Written by: Benjamin Smith | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Does packing and unpacking all your personal belongings in a short period of time sound fun to you? For most, the answer to this question is "no." For those who find themselves in a position that requires them to relocate, these moving companies could be helpful: 123 Movers, Moving Nation, International Van Lines, Five Movers, Colonial Van Lines, and Atlas Van Lines.
When looking for relocation companies, moving services, storage services, and other services needed during local or international moves, it is crucial that you find reputable companies to transport the contents of your home.
The following advice from experts in the moving industry can help you make wise decisions as your moving day approaches.
How should you pack your house to make moving easy?
Remind yourself that it is okay to get rid of some things as you start going through each room. Sushee Perumal of MaxSold recommends that you give yourself time to go through each room long before moving day arrives. It is common to accumulate more than you think so doing one section at a time can make the packing process much easier. As you go through each section, make four piles: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Don't be afraid of making decisions and don't look back!
Nadia Anac, a real estate agent and active duty military spouse, has moved 10 times in the past 15 years and shares some of her personal hacks that have made her life easier during packing and unpacking.
"I start the process ideally two months before our move date by going around each room and getting rid of anything that is old, broken, doesn't fit, never gets used, etc. I also clean out any paper clutter. I do this one room at a time. Once I have done the initial sweep, I make sure all of the things I am getting rid of are out of the house. I either sell the items or donate them."
Another tip that has proved useful for Anac during her nationwide moves has been the use of vacuum-sealed bags. She organizes all personal items with other "like" items and then puts them in clear bags so that she can see what they are. Doing this helps her in the unpacking process as she knows the contents of each plastic tub or bag.
Though the task of packing up your house may seem daunting, if you give yourself a decent head start, you will get the job done with significantly less stress.
Should you hire someone to help?
Are you a professional powerlifter? One of the greatest challenges when packing is moving heavy furniture, boxes of books, and other heavy objects. Hiring someone to come and help can at times seem like an "extra" cost, but often times people don't appreciate the value of a moving company.
Nick Friedman from College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving shares some of the perks of hiring a reputable residential moving service for your moving day.
"Professional movers do much more than physically move your belongings. We cover everything from taking inventory, providing packing materials, carefully packing your beloved items, moving them to your new location, unpacking them, and even arranging your furniture for you. Having professionals do most of the heavy lifting can make your life much easier."
For untrained professionals, moving can be hazardous for either you or your home. You could either hurt yourself or damage your home if you are unsure what you are doing. If you decide not to hire a local moving company to assist you in the moving process, be sure to be educated on how to properly lift objects to avoid injury.
If you are looking at hiring a moving and storage company for any part of the packing, pick-up, delivery, and unpacking process, take advantage of the moving quotes provided online to gauge which moving services will provide you not only the best customer service, but also the best moving experience and quality.
What are some things to avoid?
There is no perfect way to tackle packing and unpacking. Each person has their own method that they feel is best. But there are common mistakes that cause moving to be much more difficult than it should be.
- Mixing room contents
"Don’t mix items from different rooms. By keeping the items within their respective rooms, you make unpacking a lot quicker knowing your living room box only has living room items. Label the boxes: living room, breakables; bathroom, liquids, etc."
— Emily Mahr, Business Development Strategist and Frequent Mover
- Ignoring pets
“If you have pets, I strongly suggest either putting them into a day-boarding facility, or designate a room in the new home you can close them in. This will prevent them from escaping, and give you peace of mind knowing where they are at all times."
- Packing everything
"We always designate a room a "no-packing zone," usually the guest bathroom, and start putting everything we don't want the movers to pack — such as the clothes we're going to need, a pot, a knife, a can opener, a lighter, coffee maker — basic necessities that can hold us over until our things arrive on the other end. We also keep our emergency supply kit in there, along with extra food and supplies for our dog (travel crate, travel bed, travel feeding containers, etc)."
— Nadia Anac, Real Estate Agent, Active Duty Military Spouse, and Mom
- Scrimping on cheap materials
"This isn't the time to be a cheapskate. Buy good, strong materials to avoid putting your things at risk. Moving things in cheap materials could be detrimental for your delicate items."
— Arthur Ruth, VP of Operations of Memphis Maids
How long will it take?
The time it takes to move in many ways is up to you. If you are planning on hiring moving services to take care of packing, storage, pick-up, delivery, and unpacking of all of you personal items and furniture, you could be looking at one or two days. If you are planning to do the job yourself, you should start at least a couple of weeks in advance if not a month or two. The longer you wait, the more stress will build as your moving day grows closer.
If you are looking for a moving company to help you relocate, here is a list of some options to help you in your research.
Key points to remember
- Don't be afraid of throwing things away (Think like the organization expert Marie Kondo)
- Start earlier than later
- Make educated final decisions and move forward
- Don't be afraid to seek out help if you become overwhelmed
- Research moving and relocation services before committing
You can do this. Moving can be hard, but if you find the joy in the completion of the small tasks, you can make it significantly more enjoyable!