Moving to a new home or apartment should fill you with excitement – not stress. The process of packing everything you own into boxes, getting them to your new place in one piece and then unpacking won’t ever be fun, of course. But you can cut the pain and elevate the pleasure of moving with a little planning.
Two of the biggest mistakes people make when moving are procrastinating on the packing process and not staying organized. Luckily, plenty of resources exist to help with both problems.
Whether you are moving a few miles away or across the country, here are the five things you need for a seamless move:
A home inventory checklist
Every smart homeowner should have an active home inventory. Why? In the event of a covered loss, home inventory lists can be a big help when filing a home insurance claim. Keeping an active home inventory also helps you keep track of the overall value of your home’s contents. Adding that new big screen TV last Christmas might have sent you over your coverage limit, in which case you’d need to up your contents coverage.
Here’s why now is the time to compile your inventory: Most people, when packing for a move, try to winnow their possessions so they don’t have as much to transport to the new place. That means you’ll have fewer items to document on your inventory. You’ll need to record serial numbers and item descriptions, purchase dates, prices and receipts if you have them, and photos of all your stuff.
A list of your possessions also can be a helpful packing aid. Once you put something in a box, you can check it off your list. This will help you keep track of everything during the chaos. You can use an inventory checklist like this one or create one through an app on your smartphone.
Helpful moving apps
There are tons of helpful moving apps out there. They can do anything from help you weigh boxes to help you find top-rated movers. Here are a few you should check out:
- MyMove (iPhone®, Android – Free). This app offers an extensive moving checklist, allows you to easily check moving company reviews and includes a moving cost estimator.
- State Farm Move Tools™ (iPhone®, iPad® – Free). Plan your entire move with this handy app. Users can schedule a moving timeline, create packing labels and make to-do lists.
A label maker
While some smartphone apps allow you to create labels, sometimes it’s nice to have an actual label maker. Found in most office supply stores, a label maker will allow you to keep track of the contents in each box. As you pack a box, create a label listing each item and then place it on the outside of the box.
Doing this will not only help you stay organized before the move, it’ll be a huge help during the unpacking process when you need to find the box with the silverware so you can take a dinner break.
Nothing makes moving more frustrating than unreliable, irresponsible movers who have no regard for your personal belongings. If you are planning to hire movers, do your research ahead of time and check out information about each company you’re considering. Consumer review sites will help give you insight into which companies have the best reputation.
Home organization professional
Want to go the extra mile to get organized during your move? Consider hiring a home organization professional. Although you can hire a home org pro at any stage of your move, they can be very beneficial during the unpacking process.
While you are tired and overwhelmed by the move, they can help you find practical places to put things in your new home. By getting organized in the beginning, you can start enjoying your new place right away.
And that’s the end goal. If you take the trouble to move, you want to feel at home as soon as possible. (And of course, don’t forget to let your home insurance provider know about your new digs.)