The average American household shifts over seven thousands pounds of stuff – about 100 boxes – with each move. No wonder folks suffer moving-day stress! This shocking figure applies to a normal family home but even if you’re only moving a two-bed apartment; our tips can help limit some moving-day stress.
- Keep you moving company honest
No one likes being overcharged so avoid problems with your movers by getting detailed written estimates from at least three companies. Have each one do an in-home inspection instead of estimating by phone or email.
We all want our movers to be dependable but moving companies are among the most criticized businesses in the U.S. Avoid moving-day stress by getting references from friends and family for a short-list. Check the results with the Better Business Bureau, movinghelp.com or Yelp to see if there are negative reviews or any complaints.
- Going the DIY route
Should you decide to move yourself, the DIY route will cost less than hiring a moving company, but before you make that decision you need to know how big your move will be. How much in terms of quantity and size of belongings and furnishings will define what kind of help you’ll need.
Moving is grueling, both mentally and physically. Do you and your helpers have the kind of stamina it takes?
- Don’t move stuff you don’t need or want
Clear out all items you want to sell, donate, or trash. Moving is a mission but it’s also an opportunity to make a clean start. Make piles for items to donate or fill trash bags with stuff you don’t need.
Pantry foods, cleaning supplies, open condiment bottles, old magazines, old paints and solvents should be given to neighbors, donated or safely recycled.
- How to save on moving supplies
Moving supplies in the form of boxes, tape, markers, bubble wrap, etc. should be assembled ahead of time. Collect free boxes; liquor boxes are particularly good because they’re good-quality cardboard and not too big – can’t be heavily loaded, making them a strain to carry.
Look on Craigslist for “curb alerts” for free used cartons or you can try freecycle.com for giveaway packing boxes.
- Don’t wait till the last minute
Start packing as early as possible, weeks in advance if you can. If you’re struggling to pack up the kitchen as the movers arrive, your moving-day stress is guaranteed.
Make the job more manageable by breaking it down into small projects, one area at a time. By packing your own boxes, unplugging appliances, and rolling up rugs you’ll save time and reduce any hourly rate.
Be sure each box is well-packed, fragile items wrapped carefully, and labeled. When labeling, mark boxes on the top and side with a description of the contents – “crockery” – and where it belongs – “kitchen.” Put filled boxes meant for the same room together, so they are loaded and unloaded at the same time. A truckload of unlabeled boxes makes for bad moving-day stress
- Don’t forget to factor in hidden costs
Buying lunch and dinner for your helpers and beverages and snacks can add up. There will be on-the-road costs like motels if your move calls for overnighting.
Gas and tolls both cost more for moving trucks; the average truck gets less than 10 miles to the gallon. Then there are any equipment rentals like hand trucks and furniture pads.
- Check your insurance policy
Don’t ignore insurance cover. Better coverage lessens the impact of moving-day stress. Purchase insurance through your mover or check your existing insurance policy to see if it covers relocating.
- Have a “survival” box
A “survival” box can be a lifesaver! One box with essentials – those things you always need – flashlight, toilet paper, coffee, mugs, kettle, snacks, scissors and medicine!
Keep the box near while you move – in your car, maybe. You only need to open that one box to find everything you need when you arrive at your new home.