Hiring professional packers and movers for your move is sure to make your life easier and your burden lighter. When a professional team does the heavy lifting, you can concentrate on the rest of your tasks without worrying about tweaking your back, lifting that oak dresser, or getting that giant couch out the front door. And the laundry list of tasks leading up to a move keeps getting bigger. So much to do, so little time.
Just because you hired a company to pack your boxes doesn’t mean you’re off the hook entirely. You still have some preparatory steps to take. After all, it’s your stuff at stake. Plus, a new home is a perfect opportunity for a fresh start. A chance to be cleaner, more organized, and declutter your life, which feels pretty incredible. Here are 11 steps to take before professional packers arrive at your door.
1. Plan, Prepare and Put on the Calendar
The organization is crucial during crunch time. Utilize your calendar, keep it up-to-date and stay on top of your tasks before, during, and after moving day. Moving requires coordination – phone calls with realtors and utility companies, bank appointments, and meetings with mortgage brokers.
Then there are the sad goodbyes, enrolling kids in new schools, finding a new grocery store, and so much more that goes into relocating. A calendar on your phone can be your saving grace in remembering all the tasks you must complete and their deadlines. Sometimes looking at an electronic or physical list is the easiest way to stay on task and cross the T’s and dot the I’s.
2. Declutter, Donate, Discard
First things first: start sorting through all your belongings and get rid of what you don’t need. If you last used it three years ago: toss it, sell it, or donate it. Less stuff means less packing and moving, which may minimize the overall cost. Consider having a garage sale to raise funds for moving.
Purging feels good, decluttering is good for your mind, and doing this BEFORE your move will get it over with, so you don’t have to worry about it as you adjust to your new environment. Moving is the perfect opportunity to become a minimalist and declutter your life.
3. Clean Before They Come
Moving requires a lot of cleaning, so embrace it. A clean and organized environment makes everyone’s job easier and reduces the chances of damaged items. Clutter creates insufficient workspaces and can cause mental stress and anxiety. Clean and organize a bit in preparation for your packing team, and things will go a lot smoother.
4. Toss Non-Transportable Items in the Trash
Did you know there are particular items that packers and movers cannot handle for liability reasons? These items include:
- Anything hazardous or perishable
- Paint/Paint thinner
- Bleach, chlorine, or laundry detergent
- Gasoline, oil, brake fluid, coolant
- Lighter Fluid
If the item is worth keeping, make other arrangements such as transporting yourself; otherwise, toss them before your move so you don’t have to deal with them.
5. Pull Select Personal Items
You’ll want to keep certain items with you for safety. Furthermore, you’ll need to have an overnight bag of items you’ll need during your journey. Things you should put aside to put in your car include:
- Electronics and chargers
- Essential documents (Passports, birth certificates, immunization records, wills)
- Family heirlooms
- Valuable jewelry
Make a plan for these items so your packers know your schedule. Consider locking them in the bathroom or closet with a sign on the door to notify the packing team.
6. Label and Leave in the Room
Organize belongings in the room they’re from and utilize signs so the packers know how to mark the boxes and where to relocate them. Some items may switch rooms in the new home, in which case you’d give it a separate label. Be organized, and your packers will be more organized too.
7. Be Smart and Back it up
It’s always wise to back up your computers and other electronics with a hard drive or cloud storage before a move. Heaven forbid something goes wrong, and you lose everything. Be smart and back it up.
8. Mark Ultra Valuable Items
Marking extra valuable items notifies movers to handle them with extra care. High-value items may include:
- Expensive artwork
- Coin or stamp collections
In addition, you can declare high-value items. The moving company records the item’s condition and value, which room it came from, and any other relevant information.
9. Snap Photos
It may be hard to take photos of every item you own, but snapping shots of particularly valued items is a great way to cover your bases with a timestamp in case of theft or damage. Keep them on a backed-up file such as i-Cloud, so you can pull them up if you need to file a claim or prove the condition of an item.
10. Plan for Children and Pets
We love our children and pets, but they may cause a great deal of distraction during the moving process. Lean on family, friends, or nannies to babysit or pet sit while packers and movers are doing their job. If you don’t have childcare or pet sitting available, make a plan to keep them out of the way. Consider setting your children up with books, snacks, and activities in a spot away from a high-traffic area in your home.
11. Provide Snacks
Nobody wants to be hungry on packing or moving day. Everyone is happy with snacks and beverages. Consider having a spread of easy-to-grab snacks and drinks such as granola bars, crackers, cookies, and bottled water to keep you energized and say thank you to all those helping you on your moving adventure.
Whether you need packing-only services or full-service movers, the steps above will ensure a more organized, smooth, and efficient move. Planning ahead can make packing much easier for you and your moving company.