Get Ready to Move: 6 Things To Do Before Packing

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You’re getting ready to move. Packing your belongings might seem like an overwhelming task, but there are many things that need to be done before you even get to that step. Here are six things to do before you start packing. 

 

1. File a Change of Address

You need to file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service USPS system. You can either stop in to your local post office and fill out a form, or you can do it online. (Doing on the USPS website requires a major credit card. It doesn’t cost anything, but they need the card to identify you and make sure the change is valid.) Do this several days in advance of the move, so that forwarded mail begins to reach your new address at the same time that you move in. 

 

2. De-clutter and Downsize

The more stuff you get rid of, the less you will have to pack. And the less stuff you move, the better. It will make your new home more efficient and attractive, and it will feel like even more of a fresh start.

According to Snappy Living, if you haven’t used an item in more than six months, you should get rid of it (although this doesn’t apply to strictly seasonal items like swimsuits and skis). If you want to capitalize on your no-longer-needed items, you can list them on Craigslist or hold a yard sale, but you’ll have to start months in advance of the move, and you still might be left with a lot of stuff. Unsold items that are still usable can be listed as free on Craigslist or donated to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or another reputable thrift store. If you have a lot of items that are unusable or otherwise unwanted, you may need to plan several trips to the dump, a special commercial garbage pickup, or even a dumpster rental.

 

3. Make Repairs

If you’re moving out of rented space, you lease might require you to repair damage or return things to their original condition – for example, repainting that wall that you (or your kids) decorated a la Jackson Pollock. If you’re selling your existing home, you may have negotiated certain repairs to be made before the closing. In either case, these things take time. Diane Schmidt of The Spruce suggests doing home projects eight weeks before you move.

 

3. Your Papers

Every family has important documents that must be protected and kept track of: passports, deeds, bonds, birth certificates, wills, power-of-attorney documents and such-like. Gather them together and put them in a fireproof, locked box, and keep this safe and available during the move. 

There may also be plenty of documents that you don’t need any more but that contain sensitive information that you don’t want others to get hold of, such as old credit card statements, bank records, business records, and tax returns. After consulting with your accountant or lawyer about what you should keep and what can be safely disposed of, get rid of the latter safely. Do not send it to the dump, unless you don’t mind people picking through the details of your life. If you have boxes and boxes of records, a consumer-quality paper shredder will take forever. Hire a document shredding service instead. 

 

5. Compare Moving Costs and Services

Will you rent a van and make the move with the help of friends and family, or do you prefer to hire a moving company? Doing it yourself with a rented van may be false economy if you consider the value of everyone’s time and the risk of someone injuring themselves. Your time might be better spent directing the commercial movers as they bring your belongings into your new home.

Do some price comparison (visit www.themovingblog.com) and see how economical it can be to hire professional movers. It is one less headache for you, and pros can be incredibly efficient. 

 

5. Gather Packing Materials

If you are going to do the packing yourself, make sure you have plenty of packing material. You need bubble wrap, strong corrugated boxes, and tape. Don’t plan to use newspaper as a wrapping material: it doesn't provide enough cushion, and it can get ink all over your items. 

If you’re moving to the Savannah GA area, you just might find your new home with Landmark 24 Homes and Reality.