Moving residences is one of those life situations that almost everyone goes through. While this life event is by no means considered rocket science, many a disastrous outcome can be easily avoided. There are many horrifying stories from contracting the worst moving companies to dealing with terrible property owners. This article intends to help you manoeuvre this chasm so that you end up in your new residence with as little stress as possible!
Things You Can Do Ahead of Time
You can do many must-do things ahead of time. Prepare a folder or a box for the paperwork like contracts, utility bills, moving expenses for tax purposes and notes so you do not have to rely on memory. The following pre-work are:
- New residence: confirm contract, deposit and post-dated checks, elevator booking, etc.
- Old residence: closing documents and procedures, deposit, cleaning service, etc.
- Moving companies: written estimates (minimum two companies), contracts, confirm dates, etc.
- Cleaning: If you are hiring a cleaning company, get quotes and identify what you need them to clean and what you will do on your own. Rugs, carpets, upholstery items, freezers, ovens, fridges, cupboards can be cleaned and most cleaning companies are able to clean over several appointments.
- Packing supplies: start collecting packing paper, boxes, pens & tape
- Utilities: transfer utilities, including cancelling old and installing new
- Change of Address Notice for mail, subscriptions, insurance, tax office, doctors, employers, etc.
- Advice your bank(s), and order new checks, etc.
- Notify school(s) and bus company.
Every household has different routines. Review your family’s routines and add any pre-work you can do to this list that has been started for you. Keep a little notepad with you so you can write notes and add them as reminders pop into your head.
Your Inventory: Divide and Conquer
- Label boxes with “throw away,” “recycling,” “giveaway,” “yard sale,” “keep,” etc.
- Clean out closets, drawers, cupboards, chests, shelves, garage, attic, basement, and anything you are keeping in storage. As you do, put items in appropriate boxes per labels in #1.
- Food and perishables. Plan your meals around these perishable items. Use up as much frozen food as you can.
- Even if you are hiring a moving company, you will still need to do some packing. Most companies will need you to categorize items for them to pack together. Familiarize yourself with their categories, and give yourself lots of time to pack. Wall, displays, kitchen appliances are some items you can set aside one to three weeks ahead.
- You should pack and store special items like your family heirlooms, sentimental assets, jewellery, children’s keepsakes, and things of the like.
Sitters: Children and Pets
If you have young children, consider hiring a babysitter who is willing to babysit in their homes, especially on moving day. Or you can see if your friends can look after your children in their homes. If you have teenagers who do not want to be around on moving day, make arrangements so that they can hang out with their friends. You may need to check with their friends’ parents, too.
Some of us have elderly parents who should not carry boxes and cannot be standing for long periods. If so, you may need to make arrangements so that they have respite in a community center or a friend’s residence too. If you have parents or children who require medical attention during the day, you may need to hire professional care attendants so they will be properly looked after while you are busy overseeing moving day.
The first 24 to 48 hours in your new home will be an adjustment period. You should have the following items handy.
- Some take out menus or community newspapers’ business listings
- Plug in chargers for your cell phone, notebooks or laptops, handheld devices
- Medicines, lotions, toiletries, small first aid kit, etc.
- Children’s stuffies, favorite toys, etc.
- Elderly parents: furniture, bath chairs, accessible equipment, etc.
- Stand-by friends, in cases of an emergency or if something was overlooked.
Congratulations! As long as you accept that stress is part of moving, your moving experience will go as smoothly as possible with most of the preparatory work out of the way. Spare no expense in hiring movers, cleaners, sitters, and any assistance you can acquire. When friends and family members offer to help, consider accepting their generosity and kindness. Every little bit goes a long way in ensuring that you move into your new place with as little firework as possible! All the best to you.