Step One: De-clutter. Get rid of all the items that have been sitting in storage or the back of your closet for years. If you didn’t use them where you are now, chances are you probably won’t in your new house. Pack them up and get them out of the house so you’ll have less to pack up on moving day. Go through clothing, non-perishable food, old bedding, toys, and other household items and set them aside for donation. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Dressed for Success, your local homeless shelter, and animal shelter will gladly take these items and put them to good use.
Step Two: Trash Day. If you don’t think certain items from your de-cluttering will be useful, toss them! Waste Management® sells “Bagster” which you can order online or purchase from stores like Home Depot or Lowes. Bagster is a self-managed dumpster bag you simply fill up and schedule to be picked up by Waste Management. Typically a 8x4x2 bag is just over $100 – a great option if you have a hefty amount of stuff you’d like to toss at once.
Step Three: Schedule a moving truck. If you know the day of your move & think you’ll need a moving truck, be sure to schedule your moving truck prior to the day of or call on friends and family to keep them in the loop of the date and time for the big day. Schedule out as far in advance as you can to ensure availability of trucks, movers, or pals. If you hire movers, standard gratuity is 5%; feel free to tip more or less based on your experience, as this is just suggested etiquette as it pertains to tipping.
Step Four: Bills and Utilities. If you know your new address and move in date, make sure to change your mailing address for bills, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, and credit card companies to ensure your mail is re-routed to your new address. If you go on to the USPS website, they’ll guide you step-by step on how to change your address and even provide a mail forwarding service during the transition. Also, make sure you talk to your cable company and any other utilities companies to change your billing address and end service at the old one. Schedule days they can stop by and install or set up what they’ll need to get your house up and running once you’re moved in.
Step Five: Start Packing! Now that you’ve de-cluttered, it’s time to start packing. Pick a system that works for you. Whether it be labeling boxes and totes room by room or keeping like items together, think about how you plan to unpack as you begin packing so that looking for items in your new place is less stressful and more organized. If you know the layout of the house you’re moving in to, labeling the boxes according to the room they will be living in at your new pad may be helpful. To accommodate more items, use towels, clothing or bedding to serve as padding within boxes and to fill empty gaps to maximize items per box. Remember not to pack overly heavy items in big boxes – it’s better to fill larger boxes with lighter items if possible to make them more manageable and less likely to bust.
FRAGILE– This will help movers or yourself remember to keep these items on top or in a special place when moving.
LIQUIDS– The last thing you want is your “bathroom” box to leak shampoo and lotion all over your “everyday clothes” box. Make sure you label liquids and/or put them in Ziplock® bags for better transport.
Step Six: Moving Day! Be sure to pack larger, unbreakable items on the bottom and work up according to weight and how fragile the item is. If you think you might need certain items first (such as area rugs, trash bags, a vacuum and cleaning supplies, or toilet paper for the bathroom) be sure to put those in last so you can grab them as soon as you get to the new house.
Step Seven: Unpack. Finally, the day has come that you can settle in to your new home. We recommend starting with your bedroom and bathroom since you’ll most likely want to shower as soon as you’re able. (Make sure you have a shower curtain liner & curtain rods if you need them!) Since you’ll probably be exhausted and want to go to bed early, make the bed as soon as you can. You’re going to want to dive into it after a hard day of moving!