Create your weekly moving day schedule

movingStress is the number one reason why people dread moving, especially if you’re moving long distance.  Wrap up the stress with this easy-to-follow week-to-week preparation guide to organize your way.  Keep it handy and you’ll be glad when moving day shows up without the stress.

Week 6 before the big M-Day:

Now that you know where your long distance move will take you to, start making concrete plans.  That is, after you clean out your closets and drawers room by room, cabinet by cabinet, from top to bottom.  Sorting out the things you will want to take with you and getting rid of the rest is your first week’s job.  That’s what’s going to get you organized from the start.  Toss, donate or sell your stuff any way you can.  You’ll find lots of sites to help you out online.  Even a good ole yard sale or two will do.

Week 5: Hire a long distance moving company

This is the week to look for a long distance moving company, that is, if DIY is not your thing.   But before making your selection, go ahead and do your research.  The Better Business Bureau is the first place to look. Check for the most recent complaints and reviews on all the long distance moving companies on your list.  A good place to get a full picture of any moving company is the US Department of Transportation.  Once you have their USDOT license and Motor Carrier details provided by the website, you will know how safe the moving company is as you peruse through inspection and accident reports.   Standard Repair Coverage and Full-Value replacement policies vary one to another moving company.  If a moving company only offers Standard Repair Coverage Insurance, you will only get a $15 check for the $300 game console damaged during the move.

Moving in the morning is probably your best bet for a fresh crew from the moving company. If you are part of the second or third moving company job of the day, brace yourself, you might end up with sloppy, rushing, and tired workers on your front step.  Take that into account when you book the moving company.

Week 4: Moving Plan B

If hiring a full-fledged crew is not in the books, consider a hybrid move.   That’s when you pay workers an hourly wage and you rent your own moving truck.  Your friends and relatives we’ll thank you when they find out you’re sparing their weekend fun.  Besides, your relatives may have been well-intentioned, but are they fully insured and certified like the workers from the moving company are? They help you load and unload as part of the moving company’s services once you rent your truck from them. Remember to take down the numbers on the odometer, a snapshot is all it takes.

Week 4: Wrap and Box:

The dumpster behind the grocery store may not be the best place to find the right boxes for all your precious belongings.  Places like offices, liquor stores, and home improvement stores have the sturdiest boxes. The best time to approach them is early in the morning when employees on the retail floor break the boxes down. They’ll have a cart full of flat boxes you’ll easily put back together. Social media is another way you can get the word out for boxes. Neighborhood and city pages on Facebook often lend a hand. Experts suggest you start boxing up items that are not currently in use and seasonal things not needed.  Keep boxing up belongings in the order in which you need them, starting with the least needed.  You’ll eventually get to the ones you’re using on daily basis now, like your clothing and household items currently in use.

During week 4, it’s a good time to change your address with the post office. Contact utility companies you subscribe to like electricity, water, garbage, and cable companies.  Let them know your moving date and cancel your services at your soon-to-be old location as of the date you will move and not before.  On the same token, it’s a good idea to open new accounts and set-up installation dates for your new place of residence. You might have to wait on cable, but at least the necessary services like water and electric should be turned on beforehand.

Week 3:  Preparing for the road

When you’re driving a moving truck long distance there are traveling arrangements to consider like pet-friendly hotels, toll road charges, parking space at your new residence, and even making sure traffic won’t be congested due to public events in the vicinity. Call your neighborhood parking authority and check the local events listings on the city website.  If you’re flying with your pet, make sure to get the immunization paperwork and check your pet’s health at the vet’s. In case you are not flying with your pet, there are terrific alternatives to transport your pet safely to any location.

Week 2: Your best foot forward

It’s an added relief to know your vehicle can handle the long drive.  Serviced and checked for the long trip, your car will be your best friend.  Keep antifreeze or coolants handy for the type of weather you’ll confront.  If you’re also moving other wheeled equipment like lawnmowers and blowers, make sure they are drained of all fuels as these could leak onto the truck bed. If you’re using a moving company make sure you make the final arrangements with your moving rep.  For example. Checking the availability of an elevator on the day you move will avoid unnecessary stress. Elevators are usually scheduled ahead of time for moves in a building on a first come first served basis.

One more week to go: Crunch time!

If you have a lot of loose ends, don’t panic, you can still make it a painless move.  Make a list of the things you still have to do and scratch them off one by one as you accomplish them.  You’ll add new ones as you remember them.  Return items you have borrowed from friends and library books. Oh! And don’t forget to get the contents out of your safe-deposit box if you have one.

Only three days to M-Day left!

Think about the most valuable keepsakes you have and those special furniture items you must move with special care. Avoid making a horror story come true, consult with your moving rep if you have hired a full-service moving company.  Some pieces require disassembling before loading them into the truck.  Keep the nuts and bolts that go with it in sandwich bags and label them with a permanent marker.  Double check arrival times with the full service movers and all travel arrangements you’ve made. If you are renting a truck, make sure furniture pads and dollies are included with the equipment.

Finally! It’s Moving Day:

Those weeks of prep time have finally paid off.  Dress comfortably for the weather, get a high-power protein breakfast and be ready to stay focused until lunch time.  Talk your moves when they arrive to make sure you’re on the same page as far as instructions and time go.  Before signing your bill of lading and your inventory, read it carefully, keep a copy and clarify all points on the paperwork. If you’re renting a truck, make sure you get acquainted with its clearance and all its control buttons and before taking off.  Once you’ve loaded everything into the truck, walk through the house one last time.  It’s a good idea to get a snapshot of all your utility meters.  Once you’re at your new place, do the same.  Take a walk-through before unloading, take photos of meter readings, and if you find any damages, make sure to documents with digital images. Start unloading, box by box, item by item until the last one is placed in its place. Take your final break, order take-out or delivery, shower, and get ready for your first night in a new place.