After moving at least 12 times in my adult life, I’ve learned a lot of things, so here are my top four suggestions for you as you prepare to make a move yourself:
Jettison what you don’t need. This is the time to get tough. It’s time to look through your things and decide what you can part with. Get into the closets and the junk drawers. I’m not talking about family heirlooms or special mementos, but things like clothes, books, and other things that you haven’t used in a while. And by a while I mean a year or two. You might be surprised how much stuff you’ve accumulated. Why pay to have it moved or schlep it around yourself if you don’t have to? Use the opportunity to donate to some worthy charities.
Plan ahead for what needs to be done before you move. Generally this sort of thing might mean thinking about the logistics of your move. But in this case I’m really referring to what you need to do to get your deposit back. Some places allow you to paint your walls as long as you return them to white when you’re done. Other places require that you Spackle over the holes where you mounted your pictures. Most places do require that you leave the place clean. If you plan ahead and work on them a little at a time, it’ll be done without being too exhausting. Or you could arrange for example, a cleaning crew to come in and take care of things post move when you might be too tired to do it yourself.
Investigate your mover. If you are planning to use a moving service, thoroughly investigate them first. One way is to check them out with the Better Business Bureau and see if there are complaints. I didn’t think of this when we made a move a few years ago and was very sorry that I didn’t. Not only did I not recover damages, but also some really important things were destroyed. When I went to the Better Business Bureau I was shocked to discover how many complaints had been lodged against them! I still kick myself for not doing it first.
Prepare for the process to make you cranky, and do what you can to prevent it. Almost every time I’ve moved, it’s taken longer than I projected it would. It’s a stressful day or two so it’s important that you make sure you get a good night’s sleep, and eat well. Nothing is worse than dealing with a difficult move and being tired and hungry to boot. If your body is tired and not well fueled, it’s more likely to get injured moving things around too.