1. Get rid of the things you no longer use or need.
In the weeks prior to your move make it a goal to clean out one room a day…or week. Pick a room and clean out all drawers, cabinets, boxes—anything that holds “things”—and separate it into donate boxes, garage sale boxes, keep boxes and trash. If you haven’t used it in the last year, purge it. If you won’t use it at your new home, purge it. It will lower the weight of your shipment and save you money!
2. Have a garage sale.
Or give it all to charity…whatever you prefer. Garage sales are a lot of work, but they’re a great way to purge items you no longer need or use and make a little money too. Plus the less you move the less your move will cost. If you decide it’s not worth the hassle and prefer a charitable donation, make sure to get a receipt for a tax deduction.
3. Organize the stuff you keep.
Organize the things you are keeping. You’ll find that if everything has a place, it’s much easier for you and your pack crew to pack safely and in an organized manner (where you know what box everything is in when it gets to your new home).
4. Clean as you go.
The cleaner your home is when it comes time to pack and load, the easier it is to get it done efficiently. This also gives the packing and loading crew more space with which to work. It’s a long hard day when they have to work in a confined space filled with too many items. After you’ve purged and organized a room, clean it and close the door. You’re done. This is especially helpful if you’re close to move-out day and leaving a clean house or apartment is a requirement.
5. Use or give away things you can’t take with you.
Most moving companies have a list of non-allowables that includes items like perishable foods, household cleaners, candles, combustibles and propane tanks. Use your cleaning chemicals for your final clean and donate the leftovers to your neighbor when they leave. Try to use it up, so it’s not wasted. The moving companies care about their customer belongings and don’t want to transport items that may create issues inside the truck.
6. Create a “move file.”
When you’re moving, you’ll have tons of paperwork—quotes, estimates, an inventory of the belongings tendered to the moving company, receipts, contracts—and it’s all important stuff that you don’t want to misplace. Put it all in a labeled file and keep it with you. You’ll definitely need it during your move, and you may need it after your move for tax purposes.
7. Gather all important forms and documents.
As you’re purging, organizing and cleaning, locate all school records, dental records, medical records, bank records, tax information, birth certificates, stamps, social security cards…any paperwork you may need to start a new school, change residency, register to vote, register your vehicle or visit a new physician. Put it all in a “forms and documents” file that you keep with you throughout your move. It’s always wise to keep the important stuff with you. While no one ever intends for items to be lost – they do get lost from time to time.
8. Return any borrowed or rented items and pick up any items you’ve loaned out.
If you hire packers to put your belongings in boxes, they won’t know what’s yours and what’s not. You don’t want to take rental DVDs, library books or something you borrowed from a friend with you. So, while you’re purging make sure you give back the things that don’t belong to you. At the same time, don’t forget to pick up things like dry cleaning and things you’ve loaned out to friends.