For most people, moving is about as fun as getting a root canal or sitting on the tarmac during a three-hour flight delay. But when the time comes to move to a new place, there are things you can do to make the process a little easier. Follow these tips to avoid some of the most common moving headaches.
Not allowing enough time: Delays and unforeseen circumstances are almost inevitable when moving. Weather, traffic, car trouble, illness and injury can all affect your move and make it take a lot longer than you planned. If you’re moving to another city or state, have a backup plan of a place to stay overnight in case something goes wrong.
Not packing in advance: If your moving truck is coming tomorrow morning, don’t plan on having time to pack while they’re there. Start as far as ahead of time as you can and pack up things you don’t use every day, like books, bakeware, fancy china and extra linens. Starting early also gives you time to think about what you really need to take with you, and what you can donate or throw away.
Not lining up help: Whether you’re hiring movers or bribing friends and family with pizza and beer, it’s important to have reliable help come moving day. Having more people saves a lot of time and energy -- even the biggest gym rat can’t carry a couch by himself. Tell people when you’ll need them and for how long, and if you’re using friends, be willing to return the favor when their lease is up.
Not doing the math: In addition to being physically and mentally demanding, moving also takes a toll on your wallet. Between the moving truck, gas, other supplies, plus your new security deposit and first month’s rent, you’re likely talking a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time. Make sure you have the necessary funds, as well as a little extra for unforeseen expenses.
Forgetting about utilities: Before moving day, remember to turn off your electricity, gas and cable/internet service at your current address for the day you move out. At the same time, sign up to turn them on at your new address for the day you move in. Advance planning is the key, especially for cable installation, which often has a long waiting list at the beginning of prime moving months.
Not taking measurements: Chances are, you didn’t do the initial walk-through of your new apartment with a tape measure in hand. If the place is nearby, or you have family/friends who can help, don’t be shy about asking to come see it again before moving day. Bring a tape measure and take pictures; that way, you won’t show up with a couch that won’t fit through the door.
Not cleaning: After your every last possession is in your moving truck, it’s still not quite time to drive away. If you want to get your security deposit back, you are expected to leave your apartment in the same condition as you found it. That means vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing, and possibly spackling and painting. Find out what’s expected from your landlord and allow time to get it done before you turn in your keys.
Forgetting about your pets: Moving takes a toll on everyone involved, including your pets. While you are loading the van, make sure your pets are out of harm’s way and in a place where they can’t sneak out the front door, like a crate. And don’t forget to feed and walk them as you usually would – sticking to their usual routine as much as possible will help keep them calm under hectic circumstances.
Forgetting about yourself: While in the throes of moving, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. Stay hydrated with bottles of water ready in the fridge, stock up on protein-rich snacks like nuts and cheese, and take a break for lunch. You’re going to need the energy!
Forgetting about the light at the end of the tunnel: When you’re sweating, getting bruises and dropping your favorite lamp on your foot, it’s easy to get frustrated and want to quit. But remember why you are moving in the first place – a new job, a new city or new roommates – and you’ll find the motivation to keep going.