Moving just seems to come naturally for certain people. They seem to have every detail perfectly planned, memorize the exact contents of every box with ease, and have all their belongings unpacked within hours. This article isn’t really for those people.

Instead, this article is designed to offer the basic steps of moving to those who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the moving process.

This first article focuses on the important steps for getting set up for your move so you’re prepared for the hard work ahead!

The Steps

1. Plan your move using a moving checklist.

2. Decide whether you will be moving yourself or hiring professional movers.

3. Select your moving day.

4. Reserve your moving truck or moving company.

5. Get your packing materials.

The Details

How to Move Step 1: Plan your move using a moving checklist.

Moving is an exercise in managing a large number of details in a short period of time. You need a powerful tool to help you in that process. Fortunately there are several free moving checklists available to fill that role. Be sure to download one and use it to manage those details effectively.

How to Move Step 2: Decide whether you will be moving yourself or hiring professional movers.

Professional movers offer an enormous amount of convenience. However, they are often fairly expensive. Here are some factors to consider:

· If money isn’t a consideration, reputable, professional movers are the way to go.

· If you have a smaller place currently, such as a studio apartment, you’re much less likely to need professional movers.

· Many heavy pieces of furniture should point you toward using a moving company.

· Having lots of friends and family willing to help limits your need for professional movers.

· If you’ve lived in your current location for more than 3 years, you’re more likely to have accumulated more boxes that might require movers.

· If you have a medical condition such as a bad back or heart condition, moving is NOT the time to test your recovery- let the professionals handle it.

How to Move Step 3: Select your moving day.

Your moving day will influence many of your other decisions. Here are some guidelines:

  • Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekends are the hardest and most expensive times to rent. You typically need to book these months in advance.
  • Weekends are more difficult to book than weekdays.
  • Weekdays are often better options in case you need to reach other businesses (during their business hours
  • The middle weeks of the month are easier to reserve than the first and last weeks.

How to Move Step 4: Reserve your moving truck or moving company.

The best moving companies and moving truck rentals fill up quickly, so you’ll want to make sure reserve yours early.

If you’re going to hire professional movers, you’ll want to follow these steps for finding great movers:

  • Get referrals from local real estate agents and friends who have moved recently.
  • Only consider movers that are licensed, bonded and insured.
  • Investigate your potential movers through the U.S. Department of Transportation “Protect Your Move” website, MovingScam-dot-com and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Evaluate a minimum of 3 movers based on in-home estimates of goods to be moved.
  • Price isn’t the only factor- extremely low bids indicate a desperate mover.
  • Ask for written “Binding Not-To-Exceed” estimates.
  • Avoid “rogue movers”- if you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts!

If you’re going to rent a moving truck, here are the basic steps:

  • Determine days you can move.
  • Identify how large a truck you want.
  • Select your rental agency from nationally recognized chains.
  • Confirm your reservation and put down a deposit, if required.

How to Move Step 5: Get your packing materials.

You’ll need to have some basic packing supplies before you begin packing. These include:

· Moving boxes

· Packing tape

· Bubble wrap

· Biodegradable packing “peanuts”

· Packing paper (like newspapers, but without the damaging inks)

Good luck on your move!

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