A Guide To Moving

Tips & Advice about packing, setting up utilities, costs, and beyond

From finding new schools, to setting up utilities, or just packing your home, moving can be stressful. This guide will help you along the way.

Moving involves a lot of variables coming together in order to have the experience be a successful one. This guide will provide you with tips and tricks for managing a move outside of simply hiring the best moving company to handle transporting your property. These additional steps can be just as important as the movers themselves. Take these 10 pieces of tips and advice as a series of general guidelines to follow when moving.

1. How to Pack for the Move

Packing is half the battle when it comes to moving. Knowing how to do it right can save you a huge amount of grief, make life easier for your movers, save you money, and ultimately, make sure your belongings get to their destination intact. Use these tips to help you have more success with your packing:

  • Use proper boxes. Weak and/or repurposed boxes can fail, leaving your belongings scattered all over the streets. Make sure the box is strong enough to securely hold the weight of the items you’re going to place inside of it. Most moving companies will have high quality moving boxes available for purchase.
  • Ensure all breakable items are properly wrapped and secured. Use bubble wrap and/or packing paper to insulate each item from others in the box so that breakable items are not banging against each other.
  • Pack items tightly together so they can’t bang and move around in the package.

2. Where to Get Boxes For Packing Your Home Items

Getting proper boxes is vital in order to pack up your things for the big day. First of all, you always have the option of purchasing boxes from the moving company. The upside here is that you know you’re getting a high quality product that can hold up to the stresses of a move.

If you don’t want to get professional-grade moving boxes, there are many other places you can ask for boxes, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Office supply stores
  • Advertising requesting boxes on buy-and-sell websites
  • Facebook groups – many communities have groups where members can chat about various community issues. This is a great place to look for moving boxes, as new members will often have many that they need to get rid of anyway.

3. Setting Up Utilities Before Moving

When moving, always remember to attend to the utilities on both ends of the move. When leaving a home, some utility companies have cut-off dates that you must give them notice by, otherwise you could find yourself paying for another full month of utilities when you aren’t even living on the property. By the same token, the utility companies at your new location may need advance notice in order to ensure that your services are connected when you arrive.

Utilities you should look into (on both ends of the move) include:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Power
  • Heat
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Telephone
  • Security system monitoring

4. Know The School Systems

From elementary to high schools, if you’re moving with a family to a new city, or even to a new school district in your current city, then schools are going to be an important part of your move. Be sure to research schools in your new neighborhood in advance. Learn how registration, bussing and other programs work. If you have options in regards to schools in the area, set up meetings and learn which option is going to be the best fit for your family.

5. Predict Moving Costs

While it can be difficult to predict the exact amount of your moving costs, there are several things you can do to help you set up a pretty accurate budget regarding your upcoming move. This prevents unwanted surprises from cropping up and ensures that you’re financially prepared for everything that goes along with moving. Keep these tips in mind when it comes to predicting costs and creating your budget:

  • Get quotes from multiple moving companies – preferably with on-site estimates in all cases
  • Don’t forget to budget extra money for tipping the movers
  • Find out whether or not the coverage the moving company provides is enough for your needs, and budget for additional, third-party insurance if it is not
  • Be sure to account for specialized items that may cause your moving costs to go up. For instance, pianos typically cost more to move than the same volume or weight of household goods, because of the high-degree of difficulty involved in moving the heavy instruments

6. Dispose of Stuff You Really Don’t Need and Cut Your Moving Expenses

A common mistake made by many people is to pay to move things they no longer want or need. The time to purge your belongings by giving away or selling things you no longer use or need is not after you’ve paid to have them moved across town (or across the country) – it is before.

Go through everything carefully as you’re undergoing the packing process and decide which things you can part with. Not only can this make moving more affordable, if you have things to sell, it can even help pay for the move. Plus, it will make your new home that much more compact and organized when you arrive.

7. Consider the People Involved in Moving Your Home

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that a move involves so much more than just your furniture and your belongings. People are also involved in the move, and the larger the family, and the larger the move, the more complex these logistics become.

For instance, when moving to a new city there is the difficulty of finding a new family doctor, dentist, and other similar professionals. Doing some research into your options beforehand can help make the move run more smoothly.

Also, don’t forget about the family pets. When moving, sometimes even just to a new suburb in your immediate area, there may be different pet licencing or documentation requirements. It is important to research these and to make sure that your pets are adherent to all regulations before the move.

8. Use Multiple Moving Companies When Needed

Sometimes, a move can include disparate elements that aren’t necessarily best handled all by the same company. This can happen especially when moving from high end homes that may include several highly specialized or highly valuable pieces of property.

In these cases, there are often specialized moving companies that have very specific experience, expertise and equipment that are involved in moving these types of goods. Examples of the types of goods that might require a specific moving company include:

  • Classic or collectible cars
  • Pianos
  • Art
  • Wine collections

If you have to move any of these types of items, be sure that your moving company has the experience to move them without damage occurring. Although coverage can be ample, many of these high-end type items are irreplaceable. Proper packing and transportation techniques make all the difference in these kinds of jobs.

9. Get Your Moving Started Early

Many people underestimate just how much time and energy moving takes. From the moment you’re committed to an upcoming move, it is time to start planning and taking the first steps to get ready.

Some things you can do to get the ball rolling early include:

  • Make a checklist of everything that you need to do which applies to your family and your specific move, using a guide like this one to get you started
  • Start packing things that you don’t use on an everyday basis and which you can do without until the move is complete
  • Start making a list of everything in your house that eventually needs to be moved
  • Start the purging process as soon as possible so you’re only concerning yourself with items that actually need to be moved

10. Hiring Movers

We left this step for last, not because it is the last step you should take chronologically, but perhaps because it is the most important. Hiring the moving company is going to be the largest determinant in what kind of moving experience you have.

Do your research, and be sure to talk to many different companies. This isn’t just about getting quotes, but also about getting a feel for the type of service that the company provides. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if the answers you don’t get don’t satisfy you, don’t be afraid to call one of the many other moving companies that work in your area.

You’re Ready to Move!

There are a lot of moving parts to any move, and this guide only scratches the surface. Hopefully these tips and pieces of advice help start you on the path to a simple and stress-free move. Being prepared is the key to success in a lot of ways, whether that preparation is involving hiring your movers, packing your goods, or being ready for your arrival in your new community. As long as you continually look for ways that you can prepare yourself for issues before they actually occur, you should find that your move goes off without a hitch.

Finally, once you have settled on a moving company, always remember that they provide more than just a truck and strong backs to move your belongings. They can also serve as an important point of contact should you have any questions about the moving process in general, or your move specifically.

Let us help you get started. Begin below by describing your moving needs and compare prices from movers in your area.

Helpful Resources Before You Move:

Change Your Address With The Post Office

Notify DMV

Find A Job

Checkout Local Schools

See the ‘Walk Score’ – and What’s Nearby

Find Homes for Sale

Find Apartments For Rent

Get Maps and Driving Directions

Compare Prices on Movers