Moving out and finding a new place is one of life's most exciting, yet terrifying experiences. You put so much time, effort, and money into securing a new apartment or home that you forget about the days, weeks, and sometimes, even months of work that await you. And that's before you even get into your new home.
Here are some of the best moving hacks and packing tips that will make your big move a lot less stressful and much, much easier.
Before you even start moving, you'll want to have as much of the move as planned out as possible. It's boring, it's tedious, and it can take a long time, but having a property plan in place will save you a great deal of time and energy farther along in the process.
Let's take a look at some of the best tips for packing, scheduling, and last but not least, cleaning. I mean, you don't want to be the jerk who leaves a bunch of junk in their old apartment and misses out on that security deposit.
This should be one of the first things you do before you move. As soon as you get your new address and the moving date, contact the United States Post Office and fill out all of the necessary information. That way, most of your mail will be automatically diverted to your new address.
You should also contact your bank or any other financial institution that services you and let them know that you will be moving. It will save a lot of headache in the future.
Just because you need boxes doesn't mean that you have to spend an arm and a leg securing the tons of cardboard you'll need while moving. There are so many places looking to give the stuff away - grocery stores, big box stores like Target and Best Buy, recycling centers - that you shouldn't have a problem finding boxes.
Start securing boxes as soon as you decide that you're moving; you'll thank yourself later for getting off to an early start.
When you start packing up all of your boxes, you'll quickly realize that you have more stuff than you remembered. This is as good a time as any to start deciding what clothes, artwork, and furniture will make the journey with you or will be set aside to either be donated or destroyed. A general rule of thumb is to think about the particular item and try to remember the last time you used it. If you can't remember, it's safe to say you won't miss it.
Sorry, old couch with no support. We won't miss you.
We CANNOT stress this enough... make sure to properly label everything. It doesn't matter if you use post-it notes, fancy color-coded labels, or the tried and true method of permanent markers, LABEL EVERYTHING! It might be a pain in the rear when packing everything, but all of the hard work will pay off as soon as you start moving everything into your new house or apartment.
It wouldn't hurt to give each room of the house a different color label or piece of paper. That way it will be easy to tell the movers where everything needs to go in your new place.
This will also be helpful for when you want to make a stack of items that will be discarded prior to the move. Just mark all of the boxes with easy to read labels and you'll be on your way.
Much like securing boxes, finding and securing a moving company is something you'll want to do early on. This is one of the areas where you don't want to rush to process and go with the first (or cheapest) option you come across.
It might not hurt to call multiple companies, explain where you're moving, how much stuff you have to move, and get quotes. And remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best option. Both you and the movers will be better off if everyone is on the same page and know what to expect before the first box is even moved.
If you're moving out of an apartment, you probably want your security deposit back, right? If you have any major damage to the apartment, you're probably better off not expecting to get the deposit back. If there isn't too much damage, however, there are a few hacks that might help you get your money back.
If you have a lot of nail holes in your walls after taking down family photos and other wall art, you you can easily fill them in with ivory soap, toothpaste, or gap filler at your local hardware store. You might have to spend a few bucks, but it will save you hundreds more if you're able to pull it off.
You can mix 1 part of hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water to get stains out of carpet and upholstery. Simply mix the ingredients, spray the stain, and let it sit for a minute or so before scrubbing it away.
Most of all, clean everything. Every floor, every countertop, every surface. Everything! You will want your place to look as clean as possible before you hand in those keys.
While you're going to want to take most of your belongings to your new place, chances are, you'll want to get rid of all of the food that has been taking up residence in your fridge and freezer.
In the weeks and days leading up to the big move, try to find the best ways to make meals out all of those forgotten food items before they go to waste. You'll save time and money by not having to go the grocery store and you won't have the guilt of eating fast food every day for two weeks.
It is the day of the move and you've already got everything boxed up and ready to go. You've hopefully secured your security deposit and taken care of all the items you want to donate or trash. All that is left to do is move.
So, what do you do on the day of the big move? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Moving is hard work, so make sure to have plenty of food and drinks on hand for both you and the movers. You can pack anything, including lunches, snacks, fruit, bottles of water, and maybe even some Gatorade to help out when you're in the middle of the move.
If you have any leftover food in your fridge, now would be the best time to use it before you throw it out.
Chances are, you'll have quite a few valuables that will be moving along with you on your way to your new place. It wouldn't be the worst idea to pack all of your valuable and breakable belongings separate from the rest of your stuff so that you don't lose or destroy those family heirlooms.
When they're all packed up (we recommend lots of bubble wrap and packing peanuts), go ahead and move them in your own car instead of the moving van.
The first few days in your new place are going to be crazy, hectic, and exhausting. You will probably have a hard time locating all of your go-to items that have been packed away into boxes, so why not just pack all your essential items into an easy to find personal bag? Once you've filled up this bag with things like your phone charger, some clothes, and any important documents, keep this bag with you at all times.
This way, you'll quickly have access to all of your most needed belongings without having to rummage through dozens of boxes.
Before you leave your old house or apartment for the final time, make sure to take a full sweep throughout the house to make sure you didn't leave anything behind. Don't for get to check all of those cabinets, closets, crawlspaces, the garage, and any storage spaced in your backyard (if you have one). You don't want to get all the way to your new house before you realize that you left something very valuable back at the old place.
If you're one to be forgetful, make sure to look through the house a third and final time before you lock that front door one last time.
You might think that the hard part is over once you have all of your boxes unloaded from the truck and put into your home, but this is only the beginning of your journey.
Don't forget to give the movers generous tips for all of their hard work, especially if the move ended up being more intense or going over the scheduled time.
Go ahead and get cash out the day before the move so that you don't have to scramble to find enough cash to reward the movers.
This is the worst part of moving. Even though packing and moving seemed like backbreaking work, nothing compares to finding and unpacking dozens of boxes throughout your house.
To keep your sanity, however, try focusing on one room at a time. Start with the most important rooms - say your kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom - and then go from there. Come up with a plan and you'll save yourself a lot of energy, both physically and mentally.
After everything is said and done, you'll be left with dozens upon dozens of empty cardboard boxes. You'll be able to find use for some of those boxes, but most will need to be discarded.
For starters, see if any family or friends are in need of any boxes. But if no one needs them, just break them down and take them to your local recycling center.
After that, everything should be settled and you can enjoy your new house.