Tips, Tricks and Checklists to Make Moving Easy

(Well, at least to make it easier-ER)

moving into first apartment checklist

If you're feeling an overwhelming weight on your shoulders, coupled with blinding anxiety and a nauseating feeling of "where did I get all this stuff?" you’re most likely experiencing the side effects a big move. Can you simply throw all your stuff away and start over? Sure! But running away from stressful situations is neither cost-effective nor a logical way to live life, according to 11 out of 10 experts.

Instead, we're going to help you tackle life head-on and make this next move your best one yet, especially with an affordable home insurance policy. To spare you from falling deep down into the winding rabbit hole of often-useless online information, we've packaged up all of the top insider tips and tricks you'll need for a successful move right here in this article. See, it’s already easier.

How to Plan Your Move

In the face of a massive project, the best way to plan is to start with a plan! Before you try to remember the last time you actually used that melon baller and start throwing things all willy-nilly in boxes, we recommend you take a deep breath and keep the following in mind:

  • Know how much time you have: Determine whether you'll have a lot or a little time to move. This will help you stay organized and use your time wisely.
  • Look at your budget: Moving can get really expensive really fast, so figure out your moving budget ahead of time.
  • Determine how far you're moving: If you're just moving next door, or a few streets over, you can save good money by moving yourself. If you're moving to a different state or across the country, you'll most likely need to hire some help.
  • Overlap your living situation: No one likes paying for double rent or two mortgages, but overlapping your current residence with your new residence will give you better flexibility, and a warm place to stay at all times.

What to Do Before You Move

Okay! You've nailed down your budget, you've determined whether you can do this yourself or need to hire help, and now you're ready to make some moves. 

But before you get too carried away, know that there's an art to packing and moving properly. Luckily, this art can be taught, and our good friends at Good Housekeeping recommend you do the following:

  • Manage your packing: Packing is by far the worst thing to do on the planet, so start as early as you can and do a little bit every day. If you wait until the end, you will definitely be in for a world of hurt. 
  • Skip cardboard boxes: Consider using an eco-friendly box rental service company to save time and money on packing boxes.
  • Don't pack your closet: Keeping your clothes on the hangers saves time! Use trash bags or wardrobe boxes to protect your clothes.
  • Switch your utilities: Set up a switch date for all utilities as soon as you know your closing date or move-in date.
  • Ease the pain of saying goodbye: Plan for exciting projects in your new home to ease the potential sadness of leaving your current home.
  • Move the basics yourself: If you're hiring a moving truck, but are moving within driving distance of your current home, take your basic belongings over prior to moving day and set them up in your new home.

Packing Tips for Moving

Wait, did we just say ‘easier’ and ‘packing’ in the same sentence? Yes, you read that correctly. It is possible, no matter how long that cabinet full of 40-some mismatched mugs has been laughing at you. 

If you follow these seven tips from the experts at the moving webpage, you'll be on your couch with an ice-cold pitcher of margs, smiling about your perfectly packed boxes in no time.

  1. Don't procrastinate.
  2. Pack room-by-room.
  3. Use packing labels.
  4. Use packing paper.
  5. Use boxes designed for moving.
  6. Know what you can't pack.
  7. Personally move valuables.

What to Do During Your Move

Once all of your belongings are nicely packed and ready to be moved, it’s easy to just wash your hands of everything and call it a day, but the job’s not done yet. Before you hit the road and throw away all of those old keys that you don’t even know where they go to, keep the following few things in mind:

  • Keep an inventory of your belongings: If you're using drivers, be sure to know what they're moving and the condition it’s in before the move.
  • No possessions left behind: Do a final sweep of your house to make sure nothing was left behind. 
  • Stay healthy: If you're moving yourself, be sure to stay hydrated and take proper breaks. Moving is exhausting and it's not worth an injury.

Tips on Moving to Another State

If you're moving to a different state, you'll be dealing with a lot more than if you are just moving across town. In addition to the tips we've already laid out in this article, there are a few extra things you can do for an easy transition.

  • Research your new city: If you haven't already, spend some time with your friend Google researching the best restaurants, activities, hangout spots, and must-dos in your new city.
  • Hire a moving company: Unless you're up for the challenge of driving a U-Haul, you'll want to hire a good moving company. You can use the Moving Company Directory to find a reputable company.
  • Secure your records: The last thing you want to misplace in a big move is important records and documents.
  • Get your mail forwarded: This goes for anywhere you're moving, but once you've relocated, you'll want to get your mail forwarded. You can easily do this on USPS's website.
  • Save your receipts: You may be able to deduct moving costs from your taxes if you donate items or are relocating for work. The IRS has put together a nice information sheet to help understand moving expenses and taxes. 
  • Transfer your driver's license: Research the time frame you have to get a driver’s license in your new state.

  What to Do After You Move: Checklist

You're almost done! And if you've been following these tips, you've done great so far. Now it's time to get settled into your new home and not think about moving for a long, long, long, long time. 

Don't forget to do these things within the first month of landing in your new home.

  • Unpack: Well, eventually.
  • Clean house: The key to starting fresh is to start fresh.
  • Explore your new neighborhood: Find the post office, a new coffee shop, and a park for the kids.
  • Determine trash pick-up days: Call the city, or just watch for when your neighbors kick their trash to the curb.
  • Meet your neighbors: Good for security, or just someone to water your plants while you’re on vaycay.
  • Change your IRS address: Or else no refund check. Uh-oh.
  • Register to vote: It’ll be way easier than doing it come election day.

These are just a few of the top priority items to get done after you move. To make sure you don't miss any steps in the moving process, be sure to use our ultimate moving checklist. 

moving tips and checklist

There you have it! You've just conquered one of the worst projects ever, and you made it look so easy. Now you can just sit back, enjoy your new home, and make plans to never do this again. And don't forget your affordable home insurance policy.

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