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 funiture? Getting rid of your old furniture is no wasy task. Check out this simple guide to getting rid of your old furniture.
4 Weeks: Pick An Option For Moving Your Goods
Full Service Moving Company Option
- 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 companies’ 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 realtor’s – There is nothing better than getting a great referral by 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.
- 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 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 that 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.