An efficient, well-managed move not only saves you time and money, but it also can make the transition to your new home easier and more pleasant for your family. That’s why the Council of Residential Specialists offers these proven tips to help make your move a trouble-free experience from start to finish:
- Set a Budget. Early in the process, determine how much you want to spend to relocate your belongings, then stick to your budget. A CRS REALTOR® can provide you with an overview to help you anticipate what tasks and expenses you’ll need to take into account.
- Hire movers. Find a reliable moving company as soon as you know you’ll be moving. (Your REALTOR® can suggest one, or check for favorable reviews online.) Be clear about your needs and expectations, and be sure you understand the company’s policies and any possible charges before signing a contract. Also, be sure to compare prices among 2–3 different companies.
- Take care of the details. Arrange for utilities—phone, electric, internet—to be shut off or transferred to your new home. Contact your bank, credit card issuers and any company that regularly mails you an invoice to inform them of your new address. Complete a change-of-address kit at the post office (also available online).
- Make a packing list. Go room to room and make an inventory list. Organize it first by room, then by type of item (i.e., furniture, linens, packable items, fragile items and valuables). Once you have a comprehensive list, use highlighters to color-code all items into three categories: keep, sell or give away.
- Get rid of everything you don’t want or need. Once you’ve sorted your list, identify the items you plan to sell or give away. If some of the give-away items are large, arrange to have a local charity pick them up from your home. For the items you plan to sell, hold a small garage sale, or post the items to eBay or Craigslist.
- Pack your remaining belongings in an orderly fashion. Get a head start by first boxing things you use less often, such as off-season clothing, extra linens, tchotchkes or electronics. Clearly label the outside of each box with its contents and the room where it will go in the new house. Pack fragile items carefully and separately using plenty of packing paper (unprinted newsprint), and write FRAGILE in large, legible letters on all sides of the box. Liquids and medicines should be sealed in leak-proof containers.
- Plan to transport valuables yourself. Movers will be responsible for almost everything, but you should personally move hard-to-replace or valuable items, including computers, electronic components, jewelry and art, as well as pets and plants.
- Prep your new home. If at all possible, go to your new home before moving day to clean and make sure the necessary utilities have been turned on. Plan out exactly where your furniture should go.
- Make life as easy as possible for the movers. Show the movers which items you want loaded last (and therefore unloaded first). Have as many items as possible ready to go—this should be close to everything in your home. After they’ve finished unloading your belongings on the other end, assess whether there’s any damage. If there is, be sure it’s noted in writing before the movers leave and before you sign anything. Also, have a cash tip ready for each mover.
- Donate canned goods and food items so that you don’t have to move them. Organizations like Move for Hunger can help you clear out your pantry while also helping those in need. Move for Hunger works with a network of about 650 moving companies to deliver unwanted canned goods to local food pantries. Or, if you’re looking for a local food bank, visit Feeding America’s website (www.feedingamerica.org) for a zip code-searchable list of food pantries.
For more tips on making the most of your move, talk to a Certified Residential Specialist. As a REALTOR® with special experience and training in residential sales, your Certified Residential Specialist draws on a wealth of experience to help make your move a success.