An article written by Jim McKinley of Money with Jim
Whether you’re moving to a mansion or a one-bedroom home, the transitional process is never easy. However, with a little careful planning, you can survive the experience without being overly stressed (yes, it’s possible!). Ahead are the major items that should be on your to-do list so you can begin the next chapter of your life worry-free.
Hire Professional Packers and Movers
It’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin. With that in mind, it’s important to hire a pro to handle both your packing and moving. For starters, you will have peace of mind knowing that everything is perfectly packed (not to mention, you don’t have to drag home a bunch of supplies), and each box will be labeled so it is placed in its proper location within your new abode. A professional packer may charge $60 per hour, but if you do some research, you should be able to find one for $35 – $40 an hour. Both tasks are also handled with speed so you’ll save a ton of time — especially when it comes to cumbersome furniture that requires a certain level of expertise. Lastly, packers and movers are liable for any damages during the shift. If you did everything yourself, you’d be out of luck.
Keep in mind that moving and packing companies book quickly — especially during peak times during the summer— so researching and booking should be the first task on your list. Ideally, you should slate a time at least eight weeks in advance.
Before the pros come in to pack up your goods, make an effort to declutter every room, drawer, cabinet, and bookcase. Not only will this save you some cash (less to move equals less cost), but it will be easier to move into your new home if you don’t have so many items. Donate or toss (if in bad condition) any items that no longer interest, serve, or fit you or your family.
Make a Plan for Your Pets
If you have any pets, don’t forget to make arrangements for them prior to your move. Ideally, have a friend or relative watch them as all the chaos surrounding moving day is apt to make your pet feel anxious and stressed. When you move into your new home, make sure you maintain the same routine with your animals and set up a place where they can be comfortable.
Don’t Forget the Details
Be mindful of last-minute details such as switching over your utilities (at least two weeks in advance) and updating your mailing address. Even though you do a change of address with USPS, you still have to individually notify all of your creditors, banks, doctors, insurance companies, work-related contacts, memberships, friends, and family.
Pack an Essentials Box
It’s crucial that you remember to pack an essentials box so you’re not scrambling to find go-to items the day you move in. Items to consider include an extra set of clothing, pajamas, toiletries, disposable dishes and utensils, cleaning supplies, and all of your electronics and chargers.
Have an Unpacking Plan
It’s just as important to have an unpacking plan as it is to have one when packing. Start by cleaning each room, to include cabinets and closets. Set up your bathrooms and kitchen first, as they are typically the most-used rooms. Follow with the bedroom and then continue with personal order of importance.
Hire a Contractor
Don’t waste any time finding a contractor to make upgrades or repairs once you move in. The faster you take care of these tasks, the sooner your new house will feel like home. Just be sure to take note that the average price homeowners paid to renovate or repair a home this year in the Boston area was between $7,500 and $20,000. If you don’t have that sort of funding, you’ll need to take it a little bit at a time to make renovations and improvements to avoid being house poor.
While you may be focused on the inside of your home, don’t forget to take time to discover what’s happening outside, too. Check out the local hangouts, take walks, and get involved with the community. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your new neighbors, as having a good network around you will make your living experience all the more pleasurable.