Make Moving Day Less Maddening [part 1]

Is moving maddening? It has been for me in the past but it also has turned into something oddly fun. I have moved to new towns, moved into a dorm, moved into apartments, and even moved a few businesses. Prior planning has always made the difference between the “piece of cake” and the disastrous.

When it comes to the madness of moving, my unofficial motto has become, “Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Historically, I have been the go-to-guy when it comes to transporting “stuff” from one home to another because I own a pickup truck and I have a “happy to help” attitude.

That attitude has changed on occasion due to the lack of foresight on the part of others. Such maddening moving mishaps have occurred because:

  • Someone did not check the weather forecast for moving day.
  • Someone did not have the key to the home, building, or storage unit.
  • Someone had not begun to pack until help arrived.
  • Someone severely underestimated the number of trips or amount of material required to transition.
  • Someone did not clean the new place before the move began.
  • (My personal favorite) Someone wants to rearrange everything in every possible way.

Most people are simply under prepared and overwhelmed. One thing to consider is to make sure your stuff is insured before you move, as things can easily get damaged in the moving process.There are many things to juggle when you move, but hopefully these 6 tips will help keep you sane.

#1 Staying organized. Have plenty of boxes, labels, and markers handy. Organization can take a lot of effort but stick with it.  I’ve been there.  I start out keeping the dishes together and then the toiletries but by the end I am dumping drawers into any box with enough free space. If you find junk, take it to goodwill or the trash but do not take it with you.

#2 Proper planning.   Make a list of needs well before the move so you have an idea of what needs to be done. Divide the list into subcategories of before, during, and after the move and put timelines on each. What tasks should be done 1 month before the move? How about 1 week before the move or the day of? Tasks like setting up utilities at your new residence can be done in advance long before you move, whereas tasks like filling out your move in checklist can only be done after you move in. Try to get as much done in advance as possible to reduce the madness on moving day.

Here are a couple more tips to properly plan:

  • Check the weather for moving day and plan accordingly.
  • Price out and reserve trucks or trailers weeks in advance, not last minute.
  • If it’s in your budget to hire moving professionals ensure their references are checked – even going so far as to check with the American Moving and Storage Associate before signing on the dotted line.
  • Make sure you have enough insurance to cover items you’re moving and any additional coverage required for your new residence or belongings.
  • Record and document with photos the expensive items you’ll be moving. Store this information in a safe place in the event you’ll need to file a police report or insurance claim.
  • Keep all receipts in an easy to access spot for tax season.
  • Ensure your movers or helpers have a list of emergency contacts in case something happens en route to your new residence.

[continued in part 2]

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