Due to its sheer size and scope, a moving project requires a great deal of preparation. To help you stay on track with preparing for your move, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their pro tips.
Once you officially schedule your moving date, the clock starts ticking on your preparation time. However, before you start packing, Mario Batz of Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage suggests going through and downsizing your belongings. “An excess of belongings can lead to an exorbitant moving bill, so it’s a good idea to take stock of your belongings and downsize,” he says. “Here’s a good rule: If you haven’t used something in more than a year, it should be a candidate for downsizing.”
When it comes to getting rid of your unwanted items, Mr. Batz lays out a few options. One is to sell them online or at a garage sale; another is to donate them to a charitable organization (which can give you a nice tax write-off). If you can’t sell or donate certain items, take them to the dump. If you have a large amount of items that need to be dumped, consider hiring a hauling service to save time and hassle.
Another preliminary aspect to consider is any reservations that need to be made for your moving day. For example, if you live in a congested traffic area like downtown San Francisco, Luis Aviles of Moving Forward recommends reserving parking spaces in front of your home or apartment building. “Just call the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and ask for a parking permit,” he instructs. “To ensure your space doesn’t get booked by someone else, call to reserve at least two weeks in advance. Keep in mind that parking permits are valid from 8am to 5pm, so you’ll want to be all moved out by the end of that time frame.”
Additionally, if you’re moving into (or out of) a high-rise apartment building, Mr. Aviles says you should look into reserving an elevator. “Dealing with elevators during a move can be time-consuming, especially if you have to share them with other tenants. If your building has multiple elevators, you may be able to reserve one for your move—just inquire with your building manager. Keep in mind that elevator transit can considerably extend your moving time frame, so have your things packed and ready to go.”
Packing is hands-down the most time-consuming aspect of a move, which is why many homeowners opt to leave it to their movers. If you’re planning to do your own packing, you’ll need to employ correct methods and efficient strategies. David Robb of Robb & Messer Moving and Storage suggests packing as efficiently as possible, both in terms of time and space. “It’s best to pack boxes tightly, as this reduces the possibility of items shifting around while in transit,” he explains. “However, avoid overfilling large boxes with heavy items, as this can cause the bottom to fall out. Also, to save time, avoid unnecessary steps like packing clothes on hangers or in drawers. These types of items can typically be moved as is, especially if it’s a local move.”
Jay Lucas of Santa Rosa Moving & Storage points out another important part of packing: labeling boxes. “When packing, I recommend using an easy labeling system,” he says. “For example, you can use colored tape to designate which boxes go into which rooms. This will simplify things for your movers and enable them to work more efficiently.” Mr. Lucas also recommends labeling all boxes on two sides—that way, whether they’re stacked or placed against a wall, their labels will be visible.
To avoid confusion on moving day, Mr. Lucas recommends setting any boxes that aren’t going with the movers in an unused closet or bathroom. This includes fragile or sensitive items that you plan on moving yourself. Pedro Hermosillo of Pedro’s Moving Services, Inc. gives a final suggestion to streamline things on your moving day. “Take apart furniture and other items that need to be disassembled for transport. This will leave one less step for the movers to deal with on moving day.”
Overall, by getting an early start and following professional protocol, you can look forward to a smooth and efficient move.