The survival guide to moving out
I recently found myself in the position of my clients – packing up and moving into a new, beautiful home. My family is really excited about the new place. We’re already looking forward to having family and some close friends over for some barbecues.
The new home may be a dream, but the actual process of moving was not. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve moved, something unexpected is bound to occur. Here is my quick survival guide to help you keep your sanity the next time you move.
Buy boxes on the cheap, then resell afterwards
Try not to buy boxes brand-new. Go on Craigslist and look for people selling their old boxes. It’s easier on the environment, and you’ll save quite a bit of money. I found two people online. One was letting go of the boxes for free. The other sold 25 boxes to me for about $15 dollars. Not a bad deal.
After you’re done unpacking, flip those boxes back on Craigslist. You’ll be helping another family going through the moving process and getting rid of some unnecessary clutter.
Get on Craigslist, and get rid of unwanted junk
You know the old saying: one man’s junk is another’s treasure. In this case, geography can be a deciding factor. That vintage tin box may not be worth much to your neighbors, but a few miles away some collector may be willing to spend good money for a collectible. Putting stuff on Craigslist widens the scope of your sale, and makes it easier for you to unload the things you don’t want to bring to the new house.
If there’s anything left over, why not give it to charity? Those old things won’t do you any good boxed up in the attic. Before we moved in we donated some old baby clothes to charity. They benefit from the clothes, and we clamp down on the clutter. It’s a win-win.
A rule of thumb for time-management
Set aside a week of packing for every five years you’ve lived in your previous home. So if you’ve lived there for 15 years, it’s going to take about three weeks to pack up all the stuff you’ve accumulated. Packing usually takes longer than most people think; it’s never as simple as chucking stuff into boxes. You’ll have to organize and keep track of everything. Which leads me to…
Label, label, label those boxes
As the deadline for moving out of our first home loomed, the wife and I were tossing things into boxes without much thought. We managed to label 80% of those boxes. That 20% we didn’t label gave us headaches when we got to the new home. It got a bit chaotic finding certain items while we unpacked during the first week or so.
Check the insurance and reviews of your moving company
This is the most important tip of all. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t do my due diligence here. So, learn from my oversight:
We hired a professional moving company to haul the big stuff. Through the moving process, they broke our couch and scratched a couple of our items. On its own, this would have been bad enough, but getting the company to answer for the damages has been a problem of its own. The owner of the company was pretty shady. He said he was just a worker and tried to deflect my questions.
The moving company did indeed have insurance, but trying to get our insurance claim sorted out is also proving to be difficult. Now, the guy in charge of our claim is slacking off. I’m playing it cool, but if things don’t start moving, I’ll have to take my case to small claims court.
The moral of the story: do a lot of research before hiring a moving company. You’re basically entrusting them with some of your most prized possessions, so make sure they’re reputable. Use the internet as a resource for reviews and opinions. Yelp is a particularly good place to check reviews. It’s also important to get people’s feedback, because you can’t hire a company based on its sales pitch alone. Try to get a quote from at least three different companies and use your best judgment to decide who gets your business.