10 Ways to Make Moving Easier

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By: Jenny Zhang

You took advantage of the first-time home buyer tax credit, you bought your first home and now there’s the dreaded move. Moving is not only labor- and time-intensive, but also potentially messy and expensive. After all, there’s the packing and unpacking before and after the move too.

Between organizing, buying new furniture, moving old furniture and small renovations, you’ve got an entire week of work already ahead of you. To help with the often overwhelming task of moving, here are 10 tips to hopefully make your move a little easier:

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1. Label each box.

There’s nothing more frustrating than tearing through boxes because you have no idea what you packed in there, only to find out it’s the wrong box in the wrong room. Prevent this annoyance by clearly labeling each box with its contents and where it belongs.

2. Measure the dimensions of each room before moving the furniture.

Have you ever had this great vision of how you’d like to set up a room, only to have it ruined because a chair is a little too big and a cabinet is a bit too small? Measuring a room first can prevent this mishap and is especially helpful when you go furniture shopping; having the right dimensions will allow you to gauge how appropriate the furniture is for the size of the room.

3. Measure your windows.

Along with the dimensions, it’s also important to keep in mind where the windows are because you probably don’t want to block natural sources of light. Knowing the length of your windows will also give you a better idea of where you can put furniture or hang pictures.

4. Depending on how much stuff you have, get friends to help.

Having more people to help will lighten the load.

5. Start early.

Finishing your move when it’s dark out is always difficult, especially if you’re carrying heavy stuff.

6. Shop around.

If you’re going to rent a truck, check in with multiple rental companies to get the best price. Some places may be cheaper up-front, but charge more by the mile – so make sure you’re getting the best rate for your needs and situation.

7. Don’t try to move everything in one trip, if possible.

Instead, separate the breakable stuff like flat screens, laptops, glass and other delicate items into a second trip, by car if possible. Unless you’re going a very long distance, this method usually works better because it allows you to take the fragile stuff later in a more careful and controlled environment.

8. Use towels for cushion.

Moving dishes can be tricky, and wrapping each individual plate in newspaper is inefficient and time-consuming. Here’s a tip that has worked well for me: Use towels for cushion.

First, line the bottom of the box – or ideally, a tote of some sort – with towels. Next, stack the dishes and glasses carefully in the tote (don’t individually wrap them), making sure to cushion the sides well. Use as many towels as you need – you’re going for close to no movement inside the tote or box. Then pack the whole case or two into your car (not a big moving truck because things can slide around).

In a recent move, I used just three large towels to wrap my dishes. By doing this, I saved myself time, paper, frustration – and nothing broke!

9. Accept imperfection. While it’s easy to want everything in place at your new home as quickly as possible, give yourself a break! Moving takes time and energy. Don’t wear yourself out by working too hard and make sure to give yourself adequate time to unpack and organize.

10. Don’t buy in a rush. When shopping, you may spot an item that you think will fit perfectly in your house and instantly buy it. Resist the temptation! A well-designed home takes time. Make sure you’re not buying on impulse and that any item you select actually suits your home. After all, you don’t want to replace that item two months later when you realize it doesn’t match everything else you have.

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This article was originally featured on Quicken Loans Mortgage News, where personal finance writer, Jenny Zhang, specializes in writing about home buying, refinancing and money saving tips.