Start planning your move as early as possible. If you’re on a tight budget, this is even more important. Here are the things you need to do:
Clean house and do some clutter-busting
There’s no point in paying to move thing you never use. Give those things away, sell them online, have a garage sale, or donate them to charity.
Pick a good moving company
When you have a good moving company, they can walk you through the steps of moving so you don’t run into snags on moving day. Good companies know the area and they have a good reputations so they can tell you what you need to do if you live in a building and have to get permission for parking or elevators. It’s in the moving company’s best interests to be efficient if you’re paying them on a flat fee basis.
Get boxes and supplies sooner rather than later
You’ll want to start packing early, so order your supplies soon. The boxes moving companies offer are tailor-made for special uses such as wardrobe, books, china, linens and more and they are easy to label. Buy 20% more boxes than you think you’ll need if your moving company lets you return unused boxes. And make sure you get more than enough tape so you don’t run out—you don’t want your boxes to split open. Buy thick markers for labeling and use colored stick-on labels to color-code boxes for specific rooms.
Get a notebook or binder going for move documents
Collect all the lists you make for moving—including labeled boxes—and put them in a binder along with the moving company’s estimate. Keep your lists backed up on your computer, too, and have a back-up printout. You might even want to email it to yourself so it’s stored remotely for safekeeping.
Pack things you don’t use much first
Things you don’t use much like books you’ve already read can be packed first. Take care not to make the boxes too heavy to carry and put the heavier things in the bottom of each box.
Fill out a change of address notification
You’ll need to let everyone know you’re moving, so go online to fill out your US Postal Service Change of address form at http://www.usps.com. You’ll also need to let your local utility, internet and cable companies know you’re moving. You might need to return a cable box at your current home and arrange for installation at your new home. For credit card companies, other financial institutions, and other bills you get regularly there is usually a box you can check on your bill to let them know you are moving, and you can fill in your new address.
Document your electronic connections
It can be very confusing to arrive at your new home and struggle to remember what plugged into what on your computer, TV or sound equipment. Take pictures of your set-up, make notes, or color-code things so it’s obvious. Then it’s no problem to connect everything in your new home.
Think of your pets
Pets such as cats and dogs can get very stressed-out by moving. Make sure you have pet carriers for each of them, and consider boarding them while you move or having a friend care for them during the move.
Use suitcases or special bags for in-transit essentials
Anything that you will need while you move needs to go in a suitcase or bag you take with you. This includes things like your checkbooks, address books, bathroom essentials, cell phone chargers, cell phones, prescription medications, and move book.
Have cleaning supplies available
When you’ll be cleaning your current location or your new one, make sure you have all the cleaning items available in a special box. If you have carpet, you’ll also want a vacuum cleaner. An easy way to break this task down into manageable chunks is to clean each room after the movers empty it out.
Take valuables including documents with you
Take irreplaceable things like family heirlooms, wedding photos or birth certificates and passports with you. Take photos of everything else in case things are damaged and you need to show the photos to an insurance company. Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover your property while it’s being moved, so you might want to make special arrangements to insure those items.
Save receipts for tax deductions
You might be able to deduct your moving costs from your federal income taxes. If you changed jobs and that’s why you are moving, you might be able to deduct this without itemizing. Ask your CPA or tax preparation expert.