You’ve been perusing real estate apps for months, have gone to countless house inspections and finally found the home of your dreams. But before you start building your decor Pinterest board and investing in new wares, it’s time to tackle one of the most frustrating parts of the process: moving.
People dread it so much that 61 percent of adults list moving homes as more stressful than getting divorced. Manuela Irwin, author of “Relocating Without Breaking a Sweat” and specialist at MyMovingReviews, shares her top tips for making the transition sans tears.
▪ Avoid moving in summer
Over half of all moves between 2014 and 2015 were done during May, June, August and September, making it a chaotic time to secure movers. “(It’s) the busiest time in the moving industry, demand is high, and thus rates are higher,” Irwin says. “Move during fall. (There’s) less traffic, smaller delivery window and only full-time employees.”
▪ Do administrative tasks first
“The moving process does not (only) involve the transportation of your items,” says Irwin. “You need to think (about) change of address and forwarding mail to the new place, canceling utilities and researching providers at the new place, informing your bank/insurance company, dealing with realtors, ceasing rental agreements or selling property. All that should be planned and organized before moving day.”
▪ Wrap liquids and jewelry in cling wrap
Even the best efforts to carefully wrap delicate items and safeguard liquids can be foiled in transit. “Use cling wrap to keep necklaces and bracelets from tangling. Lay a few pieces of jewelry on a length of plastic wrap and fold the wrap over. Press around your items to keep them separate,” Irwin says.
The plastic film can also be used to prevent liquids from spilling. Simply unscrew the lids of shampoos or pantry items like olive oil, and place a small square of cling wrap on top. Screw the lid back on to secure the plastic and create a second protective layer to avoid leaks.
▪ Don’t move on Friday or Saturday
Friday and Saturday are officially the busiest days to move. A 2015 MyMovingReviews study found that almost 19 percent of all moves occur on a Friday and that July 31, Aug. 1 and June 30 are the most chaotic days to hire movers. The best day to make the transition is Sunday.
▪ Reserve parking space
Consumers should keep in mind that full-service moving companies charge for accessorial services such as disassembling and reassembling furniture, storage fees, obstacle like stairs or if the truck cannot be parked near entrance and movers have to carry boxes more than 75 feet. Irwin suggests parking your car in front of your home at least a day before prior to ensure the space is available when movers arrive, and measure doorways to check if furniture can fit through.
▪ Create a clear labeling system
Scrawling the rough contents of each box on the side just doesn’t cut it, says Irwin. Instead, she recommends creating a logical and clear labeling system and leaving any essentials like a flashlight or first aid to the side. “Divide your household items into groups based on the room they’re located in, material they’re made of and frequency of use,” she says. “Start with the items you use rarely, and don’t mix items from different rooms or items of different types such as liquids with clothes.”
▪ Use linen in lieu of bubble wrap
Before stocking up on cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, Irwin suggests a few hacks to make the most of items in your home. “Your home is full of free packing materials, such as clothing, bed linens, pillows, laundry bins, and suitcases,” she says. “Wrap dishes in T-shirts or insert Styrofoam plates in between yours (and) put pillows and blankets in garbage bags and seal them. When you load the truck, use them as padding between furniture or breakable items.”
▪ Hire a sitter
There’s one expense you should never skip. “On moving day, if you are relocating with kids, you should arrange a sitter in advance,” says Irwin. “If you have pets, make sure they don’t obstruct the work of your movers.” Keeping children and pets out of the house and away from potential safety hazards will relieve a lot of stress on the day so you can focus on the task at hand: moving into your brand-new home!