Making a residential move is a huge undertaking. When that move involves more people in the household than just yourself, it becomes even more complicated.
There are plenty of checklists for moving day, but what about the months leading up to your intended moving day? Even if you are just getting started on your home search, there are a number of steps you can take now to make moving day easier on you and your family and pets.
Here are 5 steps you can take now, as you get your home search under way:
1. Put a plan in writing. Your first step before you do anything else should be to put a moving plan in writing, including timeline and who is responsible for each task. Taking a few moments now, even before you are under contract for a home, will save a great deal of frustration down the road, when you already have a lot more on your mind.
Look online for moving checklists that you can tweak and adapt to your own situation. This will not only help you get a quick start to your own plan, but will ensure you are being realistic in your approach to a timeline. You may also come across things to do that you had not thought about.
2. Determine whether to bring in the professionals. This is an excellent time to research moving companies so you can determine whether you can manage the move on your own or need to bring in the professionals. Unless you are a single person living in an apartment, moving is likely to be more than you want to tackle by yourself.
In addition to researching moving companies, consider what level of service you would require. Do you plan to pack everything yourself or would you prefer the moving company do that for you? Budget, size of household and personal preference will help you make that decision.
3. Develop your moving budget. For most people, this is considered a necessary evil. Yes, you are already having to ensure you have enough money for purchasing your home, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about moving expenses. Once you have a timeline in place and have decided on a level of service from professional movers, you can put together a budget that makes sense.
You may find that you need to save more aggressively before being ready to undertake a home purchase and move. It’s better to learn that now than to be scrambling later to cover costs. Also, look for ways you might be able to save on moving costs, such as watching neighborhood sites for someone giving away moving boxes that you can use to reduce the number of purchased packing material.
4. Gather packing materials. Speaking of scouting around for someone giving away moving boxes, this is a great time to begin accumulating all the supplies you will need for your move. Unless you aren’t doing your own packing, that will include boxes and cartons of various sizes, as well as packing material, labels, markers and tape for starters.
5. Declutter, sort and begin to pack. Even if your move is several months away, there’s no reason to leaving packing to the last minute if you are doing it yourself. This is also a great time to declutter your entire home, including clothes closets
If you’re tempted to hold onto something you have not worn or used in a long time, ask yourself whether the item is really worth you paying to have it moved. Essentially, that should be the question for every item because anything you move is taking up paid space that could be used for a higher priority item. Under most circumstances, the less you move, the less it will cost. Unwanted items can be given to charity or even sold on one of many online marketplaces. That puts cash back in your pocket for the move ahead.
No matter how many times you’ve done it, moving is a stressful experience. But, with a little foresight and some detailed planning, you can reduce the chance that things will go wrong and reduce your stress along with it.
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