Before the Move:
- Get your utilities in order. This may mean simply calling your current carrier and notifying them that you will need them to switch their services to the new address on such and such a date, it may mean cancelling one and activating another, and it may be that your current and/or future residence includes electricity, gas and water services in their rent package. Whatever the case may be, it is important that you do whatever you need to to stop payments on your old residence and activate them in your new. The utilities include:
- Cable/ phone/ internet provider
- If you are getting friends or family to help you, let them know about the date of the move at least 2 weeks in advance, and remind them.
- Call Maintenance. If you are paying rent to any landlord or agency, get every problem in the apartment fixed a few weeks in advance of your move. If the drain isn’t working properly and you get it fixed before you move, that’s business as usual. But if you fail to report it before you move out, you may be giving your landlord a reason to keep your deposit. Clean any stains on the carpet and fill pushpin holes in the walls before moving, also.
- Weed out your wardrobe. It may be tempting to simply dump all your clothing into a box or seran-wrap your dresser drawers, leaving all the contents as-is. However, take this opportunity to sort through ALL of your clothes and make 4 piles with them- Keep, Trash, Donate, and Store. Then box up or seran wrap the Keep pile, throw away the trash pile, you get the idea. Be picky, be honest with yourself! If you have not worn it in 2 years, get rid of it. If if has holes that are not part of the original design, toss it. If it is stained, toss it. If it is 2 sizes too small or too big and you aren’t ready to admit you can’t wear it anymore because your are TOTALLY GOING TO LOSE THAT WEIGHT, donate it- when you DO lose the weight, you can reward yourself with NEW clothes that are up with the CURRENT fashions. Let it go.
- Set Deadlines and STICK TO THEM! If you are moving on May 25, do not plan to have everything packed up by May 25! You need to leave yourself plenty of wiggle room for unexpected issues, like running out of boxes, packing tape, some emergency that keeps you away from home for the 3 days leading up to the move, etc. I made my goal to have all but the essentials packed a week in advance, and I mean ESSENTIALS. I packed all my clothes in a box except for one laundry basket with 10 days worth of clothes one week before the move. I packed up my kitchen at least 3 days in advance because I knew I could handle eating out or using disposable dishes for a couple of nights. It may seem like a hassle, but it streamlines the overall moving process.
- If you won’t be keeping it in the new place, get rid of it before the move. As I was packing up, I realized I have a toolbox in my storage closet I’m not using anymore, bar stools I won’t need in my new place, and a piece of exercise equipment I can’t use as I thought I would when I bought it in an apartment. I realized I needed to give away or store these items, and in order to minimize things being unnecessarily shuffled around on moving day, I’m working to get those things to their next destination PRIOR to the move, so that I don’t have to move them twice.
- If and ONLY If something is ready to be taken out to the truck, place it in the center of the room. This is a really easy way to tell what has and has not actually been packed. If you have boxes scattered around the room and furniture still in its usual place, it’s easy to think you’re “almost done”. But you’ll realize once people start removing those large items from the room how much is NOT packed, and at the last minute. This will also help in a circumstance where one roommate is moving out, so that only that person’s stuff is removed from the residence.
During the Move:
- Be Present. Whether you have hired movers or you have friends or family helping you, it is super rude to have them show up at your place at a certain time and then leave them waiting 20 minutes while you make last minute arrangements elsewhere Make sure whatever time you tell them to arrive accounts for whatever time it will take you to get the truck or go to the office of the new place and pay your rent or pick up your keys or whatever. It is also ill-advised to leave in the middle of the loading or unloading, because not only do you need to be present to monitor the movement of your possessions, but you don’t want people who are helping you to look up and wonder why they’re doing all the work and you aren’t even there. If you realize you need something, try to see if you can send someone else to get it (with your money, of course). Be prepared for the worst case scenario by having cash in your wallet the morning of the move, just in case you do need to send someone for drinks or tape or something.
- PAY for Lunch. If you have friends helping you move for free, out of the goodness of their heart, budget ahead of time to pay for pizzas or sandwiches after the move. You know they’re not doing it for free lunch, they’re doing it because they’re really nice- so be nice back and thank them for their trouble.
- Don’t Waste People’s Time. If you ask people to help you move, you aren’t asking them to help you pack up your entire life, too. If you ask people to do both, they will probably find a reason to not show up. Completely finish packing the night before the move. DON’T GO TO BED until you have everything packed and placed in the center of the room as I mentioned above. If you are overwhelmed at the thought of packing by yourself,
- downsize your life a little- really ask yourself if there is anything you could get rid of
- Ask for help from different people than those helping you move. For instance, if someone comes to you and says “I would really like to help, but I’m busy on the morning you need help”, You might ask them if they would mind coming over sometime before that day to help you get packed and organized. That way you don’t have to do it alone.
After the Move:
- Make A Deadline! Be reasonable based on the amount of stuff you have, but set a deadline by which you MUST be completely unpacked, even if it means staying up late on the last night before whatever date you set.
- Take Advantage of Inertia. I know you’ll feel tired and relieved when all the furniture and boxes are in your new place, and it will be tempting after weeks of packing and a day of moving to want to relax and maybe avoid being home in the mess. BUT an object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest! Take advantage of your adrenaline and excitement from the move and start unpacking IMMEDIATELY!
Remember, moving is a perfect time for you to start FRESH! Don’t think of it as a simple change of location, but rather as an opportunity to start all over new in every area of your life- only keep clothes you actually want to wear, get rid of anything you haven’t touched since you moved into your last place, and make space in your new place for whatever hobbies and things you always wanted to do more but never seemed to find the time or space to do them. Change can be overwhelming and stressful, but remember it’s also exciting!