Although exciting, moving homes can be one of life’s more stressful experiences. The to-do list for any move is epic, whether you are moving near or far.
Once you’ve found a new home and have successfully sold your property, there is still a lot to do. There’s the admin work, real estate agents to liaise with, contracts to finalize. And then there’s the sorting and packing of all your possessions to do, too.
It can be overwhelming just thinking about it.
As any professional mover will tell you, the key to a successful move is to get organized early on.
Here are 7 tasks to tick off your list as soon as possible:
1. Research Movers Thoroughly and Book Early
A great moving company is worth every penny. They’ll help you every step of the way with sound advice.
As well as providing useful guidance, quality movers ensure your possessions are in safe hands and minimize the risk of lost or damaged possessions.
To find the best, get recommendations from friends, colleagues and family, read plenty of reviews and get in touch with past customers, if possible.
2. Download a Good List App for Your Phone
You are going to need a lot of lists: packing lists, to-do lists, lists of numbers, and more.
The easiest way of keeping on top of your lists is to keep them on your smartphone. This way, you’ll be able to share lists with others, sync them across your devices and be able to add to them wherever you are.
A good app allows you to write lists, pin important information from the web into your notes, and add photos and voice memos. All your moving information will be safely stored, impossible to mislay and never out of reach.
3. Research Your New Neighborhood from the Comfort of Your Couch
If you’re moving over a fair distance, then you have the added stress of familiarizing yourself with a new neighborhood, town or city.
When you’re surrounded by a mountain of unpacked boxes and don’t know a soul nearby, a small problem can become a big emergency. Not knowing where you can pick up medication, get pet food or last-minute baby supplies are the kinds of errands that can get stressful without any local knowledge.
Spend some time online familiarizing yourself with where you can access local services to avoid stress later. You’ll need to know where your medical and dental services will be. Knowing where there’s a supermarket, a hardware store, public transport links, a bank, and a post office will all save you valuable time when you are busy settling in.
Social media groups and local forums can be fantastic resources for getting answers to questions that search engines may not be able to provide.
4. Begin to Edit Your Possessions Now
It’s amazing how many possessions we can amass, even within a short span of time. Taking what you no longer need when you move can incur unnecessary moving costs, so it pays to start sorting through your “stuff” as soon as possible.
The earlier you begin, the easier it will be to find good homes for all your extra belongings. You’ll have more time to sell useful and/or intact items if you have the time for a yard sale. Or there will be more time for a charity to collect unwanted furniture and other usable goods if you plan to give away some of your possessions.
You do not want to be left with a fridge-freezer full of food either. Get creative in the kitchen and use up as much as possible to avoid throwing any of it out.
5. Arrange for Routine Appointments
You will be so busy around the move that important routine appointments can end up being overlooked or canceled.
Try to schedule as much as possible sooner rather than later. Check and ensure all your family member’s and pets’ immunizations are up-to-date, arrange for dental checks, and appointments at the optician and ob-gyn.
6. Back Up Vital Information Using the Internet
Some documents are just too vital to risk losing at all. While you should keep them with you during the move, it’s sensible to spend time scanning or taking photos of important documents just in case. For even more insurance, email them to yourself or put them in cloud storage.
7. Pack an Overnight Survival Kit
Professional packing services are fast and efficient, but it’s still necessary to pack some items yourself. These will be the essential overnight items you can’t live without, even on the short term.
Include changes of clothes, toiletries, nightwear, snacks and drinks, phone chargers and the kids’ most favorite toys. For your new home, a small cleaning kit is also a good addition. Include equipment and provisions to cook a basic meal and make hot drinks. A basic toolkit and a torch may also come in quite useful.
Once you’ve organized your moving day essentials, put them in your car or clearly mark them so that packers don’t box them up or move them in error.
A move of any distance requires a lot of time and effort. But by following these steps to get organized, you will save yourself from a lot of stress. You can look forward to the excitement of starting anew, and there will be more opportunities to enjoy your amazing new home, too.
Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA). With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.