How To Prepare For A Move

Moving day is stressful, there is no doubt about it. You have probably heard your fair share of horror stories when it comes to how to prepare for a move and moving. You may have even heard a small amount of success stories where the move went smoothly and everything happened the way it should have, with minimal issues. Those stories are few and far between because many people fail to properly prepare for moving.

Muscular Moving Men wants every moving experience you have to be a piece of cake, so we have collected the top things you MUST do to prepare for a move before having movers come over.

Outline A Plan

Before you are waist deep in boxes, tape, and packing supplies take the time to map out a calendar of events or timeline of key tasks or milestones to be completed by. This will not only help keep your move on track as you prepare for a move, but it will also help minimize the stress. Trying to keep everything move related in your head just doesn’t work and your brain will never relax. So, as you wonder how to prepare for a move do yourself a favor and create a plan of events and tasks.

Key Question To Ask Yourself To Prepare For A Move

  • Packing – DIY or hire professionals. Moving involves so many moving parts and personal stresses that opting for the packing services offered by the moving company may be the way to go. There are a number of options available when it comes to how much or little you may want to pay to have packed to prepare for a move. Depending upon if your budget will allow, packing and unpacking services are something that many people feel are well worth it. You’ll need to factor in your time, energy, and stress level versus the cost of the packing services offered.
  • Them Or Me – Will I be using a moving company, or do I need to reserve a truck?
  • My Vehicle – Do I need to look into shipping my car?
  • Supplies – What kind of packing supplies and boxes do I need?

Get Organized

When it comes to how to prepare for a move, getting organized before you get into it is a big key. Moving is a big undertaking with a bunch of moving parts and third parties that pretty much all require some sort of contacting, coordinating, or otherwise scheduling. It’s easy to get lost in all of this trying to remember if you contacted this person or that company and do you have a meet time or appointment with them, and on and on. So, a little bit of up front organization goes a long way to preserving your sanity. Here’s a few quick tips:

  • Create a Moving Folder – This can be digital or physical. Either way you’ll want to have some sort of file or notebook where you can keep your checklist, notes, dates, your timeline, and all of your receipts. Having a scanner works great to scan in any of the aforementioned paperwork. The key is to create that moving folder or notebook and organize all things moving into that folder as you prepare for a move.
  • Take Inventory – As you prepare for a move taking inventory of your belongings is just good practice. You want to account for everything own for insurance purposes in case of any type of disaster strikes your home that would result in their loss. Taking inventory before you move is also a great way to categorize and organize of your possessions that you are going to move. Having an inventory checklist works hand in hand with both packing and unpacking that ultimately helps smooth out the move.
  • Take your inventory up a notch – by doing a room by room inventory that ultimately makes up your entire home’s inventory. As you prepare for a move in each room you may want to take pictures (particularly of any high value or sentimental value) of the contents of the room. One of the best ways to organize and inventory your rooms is by using a color-coded system. As you begin to inventory and pack, you can assign each room a color code and put the colored stickers on the boxes. Doing this will also greatly help your unpacking efficiency once you are trying to get settled at your new place.
  • Know Your Budget For Your Move – Of course, you’ll have the quote from the moving company that will include their expenses such as fuel and labor. Even if you’ve not yet decided on which moving company you plan to go with, add the highest quote to your budget. Determine if you’re going to opt for any additional offerings from the moving companies and make sure you know if there are additional charges for prepping and moving appliances and be sure to get with the moving to understand any additional fees there may be for moving specialty items such as a piano or pool table.
  • Other Expenses – When you prepare for a move, you’ll also want to budget for your personal expenses that will happen as a part of your move. This is particularly true if you’re moving long distance. If so, you need to factor in gas, meals, and overnight accommodations if applicable. It’s also a good idea to add into your moving budget anything that is going to come up at your new home such as deposits for all utilities, and anything you’ll need for your new home right away. This can be anything from cleaning supplies to curtains.

Packing Like a Pro

A big key in knowing how to prepare for a move is getting the packing down pat. The biggest and most time-consuming part of any move is the packing. Taking the time to fully organize your packing efforts on the front end will save you time, money, and frustration.

Your Packing Supplies

Moving is expensive. It seems like everything you do costs money. Packing supplies are no exception. So, don’t spend money on packing supplies you’re not going to need or use. Spend some time evaluating what types and sizes of boxes you’ll need for your personal belongings. Keep in mind you don’t want any one box to exceed about 40 to 50lbs at the most. Also, keep your box sizes to just a couple of varieties. Remember, to prepare for a move the more consistent you can stay with your box sizes, the easier it will be to efficiently stack them, thus saving you space.

Packing In General

Not all items are created equal when it comes to packing them. Some items present bigger packing challenges than others. The big key to packing is to get the items wrapped as needed by the item and to fill in any remaining space in the box with packing material. The goal is to not have any movement of your items taking place within the boxes. Remember to label your boxes. Label them on the sides of the boxes so you are able to see your labels even when the boxes are stacked, and you won’t have to be constantly shuffling boxes around just to see what is what.

Pack Early To Prepare For Your Move

Getting started early with anything you can get packed is a key in avoiding last minute packing stress. Start by organizing and packing any off-season clothes that you have and anything that you know you’ll not need prior to your move. Get those books, pictures, and homestyle accessories packed up early. Your home will start to look a bit spartan, but you’ll have saved some big time in the long run. The last items on your packing list are generally the more important and most frequently used.

Learn When To Let Go

There’s probably a very good possibility that you don’t need everything that you own. We know you want to take that purse and those shoes that have been sitting in the back of your closet for the past 5 years, but for the sake of space, it may be best to give them away. Moving is the perfect opportunity to use up/get rid of things you can’t/don’t need to take with you.
And if you haven’t guessed by now, packing is expensive in terms of the weight of your move on the truck, the packing supplies needed, and the time it takes to pack and unpack. To this end, decluttering and purging is tops on the list of when you prepare for a move. So be sure to use up those perishable food items and consider donating those clothes you haven’t worn since high school. Don’t worry, your new closet will be spacious enough for new things! (Can you say SHOPPING?!)

Label And Then Label Some More

In the case of moving, there is no such thing as “over labeling.” If you are packing yourself, be sure to write with a bold black marker what part of the house the box belongs in. If you are having your movers pack, be sure to use sticky notes to label what needs to be packed and what doesn’t. The same goes for larger items; Use those same sticky notes to place on the furniture/larger items that you plan on having the movers take, and put aside the items you want to take yourself.

Plan For Your Pets

Moving is a stressful time for your pets as well. They too are creatures of habit and like to know where their home base is. It’s important to make the transition for your pets as smooth as possible. To prepare for a move, keep all their belongings together and take them with you… not on the moving truck. Make sure you have plenty of food and water for their trip. Once you get to your new place, it’s best to keep your pet contained in an area where they cannot get out during the chaos of the move in. Don’t take the chance to allow you pet to come and go as you move your things from the truck to your new home. It’s not uncommon for pets to wander off and get lost during this time. Remember everything is new to them as well and there’s a lot going on during a move in that can easily get you distracted from knowing where your pet is at all times.

Have Some Cash For Tipping

Is tipping your movers a requirement? Of course not. If your movers work hard for you and do an excellent job, you should show your appreciation for their effort. There isn’t really a standard formula as to how much to tip. But you should tip. Take into consideration the difficulty of your stuff to pack up and load, how careful they were with protecting your home, and overall how professional the were. Your tip should reflect the level of courtesy and service you received.

Any Loose Ends

  • Pick up any clothes you may have at the dry cleaners.
  • Return anything borrowed.
  • If you’re a member at a gym or other places be sure to cancel or transfer if you can.
  • Refill any prescriptions you can both for you and your pets.
  • Eat at your favorite local restaurant one last time.

Any Loose Ends

As we said before, moving is stressful. No matter how much you plan, always understand that there may be a detour here or there. Do your best to maintain a sense of humor and remember- it is all worth it in the end!



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