Moving home is rarely easy. In fact, one survey has found that 45% of Americans rate it as the most stressful life event, which places it above divorce or having children.
While having a home warranty plan is one of the most effective ways of avoiding unnecessary expenses when buying or renting a new property, there are plenty of other moving hacks that can take some of the pain out of the experience.
Here are 10 of the best moving tips to help ensure the big day runs as smoothly as possible.
1. Draw Up a List
No matter how organized you are, it can be almost impossible to keep on top of all the things you need to remember during a move.
To help prevent your moving day from turning into chaos, draw up a list of everything that needs to be done at every stage of the process. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, you can then see your tasks broken down into individual achievable goals.
It could also be helpful to find an online checklist for moving house or to ask friends and family if they have any pointers or things they forgot when moving themselves.
2. Book Your Movers As Soon As Possible
If you start looking for your movers as soon as you’ve chosen your moving date, you’re more likely to find a reputable moving company that is available when needed. This is because certain dates such as public holidays, weekends, and school breaks tend to get booked up early.
When you’re choosing a company, remember to opt for professional movers, as these firms will have the correct insurance should any of your valuables be damaged in transit. Check reviews from previous customers and try to get quotes from several different movers before making your final choice.
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3. Find Out Where You Can Get Free Boxes
With 48% of Americans naming packing as the most stressful part of moving home, it’s a good idea to start getting organized as early as possible, which includes collecting an adequate supply of boxes.
If you’d like to get your hands on some for free, the first step should be to inquire in local retail outlets, with liquor stores, book stores, and supermarkets being obvious places to start. Alternatively, you could try calling the office of your local school, with the beginning of the school year being a particularly good time to secure spares, as this is when new supplies of equipment and books are likely to arrive.
Likewise, there are several online options that you could try, such as Craigslist, Freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace.
4. Take Meter Readings
Having accurate meter readings taken on moving day should help guarantee that you don’t overpay on any utility bills associated with the property you’re leaving. For extra protection and to avoid future disputes, it also makes sense to take a photo of your meter.
As part of the moving process, you may also need to decide whether you’d like to remain with the same supplier or move to a different company (having the option to choose may depend on the state you live in). You can then organize accounts at your new property and close existing accounts for your former home.
5. Keep Appliances Safe During the Move
One of the most useful tips for moving is to make sure that you have all the tools you’ll need to keep your essentials safe and secure in transit. Depending on the items you’re transporting, this moving equipment could include trollies, loading straps, or storage cases. If you’re using a professional service, make sure your movers are aware of any expensive goods included in your belongings. This way, they can arrange proper equipment for transportation.
If you’re taking a refrigerator or a freezer to your new home, you’ll also need to unplug and thoroughly defrost these items before the move. Likewise, you should also remove any internal shelves to prevent them from becoming loose and getting damaged during transportation.
Of course, moving home isn’t the only time you need to take care of your appliances. For more tips on keeping your essential items in good repair, read our article Top 10 Home Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Master.
6. Get Your Home Warranty Sorted
With mortgage costs, down payments, and removal fees, finding a new home can involve considerable outlay. For many people, replacing a broken appliance could simply be unaffordable on top of these extra costs. Having a home warranty in place for your new property could provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that you would be financially protected if one of the items in your new home were to fail.
Some companies, such as Choice Home Warranty, will allow policyholders to transfer their existing cover to their home’s new owner following a sale. Therefore, when you’re looking around potential properties, it makes sense to ask the owners whether they have an existing policy that they could transfer into your name,
If you’re looking to cut costs on your home warranty, you could consider taking out a plan with Select Home Warranty, which regularly offers deals and discounts on its more affordable policies.
7. Notify Your Bank
When you move house, you should ensure that all confidential financial documents such as bank statements are being sent to the correct address. As well as helping you remain on top of your money management, doing so could dramatically reduce your risk of falling victim to identity theft.
If you’re relocating to another city or state, it would be wise to notify your bank before you move, as many banks will freeze your account if you make a transaction in a new area without having provided advance notice that you will be traveling.
You should also inform the Post Office about your change of address and arrange to have your mail forwarded to your new home. You can do this online or by visiting your local branch.
8. Color Code Your Boxes
There are few things more frustrating when moving than arriving in your new home and forgetting which items you have packed in which boxes.
One of the most effective packing tips for moving home is to color code your boxes, as this will allow you to quickly find, and unpack, any items that you need immediately. Simply buy a pack of stickers in different colors and then designate a color to each room. If you don’t have different colored stickers, you could print off the labels and use a different color font for each room.
9. Take a Picture of the Back of Your TV
Even if you’ve never had any problems with your TV in your current home, you could suddenly find yourself unable to remember where all the wires go when you set it up again in your new property.
Before you pack up your TV and other electrical items, take a photo of the back of each device so that you have a visual reminder of how to plug everything back in. Likewise, you should also take a picture of any streaming devices or set-top boxes wired into your TV. Otherwise, you may need to pay for an electrician to perform this relatively simple task.
10. Get Cleaning
If you’re moving out of your home, leaving it in a respectable condition is not only common courtesy, but may also be a requirement of your sale or lease agreement. One of the best moving tips is to clean the property to the standard you’d expect if you were moving in yourself.
It makes sense to wait until your furniture has been removed to begin your cleaning, as the transportation of heavy items out will create a mess in itself. You should also consider the state your new home will be in when you arrive. To avoid any nasty surprises, it’s a good idea to visit a couple of days before to check things are in good order.
While moving house is unlikely to be one of life’s most enjoyable experiences, following the hacks mentioned in this article should help ensure things go according to plan on the big day.
From a financial perspective, having a home warranty is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself against costly surprises. Almost everything else is a question of being prepared. Whether you’re drawing up a checklist, booking your movers, or planning to clean the property, try to get organized as far in advance as possible.
And once you’ve got the move out of the way, all you’ll need to do is enjoy life in your new home.