When getting ready to move out, it’s important to understand that the success of your residential move will depend almost entirely on how well you plan and organize your time in order to complete all the essential tasks prior to Moving day. The mere fact that you know what to do and when to do it will keep you relatively stress-free because you just know you’ll be ready for the move-out day.
Now that you already have an excellent week-by-week moving timeline at your disposal – a top-notch interactive moving checklist, you will be able to break the tough pre-move period into smaller mini-goals, and thus make your home move much easier and much more efficient.
Thanks to the printable moving checklist, you can forget about forgetting to do any of the really important tasks. But what if you only have a very limited time until Moving day, or if 40 essential tasks seem too overwhelming for you? How would you know which ones you have to finish at all costs?
To help you make all the right choices, here are the top 5 must-do items on your moving checklist. Get those things done and you still have a very good chance of having a successful house move.
#1 Research your moving options
One thing is clear: you’re about to move to a new home. Things are already in motion and there’s no turning back now. What may not be too clear, though, is how you’re going to move home – will you organize a self-move or will you pay professional movers to do it all for you?
This is definitely a puzzle you will need to solve very early in your preparation. Regardless of how much time you’ve got, the first thing you must do when moving home is to research your moving options and choose the one that will best work for you.
Consider a self-move if:
- you’re moving locally – that is, your new home is situated in the same state within a reasonable distance of 100 miles;
- you have good friends who you know will give you a hand when packing or carrying heavy furniture and other household items;
- you have a relatively small number of household items to pack and move;
- you don’t have any specialty items that require special handling (a piano, a hot tub, a pool table, a heavy safe, a grandfather clock, etc.);
- you have previous experience in organizing a self-move.
Consider hiring professional movers if:
- you’re moving to a new state and you’re getting ready for a long distance move across the country;
- you don’t really have any friends you can count on on Moving day;
- you do own a number of special items that you can’t handle on your own;
- you’ve never moved house before and you have no idea what to do.
Good to know: Why hire professional movers
#2 Choose the best movers for you
If it turns out that you won’t be able to make it without hiring professional moving services, then the second thing you must do from your moving checklist timeline is to select the best moving company for you.
Easier said than done? Well, your search for top-rated moving companies does start with you requesting price estimates. Do not agree to get those cost estimates over the phone or via e-mail – your best bet is to ask a number of reputable movers to visit your home in person, complete a thorough inspection of the things you have for packing and transportation, and then give you written estimates that should well reflect the final price you’ll pay in the end.
Pay close attention to the extra services you’ve been offered and do check the online reputation and credentials of the moving companies you’re reviewing. The offered price matters, of course, but you should do well to base your decision on a number of important factors, not just the price factor.
Must-know: How to get an accurate moving estimate
#3 Declutter your home
The third most important item on your moving checklist and planner is the Declutter your home task. If you’re wondering why purging your house or apartment of any items you won’t use again is so important, here are only a small number of the benefits you will get in doing so.
- You will save time when you get to the point of packing up your things. Why? Fewer items to pack means less time spent in protecting your things for the road. Let’s not forget that moving less stuff also means shortened unpacking time as well.
- You will save money because the final price will be based on the total weight of your shipment. Therefore, fewer items to move will automatically mean fewer transportation costs. You may end up saving hundreds of dollars, so just do it.
- You will save space in the new home by not having to look desperately for storage space for things you can easily do without.
As a rule of thumb, experts say that if you haven’t used an item in more than a year, then you don’t really need it, so you’d better get rid of it prior to packing.
All in all, you have a variety of good options to get rid of useless items: garage sale, online sale, gifting to friends or donation.
#4 Get packing supplies and start packing
When your interactive checklist stresses that it’s time to pack, then it’s really time to start packing for a move. It’s vital to know in advance that packing is the most time-consuming task in the home moving checklist, so you must get down to it as soon as you possibly can. Interestingly, underestimation of the time required to pack up the entire home is one of the most frequent packing mistakes people make.
Choose to pack whatever you can by yourself and you’ll manage to save plenty of money – money you would have paid to professional packers instead. But before you can initiate the packing marathon, you will need the right packing materials for the job.
Cardboard boxes constitute a huge move-related expense, so you should seriously consider getting free moving boxes, or at least very cheap ones. Ask friends, co-workers, and neighbors whether they happen to have cardboard containers they don’t really need. Also, a variety of local businesses will have more packing boxes than they will need – boxes that can be yours for the asking.
Start packing your stuff without delay so that you can be ready with that mammoth task before the move-out day. For special items that require professional packing, you’d better turn to the pros than to risk damage to your valuables items.
Useful info: What packing materials you will need for your move
#5 Ensure Moving day safety
Only the best moving checklist will warn you to be extra careful during your move-out day. Follow proven safety tips when moving to another home to guarantee your safety and the safety of the loved ones around you. Also, paying extra attention to the safety rules will eliminate the chance of any misfortunate accidents such as personal injuries or property damage.
- Make sure small kids and pets are not present on Moving day, or if they are, that they are far from the relocation action. If possible, arrange for a friend or relative to look after them for the day.
- Make sure all exit paths inside or outside the home are clear of obstacles of any kind. Keep walkways free of mud, snow, or ice.
- Use the right moving equipment in case you’ve chosen to move heavy items on your own. Pro tip: the moving dolly should be your best friend.
- Use the proper lifting techniques to avoid bad injuries, especially connected to your back.
- Dress properly for the occasion, wear closed shoes with anti-slip soles and comfortable clothes that are flexible and offer a good level of protection.
- Think a few steps ahead and never rush things.