Do you hate moving? If you do, then you are not alone. More than 12% of American households move each year…and it’s a safe bet that a vast majority of those dislike moving. Moving can be a stressful event; physically demanding and emotionally draining. In short, it’s not something that most people look forward to. However, let’s face it, at some point, you will probably move or help someone else with their move. It doesn’t have to be a miserable experience though. If you plan it out and follow some simple rules, your next move should be, if not enjoyable, at least a success.

Rule#1: Get Started Early

This is the part where most moves go wrong. If you are like most of us, you are planning your move or frantically packing up the night before. The biggest obstacle to your success is procrastination. You need time to prepare, to plan, and to organize your move. Imagine if you started packing up a box or two each day a month before your would have 30-60 boxes ready to go the day of. Besides packing, you should make reservations in advance for your movers, moving truck, or whatever else you will need on moving day. Starting early will make your moving day go much smoother and is sure to lower your stress. If you’re moving out of state, be sure to check out our moving to another state checklist.

Rule #2: Make a Plan

I know what you’re thinking, how much planning do you need to put into a move? Don’t you just need to throw a bunch of stuff into boxes and take them to a new location? How hard could that be? Well, if you want to have a stress-free, enjoyable move, then there is more to it than that. You should put together a moving plan that includes:

  • The amount of time you have before moving day
  • To-Do list/Moving Checklist, which includes items such as Packing, getting moving supplies, and changing your address.
  • Number of rooms that you need to be packed and the basic contents of each room
  • The resources that you’ll have available such as friends, family, professional movers, a rental truck, etc.

Rule #3: Pack & Prioritize

Moving involves a whole lot of boxes. You will need an assortment of different box shapes and sizes for your move. You can often get moving boxes for free from local stores or people who are discarding them. You can also purchase new boxes from a self-storage facility or moving company. Don’t forget to buy tape to close and seal the boxes as well. You should pack and label your boxes by room so that you know where to put them in your new home. For more information on boxes take a look at our article, The Wonderful World of Boxes. Some items are more important or will need to be accessed before the others. Make sure to prioritize the boxes in each room and clearly mark the highest priority boxes. You may want to attach a custom label to these important boxes. Along the same lines, you should put together a moving survival kit. This should include items that will get you through the first day or two after the move like a change of clothes, toiletries, towels, sheets, a book, etc.

Rule #4: Get Rid of Clutter

Before you pack up and move everything to your new residence, you should take a quick inventory of what you have. Is there anything that clutters your house currently that you may not want to take with you? This is your chance to make a new start and be more organized. You can dispose of broken items and donate old clothing, toys, or tools. For items that you want to hold onto, but don’t want to store at your new residence, you can rent a storage unit.

Rule #5 Stay Organized & Be Prepared

Stay organized when you are unloading the truck and putting items into your new residence. You don’t want to stack everything in the entryway. Instead of piling everything into one room and moving it into the correct place later, try putting items in the room where they belong. This will save you the time and effort of moving everything twice. In addition, to staying organized, you should be prepared with a tool kit on hand to assemble beds and other furniture, hang pictures, etc.

Rule #6: Set Up a Sanctuary

Set up just one room in your new home as quickly as possible. This will give you a quiet place, free of boxes, to go when you need a break from unpacking. Your bedroom is a great room for this, with the added bonus of giving you a place to sleep later.

Rule #7: Lay Low

Once you have moved into your new home and unpacked, you are going to need some rest and relaxation time. Make sure to schedule some time to get used to your new surroundings, rest, and recuperate…you deserve it!