It’s not unusual for people who move to forget some of the many steps involved in the moving process. With so much to think about, plan for, and execute, something is always left undone. The laborious paperwork you have to focus on; the gruesome process of sorting and packing which awaits you; the stress of transferring vital services, the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder your head starts spinning, your memory fails you, and you overlook things. So, we’ve made it easy for you to remember. The following Reminder’s Moving Checklist will keep you on track:
WHEN MOVING, DON’T FORGET TO:
1. Place labels on boxes
You’d be surprised to know the number of people that forget this obvious task. When you come home tired after work with a load of cardboard boxes, and you want to get the packing job done quickly, so many people leave the labeling for later then forget it all together. Alternatively, they forget to buy a marker, and the old one from the previous move is dried out. Your family may help you pack, but they forget to label the boxes. Whatever the case, labeling takes first place on the forgetful scale.
When you don’t label boxes, you can be looking for things for days. Your belongings may be all scattered after you open box after box until you find the one with what you need.
For best results, use a marker pen to write the name of the room whose things the box contains and what the contents are. For example, “KITCHEN-POTS AND PANS.” Always write “FRAGILE” on boxes that contain delicate stuff, not just breakables. Some works of art and antiques may also be considered fragile.
Be loud and clear in your markings. Make sure your handwriting is legible.
2. Choose the right kind of packing supplies
Packing is one of the most laborious tasks in the moving process. First, you must sort out what you want from what you don’t want to take with you on the move. Donate the surplus and the undesirable or hold a yard sale. Then, make your smartest guess when calculating the number of boxes you need. Remember that a removal or moving company can give you the best estimate for the number of boxes you will need.
Suppose you retrieve boxes from the neighborhood stores’ discards and start packing away. But as you complete your task, you find out that the boxes you brought home were ok, but they gave out from under when you lifted them. There goes all your time and effort!
Getting the right kind of packing materials, boxes, tape, markers, and bubble sheets is crucial. Although some retailers with large items like Lowe’s and Home Depot usually have the best free boxes, investing on the right materials, and making sure you have enough boxes for the job, is money you won’t regret spending.
Professional workers in removal companies and movers can help get some of the heavy burdens off your shoulders. Delegate the strenuous responsibility that moving entails both mentally and physically by hiring professionals in the field. The right help is especially relevant when moving a big house full of things accumulated over decades or when downsizing. In the case of the elderly and special care needs population, don’t forget to get the specialized help they deserve.
3. Don’t pack away things you’ll need
Phew! Congratulations! You’re packing away; you even remembered the tape and the red marker. These boxes are sturdy and proper for household goods (not like the produce ones you got last time that smelled like dirt), but you wake up looking for your briefcase to go to work and it’s packed away with the things from the study room. Oh no, it could take you ten or more minutes to find the box with it. You’ll get caught in traffic and get to work late. Relax, remember to separate the things you are still using until the day of the move.
Plan ahead the number of times you change your clothes, prepare meals, and attend social events during the moving process so you can leave unpacked only the necessary items you will need until the day of the move.
4. Make a personal box
Just like you should remember to leave out the things you are still using up to the day of the move, you should also leave out the most Important documents such as passports, diplomas, and citizenship letters. Similar to other personal valuables like jewelry and government bonds, these personal valuables should always remain by your side during the journey. Our recommendation is to place these items in a separate box and label it “Personal.” Other essential items you can put in the box include telephone books (just in case you lose your cell phone), maps, keys, life insurance policies, bank statements, birth certificates, and professional licenses.
Also known as an essentials box, this precautionary step will help to safeguard your most precious belongings.
5. Remember not to move on a Friday
The busiest day of the week leading into the weekend is not the best day to move. Many people can’t avoid it, however. Their schedules do not allow them to move in the middle of the week when moving companies are more likely to be available at lower rates. Moving on the weekend has been a favorite, but you may end up paying more and taking more time. When the demand increases, so do rates, and in this case, the complexity of the job also increases. More traffic on the streets means more hours on the drive from point A to B. Moving professionals will have more jobs to do on the weekend and conflicts about labor schedules will arise. Workers will try to work faster and give you less than their best.
If you must move on the weekend, try to be their first job of the day. The earlier, the better; that way you and the workers will be fresh and do your best.
6. Remember the KEYS
My friend Henry recently moved cross-country to begin a fellowship program at Northwestern this Fall. Luckily, it was still summer, and he didn’t freeze to death sleeping in his car overnight while he waited for the realtor to bring him the keys so he could move into his off-campus bungalow. When I asked him why he didn’t check into a hotel, he said all the hotels were booked that night.
Do you know how often this happens to people when they move? Over 30% of residents reportedly forget to turn in old keys and get the new keys from the realtor before the day of the move. Just as common, getting all the keys to a home is another problem. Sometimes one or two points of entry are missing keys, resulting in the renter’s or homeowner’s expense.
Once at your new location, you should change all locks, don’t forget garages, sheds, and barns.
7. DO A WALK-THRU – DON’T FORGET
Finally! Moving day is here. You focus on spending the time helping the movers and making sure the furniture pieces weren’t damaged in any way. The truck is loaded and ready to go. When you get into your vehicle, you stop the engine because you remember to walk through the property right away. Make sure you leave nothing behind, that all garbage has been collected and dumped, all doors and windows are shut, appliance turned off, and water faucets are off.
A well-planned move may include a list of action steps to take. Among them, a thorough property walkthrough of both properties should be included. After loading, before leaving, conduct a detailed walkthrough of the property, inside and out.
Upon arriving at your new residence and destination, do the same. Perform a thorough inspection of the property’s grounds and interior.
DON’T FORGET to have a witness with you and take pictures of all discrepant conditions you find.
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