How to get ready to move: 10 steps to moving

How to get ready to move More about Ethan Greenfieldby Ethan Greenfieldon Jan 18, 2023.

Getting ready to move is a critical stage in the process of moving from one place to another. Not only will the preparation phase determine just how successful your house move gets to be in the end, but it’ll also guarantee that 1) you don’t pay more money on your move than you absolutely have to, 2) you don’t waste any precious time wondering what you should be doing, and 3) you and your family members don’t get injured in any way during the moving preparation.

In its essence, the moving process is a series of important steps that you need to take in the right order. And as you tackle each individual step of the relocation job, you’ll be getting closer and closer to the ultimate goal – to move to the new place without any major problems along the way.

These 10 major steps will show you the best way to prepare for a move.

Step 1. Choose wisely: Movers or DIY?

One of the very first things to do to get ready to move is to make the all-important decision of whether you will hire professional movers to protect (understand pack) and transport your belongings to the new place, or whether you will hire a truck and move your things by yourself.

This is a critical decision that will determine how you tackle the entire preparation period. How should you know which way to go?

Generally speaking, you should hire movers when

  • you’re moving across the country,
  • you’re taking with you too much stuff, including specialty items
  • you don’t have any friends to help you pack and move, or
  • you’re moving out for the first time and as a result, don’t have any house-moving experience at all.

Choosing one of the best local or long-distance movers in your area will take a huge chunk of the relocation burden off your shoulders.

See also: Should you hire movers or do it yourself?

Step 2. Inventory your home

How to get ready to move out? Well, you should definitely know what you’re dealing with in terms of the number and types of things to pack and move to the new house.

When preparing for a move, one of your top priority tasks is to inventory your home with the purpose of deciding which items you will pack and move with you, and which ones you will simply leave behind.

Creating a home inventory is pretty straightforward – you just go into each room and make a detailed list of the things in there – the things you own and will potentially move with you when you leave the place. Make sure the inventory sheet contains the current condition of the items and whether or not they have any sentimental value for you.

Read also: How to make a moving inventory

Step 3. Decide what you’ll do with your furniture

While you’re compiling the moving inventory, you have to make the right decision concerning all the furniture pieces you own.

Since most furniture items are both large and heavy, moving any of them will increase the moving costs, sometimes by a lot. Additional time and effort will be needed to disassemble big furniture pieces before moving out and the same is true for the reassembly job after the move is complete.

Ask yourself if you really, really need to move your huge furniture to the new home. Keep in mind that a quick calculation is likely to show that moving furniture could cost more than what those pieces are worth, especially when you’re moving long distance.

So, think twice before deciding to haul any of your big furniture units to a place that’s located too far from where you are right now.

Must-read: Is it better to move furniture or buy new?

Step 4. Get rid of unwanted items

One critically important step when preparing to move to a new home is to discard all unwanted things before you begin packing.

Think about it this way: each extra item you choose to take with you will increase the final moving cost, be it by a tiny bit, because the overall shipment weight will go up as well. Therefore, the question you should be asking yourself is if you really need to move all the things you have in your current home.

Oftentimes, the answer will be NO. As time goes by, some items become useless and obsolete so there’s absolutely no point in paying money to transport those to the destination home.

In other words, just don’t pack and move any items that you don’t plan on using after the move. Instead, figure out the best way to get rid of them early in the preparation period.

Useful info: How to declutter your home before moving

Step 5. Prepare the necessary packing supplies

Packing for a move is an integral part of the entire moving preparation stage. After all, you can’t move your possessions without protecting them adequately for the upcoming move. Regardless of the move distance, your belongings must stay well protected until they reach the safety of the new place.

How to prepare to move? The next step is to secure the right packing materials in case you’ve made the decision to pack by yourself instead of hiring professional packers to get the job done more safely and quickly (see below).

In most cases, you’re going to need a lot of cardboard boxes of various sizes, a few stacks of packing paper, a few rolls of bubble wrap, several rolls of packing tape, and a set of color markers for labeling the boxes.

See also: What packing supplies do you need when moving?

Step 6. Pack by yourself to save money

When getting ready to move across the country, you should definitely think about initiating the packing process as early as possible in order to eliminate the possibility of falling behind your packing schedule.

One way to tackle the issue is to hire professional packers – the pros will bring the required packing supplies and protect your possessions in the best possible way. So far, so good. The downside to hiring professional packing services is that you’ll have to pay for the additional service of packing.

If you happen to have enough time until moving day, you don’t have too many specialty items, and you have reliable people who can help you pack, then you should consider packing your things by yourself with the purpose of cutting your moving costs.

Useful info: Packing timeline for moving

Step 7. Transfer the utilities

It goes without saying that some tasks prove to be more important than others when getting ready to move out. While it’s preferable to change your address prior to moving away, you can also do it after the move is over as well. However, you wouldn’t like it too much if you found the new place without power or running water simply because you have failed to transfer the home utilities before Moving day.

Don’t forget to contact your current utility providers and arrange the disconnection of the house utilities shortly after you move out. Also, get in touch with the utility companies in the new town or city and schedule their timely re-connection.

Moving house is the ideal time to reassess the need to keep all the home utilities you’re using right now.

Read also: How to transfer utilities when moving

Step 8. Change your address

The next step when you’re trying to prepare for a move is to change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) so that you can continue to receive your mail to the new place without any problems whatsoever.

Luckily, changing your address when moving is a task that you can complete easily, often from the comfort of your own home. Basically, you are given 4 different options to change your postal address and you can pick the one that you find the most convenient.

  • In person. Just head down to the nearest post office and initiate the change of address procedure in person.
  • Online. Visit the official USPS website and follow the steps to change your address online.
  • Over the phone. Simply call 1-800-ASK-USPS and follow the pre-recorded instructions to change your postal address prior to moving out.
  • By mail. Fill in Form 3575 and post it to POSTMASTER, United States Postal Service.

See more: How to change your address when moving

Step 9. Gather all important documents

Ultimately, the best way to get ready for a move is to follow a good moving preparation checklist that will guide you from the very start. Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of using a moving timeline is that you will know which tasks are coming next so that you won’t waste valuable time.

The next step is to actually gather the documents that you will need after the move is complete. This is a crucial task that will save you both time and headaches once you find yourself in the new home.

  • School documents. When moving with school-age children, then you’re going to need their school records in order to register them at a new school in the destination area.
  • Medical documents. Pay a visit to the family physician and request the necessary documentation from him or her so that you and your family members can register with a new doctor after the move.
  • Move-related documents. Keep all move-related documents in a safe place – for example, a binder.

See also: How to organize documents when moving house

Step 10. Stay safe throughout the move

It’s imperative that you remember that safety should be your number one priority during the moving preparation – your own safety and the safety of your family members, including any pets you own.

The critical task of guaranteeing everyone’s safety includes a series of precautionary steps that you have to follow on the day of the move to eliminate the chance of costly incidents or painful accidents.

  • Keep young children and pets in a secure room away from the packing and moving action.
  • Check whether all exit pathways out of the home are clear of any random objects that could pose a tripping hazard.
  • Use a moving dolly to save your back and to make the process of moving large and heavy items much easier and safer too.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that are appropriate for the occasion. The clothes should be comfortable, giving you the freedom of movement you need. The shoes must be closed and have rubber anti-slip soles.

See also: 7 moving safety tips everyone must know


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