Moving is not a task most people look forward to. It’s back-breaking work, and often, it is bank-breaking work as well. Not only do you have to lift a lot of heavy boxes and awkward pieces of furniture, but you also have to spend money to get your belongings from one place to another. As if paying for your new house isn’t enough of an expense! Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prepare for your move and make it both easier and cheaper.
1. Do not move all the items that you own. The majority of movers charge by the pound, which means the more stuff you move, the more you will pay. Start sorting your belongings as soon as you know you are moving. Place each item in one of five categories: for sale, for donation, for recycle, for trash, and for keeps. Donate anything you own that still has use, but probably won’t bring in any money at a garage sale. Items that are broken or otherwise unusable should be either thrown away or recycled. There are even places online that will take your broken items and repurpose them for some other use.
Hold a garage sale about six weeks before your moving day and sell any items that are still usable and in demand. Anything that does not sell should be donated since you didn’t really want to keep them in the first place or you would have put them in your for keeps pile.
2. Identify items you are going to move yourself. If you are like most people, there are some items that you do not want to leave in the hands of professional movers. These are items that have significant sentimental value or that would be extremely expensive to replace. Pack them yourself and move them yourself in your personal vehicle. Some items should always be moved by the homeowners including jewelry, birth certificates and other important documents, credit cards, and fine art.
3. Carefully label all boxes. Assign each box a number and write down the contents of each box in a spiral notebook. This way, if you need something after you’ve already packed or during the move, you can simply consult your notebook to find the item you are looking for without needing to open every box and rummage through the contents.
4. Set deadlines. This is extremely important for keeping you on task as you move. It can be so easy to let everything go until the last minute, but then you find yourself shoving everything you own into boxes without really taking the time and care necessary to ensure they arrive undamaged. This can be a costly strategy because you may end up having to rebuy things that are lost or broken due to your procrastination. So, buy a calendar instead, and plan ahead. Your belongings will thank you.