Moving into a new home involves several emotional stages starting with the joyous fantasies of a new place and a fresh start. The joy usually becomes stressful hopelessness in a sea of messiness trying to get everything organized, packed and cleaned. Moving experts rely on simple tricks to make getting out of one place and then into a new one a much less stressful process. Here are 5 tips to make moving a breeze in Philadelphia.
Donate, Sell, or Dump
Don’t take trash to a fresh start. Take the time to sort clothing, kitchen and other household items. Set aside four different bins: keep, sell, donate, and trash. Over the years, people tend to collect a lot of junk that they really do not need. Spring cleaning is a great time to get rid of these things. The next best time is when you’re moving. It’s best to get rid of unnecessary things because moving from one space to another is typically a hassle itself. The move stuff you have, the longer it will take, and the more money it will cost. So your best bet is to identify the things you absolutely need, sell the things you have that may be valuable, donate some things, and then trash the rest.
Whether it’s the old wardrobe that hasn’t fit in 10 years or an old kitchen mixer, go through things and make honest assessments of what you need and don’t need. The new trendy thing that a lot of people are starting to practice is minimalism which is basically the practice of owning fewer possessions. It goes deeper than that but for the sake of this article we will keep it surface level as it relates to moving in this case. Although I don’t consider myself a minimalist by any means, I do think there are some minimalist principles that may help when it comes to moving:
- Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” or “Is it useful?”
- Get rid of duplicates
I believe if you apply these principles before you move, it will make the process much easier.
Also, go through paperwork like old files and artwork from the kids. Reducing paper can greatly reduce the number of boxes you pack and move. Shred any old paperwork that isn’t needed in this next phase of life. For files you want to keep, scan them to flash drives. We live in the digital age now so take advantage of free apps that help you scan documents and upload to your computer, a cloud drive or a personal hard drive. Take pictures of the bulk of kids’ artwork just sitting in a drawer and not displayed. This way you have the items for memory-sake but don’t have the bulk of paper everywhere.
Make pre-printed labels for packing so you know exactly what is in the box you packed. This will save you a lot of headache after you moved because it will make the unpacking process smoother. Use large labels that you can slap onto taped boxes. Pre-print the main rooms of the home: Master, Kitchen, Bath, etc…. Put the labels in a “packing kit” that includes packing tape, box cutters, and permanent markers. Keep the kit with you as you work. When a box is packed, immediately slap on the appropriate label for it . Highlighter colors are also another way to organize packing. Use different colors to coordinate with different rooms.
You don’t have to go too crazy with organizing your packages but if you’re looking to sell your house or you’ve just sold your house and you plan on moving into another house or apartment in PA then this is a great way to make provisions for when you arrive at your next place. Not only do you want to make the packing and moving process simple, you want to make the unpacking process just as simple as well.
Make a List
There are a lot of things to do when moving. Packing is just the beginning. Make a list to stay organized. It is highly recommend to go a step further and use a day planner or calendar to set tasks for certain days as the moving date approaches. The last thing you want to do is get down to the last couple days before you move and then find yourself scrambling to pack. That’s a recipe for chaos and disaster. You should start planning at least a month before your moving date. Create a checklist to start following early on so moving day is far less stressful.
Detail when to call utility companies to start and stop service. Note when deposits or escrow deadlines must be met. Set a schedule for packing boxes to break it down into smaller, manageable chunks. You’ll also want to prepare yourself for with a moving supply kit which should include things like boxes of different sizes, box cutters, garbage bags, rubber bands and anything else that will make the packing process easier. The days up until your moving date will most likely run smooth if you take the time to plan these things out.
Everyone finds certain moving tasks more tolerable than others. Some people will hire a moving company to pack and move everything so they never need to even touch a roll of tape. Other people like to organize their own boxes but may hire movers to transport. There are pros and cons to both of these. If you hire movers to pack everything for you and transport it, you will save a ton of time and headache but you may lose some things in the mix. Or you simply may not know where they put certain things until you unpack everything. If you hire movers to simply transport your stuff for you, then obviously you’ll have to take of the tasks of packing everything yourself which is very time consuming, but you will know where all of your things are. That’s up for you to decide
One area to consider getting help is cleaning. By the time the move itself is done, the thought of scrubbing kitchens and bathrooms is overwhelming. You’ve just spent all this time and energy to plan, pack, and finally move and now you have to clean? There are cleaning companies that specialize in move-outs and even move-ins, cleaning your old place for the next resident or preparing your new place before you get there. Other professionals to consider include carpet cleaners. Of course this all depends on your moving budget or finances and what you are doing with the former residence.
If you are selling your previous residence then obviously you want to leave it in the cleanest condition possible which assist you in selling for a higher price. But even if you are looking to rent out your former residence, you still want to leave it in great condition so that your new renter will feel comfortable moving into that space.
Change of Address
The number of places to notify of a change of address seems never-ending. Start with utilities a couple of weeks before the move, setting both cancelations of existing utilities and set-up of new ones. You don’t want to get caught without hot water on the first night in your new place because the gas, electricity or water hasn’t been turned on yet. Many utility companies have a waiting period for service appointments.
Next you want to notify the Post Office so you can get any mail sent to your old place forwarded to your new place. You want to do this at least a week ahead from the moving date. If you do this later, there may be a gap between when you move and when your mail forwarding can begin. and get a moving kit. Or go through the process online. Doing this ahead of time not only gives you adequate time to notify the Post Office of your forwarding address, it provides coupons you can use during the move for things like cable, moving trucks, storage units and other services associated with moving.
And of course you have to notify Uncle Tom, the IRS of your address change.