November 16, 2021 Posted in How-to
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

How to Prepare for a Move in the Most Efficient Way

Around 31 million people move each year in the US, and even though some of them will hire cross-country movers, they still have to know how to prepare for a move. Because in the end, hiring movers is only part of the whole process. You still have to plan and arrange other things, but don’t worry – with a couple of advice and tips, your moving preparation will be easy and without fuss.

A girl boxing up clothes on her floor overlay
Even with the help of movers, some tasks you must do alone

No matter your reasons for moving, whether you are relocating in winter or summer, most of the preparations will be the same. And yes, long-distance moving requires a lot of work, time, and energy. But if you plan everything on time and stick to that plan to the last detail, you will have a stress-free relocation and the most amazing experience.

Make a Timeline of Your Move

Once you decide where to move, you can begin making a timeline of the whole process. The best way to organize your move is to create a relocation binder. Here you will put all the things you must do before and after your relocation. This way, you will have a reminder at your disposal all the time, so nothing is omitted. Create categories of tasks and put a checklist of the specific actions you must take in each section. And if you wonder when should you start preparing to move, the answer is – as soon as you decide where to live. Here are some suggestions of the categories you should create:

How to Make a Perfect Budget for Your Move?

The best way to save money for a move is to create a relocation expenses checklist on time and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Do this months before you even contact a long-distance moving company. This way, you will have enough time to save money for relocation-related expenses. Here is a checklist of expenses you  must count on if you want to have an efficient move:

  • Hiring movers,
  • Three months of rent and living expenses,
  • Real estate agent,
  • Travel expenses,
  • Paperwork fees.

Find the Best Cross-Country Movers Weeks Before Your Relocation Day

“How do I start preparing to move out” is a completely logical question in the first days after the decision to relocate is made. The answer lies in getting help, mainly in the form of professional cross-country moving services. But how to find good long-distance movers and avoid relocation scams?

First, you can ask friends and family for cross-country moving company recommendations if someone has recently moved. On the other hand, if no one can give you recommendations, you can search online for long-distance moving services. Go through online reviews and check if the company has a USDOT number. That is the surest way to see if you are dealing with a legit company. Also, when looking for movers, find the ones that can provide you with affordable packing services as well.

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Downsize Before You Pack

Packing is a huge part of your relocation process, so if you want to have the most efficient move, you will have to ensure the packaging process goes smoothly as well. And the best way to pack and prepare is downsizing for a move, especially if you are relocating from house to apartment. The finest rule to implement when deciding what to keep is only keeping the belongings you are using. Get rid of all stuff you haven’t used for more than two years. And once you declutter and get rid of all the junk, your packaging will be much easier.

Donate Old Stuff or Organize a Yard Sale

One of the greatest relocation tips is decluttering three to four weeks prior to the move-out day. This way, you will have enough time to donate unwanted items or organize a garage sale. Create a household inventory list of all the things you’ll bring with you and get rid of the rest. And if you want to evaluate your household goods, do that before the sale begins, especially if you have rare collections. Check online how these and similar things are valued, and you can even sell them online.

Girl donating her clothing before long-distance moving overlay
Help both someone else and yourself and put your old stuff for donation

How to Get Ready to Move – Get Packing Supplies…

Once you have your inventory list, you can go shopping for packing materials. With an inventory list, you will do an easier assessment of how many supplies you need. And you will know what kind of supplies you need. For example, fragile items are best to be packed in bubble wrap. When looking for boxes, the best relocation hack is to buy medium-sized boxes. Those are the best-sized boxes because they are much easier to carry. Also, if possible, get boxes with grabbing holes on the sides so carrying can be even more comfortable. Here is a list of supplies you need:

  • Boxes,
  • Paper,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Plastic wrap,
  • Labels and markers,
  • Scissors and cardboard boxes knife,
  • Duct tape and duct tape gun,
  • Cushioning,
  • Moving blankets.

Or Find Free Supplies at Your Home

One of the greatest tips to pack quickly and cheaply is to skip the shopping step. A lot of household items can be used as a replacement for professional supplies, especially for protective materials. So instead of using specialized blankets for protecting your furniture, you can use sheets or blankets from your home.

Also, you can pack glasses with your socks or wrap them up with your t-shirts. Instead of cushioning, you can use towels and other clothing. And did you know that you can find free boxes? Just go to your local grocery store and look by the recycling bin. Also, you can get free boxes at your office or liquor stores and bookstores in your area.

Three pairs of socks overlay
Things like socks and towels can be great protection for your belongings

How to Prepare for a Move Into a New House

When thinking about how to prepare for moving, you have to have in mind settling into your new home. You must think about the unpacking process as much as about boxing up. It would help a lot if you could acquire measurements of your new place, so you know what furniture to bring. You don’t want to pay for the shipment of the furniture that can not fit your new home.

You Will Need to Clean Everything Before You Pack

Imagine this. You are at your new residence. Everything is clean and fresh, and you begin unpacking your belongings and come to realize that everything is dirty and that you have to clean it now. To avoid this, properly prepare for a move and clean everything before wrapping it up. For example, book a cleaning company for deep cleaning of your furniture. This will make your unpacking more enjoyable, and your belongings will be safer during transportation. As you know, when moving cross-country, there is a possibility your belongings end up in storage facilities for a couple of days, and the surest way to protect them is to clean them before the shipment.

Moving Is Unimaginable Without Essentials

How do you prepare for a move-in day? The answer is easy – with a box and bags of relocation essentials. First, you need to pack a bag of essentials for each family member. You should put all your valuables, clothing for a couple of days, and hygiene products, ideally in one or two boxes. Depending on your plan, these containers can either go on a truck with your movers or with you, if you are driving to your destination.

These packages should be placed on a truck last, so they are the first to unload once your belongings arrive. There are all the items you will have to unpack quickly upon your arrival to make the days ahead more comfortable – you won’t have to go through each box searching for necessities. Here is what you must put among the essentials:

  • Cleaning supplies,
  • Toilet paper and paper towels,
  • Hand soup,
  • Dish soap,
  • One plate for each family member,
  • Pot where you can fry and cook,
  • Coffee and coffee maker,
  • Mugs for each family member,
  • Snacks,
  • Hairdryer,
  • Vacuum cleaner,
  • Tools,
  • Garbage bags.
Man packing bag of essentials for a cross country moving overlay
Put your valuables in a bag of essentials

Packing Tips to Move Like a Pro

Thinking about packaging your entire home may cause you a headache, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Like in every big project, if you begin on time and are systematic, it can be done with ease. So if you have already finished the decluttering process, half of the job is already done. Start with packaging at least three weeks before your move. This way, you will ensure everything is packed. The goal of good boxing up is to make your unpacking go fast and smooth.

Clear One Room for Packing

So if you wonder where to begin with boxing up, you can’t go wrong with making a working station in your home. Designate one room where nobody is passing through frequently and do all the packaging there. This way, you will not be in a rush to fill up any box, and you will have space to pack everything with care. That can be a garage, basement, or guest room.

Start With Items You Don’t Need at the Moment

Now that you have a working area, you can begin with the packaging of your belongings, and since you are not relocating for the next couple of weeks, start with belongings you will not have to use in this period. So if you are relocating in summer, deal with winter clothes and gear first.

Pack all the items you know you will not use from your kitchen, like the casserole you only use for turkey baking. And while we are at food, don’t forget to begin eating food from your fridge and freezer because food is among the items movers won’t move. And it is questionable how many charities will take frozen food as a donation. So if you don’t wish to waste it, begin eating it right away. Check this video for more tips.

How Do You Emotionally Prepare for a Move?

Long-distance moving is hard, and relocation depression is a real thing. So how to prepare yourself emotionally? First, you have to figure out what you will miss the most from your old town. That will probably be your friends and family, and you will feel anxious and sad knowing that they will soon be miles away. But if you create a plan and stick to it, there is no need for you to drift apart. If anything, all of your buddies are just a click away in your pocket. So make a deal with them and start the tradition to always hear with them on a certain day in the week – a day that works for everyone. Create a group chat with them and share this new chapter of your life there. They will be happy to hear from you, and you will adjust much faster knowing you are not alone.


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