How to Avoid These Popular Moving-Day Mishaps

Between the packing, unpacking, finding new schools and services, and the financial strain, there’s a reason why moving is among one of life’s most stressful events. While it’s unlikely that you’ll get through the whole experience frazzle-free, you can alleviate some pressure by being organized and avoiding popular moving day mishaps — here’s how.

Book Your Mover ASAP

One of the most common mishaps when counting down to moving day is waiting to long to book your mover. Dates fill up fast, so don’t waste any time scheduling a pro. If you have flexibility, consider the best times to move. Note that 62 percent of Americans move between May and September, so try to avoid these months if you don’t want to worry about an unavailable date or the possibility of the mover not staying on schedule. Mid-month is less popular than the beginning or end, and early morning or evening (you can usually score a discount at this time) are more favorable than mid-day.

When searching for a quality mover, consider that a true pro will do a walk-through of your home in order to determine the costs involved. Request a binding estimate so that you’re not bamboozled and never pay a large deposit (especially if it’s asked for in cash). Finally, while moving companies assume the liability for the transported goods, make sure you understand whether you’re getting full replacement value protection or a limited amount of liability.

Create a Packing Central Area

The packing process should strategic so that you know exactly where everything needs to go on move-in day. Create a designated spot in your home to box everything up so that you can stay on top of everything. Packing Central is your organization station. Everything you need to pack should be here. This is where you coordinate and compile all of your packing supplies: packing tape, packing paper, foam peanuts, labels, permanent wide markers, boxes, scissors, razor cutter, plastic gloves, etc. Having Packing Central ready for fulfillment at all times makes everything run more smoothly.

Of course, the next piece of the pie is making sure you know how to pack properly so that your items don’t become damaged in transit. Remember to choose the right boxes and never leave any spaces inside them. Avoid mixing items from different rooms, and clearly mark each box with the applicable destination in your new home.

Change Your Utilities

If you don’t want to be left in the dark on moving day, it’s important that you switch over your utilities to your new property at least two to three weeks in advance. Start by creating a list of your current obligations and see if you need to reevaluate your priorities in order to save some cash. Don’t forget to take a reading of your new property’s gas and electric bills on move-in day so you can make sure you’re not overcharged.

Update Your Mailing Address

Even though you may do most things digitally these days, it’s still important to update your mailing address via the USPS website, but also individually notifying all of your credit card companies, banks, insurance, health care, company benefits, children’s schools, clubs or organizations you regularly donate to, online shopping accounts, voter registration, and any 1099 contacts if you’re a freelancer.

Make Arrangements for Your Pets

Moving can be just as stressful for your pet, so take a little time out of your chaotic schedule to make arrangements for your pets. If you don’t have a friend or family member to look after them — and a boarding facility is not an option — clear out a room in your existing home to contain your pet, complete with food, water, toys, litter box (if applicable) and bedding.

While it may not be top of mind, don’t forget to pack an essentials box that contains items you’ll need the day/night of, as well as the next morning. For example, a change of clothing, toiletries, electronics, snacks, cleaning supplies, and paper/plastic dishes and cups.

Moving day is stressful, but you can do several things to lessen your anxiety. With careful planning and some forethought, you can make the transition as seamless as possible.

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