By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
A lot of Americans are on the move to a new home every year. According to the U.S. Census, about 11% of us
, or 35 million people, moved from one residence to another in 2017. That's a lot of moving trucks, tape, bubble wrap and goodbyes as families hit the road, creating new memories in new homes and often new towns.
Whether your next move is around the corner, a few towns away, across the country or the other side of the world, moving is often a stressful experience, ranked number 28 out of 43 on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. Preparation and planning reduce the move's stress and anxiety, but flexibility is key to anticipating and working around the unexpected issues arising for even the most meticulous moving masterminds.
10 tips for keeping moving day moving
Use a federally registered mover
Check that your professional moving company is registered in the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) database. This federal organization regulates moving companies and drivers' operating hours, safety standards, training and medical requirements. If you cannot find the company listed there, find someone else.
Get a written estimate
Reputable professional movers provide a written estimate of time required for the job, staff and materials needed, payment terms and a delivery window, then follow up with a written contract. If the contract and the estimate deviate too much from one another, it's a possible signal that the moving company cannot handle your move.
Decide on a packing strategy before you pack
Who is handling the big, heavy furniture; you or the moving company? Who packs Grandma's fine china and glassware; you or the movers? Before anyone sets up a box or unrolls the wrap, figure out who is responsible for which household items to avoid confusion or loss or breakage.
Keep an active to-do list
This is the small tasks list of things that need to get done, but often get lost among the big items. Jobs like cleaning out the refrigerator and cabinets, take out the last bag of trash, scrub the shower and unplug major appliances are last-minute jobs for this list.
Speaking of lists: inventory your box contents
Whether on paper or by Excel spreadsheet, know what's in which box as you pack. Number each box and write a brief, general description outside each box, such as "1-Bathroom - Towels and Sheets" or "2-Master Bedroom Closet - Shoes, Purses, Accessories" but use inventory sheets for additional details. You'll know better where to offload the boxes and what needs to be unpacked first upon your arrival. If you hire a professional mover, they should do this inventory for you as they are loading the truck.
Prep a cooler and the "Open First" box
You're exhausted when you arrive at your new home. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks for the road and the first few hours of your arrival and have an "Open First" box with a few days' worth of clean clothes, toiletries, medicines, toilet paper, towels, non-perishable food, pet food and the chargers for your electronics.
Involve the kids in the move
Relocating to a new home is often difficult for children. Make it their adventure: allow them to pack for themselves, label their toys and clothes, while encouraging them to give away unused or outgrown items to say goodbye to their old life and greet their new one.
Arrange for pets and elderly loved ones
Your four-legged family members may panic and run at the sight of so much confusion and strangers, while elderly loved ones living with you are in danger of injury from falls due to moved furniture and packing materials in their normal walking paths. Have a plan in place for pets and people who need shelter away from the move for a few hours or days.
Call ahead for the basics
Moving to your new home is stressful enough without the added burden of no electricity, heat, air conditioning or running water. Call the utility companies before you move to ensure these basic services are operating before your arrival.
The final countdown
Before you shut the door on this life chapter and start a new one, perform one last walk through. Are the lights off, water faucets tight, thermostat set high, windows closed and locked and every cabinet, shelf and closet empty? If so, it's time to go. And enjoy the journey, because it's more than a move. It's a step forward, an advance from known and cherished experiences to a new set of expectations.
If you need help with your local or long-distance move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group today!
Request a free quote