As your moving date approaches, the anticipation rises. Excitement about the change builds just as quickly as your to-do list. You’re packing up your life and all of your worldly possessions, after all.
No matter how many moves you’ve made, there’s a lot that goes into it. It’s only natural that some things could fall through the cracks. But these essential tasks are the ones you’ll want to make note of to have a seamless move.
1. Plan for Your Furry Friends
You’re likely not the only one making a move — your pets are, too. And it can be easy to forget about how they’re getting from point A to point B. Much of that depends on what you’re planning to do for yourself.
For cross-country moves, it may be a time-saver to fly and have everything shipped to you. But you’ll want to check with your preferred airline to see what their pet policies are. Some breeds are unable to travel via airplane because of their size, breed, or health.
Even if you’re planning to drive, do you have room for your pets in your vehicle? For larger animals to be comfortable, they require a decent amount of space. And if your car is crammed full of belongings, it might not be a comfortable or safe journey for your pet.
You may want to consider using pet transport services. They can be booked in advance and provide the peace of mind that your animals will arrive at their new home safely. These services can even move pets long distances, if flying isn’t an option. Plus, setting that up ahead of time means you have more time to prepare for other aspects of the move.
2. Double-Check Move-Out Requirements
Move-out day is hectic. You’re running around snagging the last of your belongings and coordinating where everything goes in your car or moving truck. Realizing last-minute that you spaced on something you’ve previously agreed to is a thing of nightmares.
When you sign a lease, you agree to certain terms for moving out when your lease ends. That typically includes things like taking all of your belongings and providing advanced notice about your decision to vacate. However, it can also include cleaning and specific instructions on what to do with items like key fobs.
Even if you own your home and sold it, verifying the terms of sale for move-out requirements is often an important step. Make sure you leave behind anything you sold with the house — like curtains and light fixtures — to avoid repercussions. The earlier you can prepare, the more stress you’ll save yourself.
The last thing you want when packing up your life is stressing over something you could’ve prepared for. Do yourself a favor and review your lease information when moving becomes a serious consideration. Not waiting until the last minute can be a reassuring step that pays dividends come moving day.
3. Pack Your Essentials Separately
Regardless of how far you’re moving, you’ll need the essentials even on moving day. Items like your toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, and pajamas are everyday items you can easily pack up. But when you’ve made your move and get to a hotel or your new home, it’s nice to have those items readily available.
A few days before you move, take note of the items you use most frequently. From personal hygiene to medication, it’s important to track it all. Remember any necessary tech items — like a phone charger — and important documents, too. Then, when you go to pack your last few boxes, you know what to separate from in an overnight moving bag for easy access.
Make a bag for everyone in your family and throw in some general essentials, too. Having headache medicine, bandages, and cash to tip movers can make moving that much easier. Plus, you avoid having to painstakingly dig through multiple boxes to track down what you need.
Even better if you can plan for your first week post-move. Make sure to pack extra items for kids, too. They may need more clothing options than adults for spills or accidents. Preemptively doing laundry and having a suitcase you can effectively live out of is a great way to streamline the transition.
4. Sort Out Your Pantry and Kitchen
On any normal day, a stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer are great things. But when it comes to moving, it can be troublesome. From spills and spoilage to the cost of extra boxes, food sometimes doesn’t make the cut when moving. But without careful planning, you might find yourself tossing perfectly good items.
Instead, start to whittle down your food collection a few weeks before moving day. Challenge yourself to make use of as much as possible to limit waste. You can even make it an activity. Take a few ingredients from your kitchen and try to make something delicious with them. You’d be surprised at what new recipes you might find, and you’ll be saving on groceries in the process.
In the days leading up to the move, get even more critical. Toss anything that’s expired and give away or donate perishables that are good but not worth moving. Then, you’ll have a smaller assortment of food to choose from, and deciding what to bring with you is that much easier.
If you must take certain food items, make sure you wrap them strategically. Some plastic wrap, tape, and plastic bags can prevent big messes. Then, make a food box that stays with you — in the car or on the plane — to limit potential spills.
Make the Move
Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to be prepared for everything when moving. However, identifying things that could cause delays and make life more difficult will make the process easier. That way, you’ll transition into a new space in a good state of mind ready to make it a home.