Resources to help you during a move

Moving TruckMoving is stressful, especially if you are closing on two properties on the same day. The amount of things that can go wrong or over looked are innumerable, so it helps to be very organized. Luckily, I’ve got my ultra-organized wife to help me in this endeavor. She has a checklist for every detail: the movers, the insurance, utilities, finances, closing, and packing. I’m a bit less organized. I have a scrap of paper on my desk with a series of names and numbers that I have to contact. I’m not perfect.

Here are some resources that can help:

Obviously, some of the items on these checklists should be handled by your real estate agent. That is what they get their commission, but it is also good to be on top of everything when the closing and moving dates arrive.

12 Comments for “Resources to help you during a move”

  1. posted by Jen on

    Matt — thanks for the posting … moving is such a stressful time (try moving across the country, MI to OR, only to move back home 3 months later because of an unexpected pregnancy!) I love the Real Simple list, and I also like the idea of creating your own original lists in order to stay organized throughout the process.

    I also think it’s helpful to remember that some things will inevitably go wrong, and that we’re not perfect (I know, hard to believe … lol) — it helps to have a sense of humor while moving, because it can be a very stressful time if you let it.

    It’s also a wonderful time to simplify, donate & pitch things that no longer serve your life.

  2. posted by Kristin on

    I agree that it’s a great time to simplify. Moving is stressful and for some reason, and this is from experience (I’ve moved over a dozen times as an adult .. both local and long distance), the local moves seem to kick us harder than the long distance ones. Maybe it’s the subconscious knowing you can always ‘go back’ for one more load.

    The best thing we’ve ever done is have the ‘bin’. The ‘bin’ holds paperwork for the movers/truck/new house/old house,etc in a plastic bag; paper plates and plastic utensils; gift cards to fast food restaurants so we can eat while packing/moving (or have someone else run out and get it for us and we don’t have to worry about carrying cash or giving someone else the use of our debit or credit card); extension cords; batteries; spackle; a few extra outlet covers with screws; baby wipes; a few garbage bags; various tapes; a small tool set; gum; an extra toothbrush; travel sized toiletries in a small plastic bag; a roll of paper towels, a small spray bottle of all purpose cleaner (we use vinegar) and a few other items. Over the years we’ve perfected our ‘bin’. It travels with us and is kept out, typically in the kitchen, of our old house until we leave, and then at the new house once we arrive. I cannot express how helpful it’s been. When in doubt, it’s in the ‘bin’.

  3. posted by Cole on

    Thanks for taking up the suggestion Matt and Erin!

    I’m moving in the next 2-3 months and my wife and I want to pack as much as possible while decluttering. The suggestion of the colored and labeled boxes is genius. I’ll start a “box index” today when we pack the first few. Now I’m looking forward to it, instead of dreading it. 🙂

  4. posted by Catherine on

    Man, I wish I had the luxury of the moves you all are describing! My husband and I are moving to France in September. Talk about complicated.

  5. posted by Karen on

    It’s helpful to put some of the important information up on the web somewhere. (Send yourself an email and leave it in your gmail or other webmail account?) I kept a list of phone numbers as well as a basic list of what was packed and where in my gmail account.

    This is especially handy if you’re going to be “in transit” for a few days and staying in hotels. My apartment was unavailable and I ended up living in temporary housing for a month. Laptops can die or be unavailable, cell phones can be lost or stolen, papers can get misplaced, etc. If worse comes to worse, you can borrow a computer from someone, go to the hotel business center or go to Kinkos etc. It can’t hurt to have that information in more than one place.

  6. posted by Karen on

    I’ve moved three times in the last two years. A couple of other tips. Cheap packing tape is NOT worth the cost savings. Buy the name brand stuff, and buy one of the hand-held tape dispensers. (I like the red Scotch ones that hold the large roll of packing tape.)

    Also, if you are moving boxes yourself and you aren’t used to carrying large heavy boxes, I would suggest using the smaller size “book boxes” as much as possible. They don’t hold as much, and it’s tempting to use bigger boxes so you can use fewer of them, but the book boxes are easy to carry in your arms and don’t get so heavy that you can’t lift them. This is especially important if you have to carry boxes up and down stairs, around corners, etc.

  7. posted by Anne on

    Move is a 4 letter work right now! ha ha, we just got to california from NewMex, and we did it ourselves totally.
    If you have time, I so recommend this; an inventory of what is in what box.
    Ex kitchen box 1-silverware, steak knifes and sew machine box
    I can not tell you how much that would have helped in staring at the amount of boxes coming off the truck. We moved to a much smaller house and I thought I had decluttered. NOT…
    unless you are moving to a 3rd world country I would get rid of anything that makes you say…”I might need this” Because all of that is now gone/well awaiting gone on the side porch for a goodwill run! Boxes I packed, brought 1300 miles to donate? Not effeciant!

  8. posted by Chris on

    Something I love to do is focus on boxes. I visit the local liquor store everyday and pick up un-brokendown beer boxes. Why you ask is they all have handles they are all the same size and for most women they don’t like to do moving because the boxes are too big and they end up getting heavy. Next thing they are all about the same size which means you can stack them very easily without having holes in the stack. I consider them almost like legos just because how eaily they are to stack. And the number one great thing is they are my favorite price *FREE*.
    Then I love having plastic bins to store important things. And if you move a lot I recommend those because they are easiy to carry. Just get the exact same size because then when you need to store them they stack and store really easily. I hope this helps some of you.

  9. posted by Taisha on

    Another good resource for those trying to find a mover is:
    Besides the information on moving companies, they provide great links to federal and state agencies as well.

    Also, for the eco-friendly people who live in Cali, check out:
    I haven’t used the service myself (I’m on the east coast and they haven’t expanded this far yet) but I’ve talked to the owner a few times and I really like his passion.

  10. posted by penguinlady on

    Having moved across the US twice, and from So. California to Central Alberta, Canada (all within the last 7 years!), I definitely believe in good organization when you move. My number one tip – especially if you’re moving across a border – is to get a very good inventory of your stuff. We had all of our boxes confiscated and inspected at the border because the moving company didn’t properly list the inventory. Plus, there’s always that one box you can’t tell if you’re missing or not. (“I swear I had another row of books, but maybe I weeded them out.”) If you know that you have 5 boxes of books and only 4 come through, there’s a problem. Also, when you see you have 20 boxes of “miscellaneous”, you know it’s time to de-clutter!

  11. posted by Annalea on

    Wow–how timely is this? Our house just went under contract (with a very solid buyer–hooray!), and we’re going into moving mode. Thank you so much for posting this info. I never would have found the time to search it out on my own . . .

  12. posted by Jennifer on

    I would highly recommend making sure you are insured before you move. My husband was driving our 23 foot moving van across the country and stopped to sleep at a motel. He woke up the next day (6 hours after stopping) and the van had been stolen, along we every single thing we owned (the contents of a 3 bedroom house), and our car, which he was towing behind. The truck was found later by a brownie troop – jack-knifed and empty -except for, thank goodness, our car and believe it or not, most of our family photos. We filed an insurance claim and got roughly 1/3 of what our possessions were worth. No one was ever caught. I’m just glad the van was found because the moving company wanted $100,000 from us to replace it – not covered by insurance. Anyway, sob story, I know, but be careful out there folks.

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