving in spring, you do not need winter clothing and accessories. Pack them away now.
All those decor items and knickknacks you have on display, pack them too. If decor is essential for you, keep only key pieces out and pack extra or seasonal items now.
4. Stress-free kitchen packing
Fragile dining sets cause the biggest stress for homeowners. If they are not packed well, they break and create more hazards than saving. So, pack your fragile plates, glasses, and mugs carefully with lots of bubble wrap, styrofoam, and paper. This is one area where you can pack them with two layers.
Switch to cheaper plates and glasses during this time. Even if they break during use or you do not have time to pack them, you can let them go easily. This is also a good time to pair down your kitchen gadgets and cutleries.
5. Stress-free packing for clothing
For clothing, the best way to move them as-is without much work is to place them in vacuum bags. You can even use them for hanging clothes. Dollar store sells them too. Remember, you will also wash the clothing after you settle down at a new place so do not fret about packing them to the perfect unless you have a high-value wardrobe. In that case, it makes sense to invest in specialty wardrobe packing boxes.
6. Packing furniture the easy way
For furniture that can be unassembled for easy move, pack the screws, the bolts, and every small thing that you used for your furniture in a Ziplock bag and paste it on the furniture itself. Also write the name of furniture over the zip-lock bag, just in case, it gets misplaced during the move.
7. Use up the liquid items first
Use up the liquid stuff or the stuff that can melt during the move you have. E.g Cooking Oils such as coconut oil, butter, ghee. Also the cleaning supplies. There is just no use packing them as they might just create more mess during the move. They are cheaper to replace in your new home.
If you want to pack the liquid items, first lock them up tightly in their original container. Then put a zip-lock bag over it. And then place the whole pack inside air-tight containers to ensure a double seal.
Do not pack flammable liquids, paint, or other liquids that may be hazardous during the move. Moving companies will not allow flammable substances in their cargo.
Funny personal story- We DIYed everything in our last move and transported our belongings including the paintbox in Uhaul. During the move, the paintbox got opened and paint got everywhere inside the U-haul truck. The amount of grief and money it caused to get rid of it was unbelievable. I still have my favorite duffel bag with my favorite paint all over it to remind me of that accident. Guess what- that bag isn’t dumped all these years just to remind ourselves to never move the opened paint container, no matter how favorite and rare the paint color is!
8. Get friends and family to help you for stress-free moving
If you ask for help, your friends and family always will lend you hand in packing part of the move. If they are super generous, invite them for moving too. This is easier if you are moving close by. For a cross-country move, it may not feasible. But it won’t hurt to ask right?
Back when I was single and used to move for work every couple of years, packing and moving was sort of a party. All of us used to pitch in to help friends pack their stuff. Free Pizza and snacks were a great motivation too.
9. Pack a “moving day or a weekend” bag separately
Pack the things you will need on the last day of moving from the old house, during the move, and first day in your new home. You will be too tired to find those things in the boxes or even go out and purchase them from stores.
Don’t forget to include simple snacks, coffee or tea, necessary medication, emergency first aid kit, overnight sleeping bag, personal care items, gloves, candles, a pair of day and night clothing, and one set of bedspreads in this bag.
Stress-free moving tips
1. Fill up gas before the moving day
If you’re going to travel long-distance in your vehicle during the move, make sure you fill the tank full. Keep the receipts if you are going to get reimbursements from the workplace or if it is a business move. This will save you time and energy on the day of the move.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the move
This is quite self-explanatory but we tend to forget it ourselves unless we get up early and grab healthy snacks. Since everything in the kitchen is packed, it is easy to miss breakfast. But you will need good fuel in your body to carry on the day. Cook yourself a healthy breakfast a day before and store it in air-tight food-safe containers or eat a healthy breakfast at a nearby restaurant.
3. Carry your essential medication with you
If you or your family members are on daily medication, don’t forget to carry it with you during the move. I would also suggest carrying a simple first-aid kit with you. It always comes in handy if you have kids.
4.Keep your valuables with you
This is very important. Keep your valuables such as jewelry, passport, important property, and personal documents with you at all times. Do not store them in the moving vehicle. Even though you can claim the damage if you lose them, it is so much harder to replace them again.
5. Check your home before closing it one last time
Last but not the least, do a final check-in in your current home. Check if all the lights are off, all the windows and doors are closed. You do not want the new people to find surprises on their first day of move-in right?
Tips after moving in for stress-free settlement in your new home
1. Unload the packed boxes strategically
If you have done the packing and loading yourself, the unpacking will be easier for you. But if you are hiring the packers and movers, ask them to store all unloaded packing boxes in one location at the center of the room with the labels facing on top.
This will help you locate the boxes labeled for each room or purpose easily. For heavier furniture, give them instructions on putting them back. If you have pasted the related nuts and bolts together with furniture, their job will be easier and you will have a ready-made bed to sleep in.
Make sure that you count all your packed boxes and furniture. Check for major damages, especially the big screens and delicate expensive items. Then sign and release the payment to movers. If there are any damages, first take pictures for filing claims with your moving insurance agent.
On and if you have the felt pads for furniture, out them under the furniture now. If it’s not done on the day of the move, it just keeps getting postponed.
2. Note down the location of important things
On the day of your move, find where the main circuit breaker and the electric panel are located. You don’t want surprises in the middle of the night if suddenly the electricity goes. I remember the time when we moved into an older house where the electric panel was not updated and it tripped within hours of we moving in with our big size office equipment.
Also take time to locate your furnace, air filters, water filtration units as well as garbage disposals.
3. Take utility readings on the day you move-in
On the day of your move, it is good to take the reading of your electric meter and water meters. If your house has smart meters, they usually keep a track of these numbers. But it’s good to know where you started on day one so that you can plan your monthly budget well.
This is also a good time to note down the important contact numbers of the utility service companies.
4. Update your address where needed
If you already knew the place where you’re going to move, this step is easier. But places like DMV, Banks, and voting offices need your new address in the form of a deed or utility bill. So you may have to wait for this step to complete. But mark your calendar in advance and update your address where required.
With a little planning and careful packing tips, your move can be stress-free. There will always be some surprises during the move, but follow these tips to reduce the unhappy surprises during moving. Please share your moving tips and funny experiences with me.
Meet the Guest Blogger – Dee!
Dee writes on a variety of topics for busy families to help them live a debt-free life. She loves to share her story of getting out of debt while living in a big expensive city and her debt-free adventures on the route to financial independence with a healthy dose of slow-living. Don’t forget to connect with her on social media for regular move-saving tips, healthy side-hustle ideas, and easy-peasy recipes.