Moving to a new home is a big deal (especially long-distance moves)! Maybe you're buzzing with excitement, maybe you're a little nervous, or maybe you're feeling both at the same time. Whatever you're feeling, one thing's for sure: it's a lot to handle. From packing up your life to the actual moving day, there's so much going on. Don't sweat it! We've put together this guide to help make your move as easy and stress-free as possible.

Plan for Achieving A Smooth Move

Part 1: Planning Your Move Like a Pro

The Early Bird Gets the Smooth Move

The best way to make your move a success is to start planning early. We're talking several weeks, or even months, before the big day. When you give yourself plenty of time, you can get rid of things you don't need, compare residential movers (or figure out the best way to rent a moving truck), get all your packing supplies, and make sure everything gets done without feeling rushed.

Build a Checklist

When most people think of how to successfully move, they tend to think a lot about how to handle lifting and moving furniture. While this is an important part of moving, it’s by no means the most important piece. If you want to be successful during your next move, make sure to put together a checklist of what needs to get done. A checklist, particularly one that is in chronological order, will help you to see all the pieces of your move as it takes place, ensuring that no steps get left unfinished. If you need a checklist to start from, we’ve got you covered with the only moving checklist you’ll ever need.

Craft a Budget Without Breaking the Bank: Moving Budget Hacks to the Rescue

Moving can get a little pricey, but don't worry! It's totally possible to stay on budget. The trick is to make a plan and get a little creative. Here's a breakdown of those moving costs:

  • Movers or DIY: Hiring movers can make life a whole lot easier, but it does cost more. If you're up for the challenge, renting a truck and doing it yourself is an awesome way to save. Sometimes even a mix of the two is a good option! No matter how you move, be sure to get some quotes so you know what you're dealing with.
  • Packing Supplies: Boxes, tape, bubble all adds up! Before you buy, ask around - friends, family, and even local stores might have boxes they're happy to give away. There are lots of ways to find free packing supplies.
  • The Long Haul: If you're moving a long distance, remember to add in gas, hotels (if needed), and any tolls you might have to pay.
  • Storage Fees: Need a place to stash your stuff for a while? Factor in the cost of temporary storage if that's a possibility.
  • Unexpected Extras: Set a little money aside for things like insurance on your move, setting up utilities in your new place, and of course, that well-deserved pizza break on moving day!
  • Pro Tip: Get resourceful to save some cash! Instead of bubble wrap, use old towels and blankets to protect dishes. Pack your clothes in suitcases instead of boxes – you save space and a box too!

Declutter Your Way to a Fresh Start

Declutter Your Way to a Fresh Start

Moving is the perfect excuse to finally get rid of all the stuff you don't need anymore. Here's the plan: go through everything you own and decide what stays, goes, or gets sold! Donate clothes, toys, and household things you don't use to a local charity. Sell anything that's still in good shape online or have a big ol' yard sale. You'll be surprised how much lighter you'll feel (and how much easier your move will be!).

Research Your Moving Options: Find the Perfect Fit

Time to decide how you're going to get your stuff from Point A to Point B. Here are some things to think about:

  • Calling in the Pros: Hiring a professional moving company is like giving yourself the ultimate moving day gift. They'll take care of packing and unpacking everything so you can focus on the fun parts of starting fresh in your new home!
  • Do It Yourself (or Mostly): Renting a truck and handling the move yourself is a great way to save some money. Just make sure you've got some helpers lined up for moving day!
  • Portable Storage Containers: Portable storage containers get delivered right to your door, giving you total control over your packing timeline. They're perfect if you need extra time or want temporary storage while you get settled into your new place.
  • Freight It: If you've got a big move and don't mind loading and unloading yourself, freight moving is a smart way to save money. You'll rent space on a semi-trailer, making it a cost-effective option for long-distance moves.

Pick Your Moving Date & Get the Ball Rolling

Time to make it official and pick a moving day! Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Weekdays vs. Weekends: If you can, try for a weekday move. It's usually less crowded and might even be a bit cheaper.
  • Weather Watch: Think about what time of year will be best for your move. Who wants to move in a blizzard or a heatwave?
  • Life Happens: Make sure your moving date works with everything else going on in your life, like starting a new job or the kids heading back to school.

Stay close by while the movers load and unload the truck to make sure everything is done to your satisfaction. This also helps the movers tackle the loading of items in a more efficient manner if you have a specific preference.

Part 2: Pack Like a Pro

Gather Your Packing Supplies

Before you start packing up your entire life, make sure you've armed yourself with all the essential packing supplies:

  • Boxes Galore: Get a bunch of different sizes so you can pack everything safely. Don't forget those special wardrobe boxes for your closet and dish packs for breakables.
  • Protective Gear: Bubble wrap, packing paper, peanuts – all that good stuff that will keep your treasures from getting bumped or scratched.
  • Tape It Up: This isn't the time to skimp on packing tape – get the good stuff! A tape dispenser will make your life a whole lot easier too.
  • Label Maker: Trust us, you'll be so glad you labeled your boxes, especially when you're unpacking!
  • Furniture Friends: Moving blankets or pads will help keep your furniture looking its best.
  • Special Care: TVs, artwork, etc. sometimes need an extra bit of protection, so grab those specialty boxes.

Packing Tips & Tricks: Your Stuff Will Thank You

  • Pack Your Documents: Set aside vital personal belongings to take separately. Movers do their best to ensure that the moving truck arrives on time, but delays happen. If your belongings get delayed, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you have your license, passport, social security card, and other important documents with you already.
  • Wrinkle Worries? Make friends with those wardrobe boxes! They make it easy to keep your hanging clothes wrinkle-free. If you're packing clothes in regular boxes, try rolling them instead of folding – it saves a surprising amount of space. Suitcases and duffel bags are unsung heroes of moving day, so use them too!
  • Packing Kitchenware: Dishes and glasses need extra love. Wrap fragile dishes up individually and pack them vertically in dish boxes. Use crumpled packing paper to fill any gaps. Heavier pots and pans go in smaller boxes to keep the weight manageable.
  • Electronic Essentials: If you've still got the original boxes, use those for your electronics. Otherwise, wrap them carefully in bubble wrap and pack them snugly in sturdy boxes. Don't forget to label cords and cables so you're not untangling a mess later!
  • Packing Fragile Items: Treat fragile items with the respect they deserve! Wrap each item individually with bubble wrap or packing paper. Use a sturdy box and don't be afraid to add extra padding to fill in any gaps so things don't shift around. And finally, slap a big "FRAGILE" label in a place where it can't be missed.
  • Packing Furniture: Taking furniture apart (as much as you can) will save you space and help protect it during the move. Make sure to wrap those table legs and corners in bubble wrap or blankets to prevent dings and scratches.
  • Packing Artwork: Protect your precious paintings and artwork like a museum curator! Start with acid-free paper and then add a secure layer of padding. Specialized art boxes or crates are the safest bet, but a sturdy cardboard box with plenty of padding can work too.

Labeling & Organization: The Key to Unpacking Without Losing Your Mind

Labeling & Organization: The Key to Unpacking Without Losing Your Mind
  • Label Like a Pro: Be generous with those labels! Room names, what's inside – get those details onto each box with a permanent marker. Bonus points if you use colored stickers or markers to make it even easier to tell at a glance which room everything belongs in.
  • Make a Master List: This might feel like a bit of overkill, but it's a lifesaver! Keep a detailed list of everything in every box. This makes it super easy to find that favorite sweater or make sure the toaster made it safely to the new kitchen.
  • Pack an Essentials Bag/Overnight Bag: Save a spot on the truck for those gotta-have-it-now items (the ones you didn't pack in your essentials bag). Load them up right before you close the doors. Prepare a bag with essential items you'll need immediately upon arrival at your new home, such as toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, paper towels, toilet paper, and basic kitchen supplies. This will save you from rummaging through boxes on your first night.

Part 3: Preparing for Moving Day

Confirm Moving Arrangements

Give your moving company (or rental truck people) a call a week or two before the big day to go over everything again: the date, the time, and any extra services you might need. Make sure you're clear on all the details so there are no surprises on moving day.

Map Out the Logistics

  • Parking: If you need a spot for the moving truck, make sure you've reserved parking at both your old and new places. Find out if you'll need permits and check for any street signs warning about no parking zones.
  • Elevator Reservations: Apartment dwellers, don't forget to reserve the elevator for your move-in (or move-out) day. This will make loading and unloading go a lot faster!
  • Notify Neighbors: Give your neighbors a heads-up that you're moving. A little noise and some extra traffic are just part of moving, but it's always a good idea to let people know what's happening.

Pack Your "Day One" Survival Kit

Pack Your "Day One" Survival Kit

This is your bag of immediate essentials – the things you don't want to dig through boxes for on your first night. Think toiletries, medications, chargers, a change of clothes, cleaning supplies, snacks, and the all-important coffee maker!

Prep Your Appliances & Sort Out Utilities

  • Squeaky Clean: Give your fridge, oven, dishwasher, etc. a good cleaning before the movers arrive. Be sure to defrost the fridge at least a day in advance.
  • Washer/Dryer Woes: Disconnect and drain your washer and dryer – you don't want any spills in the moving truck!
  • Lights On (or Off): Don't forget to call your utility companies to schedule service disconnection at your old address and connection at your new one. It's surprisingly easy to forget about this in the moving madness!

Part 4: Move Smarter, Not Harder

Enlist Help from Family Members or Professional Movers

Moving is hard work, so the more hands on deck, the better! See if you can rope in friends, family, or even neighbors to help. If you can afford it, hiring professional movers (or even just helpers for a few hours) can be a stress-saver.

Clean Your Apartment or Home

Clean Your Apartment or Home

With the truck packed and the movers on the road, take a final sweep of your former residence. Look for any items that may have been left behind and take some time to clean anything that you haven’t yet. If you have an apartment, this may be a condition of getting back your security deposit. But even if you owned your place of residence, cleaning before you leave shows care and thoughtfulness to the people who move in after you.

Take Care of Yourself

Take plenty of breaks to rest and rehydrate. Moving day is a marathon, not a sprint! Make sure everyone has water and snacks to keep energy levels up.

Moving Day Toolkit: Be Prepared for Anything

Don't get caught unprepared! Pack a moving day survival kit with all the essentials.

  • Tool Time: You never know what you might need to take apart or put together at the last minute, so have a basic toolkit ready with all the essentials: hammer, screwdriver, pliers, tape measure, and a box cutter.
  • Boo-Boo Buster: Accidents happen, especially when everyone's tired. A mini first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any important meds is a good idea.
  • Spills Happen: It's a good bet that something might need a quick clean-up – pack a few cleaning supplies to be on the safe side.
  • Fuel Up: Moving takes energy! Don't forget plenty of drinks and snacks for you and your helpers.

Organize Care for Pets and Small Children

Organize Care for Pets and Small Children

If you have small children or pets, organize care for them during the move. Dogs and cats get nervous during moves when they see strangers in their space. If you have the ability to get someone or somewhere to watch after them during the move, it will help both you and your pet.

Similarly, if you’re moving with small children, try to have a family member, close friend, or daycare service look after them for the day. Doing so will help speed up your move.

Movers will be better able to transport boxes to and from the truck without small children and pets running around. Having these arrangements set up ahead of time takes the responsibility off your place so you can put all your focus into the many tasks at hand on a moving day.

Stay Positive & Roll with the Punches

Moving days can be unpredictable. That's okay! Keep a positive attitude, stay flexible, and be ready for a few bumps in the road. Things will go a lot more smoothly if you can laugh off the little hiccups along the way.

Ready to See How Smooth Your Next Move Can Be?

Yes, moving has the potential to be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! With a little planning and some helpful tips, your move can go off without a hitch.

Remember: start early, make a budget, get rid of stuff you don't need, compare moving options, and pack like a pro. Following these tips (and being prepared for the unexpected) will set you up for moving success.

Leave the heavy lifting (and the stress!) to us. Alliance Moving & Storage is ready to make your move a breeze. Get in touch for a free quote today!