Moving to a new home should—and can—be a very exciting time. It’s an opportunity for fresh starts, rethinking your belongings and reimagining your lifestyle. It can also, of course, be particularly stressful. Thankfully, the internet offers plenty of great resources to help you prep for your move.
Plan early, and plan often. Even if you’re not the sort to leaves things until the last minute, it’s easy to underestimate how much work goes into a move. There are plenty of things you can get out of the way several weeks before the big day.
1. Have a Checklist
Have a checklist. This one lists a hundred things that you might want to consider, from purchasing movers insurance to planning meals that use up your freezer contents in the weeks before the move. There are also a number of moving lists available on Pinterest. If you’ve been pinning mood boards for your new home, they’re the perfect place to put a checklist somewhere you’re likely to see it when thinking about your new home.
2. Make the Most of Mobile Apps
If you prefer building your own checklist, consider using an app like Microsoft OneNote to keep your packing note close at hand on your phone. However, there are a number of apps you can use designed specifically for moving, many of them free to use.
The Move Advisor app comes out on top in this list, which gives it kudos for “elegant design, intuitive ease of use and unrivaled functionality.” It’s worth checking out for the Home Inventory feature that allows you to create a virtual room-by-room inventory of your household items.
3. Start Decluttering ASAP
Speaking of household items, if you’re a few months out from moving, use the opportunity to get rid of a few things. You may well be familiar with Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up, which offers a philosophical, Japanese approach to keeping only items that bring you joy. Given how stressful moving house can be, you can probably use all the joy you can find in the run up to your move. And with a deadline in place, you may be more likely to actually act on Kondo’s advice.
Here’s a list of eight valuable lessons one writer learned from the book, including Kondo’s first rule, tackle categories, not rooms. She also cautions against succumbing to nostalgia, and a offers technique for folding clothes that’s worth learning whether you’re packing your favorite items for a move or not.
4. Consider Selling Some of Your Stuff (or Giving it Away)
When it comes to decluttering, there’s a lot to be said for going directly to Goodwill. But if you’re moving a significant distance, it may prove smarter to sell things like furniture, rather than haul them cross country.
If you have the budget for it, and lack the time to do it yourself, you can hire a professional organizer, who can help with things like decluttering. There’s a Professional Organizers Online website that lists many organizers in the North Bay, from clutter specialists to companies that will organize an estate sale for your belongings. For some, the actual information is a little sparse, so cross reference sites like Yelp as needed.
If you do decide to take on the job yourself, here’s eight lessons learned from selling belongings on Craigslist. If you have decided to sell, and you’ve got a hard deadline (i.e. your moving date), be realistic about pricing things to sell. Sometimes dropping the price on something to get it out from under your feet really is the best policy.
Photo Credit: J. Sanna
5. Pack the Stuff You Really Need
One of the biggest moving cliches is the realization that some boxes may well sit, unopened, for months. Decluttering is one way to minimize that. You should also be thinking about an “open first” box. It’s the box you’ll be opening in your new home on day one, with things you’ll want straight away, so you’re prepared for your first night there.
Items like a clean change of clothes, some basic food utensils and so on can be packed ahead of time, though you’ll want to add things like phone chargers on the day of the move. This list is a pretty comprehensive overview of things you’ll want at hand from day one.
6. Keep Researching
Homeowners should know that YouTube is a great source of “how to..” videos. You’ll find plenty of tips on moving house there, and short, easy-to-digest videos are a great way to keep the important stuff top of mind. At times, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. Often times, someone has done some of the work for you by curating videos in playlists. Here’s one that draws from a few different sources. This one combines home organization and moving tips from home organizer Alejandra Costello.
I hope you’ve found this “list of lists” a helpful collection of resources as you start to plan your big move. Whether you prefer watching YouTube videos, planning on Pinterest, or using moving apps on your phone, the sooner you start, the easier the move will be. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!
Main Photo Credit: Meathead Movers
Marin County Real Estate Agent
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Telephone: +1 415.606.1466
Fax: +1 415.479.5067
DRE #: 01914618