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Preparing and planning for a household move

Michelle McQuade | January 18, 2017

RelocationMoving house can be very exciting – but also very stressful. You need to make the right preparations in order to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

Here are some pointers to help you keep your chill.

1. Update your information
You need to change your utility bill address to your new location and ensure continuity of services. Call the utility companies way in advance to avoid any last minute problems. You’d want to move in to your new home with the electricity, heating, and water up and running. Likewise, you should provide utility companies with a forwarding address for pending bills.

2. Plan your new home’s layout
Make sure your belongings and any furniture or appliance you might want to take with you will fit in your new home. Take measurements and plan your new home’s layout. This will help you determine which item goes into which room, and if there’s a need to discard anything that might not fit well in your new space.

3. Get packing materials
Source and buy most of the packing materials you will need a few days or weeks before you start packing. This will allow you to compare prices and avoid costly last minute purchases. Remember that if you buy in bulk, you could get big discounts.

Check if you can re-use old boxes so you can save on costs, but make sure they’re still sturdy enough, especially for heavy or fragile objects. You may need new materials for adequate protection.

Some moving companies also supply packaging materials or do the packing themselves. If you’re hiring a mover, you might want to look into these options as well.

4. Get a truck or hire a mover
In moving, you can either take the DIY route or hire a mover. If you prefer to do it yourself and are comfortable driving a truck, you will need to determine the size of the truck to rent and the costs for one, including insurance and gasoline.

Movers often offer a range of services. They can deliver a van or trailer to your home for you to load, and then drive it to your new home where you do the unloading. Or, the mover can do everything – from packing to loading to driving to unloading and unpacking.

5. Pack your belongings
Figure out a system that will make it easy for you to unload and unpack boxes in your new home. As much as possible, sort your belongings by room. Items that can go into any room can be packed last and used as fillers. Label each box clearly with the contents and the room in which it should go.

Pack essentials such as toothbrushes, toilet paper, eating and cooking utensils, pillows and bedding separately. These are the first things you’ll need when you get to your new place, so keep them handy.

6. Clean your things
Dust and clean your belongings after you unpack. Check your options for quick and efficient trash disposal.

For more home moving and relocating tips, check out Michelle McQuade’s The Moving Checklist: A Relocation Guide.

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