To paraphrase an old real estate saying – the three most important factors for a stress-free and smooth move are: Planning, Planning, and more Planning. Plan your move at least one month in advance. Set up an expense log, and start lining up your suppliers – movers, storage companies, delivery of new appliances or furniture. Don’t forget painters, carpet installers and other services working on your new house prior to your move–in date.
Now is the time to minimize the number of items you have to move. Discard unwanted items, hold a garage sale, and collect boxes. Notify friends, relatives, the post office, and companies you do business with of your change of address. Don’t forget about those companies you might contact only once a year, such as life or car insurance companies.
Contact your real estate lawyer to confirm who will be handling the changeover of various utilities and services. Typically, utilities such as power, gas, water, etc. are handled by your lawyer as part of the final adjustments on the sale’s closing. Other services, particularly cable television, internet and telephone services, you’ll probably be instructed to handle on your own. Try to schedule utilities and service connections before you arrive at your new house – and book your appointments as far out in advance as possible, especially if you plan to move at month end, or you might find yourself on a waiting list.
Make a floor plan of the new house and plan where everything will go. Don’t guess – take measurements of room dimensions and major furniture items and then lay everything out. You don’t want pay movers an hourly rate to move Grandma’s piano four times because it just doesn’t fit! When you’re packing, label boxes clearly by contents and by room, and on moving day, provide movers with a copy of your floor plan so they’ll know exactly where to put the boxes for ‘Johnny’s bedroom’. Remember to provide plastic sheets to protect carpets.
Prepare a list of the items you wish to move personally such as jewelry and precious breakables. Pack your pillows, a set of sheets and blankets, along with your nightclothes, a towel and toiletries to take with you in your car. Then at the end of a long and tiring day, you can get ready for bed without having to sort through 50 boxes. You might also pack a lunch complete with utensils, napkins, condiments, (and perhaps a wine opener?) to enjoy your first meal in your home as a picnic on the living room floor. And if you like a cup of coffee in the morning, you’ll want to pack the coffee maker and all the fixings to take in your car as well.
These little things can add up to a pleasant adventure on moving day, rather than an exercise in frustration for you and your family.