I’ve seen so many moving trucks out there this summer, so a lot of you are on the move. And as someone who has moved A LOT with the military, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for moving day. So you know the move date, found a moving company and have a new home to move into. Are you ready for the move? If not, here are some reminders on what you can do to prepare for the move:
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Moving day steps that homeowners mess up
1| Get rid of anything you don’t plan on using in the new place. If you have not opened a box that you moved in with, then you probably don’t need whatever is inside it. Why move extra stuff you have not used in years? Donate it, hold a garage sale if you have time or consign it.
2| Find all your important documents and keep them together in a locked container. It can be a zippered envelope or a fireproof bag, which is what I have. Documents such as birth certificates, car titles etc. are hard to get duplicates so it best to keep them with you. Make sure you have your bank account information, checkbooks, passports if you have them. Any important documentation should be with you so they don’t get packed up by the movers. You may not realize how important those documents are necessary until you need something like your social security card. If you have kids in school, keep records of their school paperwork
3| Do a home inventory. Have you taken pictures of all the items in your home? Now is the time to do this before it all gets packed away. If you are using a moving company, it helps to have pictures or video of the current state of items before it goes on the truck. That way you can prove that you had a 50 inch or 70 inch TV if you have a moving company packing up your stuff. We had a 24 foot extension ladder that the movers threw underneath the truck not inside the truck but underneath. And when it came time to deliver the items, the ladder was missing. So we showed the moving company a picture of our ladder and then they realized that it was ours. They almost got away with that item had I not had a picture of it. So do a home inventory and put it on your phone so you can easily access it later.
4| Serial numbers. Write down serial numbers of all your electronics if you are using a moving company. Or better yet, take a picture of the item serial number with your phone. Again, this is proof that you owned the item in case it gets lost. When the military moved us, the serial numbers had to actually be written on the outside of the box and on the packing list. That way they know that there is a DVD player or TV not a mirror. So if you are new to the military or are a brand new military spouse, this is something you need to be aware of. So write down those serail numbers, make sure they are written on the box and on the packing slip.
5| Decide which items you will take with you in your car versus going with the moving truck. Moving companies may not pack certain items such as candles, propane tanks, matches or open bottles of liquor. Check with your moving company for a complete list. There are also probably some items that are irreplaceable like photo albums so decide if you want to move it yourself or not. So if the moving company won’t pack it, you need to decide if they are still coming with you in the car or your suitcase. If you have a baby traveling with you, consider taking a bassinet or playpen with you in the car or on the plane ride.
6| Pack your clothes a few days before the move and put them away so they aren’t packed by the movers. If you are using a moving company, they will pack up everything. If you are moving across the country, make sure you set aside your traveling clothes and a couple of extra sets before the moving van shows up on the other end. If you are moving overseas, you’re going to be limited on the number of suitcases so plan to take a month’s worth of clothing and weather appropriate for the new area.
7| Explore the new city. A fun way to get the kids involved with the move to a new city is to pretend you are tourists. If you can, go check out the local farmer’s market, city tours, movie theater or famous landmarks a few weeks before moving to the new city. That way the new city is not such a strange place to the kids when moving day comes up. One of my kids picked up a book at the library about Alabama. In there it talked about what you can find in Alabama and what you should know. In particular, there are these bugs that live and glow underground and you can go see them. I had no idea they had something like that in Alabama! But if we ever go through Alabama, I would like to stop there and see those glowing underground bugs. So go to the local library and check out a book on the state you are moving to (or the country) and explore it. Find things online like youtube, which has so many videos on places to see. That way you have a list of places to visit when you get to your new place.
8| Find local banks and visit schools/daycare before moving out. Larger banks now a days are almost everywhere but it depends on where you are going. If you have to find a daycare, some places may have a long waiting list so check them out as early as possible. If you are moving to Moore County, NC, Partners for Children and Families is a great (and free) resource to help you find good daycare as well as availability. They know which daycares have open slots for family daycare, home daycare or homeschooling.
9| Drive the routes from the new house to the new job, school etc before the actual first day of work or school. This will give you an idea of traffic patterns (if there are any). My husband tried out his work route and found there were 2 stop signs and 1 traffic light but it was an hour long commute. It was all country back roads which is really weird for an hour long commute. So find the main route, find an alternate route and get familiar with the area. On moving in day, you are just overhwlemed and there are so many things going on that you aren’t focused on who to get to work or school.
And speaking of moving in day, I do have a free checklist for you. It’s called 5 things to unpack first in your new home. Since I’ve had to move 7 times in 16 years, I got pretty good at knowing what to unpack first. In this free checklist, I share five things you need to unpack especially on the first day.
Some of you will be moving this fall, while others move in the spring. I hope you find this list useful to prepare for moving day.
I would love to hear if anyone has any other tips they learned when preparing for your Moving Day. Once you are prepared, the actual moving day should be less stressful.
Speaking of, I will share my tips for Moving Out Day and Moving In Day. Watch for these articles coming soon!