Peak moving season is right around the corner, and it’s busy this year! Moving can be one of the more stressful experiences of your life, especially if you’re bringing along pets or children. That’s why your best bet is to be as prepared as possible before the big day. And today we’ve got tips from one of our very own assistants who also happens to be a moving expert:
Hi there! I’m Amber, a Personal and Virtual Assistant currently located in Dallas, TX —but not for long. Not only have I moved upwards of 20 times and helped several clients prepare for their move, but I’m also currently in the middle of another long-distance move of my own. And if there’s one thing I hope I can do for you, it’s to make your next move as smooth as possible! These are my top tips for a better moving experience:
Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing—your move should start about 6-8 weeks before the truck arrives. It might mean living in a house full of boxes with only a few necessary items unpacked by the last week, but it’ll save you from all of the last-minute stress packing—which is often when things get damaged or broken.
Start by decluttering and sorting out items to donate before packing what you absolutely won’t be needing until after the move. For example, any off-season clothes can get stored in suitcases and set aside. For a full timeline example, check out this helpful article from Moving.com.
Also, if you’re looking to hire a moving company and can plan your move during the off-season, (October—March) you’ll have far more flexibility (and probably access to discounts!).
If there is one thing I can suggest to you it’s THIS tape—it’s stronger, goes way farther, and tears easily. That being said, it’s best for short-term moving use, so stick with storage tape if you’re having to pack in storage pods and have to work with temperature changes.
If you’re shopping for boxes I highly recommend ordering large and item-specific boxes from U-Haul. Not only do they have a buy-back guarantee if you don’t end up using everything you’ve purchased, but if you get them shipped to your house your boxes will come inside of…you got it…more boxes! That way you also won’t have to worry about everything fitting inside of your car—especially if you drive a Corolla like myself. U-Haul also has a super helpful Moving Supplies Calculator tool to help decide how many boxes you’ll need.
For all smaller boxes, look to your local liquor stores. You’ll most likely need to call first because they usually break down their boxes as soon as they unpack a shipment, but if you offer to pick them up first you’ll have access to dozens of free, sturdy boxes. Most of them still have bottle dividers in them which are great for your liquor and wine transportation, or vases, glasses, and other fragile items. Otherwise, ditch the dividers and pack heavy items like books, small appliances, and decorations.
I also recommend stocking up on plenty of packing paper—use it to double wrap anything already in bubble wrap, fill empty spaces in boxes, and wrap loose items to keep boxes secure.
Do you know how to pack your pictures safely? Check out this step-by-step guide for packing framed pictures to give them the best chance of making it safely to your new home.
For extra cushioning, and to make use of everything you have, use towels, linens, and soft goods to wrap and protect your fragile items. Do you keep grocery bags and never seem to have a use for them? Well, now you do! They make a great layer of extra cushion on the bottom of boxes and, similar to packing paper, can fill in empty space.
Maybe one of the most important boxes you’ll need to pack is a “night-of” box. This way you\’ll have everything you need to have a comfortable night in your new house, followed by a productive day of cleaning furniture assembly, and organization.
First of all, you need to pack all the normal necessities for an overnight bag (toiletries, medication, pajamas, clean clothes, etc.) but you’ll need a few other things to make your unpacking process go as smoothly as the packing.
Don’t forget linens for everyone’s bed or air mattress depending on what you’ve planned. You’ll also want to have plenty of towels (and a bath mat).
Next, you’ll want all of the tools you need to unpack and assemble furniture along with cleaning supplies to freshen up your new space before piling things in.
And of course, be sure to bring disposable plates, utensils, and napkins to go with your favorite take-out, and to probably eat off of for a few days before you get settled.
My last bit of advice might be the most important: get help if you need it. Moving takes a team and there is no shame in asking for some help—no one should have to move without it! Whether you’re able to enlist some friends in exchange for pizza and wine, or you’d rather hire professional packers and movers, the time and stress you save yourself will have been worth it.
Wishing you a stress-free and safe move to your next home!