To put it simply, moving isn’t easy. You are essentially packing up your entire life and taking it somewhere new, something that can be incredibly stressful for many reasons.
Luckily, it is possible to make your move a simpler affair. If you’re on the hunt for some moving tips and hacks that will make the whole event as stress-free as possible, here are 12 great tricks that can make your next move much less strenuous.
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12 Moving Day Tips and Tricks
1. Have a To-Do List
Keeping track of what you need to do on moving day is difficult. Luckily, this is one of those moving tips that can help you stay organized. By writing up a to-do list, you give yourself an easy way to track what needs to happen and mark off what you’ve accomplished.
Exactly what needs to end up on your list will vary. However, you may want to outline what you need to pack and when, note small tasks you may forget (like emptying the refrigerator or canceling utility services), and write down what you want to avoid packing so that you can bring it with you instead.
2. Purge Your Excess Stuff
Another one of the most important tips for moving day is not moving anything you don’t actually need. Normally, when you hire a mover, the weight and volume of your belongings impact the cost. By decluttering things you don’t want, you can make your moving budget more manageable.
As you prepare to move, separate any items you don’t want. If they are in good repair, consider having a garage sale to gather up some extra cash or donate the unwanted goods to a nearby charity store. If the item isn’t in great condition, then throw it away or recycle it.
3. Pack a “Go” Bag
Even if you’re moving your entire house in a day, it’s smart to have a “go” bag packed with essentials. A change of clothes, phone chargers, medications, toiletries, and similar items should always be accessible, just in case your move doesn’t go to plan. By putting them in a bag together, it’s easier to track and carry your must-haves.
4. Have a Place to Send Your Kids (and Pets)
When it comes to house moving day tips that can make a surprising difference in how smoothly things go, having somewhere for your children and pets to be other than the house is a biggie. The entire experience can be anxiety-inducing for kids and animals. Plus, the situation can be dangerous if they end up in the path of the movers.
Consider reaching out to a friend or family member and see if they would act as a sitter. If not, try to find formal childcare arrangements and board your pets locally for the day.
5. Pack a Little Bit Every Day
In most cases, you’ll know when your moving day is happening well before it arrives. While it may seem like waiting until that day comes is fine, it will make your move much more stressful if you go that route.
Instead, start packing a little bit each day. Identify items you know you won’t need until you’re in your new home and get them into a box. Keep packing up a bit at a time, leaving out only the essentials once your moving day gets close. That way, when you’re trying to figure out what to do on moving day, you’ll have much less you need to tackle.
6. Keep Your Cleaning Supplies Out
Even if you are an exceptional housekeeper, once you start moving furniture and emptying cabinets, you’ll probably spot a few places that haven’t been cleaned in quite some time. That’s why having cleaning supplies available is so important, especially if you’re leaving a rental.
You can touch up throughout the day, making everything more manageable. Otherwise, keep a list of areas that need attention as you pack, ensuring you head back to them before you lock up at the end of the day.
7. Leave Your Utilities On
While it might seem like scheduling your utility shutoff to happen on the day you move out is a smart idea, it’s better to wait. Your move may take longer than you’d hoped, or your utility company may be overzealous, turning off your service hours earlier than you’d expect. Then, you’d suddenly have no water or power, making your moving day much harder.
In most cases, schedule your shutoffs for the day after you’re supposed to leave. That way, you’re covered if things don’t exactly go to plan.
8. Have Individual Task Lists
If you’re doing a self-move, having individual task lists is one of the most important moving tips and hacks around. It lets you divide and conquer. Plus, it allows everyone to focus on a smaller chunk of the move, making it all feel more manageable.
9. Schedule Your Trucks Early
Whether you’re renting a truck and driving yourself or hiring a company, schedule your truck reservations as early as possible. If you wait until the last minute, you may find that there isn’t anything available for your preferred day or that it’ll cost more because demand rose before you made your reservation.
In most cases, you can schedule a truck weeks or months in advance. Not only does this ensure you’ll get the vehicle you need, but it may also get you a better price.
10. Start the Day Off Right
While you might want to get started with your move right away, it’s better to take some time to start the day off right. Have a hearty breakfast, take a shower, and change into moving-friendly clothes. That way, you’ll feel ready to tackle the day ahead.
11. Do a Thorough, Room-by-Room Walk-Through
Once all of your stuff is out of the house, do a thorough, room-by-room walk-through. Open every single cabinet, check in each closet, take a look in the attic, head into your crawlspace, and examine every nook and cranny. It’s very easy to overlook items during something as hectic as a move, so a second (or even a third) pass is simply a good idea.
12. Treat Your Movers Right
If you hire a company to help manage your move, you want to make sure you treat them right. Happy movers will be more inclined to go the extra mile for you, leading to a more stress-free experience.
Make sure that you have cold drinks available for them to enjoy and give them access to a bathroom. If they are going to be on-site for most of the day, offering snacks or providing a meal shows that you want them to be comfortable. When in doubt, delivery pizza is a simple choice that your movers would likely appreciate if you’re going to feed them during their stay.
While you don’t technically have to tip your movers, doing so isn’t a bad idea. Again, it’s about showing that you appreciate their help, and tipping certainly does that.
If you’re wondering how much to tip your movers, aim for $4 to $5 per person per hour of work. If it takes a half-day, $20 per mover will do the trick. If they are there for 12+ hours, $50 to $60 each is a good target.