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How to plan a move with 10 easy tips


You just signed a lease. You found the perfect new apartment. Your new residence has every amenity you want: a gym, garage parking, new appliances, smart devices, and Safely Finance. It might be too early to tell, but your new neighbors even seem normal. Now it’s time to move. Here comes the painful part, right?

No! Moving does not have to be stressful. In fact, with a solid plan and a little advanced preparation, your move can feel easy. All your belongings will make it out of your old home and into your new one worry-free. You can take a deep breath and feel at peace.

Our team at Safely Finance put together these 10 tips on how to plan a move. We’ll address your burning questions about what to include in your relocation plan, when to start, and the common pitfalls to avoid. Check it out below.

10 easy tips for planning your move

1. Handle your change of address details first

Your new address is officially yours when you sign the lease. First, grab some champagne or a slice of cake. Celebrate your signing. You deserve it! Then, head to your local post office and grab a paper Change of Address form or visit usps.com and file your Change-of-Address online.

Take care of your change of address early. Procrastination only creates a more tedious version of the same task later. Save yourself the headache of unpacking boxes and stressing about your mail after the move. Do it now. Your future self will thank you.

2. Start your moving to-do list

You cannot forget things if you write them down. Grab your phone or laptop and open your favorite notes app. It’s time to start a new list. Our team loves Evernote, Google Docs, Material Notes, and Simplenote, just as a few examples.

Your list serves two functions. First, to remind you of what you need to do. Second, to help you track what’s coming next. It’s strangely satisfying to check off each task as you get going. Plus, you’ll always know exactly what needs to happen when.

Every list is unique, but most share a few common to-dos. First, think about your packing supply needs. Write down what you need before you start packing. Then, think about all the spaces that you need to move, room by room. Next, write out a clear plan for the logistics. Last, visualize the order of operations for unpacking and moving in. This core inventory and prioritization is key for avoiding stress later.

3. Get packing supplies for free

No one thinks moving needs to be more affordable than our team at Safely Finance. Small expenses add up quickly. One easy place to save is with your moving supplies, some of which you can even get for free.

You can find free boxes and recycle at the same time by asking around at local stores. Appliance, department, clothing, and grocery stores all churn through hundreds of boxes every month, if not thousands. Estimate the number of boxes that you need, add an extra couple of boxes to that number for safe measure, and start hitting up stores. Ask politely and try a few stores. You should have your supplies before you know it. You might even score some packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, too, all without the high price tag.

4. Visualize your new setup as you pack up your old setup

Plan the layout and setup for each of your new spaces as you pack up, room by room. It’s unlikely that you will be able to replicate your exact layout from home to home. New ideas and a fresh setup are a chance to express your creativity. When you plan room by room, you pack up in an order that makes the most sense for easily unpacking each item as you need it. You will save time and effort, and your new home will feel comfortable and welcoming from day one.

5. Hire professional movers

When you have more than a couple rooms to pack, you want professional help. The longer your move and the heavier your stuff, the more it matters. No one wants to lug boxes up and down stairs after relocating halfway across the country. Professional movers can be expensive, but they don’t have to be, especially if you pay over time with Safely Finance.

You will find the best price when you shop for quotes. Gather quotes from at least 3 companies if possible. Be upfront about the fact that you’re looking for the best price and shopping around. Movers that know they have competition may offer lower quotes to win your business. If you have some flexibility, you could also try negotiating to be added to an existing truck moving to your same area or for a moving date on a less busy day. Regardless, make sure you know your rights, what is included in the service for packing and unpacking, and purchase additional insurance if you have any valuables or irreplaceable items.

6. Get help from your friends

We all agree free help beats paid help. If you can convince friends to join your adventure, make sure they’re fully committed. Tell them where to show up, when to show up, and for how long you will need help. Nothing is worse than thinking you’re all set and then having half your friends bail when you still have another 20 boxes to move. If you can, order a few pizzas as a thank you to let your friends know that you appreciate their support. Then, assign each person to a specific task, either by room or by category like kitchen supplies or heavy furniture, and so on.

7. Clean your new home before unpacking

Whether newly renovated or turning over between leases, every new home needs a first cleaning. Landlords cover basic touchups and handy work between leases. While useful, it usually means a small buildup of dust, paint chips, dirt, and other allergens left in their wake. Bring a broom, mop, duster, vacuum, and surface wipes with you when you arrive at your new home. Before unpacking, wipe down every surface. Vacuum or sweep and mop the floors, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Use wipes to disinfect appliances like the refrigerator and microwave. This way, cleaning before you unpack, you get all the hard-to-reach places before furniture and decorations take over.

8. Plan your logistics

It doesn’t matter if you move down the street or across the globe, you need a logistics plan. Your plan can be as simple as organizing your friends to carry boxes walking down a few blocks. Alternatively, your plan might require coordinating multiple moving services and international shipping solutions to get your stuff from one country to another. Either way, invest a few hours in planning your logistics before you start packing. Ask friends what services they used and recommend before signing up for anything. If you’re only moving locally or domestically, then investigate your options for renting a moving truck or borrowing a car from a friend if you don’t have one. Last, plan out the most direct route for driving that doesn’t mean constantly starting and stopping or taking too many sharp turns. Every bit of maneuvering could result in items shifting and breaking in transit.

9. Clean your carpets, curtains, and covers

When you’re ready to unpack, first check that your big textiles didn’t pick up any new dust or dirt in transit. Moving is the perfect occasion to finally invest in a deep clean for rugs, carpets, curtains, big blankets, shower curtains, etc. These are the places that allergens love to hide in and that we often forget to clean until it’s too late. You don’t want to bring bad vibes into your beautiful new home.

10. Make a pile for donations, upcycling, and recycling

Inevitably, you come across things you no longer need or want when you move. Before tossing this stuff out, think about what truly cannot be used by someone else or recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. Gather all the items you plan to let go and separate them into three groups: items for donation, items that can be upcycled, and items that can be recycled. Donation items will need to be clean and in good condition. If you wouldn’t use it then don’t think that someone else wants it. Upcycle candidates are useful things that you don’t have the time, energy, space, or tools to salvage. For example, donating gently used kitchen towels to center that repurpose them for professional rags at places like commercial kitchens, charity kitchens, and mechanics shops. The last group, your recyclables, are any paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, or glass items that fit your local waste management requirements. A quick Google search or phone call to your local recycling center should help you figure out what can be included.