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Moving? 25 Best Ever Moving Tips

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By : T. Scott Clendaniel    99 or more times read
Moving can be one of life's most stressful events. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. After researching dozens of books, articles and websites, I've put together the top 25 moving tips I could find anywhere. They're organized by category to make them easier to follow:

    Getting Organized

  1. Start early- Almost everyone has more stuff than they think they do, and almost no one leaves enough time to pack it.
  2. Track your progress- Use a calendar to map out the major tasks you need to accomplish. At least once per week, track where you are against the dates on the calendar. Revise your plan if you’re falling behind.

  3. Finding Great Movers

  4. Only hire the best- If you choose to hire professional movers, do your research and hire good ones. Poor quality movers really can be worse than none at all. Get referrals from local real estate agents and friends who have moved recently.
  5. Research- Investigate your potential movers through the U.S. Department of Transportation, MovingScam-dot-com and the Better Business Bureau.
  6. Estimates- Ask for written "Binding Not-To-Exceed" estimates, based on an in-home evaluation of your goods to be moved. This offers you the most accurate estimates with the most protection of your money.

  7. General Packing

  8. Pack a suitcase- For each member of the family moving, pack a suitcase as if you’re all going on a 3-day vacation, including changes of clothes, medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, etc. Keep the suitcases separated from all the other items to be moved, such as in your car, at your new workplace, etc. so you’ll have everything you need for the first few days without searching through boxes.
  9. Create “Open Me First” boxes- Pick one or two boxes per room as "Open Me First" boxes. Put in them the things you'll need first at your new location. Then mark the sides of the boxes so you'll know which ones are which.
  10. One at a time- Wherever possible, work on packing just one room at a time (instead of several all at once) to keep things focused and organized.
  11. Less is more- Use packing as a way to clean out belongings for donations, a yard sale, and/or the recycling center. Aim to eliminate 1/3 of your belongings. You'll save time and expense.
  12. Tracking small parts- When taking apart items to be moved, such as tables, securely tape screws and other small parts securely to the underside of the item. You'll always know where to look and save time putting things back together.
  13. Save space- Use towels, pillows and t-shirts you’re packing as extra padding around fragile items. It will save room in your boxes.
  14. Criss-cross tape- Tape boxes along the seams where the flaps meet together. Then tape perpendicularly at the center of the first tape, forming a cross.
  15. Stacking- Stack boxes with the heaviest on the bottom, lightest on top to prevent crushing.
  16. The 30-pound rule- Keep each box below 50 pounds absolute maximum and below 30 pounds wherever possible. Heavier boxes lead to injuries, are much more likely to burst their tape or seams and tend to get dropped. Keep a bathroom scale in the room you're packing so you can keep the boxes below the weight limits.

  17. Box Inventory and Labels

  18. “Fat” is in- Use the thickest, darkest marker you can find for labeling boxes. Pencils, pens, tin or light markers are almost impossible to see even just a few feet away.
  19. Two sides- Label each box on the two broadest sides, opposite one another. That way if a box gets turned, you can still identify its contents.
  20. Abbreviate room names- Start box labels with the abbreviated name of the room followed by a box number, such as “BTH2-6” for "second bathroom, 6th box." You can then track each box to make sure everything arrived safely.
  21. Identify contents- Identify the major contents and where they came from, such as "Medicine Cabinet" or "Linen Closet- Towels and Wash Cloths."
  22. Box Inventory- Keep a clipboard and write down each box's room, box number and contents (graph paper is great for keeping things recorded neatly). When unloading, check off each box as it gets unloaded at your new place. Then you'll know everything arrived safely.
  23. Labels out- Ask movers to stack boxes in your new place with the labels facing out so that you can easily spot a specific box.

  24. Moving Day

  25. Again, start early- You want to have everything as organized as possible prior to the arrival of the movers.
  26. Use sitters- Recruit help in watching your small kids and pets on Moving Day. Your attention will be needed for the nuts and bolts of the move.
  27. Have food ready- Whether you have professional movers or friends and family, having coffee, orange juice, and bagels or donuts available will make it easier for everyone to get started.
  28. Proper payment- Almost all professional movers will demand payment in full and in cash before they will unpack a single box. Make sure you have payment ready.
  29. Directions- Have directions and a map ready for anyone will be driving between your old place and your new place. Also, make sure you have the cell phone number of the driver of the truck entered into your cell phone, and that the driver has yours in case you get separated or have a problem.

These simple tips can help reduce the stress involved with moving. Make sure to read through the entire list, then follow the ones that make the most sense for your situation. In that sense, you'll have your own, customized "best tips" list!

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