Ensure a Smooth Moving Day

4 Steps to Ensure a Smooth Moving Day Experience

By SaleCore on 10/13/2020

Moving is an adventure, but the moving process itself can be a very overwhelming experience. Whether you are relocating across town or across country, packing up your belongings and loading everything you own into a moving van isn't easy. However, with some time and organization, you will be amazed how much smoother the transition can be. Because there is so much work to be done, breaking the process into these 4 steps will help you to stay focused, remember the small things, and enjoy those last moments in your home.


1. Create an Action Plan

An illustration of an action plan

First and foremost, creating an organized action plan is essential. Carefully work out the details of the big day while you still have plenty of time. When working on this action plan, there are some very important factors to consider.

  • The Budget: In a perfect world, we would all hire professionals to come do the packing, the heavy-lifting, and the unpacking for us. But unfortunately, it doesn’t often work out that way. Depending on the distance you are traveling and the amount of stuff you own, a move can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Crunch your numbers and determine where your money is best spent, and where you can save.
  • The Objective - Moving Day: When choosing your moving day, it is not wise to schedule the move into your new home on the same day you close on the property. There can be delays in the process, which can be frustrating and costly. If you are considering professional movers, get referrals from friends, neighbors, and other professionals. Be sure to find out what services they offer, what they cover, and whether they have any promotions or discounts. Typically, the most affordable times to move are mornings, weekdays, and off-season months (late September to April). If you opt to use professionals, be sure to get a price, arrival times, and other details in writing. If you decide to do the move yourself, be sure to enlist the help of friends and family well in advance, so they can put it on their calendar. If they are available to pack and load the truck, then you can save a great deal by only hiring the movers to unload at your new home.
  • The Schedule: Once you have selected your moving date and choice movers, create a timeline with strict deadlines, and begin action plan implementation.

2. Declutter & Organize

Keep and donate piles of clothes

Moving is an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to get rid of the things you no longer need/want, or that won’t fit in at your new home. Start with one room at a time; go through drawers, cabinets, and closets to identify items to throw away, sell, or donate. Rent a rollaway for things you wish to trash, hold a big moving sale, or take clothes to Goodwill and furniture and appliances to The Salvation Army. Donations are tax deductible, so if you itemize your deductions, be sure to get receipts from these organizations.

Separate your valuables and gather important documents (i.e., jewelry, insurance policies, passports, etc.). Keep those items in a safe place, and take them with you on moving day.

Plan your meals to use as much of the frozen, refrigerated, and pantry items as possible. Only buy the essentials to help you prepare. If you have items leftover before moving day, consider donating nonperishable foods (such as rice, pasta and canned vegetables) to your local food bank or homeless shelter. Perishable items can be given to neighbors, thrown away, or possibly moved if just a short distance away.

3. Pack, Pack, Pack

Taping up a moving box

When it comes to packing, it always takes longer than people expect. Start several weeks prior to your move, practice good organization, and do a little bit each day. The following tips will help you along the way.

  • Catalog your belongings room-by-room into a comprehensive list, or take photos with your phone. This will help to ensure every item makes it to your new home.
  • Gather an abundance of various-sized boxes and packing materials (bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, markers). Check local stores or Facebook groups offering free boxes, order online, or purchase at your local Home Depot or Lowes. Once you have acquired these materials, assign a color-code to each room (blue for master bedroom, yellow for kitchen, etc.) and clearly label the boxes on the tops and sides using the corresponding colored tape or markers. Once at your new home, label the doorways with the correct color-code, giving the movers a quick glimpse of where boxes go, making unpacking a much easier process.
  • Begin packing items you won't be needing, such as home decor, framed photos, and out-of-season clothing. Pack as much as you can, leaving out only the items you use every day.
  • Don’t pack your hanging clothing, instead make sure you get some wardrobe boxes. If you don’t have wardrobe boxes, take closet items (still on hangers) and slip into large garbage bags and tie drawstring around the hooks.
  • Take photos of your electronic set-ups before you disconnect them so that you’ll know quickly how to reconnect them. If you intend to recreate any decorative arrangements or gallery walls at your home, take a picture of those before disassembling as well.
  • When disassembling furniture, keep small parts together in a Ziploc bag and tape to furniture.
  • A clear plastic bin or two packed with essentials that can be easily accessed can make the first few days in your new home much easier. Items you may want to include: medications, toiletries, pet food, nonperishable snacks, a coffee pot, a box cutter, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, trash bags, light bulbs, minimal cookware, paper or plastic dishware and eating utensils, phone chargers, and basic tools.
  • Consider packing a couple suitcases with clean sheets, blankets and pillows, bath towels, and a change of clothing or two for each family member.

4. Important Must Do’s

A to-do checklist on a desk
  • If necessary, request time off for your move.
  • Complete change of address forms online to save time and ensure your mail will be delivered in a timely manner.
  • Notify relevant companies of your move to cancel or begin the transfer of services. These may include: healthcare providers, insurance companies, utility providers, banks, subscription-based services (newspaper, milk, etc.), lawn care, pest control, gyms, daycare services, schools, etc.
  • Make moving day arrangements for your young children and pets. This will reduce their anxiety and yours.
  • Hire a housekeeper or cleaning company to deep clean the house once you have moved out. The last thing you want to do is stay behind to clean. This will be money well-spent.
  • Confirm, confirm, and confirm again. Knowing everything is in place will ease moving day concerns and cause less stress.
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