Tips for making your next home move as painless as possible
In theory, moving to a new home is an exciting fresh start; in practice, it can be a stressful ordeal. By taking the right steps and planning ahead, though, people looking to move can keep the process calm and avoid running out of steam halfway through. AAA members in particular can take advantage of offers from moving companies and related services. Our guide below looks at what to do and who can help.
Tips for Packing
Tackle packing bit by bit. By starting early, you’ll avoid the stress of rushing. If you’re concerned you’ll need an item, pack it and leave the box open. It’s easier to tape boxes on moving day than to rush to fill them at the last moment.
Pack with unpacking in mind, essentials on the top. Note boxes that need to be unpacked right away.
As you pack, make a list of every box and the items in it. Label where each box will go in your new home. Some people go as far as creating a map of their new home with destinations for each item.
Consider holding a yard sale rather than bringing every last thing with you. It’ll reduce what you have to pack, what you have to carry, and maybe even save you money with a smaller moving van.
Decide whether you want a do-it-yourself move or a full-service move. Doing it yourself with a Penske rental truck can save money if you're willing to do more of the work. On the other hand, a moving service like Atlas Van Lines can reduce your anxiety (and the need for your manual labor) and may be a better option if you have lots to move or are moving long distance.
If you can, move in the middle of the month. Most people move when their leases turn over at the end or beginning of the month, so booking mid-month when customers are sparse can save you money.
Driving a rented truck? Remember that trucks are taller, wider, heavier, and need more stopping distance. Watch out for low-hanging branches and building overhangs. Park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door.
Mark the entrance to each room with its description on painter’s tape, e.g. “Living room” or “Den.” This will help ensure everyone is on the same page while bringing boxes inside.
If you want to repaint any rooms, identify them before they get filled with unpacked stuff.
With the refrigerator empty, the pots and pans probably still packed up, and everyone tired, it's a good time to order out for lunch and/or dinner.
Don’t forget to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service, which you can do online. This lets the post office forward mail with your old address to your new place until you can update all of your magazine subscriptions, bank accounts, and so on.