Whether you're moving across the country or just one neighborhood over, this can be one of the most stressful and most time-draining experiences you go through. Few things take as much planning as making a move, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to simplify the big day for you. From packing to unpacking, here are some handy life hacks to make this move as easy and efficient as possible.
1. Free Boxes
A reminder that there are free boxes available seems like the best way to start off this list. After all, moving is as costly as it is frustrating, so anything that can save a penny is worth mentioning. From the "free" section on Craigslist to department stores and warehouses, there's an abundance of cardboard boxes available to anyone who knows enough to ask for them.
2. Time To Trim The Surplus
Now that you have a big stack of free boxes at your disposal, you can begin packing up everything from attic to basement. While you're doing this, why not use the opportunity to rid yourself of broken knick knacks, outgrown toys, and that hardly used exercise bike? There's really no reason to bother packing those things that don't mean anything to your family anymore. In fact, why not have a yard sale to help cover other moving costs?
3. Take Pictures
On the subject of packing, it might be worth it to photograph the set-up of your electronic devices, such as computers and home entertainment systems. By taking pictures of the backs of these electronics, you can more easily reconnect everything in your new home.
It also might be worth the extra time to snap a few pictures of your furniture, especially if you plan to hire movers. This way you'll have evidence, if any damage should occur in transit. If your camera (or smartphone) has an option for including a time stamp, it would be best to have that enabled as proof that damage occurred when you claim it did.
4. Get Your Deposit Back
This is always tricky, especially if you didn't take pictures of the place, before you moved in. Nevertheless, there are steps you can do to ensure you get most, if not all of the deposit returned.
- Remove carpet indentations - melt ice cubes in the dents and use a spoon to fluff up the carpet fibers.
- Fill nail holes - If you don't have any spackling paste, use toothpaste or ivory soap.
- Remove carpet stains - Spray 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water with lemon oil added. Let sit for 1 minute and scrub until the stain is gone.
- Scuffs - A tennis ball will remove scuff marks from hardwood floors.
5. Labeling Your Boxes
Of course you want to know what's in each box, but it's also smart to label the boxes with their designated rooms. This will be helpful, when it comes time to carry them into your new home.
Now that those boxes are labeled, you can organize the order in which they'll be loaded. Whether you can move into your new place right away or you have to use self storage, you'll want easy access to items you may need in the near future. Boxes containing these essentials should be loaded last into the truck, so they'll be at the front, when you unload into the storage unit or your home.
6. Additional Hacks To Simplify The Move
While there are too many suggestions to list everything here, a short list of hacks will make it easier to safely pack fragile items. For instance, packing dishes so they stand upright will ensure they're packed more securely. They will be less likely to crack this way.
Use plastic wrap to secure jewelry in its display case. Likewise, sealable plastic bags can be used to store small valuable items and to save screws and fixtures. Just don't forget to label the bags, so you'll know which screws went with the television mount and which screws belong to the vanity mirror.
Finally, don't forget to change your address at the local post office. It's recommended that this be done two weeks before moving day to ensure it takes effect by the time you do move.
While moving can be a tense situation, a little planning and some out of the box thinking can make the experience less troublesome. Add a little luck and you'll be in your new place before you know it.