As the first employee and General Manager of Unpakt, a cost comparison site for those looking for a moving company, I know firsthand what a hassle moving can sometimes be. I actually joined Unpakt to try to ease the pain of what seems to be everyone's least favorite activity: moving.
In fact, Unpakt recently conducted a nationwide survey that found 72 percent of Americans would rather do any unpleasant activity than move. (These included sitting in traffic, visiting the dentist, doing taxes, drinking expired milk... you get the idea.) Alarmingly, nearly one fourth of people would rather give up going on vacation for two whole years than move. Not taking a vacation for two years just to avoid what should be a seamless process? Moving does not have to be this much of a nightmare.
Below are just a few insider tips and tricks to ease the pain of moving. At Unpakt we truly believe moving doesn't have to be as bad as it seems, and hopefully these tips can help in your current and future moving endeavors.
The Timing of Your Move
Spring or late fall are the best times to move, and, if possible, it is best to avoid the first day, last day and middle day of any given month.
If you are booking a summer move, book at least a month in advance. For spring, fall and winter, book two weeks in advance. Bonus: If you are able to adjust your schedule around the mover's availability, you may be able to get a better deal.
Consider the weather for your area! From winter snowstorms in Boston to extreme summer heat in Phoenix, keeping local weather in mind is crucial.
Prepping With Your Current and Future Building
Before moving, ask your future building about any scheduling restrictions regarding your move-in date and time.
Be sure to ask about any elevator restrictions and/or reservations as necessary. You don't want to get stuck (or stick your movers) with taking a couch up 10 flights of stairs because of elevator restrictions!
Inquire about your future building's requirements on protection required for walls and floors of the common areas (hallways, lobby, etc.). If protection is required, see if the building will provide and assemble, or if this is something you will need to be sure is handled.
Find out about any fees or security deposits, and pay well in advance.
Secure details in advance regarding parking of the moving truck, to avoid potential hassle and/or ticket fees (which will no doubt be sent to you to pay!).
Quick Tips to Organize Your Move
Color-coordinate with a designated colored sticker for each box based on the room it should land in (e.g., yellow for the kitchen, blue for the living room, etc.). The movers will know where to put everything when you arrive, so you don't need to direct traffic.
Alternatively, try giving each family member a color to keep belongings organized.
Pack a separate bag or box of "must haves" that includes a change of clothes, a toothbrush and basic toiletries. This way, you won't be forced to search through boxes after a long day of moving.
Use as much luggage as you can. You can quickly fill duffle bags and suitcases with "don't forget" items that could get lost in a box for days.
Keep like items together to save time when unpacking. For example, keep your clothes with your bedroom items, keep your bookends with your books, and keep your kitchen pots and pans near the silverware.
Keep important documents with you during the move to ensure their safety. This may include your birth certificate, bank records, realtor info, moving documents, etc.
A Few "Don't Forgets"
Change your address with the UPS beforehand. It takes seven days for mail forwarding to become effective. Also schedule a time to update your driver's license with your new address.
Make sure you have enough medication handy to get you through your move and into your new home before you have to go searching for that pill box at the bottom of a larger box.
Change the locks on your new home!
Update your homeowners insurance or renters insurance.
Schedule connect and disconnect dates with your local utility companies in advance. You don't want to have a time lapse without the most important utility of all: cable!