Plan Ahead to Make Moving Easier

By: Christian Jacobsen

Obviously, moving is an integral part of buying or selling a home. Yet in the hustle and bustle of getting your existing residence on the market and looking for a new one, you may almost forget what all is involved. But with some forethought, moving doesn't have to be too stressful.

If you can, start packing early. This will help clear your place for when potential buyers come in. They say a key aspect of home staging is removing the clutter in your home, so start boxing up the decorations and non-necessities as soon as you decide to put your home on the market.

To save yourself space in the moving van, or especially if you are shipping your possessions, get rid of as much as possible before you pack it up and move it to your new home. As soon as you begin to contemplate selling, start looking through your closets and around your home for superfluous, worn out or out-dated items. Remember, it's said that if you haven't worn it or used it in over a year, you likely never will again. Donate old clothes, unwanted furniture, books or other goods to a thrift store. Some of them are run by societies that specifically help out single mothers or some other group, so you can feel good about being charitable while doing yourself a favor as well.

Determine ahead of time whether you will be able to pack and move yourself, or if you'll need some professional help. Be honest with yourself about your personal strength, and also your driving skills. Moving is a big job. Are you able to do all the loading, and do you feel comfortable driving a huge van? Depending on who you have to help you, it is often well worth the cost of a moving company just to have someone else load and unload all your boxes and furniture. Some companies can also pack for you, if that's outside of your time budget. But plan ahead and be sure to reserve the moving company of your choice. Many of these companies will be busy at peak times, such as at the end of a month.

If you are unsure of who to trust with your valuables, ask around and find out what moving companies your family, friends and co-workers have had success with and trust. Notify the moving company in advance whether you want full service, where they pack and unpack, or if you just need them to do the loading and driving. Also, be sure to get a written cost estimate.

There will be some things you don't want to pack up. For example, if you have kids, they will take comfort in keeping out a small selection of special toys to bring along with them on the drive to your new home. Also make sure you leave some cleaning supplies behind after the move, so you can clean the house once it's empty. Of course, it's always an option to get a professional service to come and do this job for you, too.

Also, don't forget to notify the utility service companies, banks, credit card companies, magazines, or anyone who ever sends you mail, of your address change. Plan in advance when the utilities will go into your name in your new home, and prevent being stuck without the necessities.

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