Moving to a new home can be an incredibly exciting time, whether you’re doing it to be closer to your new job, spend more time with loved ones, or another reason altogether.
However, no one is denying that the process of packing up your whole life can be more than a little overwhelming. And then, there’s the issue of paying for the whole thing – it’s enough to make most adults weep! But don’t worry, these 9 hacks are sure to make your DIY move easier.
- 9 Hacks to Make Your DIY Move a Breeze
- 1. Get Your Security Deposit Back
- 2. Don’t Move During the Summer Months
- 3. Consider Hiring Professionals for the Loading and Unloading
- 4. Ask About Receiving a Relocation Package
- 5. Stop Buying Food in the Weeks Before Your Move
- 6. Take Pictures of Your Old Place
- 7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Sell Off Bulky Items
- 8. Don’t Waste Money on Packing Peanuts or Bubble Wrap
- 9. Make Unpacking Easier by Marking Your Boxes
- Bonus Tip: Pack a Bag of Essentials to Use On Your First Night In Your New Home
9 Hacks to Make Your DIY Move a Breeze
1. Get Your Security Deposit Back
If you’re about to move out of a place you’ve been renting, you’ll probably want to get your security deposit back. Unfortunately, landlords will take any excuse not to give it back to you.
Sometimes, even repairing items without permission might have cost you the deposit. So don’t let your landlord keep the money you could use to offset the cost of your move.
First, you’ll want to dig out your lease agreement and read the fine print to make sure you’re in the clear. Give yourself enough time to properly restore your place to the way it looked before you moved in.
Ideally, you should start preparing for the move at least two months before you’re scheduled to take up residence. That should give you plenty of time to deal with any damages and paint the walls back to the color they used to be.
2. Don’t Move During the Summer Months
June, July, and August are the most popular months for moving. However, those months also happen to be when most people go on vacation. But what does that have to do with your plans?
Well, if you’re planning on moving across the country, you probably won’t want to do it while everyone else is cruising around too.
Even if we don’t take traffic into account, you may want to hire professional movers at some point. But since most people move during the summer, the demand for their services will be higher – and so will their prices.
Conversely, most moving companies lower their rates in the offseason. Besides, there’s one last drawback you’d have to deal with if you were planning a summer move, particularly if you want to move in New York City or Los Angeles.
Namely, if you have to load your van yourself, you’ll find it much more comfortable if you didn’t have to do it in extreme weather conditions.
3. Consider Hiring Professionals for the Loading and Unloading
Let’s be honest, if there’s one part of moving most people enjoy less than others, it’s loading and unloading. So why not consider having professionals handle that part of the process?
If you have the budget for it, you could have your movers pack, load, drive, unload, and even unpack your stuff. Movers can even sell you the boxes you’ll need to pack.
However, if you’re working with a limited budget, you should have them handle the loading and unloading, at least.
If you insist upon doing the heavy lifting, remember to bend the knees. Lifting with your back could cause a serious injury, which is the last thing you need in the middle of a stressful move!
4. Ask About Receiving a Relocation Package
If you’re moving because you received a job offer you couldn’t pass up, ask your employer about getting a relocation package. Including one in your contract would allow you to write off most, if not all, of your moving costs.
Because it’s a one-time expense, most companies don’t finance relocation packages out of the same part of their budgets they use for salaries.
So they may have more freedom when deciding whether to grant your request. In any case, it can’t hurt to ask if the company might be open to financing your move.
5. Stop Buying Food in the Weeks Before Your Move
If you start preparing for your move two months in advance, you should be able to leave your old place with minimal waste. Many people throw out the contents of their fridge on the day of their move – but that’s a colossal waste of food!
Knowing that the date of your move is drawing near should make you start using up your supplies.
So start going through anything you have in your freezer and making food with what you have in your pantry.
On the day of your move, keep some plastic containers out of your boxes and pack up any food that remains to take with you. It’ll come in handy on your first day at your new home.
6. Take Pictures of Your Old Place
Before you start packing anything, make sure you take lots of photos of your old – or rather, current – home. It’s not for sentimental reasons.
Instead, these photos will remind you of your preferred furniture arrangements and help you figure out how to display your belongings in your new place.
You’ll also want to take photos of any details you’re sure to forget, such as the back of your TV. No one can ever remember which of those cords goes where! Similarly, taking pictures of your furniture will make reassembling it with the correct screws much easier.
7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Sell Off Bulky Items
Take a week to go through the items in each of your rooms. You don’t have to take them all with you – in fact, you shouldn’t take them all. So sort them all in piles of items to keep, donate, or toss.
If you want to make some money off your bulky furniture, you’ll need to put it up for sale weeks in advance. Hopefully, that’ll make your move easier.
8. Don’t Waste Money on Packing Peanuts or Bubble Wrap
Why should you pay for packing materials when you have plenty of clothes, towels, and linens that could play the part?
Stuff your socks in and around your glasses and mugs, wrap your picture frames in towels, and put blankets over your TV. When you pack your plates, wrap every one of them in a shirt and position them vertically in the box. They’ll be less likely to break that way.
However, if those don’t pan out, you could check with local grocery and clothing stores. When you get to your final destination, remember to return the favor by putting your boxes back in circulation.
9. Make Unpacking Easier by Marking Your Boxes
Marking your boxes as you fill them will make your moving experience much easier. Writing down the room each box came from or devising a color-coded system for them can tell you exactly which room they should be taken to in your new home.
But why stop with boxes? There are other organizational tools that will help you make heads or tails of your items when you get to your new place.
For example, Ziploc bags can keep chargers, headphones, and other cords neatly organized and tangle-free. They’re also ideal for keeping furniture screws all in one place – and they’re easy to label too.
Certain items could also stay exactly as they were in your old apartment or house. There’s no need to empty the dresser and kitchen cabinet drawers if their contents are light enough to carry.
Additionally, clothes on hangers can stay as they are. Just put them all in one trash bag and pop them into their new wardrobe when you get to it.
Bonus Tip: Pack a Bag of Essentials to Use On Your First Night In Your New Home
When you’re all packed up and ready to go, you ought to prepare one last thing – your bag of essentials.
Now, this bag doesn’t necessarily have to be a bag, you can also pack this stuff in a transparent box. Either way, keeping it with you allows you to have a smooth transition to living in your new home.
But what should you put in this last bag? Well, you’ll need:
- A toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, towels, toilet paper, and possibly shaving supplies
- Bedsheets and a change of clothes
- Cleaning supplies and a toolkit
- Snacks and water
- A first aid kit with any medications you’re on
Ultimately, meticulously planning for your move ahead of time will make every step of the way easier. As long as you start preparing on time, you’ll have nothing to worry about.