11. Donate unwanted or unused items.
One of the most challenging aspects about moving can be sifting through closets or rooms that are filled to capacity with old items that haven’t been used in years. It’s amazing how much stuff human beings can accumulate over time, and how much of that accumulation ends up in closets, basements, attics, and various other storage places. Especially for people that like to hold on to memories, getting rid of possessions can be a huge challenge and endeavor. Even for those who aren’t sentimental item savers, organizing room upon room prior to a move can be a daunting task.
Bekins recommends starting this process early. The more time you have to focus on organizing your house for a move, the less stressful it will be over time. A good rule of thumb to obey during this clean-out process is this: Have you used this item within the last few years? Do you anticipate having a need for this item? If you answer no to either or both of these questions, getting rid of this item is probably a good idea. Try to be as objective as possible. Bring in a friend or family member if you need help parting with items.
There are several rewards you could possibly reap after going through this process:
- The less your items weigh, the less expensive your total cost for your move.
- If you take your clothes, furniture, or other sellable items to a consignment or secondhand shop or have a garage sale, you have the opportunity to make some cash.
- If you choose to donate your items to a thrift store such as Goodwill, you will be eligible for a tax deduction.
- You’ll be going into your new house with a clean slate and less clutter – you’re already ahead of the game!
Keep your eyes peeled for Bekins’ guide to a successful garage sale. In the meantime, check out more of our helpful moving tips.
10. Update your driver’s license and license plate.
There is a lot to think about during the moving process, especially once you’ve arrived to your new location. There are boxes to be unpacked, furniture to be arranged, and schedules to coordinate. Going to the BMV to change your driver’s license and license plate aren’t often high on people’s lists of things to do, but it’s something important to remember.
The time limit to apply for a new driver’s license and plate varies state-to-state, but a general rule of thumb would be to get in to the BMV within 30 days of your move. Be sure to check the requirements for both the state you previously lived in and the state that you live in now. Some states require you to leave your license plate behind while others will refund some of the money you paid when registering your car. This is a great source ofinformation for determining your old and new home state’s requirements.
Look on the bright side of this somewhat hassling task: You’ll get a second chance for a driver’s license picture – and maybe this one won’t look like a mug shot!
Bekins has more moving tips – don’t miss out!
9. Clean your new house upon arrival.
The idea of cleaning as soon as you arrive in a new house might sound unappealing. There are so many other things to do – why should I waste time cleaning first thing? Bekins understands just how much has to get done within the first few hours of a move, and yet we still suggest doing a bit of cleaning when you first arrive.
How often do you have the chance to vacuum your living room? Your whole living room. Without a couch or an entertainment center or a recliner in your way. Probably next to never. How about your bedroom? Do you clean the floors underneath your bed very often?
When you move into a new house, you get a clean slate. Everything is new. There isn’t any clutter yet. Take this opportunity of room vacancy to really clean those nooks and crannies that you can’t reach when furniture or other odds and ends are in the way.
Not only will you get the chance to clean spaces that aren’t normally touched, but you’ll also get peace of mind and reassurance knowing that your new house has been cleaned to your standards. Even though whoever previously lived in your house probably cleaned it, you just never know. It’s better to quickly run a vacuum or sweep than to do nothing and find something unsavory later down the line.
Do you have quick cleaning tips that you use to help speed the process along? Let us know! Leave us a comment, Tweet us, or share on our Facebook page.
Bekins also has more moving tips – make sure you check them all out.
8. Save your receipts
This might seem like an archaic habit, but saving your receipts during a move is extremely important. Remember that blog post we had earlier about buying a notebook? If you buy a big notebook with lots of pockets to organize, it won’t be hard to save your receipts. You’ll have a place to put them and you’ll know exactly where to find them.
If the notebook isn’t your thing, we suggest buying simple envelopes, labeling them, and using those as receipt holders. You can even color code to make it easier. One envelope for moving company receipts. One envelope for remodeling receipts. Another envelope for gas receipts. You get the idea. Saving these receipts are your proof-of-purchase, and during a move, you’ll be doing a lot of purchasing.
It’s better to keep them until everything is said and done. After the move is complete, you can have a fun receipt burning party. Or if you want to commemorate your time, you could have a receipt framing party! Whatever your feeling on the move, keeping your receipts will help the process go more smoothly. It’s better to keep them all, than to not have one that you need.
What else do you save during a move? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment or write on our Facebook or Twitter page.
Bekins has more moving tips! Find out some more easy hints to make your move go smoothly.
7. Use packing labels.
During the packing and moving process, it’s tempting to want to stuff items haphazardly into boxes just to get the job done. You will thank yourself though if you employ a little bit of organization to your packing process and pack by room.
Packing room-by-room gives you a head-start on unpacking. If you indicate which box goes in which room, your movers will be able to unload much faster. It will also give you less work in the long run – you won’t have to haul boxes from room to room!
When you arrive in your new home on move-in day, print off or make signs to indicate the name of each room. For example, some options might be master bedroom, master bathroom, nursery, or linen closet. If you attach signs to those doors and if you’ve labeled your boxes according to what room or closet they belong to, there will be no question where the boxes go. This will speed up the moving process exponentially and also help you to find your items faster.
Attached to the blog are individual labels both in color and black and white for your printing pleasure. These labels have space for you to also write what contents are in the box, speeding up the process even more.
The links underneath the pictures allow you to print off a whole page of labels instead of just individual ones.
Bekins’ black and white labels
Bekins’ colored labels
If you like this tip, we have more where that came from!
6. Once you know the layout of your new home, sketch a floor plan.
Moving and relocation can definitely be a daunting task. Nothing is really simple when moving – even deciding what furniture to take.
The furniture that fits in your current house might not fit in your new one. There’s nothing worse than moving several heavy pieces of furniture, only to realize they won’t fit through the front door or in the living room. That’s why Bekins suggests sketching a floor plan.
As soon as you’ve settled on the house that you’re moving to, make a point to measure the rooms yourself or ask someone else to. That way, you’ll know the dimensions of your new space and you’ll know whether or not your sectional sofa will actually fit in to your family room.
If this is your first time sketching a floor plan, here are some helpful hints for getting the job done:
- Measure the baseboards of each room and also keep in mind the doorways, closets, windows, electrical outlets, fireplaces, shelves, and other built-in features and add those to your sketch.
- Use graph paper to sketch. Regular lined paper or construction paper makes it difficult to sketch the room to scale –and that’s what’s important when making a floor plan.
- Color code your sketches by room, floor, or size – whatever makes the most sense to you.
- If you have a large piece of artwork or other wall hanging that you definitely want to display, keep that in mind when sketching and placing your furniture.
- Keep in mind that cable TV plug-ins, Internet routers, electrical outlets, and light switches can dictate where you place certain pieces of furniture.
- Indicate the floor covering – carpet, wood, vinyl, tile – this will help you plan for furniture and rugs
Bekins Van Lines has a slew of other moving tips on our blog that we’d love to share with you. We’d also love to hear from you! Have you made a floor plan prior to moving? Comment and tell us about it or share on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
5. Donate your non-perishable food items
If you went to look in your food pantry right now, what would you see? Probably a lot of non-perishable food items, many of which are in heavy aluminum or tin cans. If you know that most moving companies charge not only by the amount of items, but also by weight, does it really make sense to lug all of these relatively cheap but very heavy canned goods with you to your new home?
Bekins Van Lines has joined forces with Move For Hunger, a non-profit that works with Bekins and other van lines to pick up the unwanted, non-perishable food items that people donate prior to moving. After the food is picked up, Bekins will then deliver those items to local food banks. Through Move For Hunger, over 1 million pounds of food has been donated to food banks all across America.
Hunger is a huge issue in America: statistically, 1 in 6 people in your life is hungry and more than 17 million children go to bed hungry each night.
Let Bekins Van Lines and Move For Hunger take some of the weight off your shoulders – by donating your non-perishable items you save money and you help out a worthy cause.
To view more of Bekins’ National Moving Month Tips, click here.
4. Don’t forget to change the locks on your new house.
We know that there are countless things to think about once you make a big move and start settling in to your new home. One good thing to keep in the back of your mind is to change the locks on your new home upon arrival. It’s always good to start fresh in a new place, and that way you can get as many keys made as you’ll need.
Bekins wants your move to go as smoothly as possible, and we also want your settling in period to go smoothly too. By remembering to change the locks on your house, security will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about.
Can you think of any other security measures you should take upon arriving to a new home?
To view the rest of Bekins’ National Moving Month Tips, click here.
3. Keep your boxes as light as possible.
It is tempting to try to be extremely efficient and fit as much as possible in to each of your moving boxes. The hazard with doing that is that the boxes can become overstuffed and too heavy. We recommend not putting more than 30 pounds of materials in your boxes to avoid both physical injuries to yourself as well as injuries to the box.
Luckily, Bekins has an array of packing options at your disposal. We can do 100% of the packing, we can do part of the packing, we can provide you with new boxes for a discounted price, or we can provide you with used boxes for free.
Bekins wants to make sure that your packing goes as smoothly as possible, so if you do choose to pack your belongings yourself, keep that 30 pound weight limit in mind.
To view all of Bekins’ National Moving Month Tips, click here.
2. Take pictures of your electronics before you unhook and pack them up.
There’s nothing worse than unhooking a complicated sound system and realizing you don’t have the manual to help you re-hook it up. We’re extremely visual people, so take several pictures. Take them from different angles. Have a variety of images both zoomed in and out. Especially for those who aren’t so technologically-savvy (and even those that are!), these pictures will be an invaluable piece of your move.
Are there other household goods or room arrangements that you take pictures of when you’re moving?
To view all of Bekins’ National Moving Month Tips, click here.