Why plan your move before moving out? Last minute planning and packing usually results in forgotten essentials, a more costly move and a stressful moving day. That's why we recommend creating a plan before you move out. These steps should help you get prepared for the big day!
Start by creating a moving file. This is a great place to store important documents like moving quotes, contracts, notes, receipts and other important information related to your move. Don't forget that many of your moving expenses are tax deductible, so it's imperative that you hang on to receipts and know where they are when tax-time rolls around. It's also a good idea to carry your moving file with you as you travel to your new home.
We think you'll agree that choosing the right moving company is one of the most important things you can do when you're preparing to move. Starting research early is a great way to ensure you get what you need when it comes to price, safety, service options and transit time. We recommend that you begin requesting moving quotes at least 30-60 days before moving out. This should give you plenty of time to ask questions, research and make an educated decision.
Get rid of what you don't need
The right time to pair down is before you move. You'll find that it saves both money and time. With U-Pack you pay only for the space you use in the moving trailer, so less stuff means less to pack and a lower price.
To figure out what to keep and what to leave behind, survey each room and ask:
- Does it have sentimental or monetary value?
- Does anyone really use it?
- Is it worth moving?
- Is there room for it in the new home?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no", consider leaving it behind. You can plan a garage sale, post it on an online auction site or donate it—all great ways to earn extra cash or get a tax deduction.
Do not ship items
Keep in mind there are several items that can't be moved in a moving truck. You'll either want to take these items in your personal vehicle or plan on using them before moving. These items include flammable or hazardous chemicals (anything in an aerosol can, cleaning and lighting fluids, paint, matches and ammunition); perishable foods or foods stored in glass jars; and live plants. For a more inclusive list, see U-Pack's Do Not Ship List.
Get an Inventory List
Once you've decided what stays and what goes, begin making an inventory list. Although U-Pack doesn't require an inventory, it's a great idea to have one for insurance company purposes. Your inventory should include a list of each item with replacement values. Keep in mind that items that are difficult to replace should be carried with you or shipped by insured or certified mail. These items might include:
- Photos and home videos
- Birth certificates, wills and other legal documentation
- Jewelry, rare coins and special collections
- Stock certificates, insurance policies and financial records
- Computer diskettes with backups of important files
Get Moving Supplies
Ordering moving supplies is much easier once you know what you're actually moving. So after you've paired down and compiled an inventory, go ahead and order moving boxes and supplies. U-Pack's box estimator can help you determine how many boxes to order. The boxes are delivered right to your door, so we recommend ordering them at least 30 days in advance. Start packing your non-essentials early to make moving day a little easier. It's also a good idea to review U-Pack packing tips before you start putting things in boxes.
Get an essentials box
You'll likely arrive at your new location before your moving truck arrives. If that's the case, it's important to pack the essentials you'll need to get by until your items arrive. Of course you'll need things like clothing, toiletries, medications and your moving file, but you might consider adding these items to an essentials box that you carry along in your vehicle:
- Phone book
- Light bulbs
- Toilet Paper
- Instant Coffee/Tea
- Dish soap
- Trash bags
- Disposable cups, paper plates and eating utensils
- Paper towels
- All purpose cleaning solution
- Masking tape
- Utility knife
- Can opener
Before you move, start researching your new community—online or take a road trip. Whether you start with a visit to your new city's website, call the Chamber of Commerce to request a relocation packet, or take a road trip to check out the local scene, you'll find that getting informed before you move pays off. It's also a good idea to request a copy of the local phone book, city map and newspaper. Most companies and news services will send a complimentary issue to prospective newcomers.