Packing your home for your move is no easy task. As a professional in the moving industry, being involved in hundreds of moves, I can tell you the most important part of the moving process is how you prepare and when you start.
When should you start packing for your move? You should start packing for your move at least 3 weeks prior to your anticipated move date. The actual moving preparation process should start at least 6-8 weeks before your move. The earlier you start the packing process, the easier it will be when your move date approaches.
Here we have laid out a simple step-by-step breakdown of preparing for your move, what to pack, and when to do it, along with some other moving tips.
6-8 Weeks: Clean & Decide What You’re Taking With You
- Do a brief clean of your house – A clean house will be easier to start with when deciding what belongings you will be taking with you to your new home.
- Go through each room and decide what items you will be purging – Having fewer things to move will make your move cost cheaper and will help you stay organized throughout the moving process.
- Separate the items that you don’t want and put them all together – Getting the clutter out of the way will give your mover an idea of how much stuff you will be taking with you to your new home and they will be able to give you an appropriate estimated cost for your move.
5 Weeks: Get Rid and/or Sell Items You’re Not Taking With You
- Sell your unwanted belongings – Selling unwanted belongings is a great way to save money when preparing for a move. Your move cost will be cheaper since you will have fewer things to transport and you will receive cash for your unwanted items. Here’s how you can have a successful garage sale before you move.
- Donate any items that are not worth selling – If you have any items that are not worth selling, consider donating them. When donating your unwanted items, ask for a receipt so you can write off your donation when you file for taxes. And if you need assistance, here are some charities you can schedule a free pick up with.
- What will you do with your unwanted old furniture? Getting rid of your old furniture is no easy task. Check out this simple guide to getting rid of your old furniture.
- Decide What To Do With Moving “Non-Allowables” – There are certain items that movers will not move in their moving trucks to take a quick look at this list of items movers will not move to see what you can and can’t move, and plan accordingly.
4 Weeks: Pick An Option For Moving Your Goods
Full Service Moving Company Option
- Get at least 3 quotes from moving companies – It is always best to check the market before you decide to commit to your moving company, especially if you are looking to save money. Call a few companies in your area to get an idea of how much your move will cost.
- Research reputations online – When moving, everyone wants to feel comfortable that their personal belongings are in good hands. Search prospective moving companies in your area on review platforms such as Yelp or Google.
- Request an in-home estimate for larger homes – In-home estimates are recommended for larger homes because they will give you a better idea of how much your move is going to cost. Since most movers charge by the hour, this is the most accurate way for the company’s salesperson to give you an appropriate quote.
- Check licensing – Licensing assures that the moving company is following the rules and regulations of the industry and will protect your goods from damage.
- Ask for referrals from friends, family, or realtors – There is nothing better than getting a great referral from somebody you can trust. Ask family and friends if they have used a trustworthy moving company in the past that they can recommend to you.
Moving Yourself Options
- Use a rental truck service (UHaul) – Renting a truck for your move could save you money. However, if you have items that you want to be protected, it is safer to hire a professional moving company to transport them.
- Consider renting a mobile storage Pod – Companies like Pods are a great option if you are sensitive on time. All you have to do is load your Pod and unload your items at your new house. They will drive the Pod to you and drop it off at your new location.
- Ask friends and family for their help – Asking people you trust to help you move can be a good idea if you are trying to save money. See if anyone has a large vehicle to help transport boxes and small furniture items. For large items, you may have to rent a small trailer or small storage Pod. Overall, asking your friends and family for help will save you the most money.
Additionally, here’s an entire guide to moving yourself.
2-3 Weeks: Start The Packing Process
It should take you around 2-3 weeks to pack your home without stress.
The more you’re prepared for the movers, if you’re movers charge by the hour, the lower the cost will be.
- Gather packing materials – Buy from Home Depot, online, use linens & towels. Utilize suitcases. Check out these 13 places to find affordable packing supplies.
- Non-essential items are always packed first – Start by packing any unused storage rooms, closets, garage, etc. The kitchen is usually packed last.
- Pack by room – Pack each room at a time and keep packed boxes in each room. This will make it easier to label the boxes correctly and will help you stay organized.
- Label your boxes – Write the name of what is in the box and what room it belongs to on the side of each box. This will help you organize your boxes in the correct rooms when they arrive at your new home.
- Stage non-essential items in the garage – Use your garage space as a place for boxed up items that don’t necessarily have a specific room where they belong to.
- Don’t have movers pack and move valuable and/or personal items – Always pack and move your valuables and personal items so you can be sure they make it to your new home safely.
I also want to share with you our 3 most important packing tips when moving.
3 Most Crucial Packing Tips For Moving
- Gather your valuable items – Don’t let the movers move your small valuable items like jewelry, cash, checkbooks etc. In fact, movers specifically don’t want to move your high-value items because they don’t want to be held responsible if items get lost during the hectic moving process.
- Pack a day box – This may include any medications, toiletries, clothes, airline tickets if moving long-distance, and anything else you may need on a daily basis. You may need several of these boxes, but the purpose is to not lose anything you need on a daily basis in the depths of random moving boxes.
- Give yourself enough time – It’s not until you start packing and moving your home you realize how much stuff you actually have. Be sure to give yourself enough time in advance to pack for your move.
1 Week: The Finishing Touches
- Start packing the kitchen – This may sound like a daunting process but it doesn’t have to be! The key to packing your kitchen is staying organized and using the correct materials to make sure your dishes and glassware do not break. To learn how to properly pack dishes watch this video.
- Start packing clothes, bedding, etc. – Dressers may be moved with some clothes in them as long as they’re not jammed packed and as long as the dresser is sturdy.
- If you only have one week – If you’re moving in a hurry check out our moving in a hurry guide here.
How Do I Pack For Your Move – When packing for your move, you should first decide what’s going to be moved. There’s no point in moving anything you don’t need or could be donated or thrown away. After acquiring the right packing materials you should pack all your non-essential items room by room. Fragile items should be wrapped and protected with packing paper and dish pack boxes. Also, make sure you pack your boxes according to the weight of the goods. Heavy items go in smaller boxes and lighter items into larger boxes.
Should you pack your items yourself or hire a moving company to pack? – If you want a full-service move where you don’t have to do much, definitely hire the movers to pack your goods. If you’ve hired the right moving company, they’ll know how to safely and quickly pack each and every item you have. But, many movers charge their normal rates for packing services and that could be as much as $100-$120 per hour for 2 people. If saving money is important, pack yourself and make it as easy as possible for the movers to just come in, wrap your furniture load your boxes and go. If you’re packing yourself, usually, the movers will not be responsible for any damage that may occur inside the boxes.