When moving across the country, you are bound to experience a certain amount of stress, which can only be magnified by not knowing how to organize your move. Disorganization will inevitably take a toll on your health, time, and money. However, we have a solution – follow our simple guide to organizing for a move, and you’ll be able to conquer relocation-related anxiety in no time.
Almost half of our nation considers itself disorganized in general, and that number becomes even higher when people are faced with planning a move to a new city. Fear of a significant change combined with poor organizational skills leads to making all kinds of relocation mistakes. So in order to avoid them, ensure to memorize our relocation tips and suggestions.
Research Before Planning
Before you opt for any significant step in your life, you need to investigate every important aspect of it. The same goes for the relocation process, so do your homework on:
- The town you are considering – relocating to a different city means changing not only your home but your surroundings, too, so ensure that the city’s lifestyle, culture, and mentality are compatible with your personality. Looking for job opportunities and school districts is also a must before you make a final decision.
- Potential cross-country moving company – in order to avoid relocation scams, you must do thorough research on a company that has caught your eye, from checking reviews and recommendations to asking for their license and DOT number. Get several different estimates and research cross-country moving services before opting for the most fitting cross-country movers group. You’ll learn a great deal about companies when comparing them to one another.
- Cost of relocation – creating a relocation expenses checklist for moving cross-country is crucial for every aspect of your move, from hiring movers to choosing supplies.
How to Organize Moving – Making a Strategy
When wondering What is the best way to organize a move, we have two words for you – relocation binder. Everything that has something to do with the relocation process, even remotely, needs to find its place in it. That way, you won’t lose a single minute trying to find your contacts, receipts, estimates, ideas, and so on. You could even take it a step further and create two separated binders – one for the old and one for the new home, with several different sections for each type of important documents.
A Checklist as Necessary Guidance Through Your Relocation
One of the essential papers in your binder should be a relocation checklist – an excellent way to make an inventory of your tasks and set a timeframe in which every one of them should be done. As you finish each task, mark it as complete. You will then have a clear overview of actions that are finished and those that still need to be done. To make everything even more manageable, try to break each general task into its parts – you will have a better idea of how many hours and effort you will be putting into each one.
What Should I Organize First When Moving – Gathering Necessary Documentation
Getting all your paperwork in one place may be a process that takes time. If you already have an organized paperwork storage system, everything will be easier. If not, first learn how to organize important documents so you know where everything is and try to keep it that way even after the relocation.
Gathering and managing paperwork is one of the most common things people forget to do when relocating, but that could significantly impact the level of relocation stress. Imagine having a medical emergency during the relocation to a new state, but you can’t find your medical records or proof of health insurance anywhere. To avoid such unpleasant situations, create a separate binder for important documents, which will contain:
- Personal documentation, such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, and alike,
- Medical records for each family member, including vet records if you are relocating with pets,
- Financial records, including bank and credit card statements, bills, and so on,
- Property papers, such as bills of sale or insurance policies for your house or vehicle (if you want to transport a car from state to state),
- Tax records.
How to Organize Your Move and Create a Realistic Schedule
When scheduling the exact date of your relocation, ensure to have all information about the best time for a move, especially if you want to save money on relocation costs. Keep in mind that relocation during the holidays could be way more expensive.
After you’ve determined a relocation date with your cross-country movers, you need to make all necessary travel arrangements, like buying a plane ticket, booking hotel rooms, and so on. If you opt against booking auto transport services, create plans regarding food and accommodation during travel, but be sure that your car is serviced before you start the road trip. Doing everything you can to move safely should be your primary goal.
Plan All Necessary Appointments for Yourself and Your Family
Medical appointments are essential, especially when it comes to cross-country relocations. Ensure that everyone is healthy and can take such a big change, and get all prescribed medication for your family members. If you are relocating with children, know that a change that big could significantly impact their mental health, so it would be good if you could schedule a group session with an experienced GP.
Don’t forget about your furry friends, too. You’ll have to ensure that they can endure what lies ahead, so take them to the vet and get some travel medications for them if needed. Also, remember to get all the necessary travel equipment for your pets, such as a pet transporter, if you don’t have one.
How Do I Start Decluttering to Move – Becoming a Minimalist
You will never be more aware of how many things you possess until you have to pack them all before the relocation. However, did you know that most Americans never use as much as 80% of their belongings? A move will give you an excellent chance for organizing all your belongings, decluttering, and eliminating everything that is not needed anymore.
So, how do you organize your house to move? You will be decluttering simultaneously with packing, so ensure to have enough boxes for both processes. For each item you pick, ask yourself whether you will use it or if it has some sentimental value. If the answer is no to both of these questions, it is most likely that it will just keep collecting dust in your next home, as well.
Throw away everything that can’t be used anymore and think about what to do with other items you don’t want. There are two options – you could sell unwanted items online or by organizing a garage sale, or you could consider donating – remember to explore different sites, such as Habitat, or visit local charities. In the end, you will be left with fewer things to pack, which will result in a lower cost of relocation and fewer hours of unpacking. Add one more benefit to the list – if you keep the proof of your donations, there is a chance you could get a tax deduction.
If you are not sure where to start and could use some more decluttering hacks, watch the following video:
When, How, Where – Pack Your Items the Right Way
When deciding how to organize a move, one of the biggest items on your list will be packing, so give it special attention. Note that it will more than likely take over a day, so plan a decent amount of hours to dedicate just to this task. Ideally, you should begin as early as two weeks in advance.
It is crucial that you don’t start packing too early or too late. If you have a last-minute move and must pack quickly, it would be best to opt for packing services provided by your cross-country movers than to lose and break your belongings. The relocation crew will know exactly what to do when it comes to packing glassware for relocation as well as relocating furniture – it’s a good choice when trying to move efficiently.
Before the process of packing begins, ensure to determine the order – which room should go first? It is always better to start with places that contain items not used often, such as attics, basements, and garages, and finish with rooms you’ll be using until you move out, like the kitchen and bathrooms. Don’t underestimate the power of an inventory list – it will help you keep track of each item, especially if you create one for each packed box. And at the end, be sure to create a move-out cleaning checklist and start cleaning each room after you finish packing it.
Which Packing Supplies Should I Choose?
Ensure to have all your packing materials before you start with the packing itself, such as:
- Boxes – remember to get enough of each size. Try to find some free relocation boxes online or at your local stores.
- Wrapping and padding materials – packing paper, foam peanuts, bubble wrap, and alike could all be excellent materials, depending on your preferences and needs,
- Labeling materials – get color stickers specially designed for color-coding or just a regular marker, but ensure that each of your boxes is labeled properly so you can see which room it belongs to and what it contains.
Plan Who to Notify of the Relocation
So you can continue receiving your mail, the first place you should inform is the USPS and change your address, which you can do online in just a few minutes. Secondly, you shouldn’t skip informing other important institutions, such as:
- Banks and loan providers,
- The IRS and,
- Insurance providers.
Forgetting to notify them could potentially get you into unnecessary trouble, so ensure it is done before the relocation date.
You should also think about transferring utilities to the new house or canceling them – plan the precise day when you want to cancel water, gas, and electricity and the date you want them hooked up in your new home. Inform your cable and internet providers of the relocation as well and see if you can transfer their services.
The Last Step – Prepare for the Relocation Day
When the relocation date starts getting close, it is more than usual to feel exhausted, but note that some more preparations are needed before saying goodbye to the old home. Gather your strength and take a look at your checklist – almost everything should be done by this part of the preparatory process.
The most important thing to remember in the last few days is that everyone needs to be safe, so don’t forget to take care of those who depend on you, such as your children or pets – ask a family member or a friend to watch them or hire a sitter.
A few days before the move-out, start preparing for movers – everything that would stand in their way while disassembling and loading your belongings should be moved, and every surface that can get damaged should be appropriately covered and protected. The same goes if you are relocating with the help of your family and friends. If you miss this step, someone could get seriously injured, or your old place could lose some of its market value.
Packing Essentials Before Leaving the House
One of the crucial items on your moving-out list for the big day should be packing a bag or a box that will contain all your essentials for the road and the first couple of days at the new place. Your most important toiletries, along with a change of clothes, bedding, snacks, electronic devices, and chargers should always be near you because you will surely need them at some point. Separate relocation essentials for each family member in a box and mark them clearly so movers don’t load them into the truck.
How to Organize for a Move – A Few More Tips
Relocation calls for lots of work, but you should also set aside a few hours just for relaxing and breathing so you don’t overstress yourself. More importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed. And before you begin with the work itself, remember – organization is always the key to success, no matter how many cities you change during your life. These relocation hacks for an organized move will help you keep your cool, so apply them when needed, and you are bound to have a stress-free move.