Whether you are moving across the country or just across town, moving can be a lengthy and stressful event. But it’s a part of life that just about everybody will have to deal with at least once or twice in their lifetime. The following moving tips will help you reduce the headaches of moving and will make your move a big success.

Create a Master Schedule and To-Do List or Download Ours Here!

The first key to a successful move is to be well-organized and to start packing and scheduling as early as possible. You’ll need to create a master timeline and to-do list to make sure that nothing is overlooked and that everything goes smoothly.

Use a labeling system to number every box and record the contents that are going into it. If you are using a professional moving company, they will use their own labeling system, so that part will be done for you.

Arrange Services Well in Advance

Generally, moves across greater distances with large amounts of personal belongings require more extensive planning and foresight. So if you are moving by land and sea, that could cost you several thousands of dollars and may need to be scheduled several months in advance, especially if you are moving a full house and one or more vehicles.

Furniture moving will likely be your largest expense. Some people try to save money by moving their furniture themselves, especially on short-distance moves. But this is generally not a good idea, as furniture can be easily damaged when moving from the home to the moving van and from the van into the new home. Hiring professional movers — who are bonded and insured — to at least handle your furniture is well worth cost.

Start Packing ASAP

You’ll need to begin packing well in advance of the move. A good first step is to eliminate any items that are not essential. If you have items in the garage or in storage that haven’t been used in years, now is the time to sell or donate them. Not only will you save money on moving costs, but you’ll also feel a lot of relief when you move into your new home and aren’t instantly bombarded with all the clutter.

Ideally, your movers will include boxes and packing materials for free, but not all movers offer this perk. You can also order packing supplies online in bulk to save a few bucks. But it might take a couple weeks to receive them, so take that into consideration.

Some movers will also pack and unpack everything for you and will reimburse you for any damages or lost goods. But double-check to see if that guarantee applies to boxes that you packed yourself. In some cases, it might be best to pay a premium price but let the movers do it all from start to finish.

If you are on a tight budget and are doing it all yourself, then you can find affordable moving boxes at stores like Walmart and Home Depot. Avoid purchasing moving supplies from your public storage facility, as prices on these will be marked up heavily. And if you are really strapped for cash, you can check Craigslist and local Facebook groups to see if any families have recently moved into your area and are offering their old moving boxes for free.

Take Care of Address Changes Before the Move

Just as you’ll be contacting moving companies and storage facilities well in advance of your move, you should also begin the address change process. Your utilities will need to be scheduled for shut off, and anyone you do business with should also be updated with your new address and move-in date.

You’ll need to fill out a change of address form online or at your local USPS location, but keep in mind that their mail-forwarding service is only temporary. You still need to contact everyone yourself to update them with your new address.

Moving can be a stressful process, but you can reduce the headaches by planning it all out in advance, scheduling all required services and address changes as soon as possible and getting a head start on the packing process by eliminating clutter before you even pack your first box. Use these moving and packing tips to make your move a successful one. Visit our change of address article for details.