A lot of moving generally takes place over the next few months, and while everyone’s experience and needs vary a little, a lot of the work involved in moving is the same no matter who you are. A SMOOTH move IS actually possible, but preparation is KEY!!
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!
There is so much to do in preparation for your move: set up mail forwarding, change over your utilities, acquire packing supplies, and so on. The move, itself, is really the easy part as you’ll spend most of your time packing and unpacking. If you want everything else to go as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to prepare well. It’s a time-consuming and detailed process, but it’ll ultimately make your move significantly simpler and less stressful.
Transferring Your Information
Before you move, be sure you know all the utilities you’re responsible for and make the transfers. The further in advance you can make the call the better, as sometimes certain utility companies will not be able to come out the next day to make the switch. Another switch you can make in advance is filling out a change of address form, which you can do online (https://www.usa.gov/post-office). If you change your address online, be sure you have a credit card that uses your current address as the billing address, since that’s how the postal service verifies the request.
Finding Packing Supplies on the Cheap
There are a lot of places to buy packing supplies, but boxes and tape can add up to quite a bit of money. You can avoid this additional cost by hitting up one of quite a few places handing out free boxes. Most retailers receive a lot of shipments, but your best bet is to contact furniture stores. While your average retailer may be able to provide you with some used boxes, you’ll be able to find a greater range of sizes from furniture stores. Be sure to call them up at least a week in advance of when you want to start packing, however, as box disposal isn’t necessarily a daily task. If your friends are moving before you, another way to get used boxes is to ask them to give them to you when they’re finished. You may also be able to find boxes in the office you work in, or ask a friend to bring home any boxes they can find at the office.
The downside to reusing boxes is that they’re not always in the best condition. If you want brand new boxes (and other packing supplies), you can find them online, or from local moving companies, home improvement stores, office supply stores, etc. Just be sure you get good packing tape! Good packing tape is worth the extra money to avoid the frustration of breaking, splitting, peeling tape.
In addition to packing supplies, you’re going to want some tools for the actual move. It’s fairly inexpensive to rent a hand truck and furniture dolly—both of which you’ll want to have—from a truck rental company, but if you’ve got room to store them in your new place, it’s not much more expensive to buy them. You can generally find these items for around twice the cost of rental at online retailers, hardware stores and discount clubs like Costco. When purchasing, just be sure to get a hand truck that can handle at least 150 lbs. and has a pretty solid build construction. Thick, solid wheels are also a plus, as you won’t have to worry about deflation during the move. When the move is complete, a good box cutter is also helpful. It’s an inexpensive tool and makes things a bit easier than a pair of scissors or a regular knife.
Everything you own may fit wonderfully in your current home, but it may not in your new one. It can be easy to make assumptions and forget to measure, so be sure to set aside some time to do it. Make an appointment at the new place, if necessary, to be absolutely certain your furniture will fit the way you want it. All you need to bring is a tape measure and the measurements of your furniture.
If you’re planning on applying wallpaper (or hiring someone to do it), you’re going to need to know the measurements of your walls. The same goes for hanging items on the walls. What looks nice in one space may look awkward in another. You’ll never be completely sure until you’ve moved and tried it out, but you can measure and estimate in advance to get a pretty clear picture.
Getting a Truck
Maybe you prefer to have a moving company help you out, but I’ve always found that my moves go faster without one. If you’re taking the DIY approach, you’re obviously going to need a truck. There are a few things you’re going to want to consider when renting a truck:
- Your mileage may vary from move to move, so figure out approximately how far you’ll be driving and how much you pay per mile. All truck rental companies will charge you per mile, but some include a certain number of miles in the rental price. If you’re not going too far, you may save some money by going with a cheaper rental rate that charges for every mile you drive. If you’re going a longer distance, you may find that included miles and a pricier rental rate will actually save you money. Additionally, if you’re moving between cities and there are rental locations in both, you may be able to pick up the truck in one city and drop it off in the other. This will prevent accruing additional miles and the nuisance of driving back just to drop off the truck.
- The cost of the rental is one thing, but you also should consider the cost of the truck should you find yourself in an accident. Rental companies offer insurance at different levels that often exceed the cost of the rental itself. Be sure to check how much insurance is going to cost you and what it actually covers. In most cases the insurance you’ll receive from the rental company will come along with a high deductible and only cover certain kinds of damage. For example, roof damage is frequently left out and is unfortunately common. A low-hanging tree can open the truck’s roof like a sardine can, so be aware of what you are and aren’t liable for and choose the insurance that’s best for you before you go in to pick up the truck.
- Shop online and browse deal sites. Often there are online specials available you won’t get via phone reservation. Keep your eyes peeled.
- If you’re a student, several truck rental companies offer student discounts. If they don’t specifically, you can sometimes negotiate a deal anyway. If you can come up with a good reason—say you’re a film student who will need a truck for numerous student film projects—you can often get a better price. Just be sure to refer your friends if you can’t repay the rental company with frequent business of your own.
- Reserve your truck as far in advance as you can or you may not get one. The day you move is also relevant to truck availability. Most people move in the Summer and on the weekends, so if you’re one of those people you’ll want to book as far in advance as you can.
Moving is not something you should do alone—it’s not impossible, but it can be a miserable experience. Moving with friends is a lot more fun, and it makes everything go much faster. This isn’t news, but if you’ve tried to coerce your friends to help you move, you may have found it’s not the easiest thing to do. While you can win over some with the promise of free food and help with a future move, many people do not want to commit to a full day of physical labor. Instead of asking for the full day, make it easy on them and schedule your friends in shifts. For a one or two-bedroom apartment, you won’t really benefit from more than four or five people helping you. If you have enough friends, ask some to come in the morning and some to come in the afternoon. With less of a commitment you’re more likely to find the help you need.
Wishing you a stress-free move!!
Helpful tips on moving preparation provided by The Seay Group Realty, dedicated to service and exceeding your expectations! Contact us today!
Article inspired by Adam Dachis, The Start to Finish Moving Guide, Lifehacker.com