Are you contemplating a move? Does the idea of getting all of your stuff from one place to the next send chills down your spine?
When my family was growing and my kids were small, I moved from New York to England and then to Israel in the span of a few years. We ended up moving several more times in the next few years until we found the place that was right for us.
Back in the United States, I have been in the same home for the past seventeen years and recently, we have been contemplating another move. As I have been thinking about the challenge of moving, I thought that I would share some tips with anyone who might be in the moving mode.
Moving with kids can range from being challenging to an absolute nightmare. I hope my vast experience in moving can make your move go a bit smoother.
Deciding On a Company that Will Move Your Belongings
The most important step before you even begin packing is to decide on a company that will move your things. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Professional movers that have good recommendations and much experience are worth their weight in gold. Get recommendations from friends or colleagues, as well as from the company itself. Call the references. Novice movers can make your move a nightmare.
Make sure that the company is insured. If the movers drop or damage something that is valuable, they will have it replaced if they are insured. Check with the company to find out what will happen if one of the movers is injured on your property.
If you have something that is extremely precious and you are able to transport it yourself, then do so. Many heirlooms are irreplaceable.
Make Sure that You Have a Written Quote and Contract
Make sure that you get your quote is in writing. A reputable company will give you a written contract stating the quoted price and the date of the move. Check the company’s policy if you are unable to move on the contracted date because of an unavoidable emergency.
Decide on the Services that You Will Use from the Company
Most moving services will pack your house for you, if you wish. They will come to your house on the day before the move and pack up your entire house on the same day. This can remove the strain of living without necessities for the few weeks before your move as you slowly pack up your home, but it is a significant extra expense.
You will have to decide if the added expense is worth it for you. If you own lots of stuff and are working full time, it might be an option to consider.
Some people are horrified at the idea of having someone else pack their things and if this is the case for you, you should probably do your own packing.
Pack Suitcases with a Week’s Supply of Essentials
Pack suitcases with essentials and clothing for a week so that when you arrive at your new destination, you are not scrounging around for basics while you are unpacking. Think about easy meals that you can put together for the first few days until your kitchen is up and running.
Unpack your kitchen first as this will help normalize your life. You can throw together some simple meals while you are unpacking the rest of your house.
COLOR CODE EACH BOX with COLORED ELECTRICAL TAPE
This is the absolute sanity saving tip for any move. As you pack each room, color code the boxes with electrical tape. When you arrive at your new home, put the corresponding color tape on the doors where each box belongs. As the movers bring in each box, direct them to put the box in the room that has the same color tape as the box. This is an unbelievable time and sanity saver.
By the time the movers leave, every box will already be in the room where it belongs. Now you just have to unpack, because every box will be in its place. No guessing, no finding your silverware in the bathroom and having to shlep the box back to the kitchen. Everything is there in the room that it belongs, because you have labeled everything beforehand.
Arrange for Your Kids to be at a Friend on Moving Day
If at all possible arrange for your kids to stay at a friend on the day of a move. There will be enough disruptions and everyone will be much less stressed if the kids are not underfoot. If that is not possible, arrange a babysitter to take the kids out or at least keep them busy while the movers are busy moving your things.
The kids will also be a lot calmer if they are not around to witness the upheaval. Even if the kids are excited about the move, seeing all of their things displaced can be upsetting. They will be better off away from the chaos.
You can return the favor to your friends when you are settled and are able to watch their kids for a day.
Budget Ideas for A Long Distance Move
Long distance moves can be very expensive. If you are moving out of town and your employer is covering your expenses, then an out of town move can be straight forward. However if you have to foot the bill, you can save yourself a huge amount by following these tips.
Having professional movers come to load your belongings onto a truck and arranging professional movers to unload at your destination can be a lifesaver, even if you are trying to keep to a budget. You can then either drive the truck yourself to the new destination or hire someone to do the driving and arrange their travel expenses home.
This can save a tremendous amount, when compared to the expense of a trans-city move with a moving company.
Moving is always stressful, but I hope these tips can make your move a little less painful. If you have moved and gained some tips that can help others, please leave them below.