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Whether you have decided to move for personal reasons or you are being forced to relocate due to job-related issues, you need to start getting organized for your moving day so that you experience as little stress as possible. All things stress-related to a move cannot be eliminated entirely, but there are specific steps you can take to minimize it to a degree. If you don’t have to move overnight, here are some suggestions to assist you in your planning.

Six Weeks Before Moving Day:

Moving Day

Determine whether or not you will hire movers to transport your belongings or if you are going to do the heavy lifting yourself. Be sure to get estimates from a minimum of three companies that are licensed to move personal residences. In doing that, there are several questions you should ask of each company you are considering.

1. How does each company determine to price?

2. Does the company offer on-site estimates?

3. Are the quotes you receive binding or non-binding?

4. What is the insurance policy for each company?

5. Is there likely to be any additional charges?

6. Is a packing service offered, and if so, how much does it cost?

Five Weeks Before Moving Day

Go room to room and decide which items you want to keep, which items you want to donate, which items you want to throw away, and which items you want to sell. At this point, it might be beneficial to have a yard sale. If you have items of unknown value, take them to be appraised. Take pictures of the items that are most valuable or that cannot be replaced. Put these pictures on a disk and put the disk in a safe place.

Four Weeks Before Moving Day

Moving Day

Begin gathering supplies that you will need to pack your belongings. These supplies include:

1. Plastic and cardboard boxes of various sizes

2. Box cutters

3. Packing tape

4. Wrapping material (newspaper, bubble wrap, tissue paper)

5. Labels

6. Marker

Three Weeks Before Moving Day

Begin packing the items you rarely use. This will include items in the garage, storage, attic, and other infrequently used rooms. Assign each box a number, and be sure to label them for easy identification later. Arrange to have a locksmith change out the locks on your new home before you show up. Contact your utility company and your phone and Internet providers to discontinue service in your old house and turn it on in your new house. Arrange to have your new house cleaned professionally before you arrive and perhaps clean your old house after being gone.

Two Weeks Before Moving Day

Pack most of your items. Notify companies from which you receive a mail of your new address. Change your address with the post office.

One Week Before Moving Day

Create an information sheet for the movers that will be handling the transportation of your belongings to your new house. On that sheet should be old and new addresses, driving directions, and at least one cellphone number. Get enough cash to pay the movers, including the tip. Finalize your packing. Keep out enough clothes for the week and a suitcase to put them in at the end of the week. Keep your small valuables (like jewelry) and essential papers in a bag that you will transport yourself. Have one box that will house all of your everyday necessities so you can find them quickly when you move in. Items that should be included in that box are:

1. Some dishes and silverware

2. Pillows and blankets

3. Camera

4. Cleaning supplies

5. Medicines

6. Snacks

7. Towels

8. Toilet tissue

9. Toiletries

Moving Day

Before the moving company’s arrival:

  1. Walk through your old house to ensure that you haven’t forgotten to pack anything.
  2. Leave the keys with the real estate agent or your landlord.
  3. As items are being unloaded, check them off of your inventory list.
  4. Check all of your belongings for damage. If any damage is noted, take pictures before signing the mover’s release, which is also called a bill of lading.
  5. Make sure the water, phone, smoke detectors, and security systems all work. If needed, turn on the water heater.

These suggestions will help you get through a moving day with your sanity intact.