15 Easy Steps to Moving Day

Whether you’re moving out of your childhood home for the first time or packing up to move across the country, have I got tips for you! I prepared you for this moment with Dear Clutter, It’s Over, my blog on reducing clutter in your home, but now it’s time for the next big step. You’ve got your new home all picked out, the papers are signed, and the escrow clock is ticking down. Tick tock. Tick tock. Here are 15 tips for an easy step-by-step move.

  1. Grab your phone or get to your computer and research those moving companies! Find out who your friends have used, check things out on Yelp or ask for advice on Facebook. Once you’re down to three choices, check them out with the Better Business Bureau so you can rest easy with full confidence in the people who will be handling all your stuff as it goes from door to door. Get estimates and make your final decision.

  1. As the weeks count down, keep a list of all the businesses you’ll need to notify about your change of address. This includes your online accounts, too. Just because your account is virtual doesn’t mean that you are. They all want to follow you.

  1. Start packing the out-of-the-way stuff. Here’s a pop quiz: Do you start by packing all the stuff you use daily or the stuff you won’t need for a few months? That’s right! You breeze by the stuff you still need and get to those dusty storage places so you can either pack, donate, or dump those old holiday decorations and snow shovels. Work on the items in your home and closet that are rarely used and out of season. Do this early enough and there’s plenty of time to hold a yard sale and earn extra dough to cover some of your moving costs!

  1. If you have kids in school, go ahead and start working with the school of yore and the school of the near future to get that transition going smoothly. No kid wants to sit at a new school for an hour or two while the office tries to figure out who they are and what they’re doing at this school. Start early and get the details all worked out to avoid future family therapy costs.

  1. Start using up the food in your pantry and stop stocking up on food. Buy what you need as you need it. There’s just no sense in paying a mover to haul a case of ramen noodles and 200 rolls of toilet paper.

  1. Load up on moving supplies. Tape, labels, packing materials, and boxes. Plenty of boxes. Unless, of course, your mover is supplying everything. There are boxes for everything! Wardrobe boxes, mirror boxes, boxes for dishes, for glasses – even for wine bottles! Just remember that big boxes are for fluffy lightweight items and small boxes are for little heavy items. Sometimes people think they’re making it more efficient when they get tons of big boxes, only to regret it later.

  1. Figure out a system for your boxes. Color-coded labels by room? A numbered code? Scribbled sharpie instructions on two or more sides of each box? Whatever you choose it’s always a good idea to keep a master inventory list.

  1. Fill out a change of address form at your local post office, put in for vacation days around your move (if you’re staying with your firm), confirm the details of your move with your mover and insurer and grab that handy dandy list you made weeks ago and start making all those address change notifications for your accounts and businesses.

  1. Let your family and friends know about your change of address. You know your Auntie Kate still sends out an annual Christmas newsletter to tell all about her latest adventures and give a general family update on Junior’s latest scrape. You wouldn’t want to disappoint her by moving and not letting her know how to reach you, would you?

  1. Cancel home deliveries for the items you have regularly delivered to your home and set up delivery for your new area.

  1. Gather together all of your keepsakes, jewelry, sentimental items of value, and important paperwork. Keep these separate from the rest of the items you’re moving and make special arrangements to either take them yourself or have them sent by a trackable shipping service.

  1. Take photos of your fine furnishings and note any existing scratches or dings. Have the utilities turned off at the old house the day after you move out and at your new house the day before you move in. Back up all of your computers. Pack a suitcase with all your necessities and some comfy travel clothes as if you are taking a little trip.

  1. Go room by room and get packing! You can do it fast or you can do it slow, but no matter what, it’s got to get done. Of course, if you’ve hired people to do it for you, you can just kick back and laugh.

  1. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean! Either do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Be kind to the people who are moving into your old home. You can leave them a little welcoming note and a packet of information about the house that includes warranties, recommended repair people, and service companies, and your contact information in case Auntie Kate’s newsletter and a package of fudge need to be forwarded to you when it’s the holiday season.

  1. Make sure you’ve got your prescriptions filled and cash on hand for unforeseen expenses while you’re on your way from Point A to Point B and to tip the movers. Plan on $20 per person for a half-day move, $40 per person for a full-day move, and $50 to $60 per person for a move that takes 12 or more hours.

Got it? That wasn’t so hard, was it? You were able to get from thinking about moving to Moving Day without chewing up a whole bottle of antacids! Yay YOU! There’s just one last little thing. Plan a little housewarming or blessing ceremony to start your new life in your new home with joy. It might involve champagne or Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider and stemware, or maybe you’ll be placing crystals around your new home space while beating a ceremonial drum. Whatever it is, make it all about you and your new life in your new home.

If you love all of these tips and can’t wait to try them out, but need to get the process rolling to buy or sell your home, you know I’m here for you. I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.