By the looks of all the moving vans and U-Haul trucks on my street, I’d say we’re smack in the middle of moving season. Relocating to a new house or apartment can be exciting, but it also can be incredibly stressful — and that’s even before you meet the crazy neighbors. But with a little planning and foresight, moving day can go a lot more smoothly. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll be moving right along.
1. Research moving services. Look for reviews and make sure the companies are licensed.
2. If you need to hire a moving service or rent a truck, schedule your move on non-peak days. There is more availability on weekdays and the middle of the month.
3. Reserve your moving service at least a month in advance, or a truck rental at least two weeks in advance.4. Donate or sell items you don’t need anymore. Now is not the time to be sentimental. If you haven’t used an item in a while, get rid of it. The more you purge, the less you’ll have to move.
5. Get free boxes from grocery and liquor stores.(but check to see if there are any bugs in them). And ask if your office is discarding photocopier paper or file boxes.
6. Wrap smaller, delicate items with T-shirts and sweaters. You’ll save on paper and bubble wrap — and transport your clothing at the same time. Wrap larger items that might break with blankets and sheets.
7. Remove light bulbs from lamps before packing them.
8. Pack a little every day before you move so you’re not overwhelmed.
9. Label your boxes by category and room.
10. Label the tops and sides of the boxes.
11. Number your boxes so you can keep track of them more easily, and compile a master list of what is in each numbered box.
12. Put lighter items in the larger boxes, and heavier things in smaller boxes. A lot of heavy objects in big boxes will break your back.
13. Pack dishes vertically as you would record albums. Wrap them with paper or T-shirts so they don’t jiggle in the box.
14. Roll up socks to fill any empty spaces in boxes to keep things from moving around.
15. Take pictures of the back of your television, computer and other electronics so you’ll remember which cords get connected to which ports.
16. Place a piece of masking tape on all cabinets and drawers as you empty them so you can keep track of what’s been packed — and if you’ve forgotten anything.
17. Feed your helpers. And make sure there’s plenty of water for everyone.
18. Have a point person to direct traffic in your new place, telling movers where everything goes as it comes in.19. All boxes and furniture should go directly to their intended room. Do not waste time and energy by placing everything in the living room and then having to move it all again later.
20. Zip-tie several hangers of clothing together. Then wrap them all with a sheet so the clothes don’t fall off during the move.
21. Pack your cleaning supplies last so you can give your old place a good cleaning before you leave.
22. If you’re renting, take photographs of both your new and old spaces. It comes in handy if there’s a dispute getting back your security deposit.
23. Pack what you’ll need immediately in a clear plastic container so you can see the contents, and keep it separate from the other boxes.
24. Keep a bag of essentials, e.g., toiletries, medicine and phone chargers. You’re going to want them handy.
25. If you’re moving locally and have pets, find a sitter for the day so they aren’t stressed by all of the commotion.
Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.