You’ve signed and initialed on all the dotted lines. The house is yours — no more landlords or leases. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Even spend a night in your new, empty home on an air mattress with a box of pizza before things start to get real (it’s a memory you might appreciate down the road). But when the house honeymoon’s over, there’s work to be done, and certain things belong on a “the sooner the better” list. These nine expert tips offering guidance on what to do before you move into your new home just might surprise you.
Moving can be tricky, so make sure you’re well-prepared before packing up your things.
Recently found a new home? Check out moving tips & tricks offered by professionals.
Whether you recently purchased a home or signed a lease, you’ve already made it past the hard part — finding a new home. But packing up and settling into your new place isn’t going to be a walk in the park if you’re unprepared.
While moving into a new home is exciting, it’s important to be ready for what can be a perfect storm of last-minute packing, your buddy’s truck breaking down, or hidden costs from a shady moving company.
It’s easy to put off planning your big move, so to help you make this process simple and stress-free, we reached out to the professionals for the best moving tips.
“People move an average of once every seven years, whereas a moving company does it every day. Hiring a professional moving company means giving the physical and mental heavy lifting to practiced hands. Professional moving companies know how to properly wrap furniture, how to handle tight stairwells and door frames, and how to properly pack a truck to save the most space and keep the furniture safe during transportation.
“Moving is one of the most stressful things we go through, and hiring a moving company will help ease that stress and it will also save you time, and time is money. Hiring a moving company is also important if you want to minimize effort, maximize efficiency, and move to a new home as seamlessly as possible.
“Renting a truck and recruiting friends is an option for small, local moves but certainly not ideal for long-distance moves, large moves, or family moves. If someone doesn’t have a lot of free time and is unable to move by themselves or with the help of some friends, hiring a moving company is an absolute must.” — Angela Gonzales of Unpakt
“1. Do your research. Take time to do your homework before hiring movers, and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you find most important. What does insurance coverage on your items look like? Are the movers background-checked and drug-tested? Come moving day, you’ll want to ensure you’re protected, and having the right movers can make all the difference.
“2. Book early! To guarantee you have professional movers on the day most convenient to you, we recommend booking two to four weeks in advance.
“3. Find out what your movers cannot move ahead of time. Federal laws ban moving companies from transporting any hazardous materials, including paint, ammunition, and propane, to name a few. This means items that contain gas, such as grills and lawn mowers, are also prohibited and must be moved by the customer. Other items may include food or living things such as plants. By asking ahead of time, you won’t be surprised come moving day.” — Jessy Herman of Two Men and a Truck
“The number one mistake is not being picky with your mover. That’s right. You have to research the company you are entrusting your belongings to. Check [their] license with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and reputation online as well. Do not sign incomplete paperwork and acquaint yourself with all accessorial charges [you] may incur upon delivery. For example, if movers cannot park near the entrance of your residence and have to carry belongings more than 75 feet, they will charge for that additionally.” — Manuela Irwin of The Moving Blog
“Moving families and individuals certainly changes the volume of belongings, so it’s even more important to work with a reputable mover that can ensure the safety of all items. Plus, adding children and pets into the mix means parents have even greater responsibility throughout the moving process. The last thing they’ll want to worry about is protecting their fragile belongings or treasured antiques.” — Jack Griffin, CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board at Atlas World Group Inc.
“1. Start packing as soon as you have your moving date to avoid the mad rush of last-minute packing. This will mitigate the risk of items being damaged or improperly sorted and labeled.
“2. Be prepared with an assortment of boxes, packing supplies, and packing tools. This will ensure everything has a proper place, and you won’t have to waste time and energy thinking about where it will go and how it will be moved.
“3. Make sure you’ve got some old boxes and bags to pack up those items you are purging so they can be swiftly lifted out and off to the secondhand store or recycling depot, or collected by a junk disposal service.
“4. Begin with your storage areas. Anything you haven’t used for a year and cannot guarantee you will need again, and items that have no sentimental value, should be the first to go.
“5. Move on to the rooms you will use infrequently prior to moving day. Box up the items to be transported to your new home, while focusing on “less is more” by setting aside those things you won’t need again.
“6. The last items you pack up prior to your move will be your everyday kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom belongings. Try to consider what may not suit your new home, or furnishings and household things you won’t have room for. These can be part of your purge.” — Anjee Gill of You Move Me
Posted by Sam Brannan on Trulia
There’s no other way to put it: Moving is stressful. But it doesn’t have to be a waking nightmare. Here’s how to avoid a move from … you know where.
Nightmares aren’t supposed to take place in broad daylight, but some common life events bring so much tension, uncertainty and anxiety that they can easily rank as “quality nightmares.” Moving house tops the list of stressful experiences that can feel like a bad dream — and it can easily come true unless you take precautionary measures.
Problems can occur at every stage of the relocation process: A violent storm hits just when the moving truck is parking in front of your door. The elevator is out of order when you arrive at your new high-rise building. You lose the keys to your car on the morning of moving day. The list goes on.
However, the most common moving nightmares fall into three main categories. Here’s how they typically play out — and how to avoid them.
Many moving horror stories involve rogue or incompetent movers.
- The movers are late or don’t show up at all. The agreed-upon time comes and goes, but you see no sign of an approaching moving truck. When you call the moving company to demand an explanation, your relocation nightmare begins. Regardless of the excuses you receive (a traffic jam, a breakdown, a delay on a previous job, a mistaken date, etc.), the inevitable result will be lots of stress and wasted time. Worst of all, you may not be able to reach the moving company at all: fraudulent movers may have taken your deposit money and disappeared with it.
- The movers are careless or inexperienced. If your movers arrive late, in a smaller moving truck than needed, or lack the required know-how and the proper equipment to handle your items safely and efficiently, your relocation can quickly turn into a nightmarish experience. The amateur movers may drop your plasma TV, break your heirloom china, scratch your antique dresser, dent the floors, or cause other overwhelming emotional and financial damage.
- The movers are scam artists. In the worst case scenario, you may fall victim to unscrupulous moving scams. Rogue movers will often request much more money than previously negotiated based on some alleged extra services. They may hold your belongings hostage until you pay a considerable extra “fee” as ransom, or steal your more expensive belongings and just discard the rest.
The good news is that there is an easy way to avoid such nightmares. All you need to do is carefully research your movers before hiring them to make sure you are dealing with licensed and experienced professionals you can trust. It’s also a good idea to purchase appropriate insurance for your belongings, just in case.
Heavy traffic or road accidents can also turn your move into a real nightmare.
- Traffic jams. The moving truck is delayed and there may not be enough time to proceed with your move as planned. You may have to postpone the relocation to another day, or you may miss your flight.
- Traffic accidents. if there has been an accident on the road, the moving truck will have to wait until the damaged vehicles are removed and normal traffic is restored. However, the scenario could get much worse: You may lose all your possessions or receive them badly damaged if the moving truck crashes, catches fire, or gets trapped somewhere because of adverse weather conditions like heavy snowfall or torrential rains. It’s even possible that thieves could break into the vehicle and steal your goods.
- Breakdown. If the moving truck breaks down on the road, you’ll have to wait for the moving company to send another vehicle. What’s more, your items can easily get damaged while being transferred.
- Parking issues. The moving truck has to circle the neighborhood for hours until an appropriate parking space is vacated, or the movers have to park far away from the entrance to your home. In such cases, you’ll not only lose valuable time, but will also have to pay an extra fee for the delay or an additional long-carry fee.
Of course, there’s nothing you can do to prevent traffic accidents or breakdowns. But you can at least reserve a parking place directly in front of your old and new homes, and choose a moving company that has experienced drivers and several moving vehicles in good condition.
The only way to avoid problems when moving house is to plan each phase of your relocation adventure in meticulous detail and stay one step ahead all the time. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing any of the following all-too-common moving ordeals.
- Packing chaos. It may turn out that you’ve packed more items than previously discussed with the movers; packed items that can’t be loaded onto the moving truck; haven’t labeled the boxes properly; or forgotten to prepare an “essentials box.” Worst of all, you may not be ready when the movers arrive. All these packing mistakes will result in lost time and money.
- Furniture troubles. If your large furniture doesn’t fit through the doors, you may be forced to leave some treasured pieces behind, or request hoisting services that will cost you dearly and will delay your move considerably.
- Paperwork problems. If you forget to transfer the utilities, you won’t have electricity, gas, and water on move-in day. If you forget to change your address, you won’t have your mail delivered to your new home. If you forget to update your driver’s license and car registration in time, you’ll be fined. Not taking proper care of your documents will most certainly get you in trouble.
- Overspending. If you book your movers at the last moment, require too many extra services, fail to create a realistic moving budget, pack all your items without sorting them out first, or allow any other financial imprudence, you’ll end up paying much more than you expected.
- Safety issues. Make every effort to prevent injuries and accidents on moving day, as getting hurt is one of the worst things that can happen during your relocation endeavor.
Think you might be in danger of losing part of your security deposit? These cleaning hacks can ensure you leave your current place without leaving money behind.
Moving into a new place can be so liberating. Farewell, grumpy building manager! Smell ya later, neighbor who seems to always be cooking fish! But there’s one thing you’ll want to bring along to your new apartment: your security deposit. And yet even if you’ve been a model tenant and you think you’ve left your place in the same condition as when you moved in, there’s a chance your landlord could withhold some cash. “You may be responsible for anything that’s above and beyond ‘normal’ wear and tear, like holes in the wall that are bigger than a dime or scratches on the floor,” says Elvira Arias, property manager for The Dermot Realty Management Company, which manages apartments for rent in New York, NY.
The best way to avoid paying for damages that you didn’t create is to do a little prep work when you move in. Insist on an apartment rental inspection at move-in, where a building staff member will walk you through the apartment and note its condition. It can be a handy reference tool when it’s time to move out. “Plus, you’ll get an idea of how strict the landlord is,” says Arias. “Some are more forgiving than others.” But if you missed an opportunity for a rental inspection — or if you scuffed floors or splurged on a temporary apartment bathroom makeover — all hope of an intact deposit is not lost.
How can I get my security deposit back? Try these hacks.
- Buff away scuff marks on floors. Grab a tennis ball and make a slit with a sharp knife or scissors. Insert the end of a broom handle or stick into the tennis ball and rub over the marks. They’ll buff away with a little pressure.
- Get rid of mildew or mold on grout. “Many building maintenance departments will remove mold for you if you report it,” says Arias. Translation: If you don’t keep the mold from reappearing with regular cleaning, you could be charged for a second removal treatment. If it’s been a while since you’ve given your shower a good scrubbing, Jessica of the blog This Blessed Life suggests soaking a piece of cotton coil (like the stuff used in hair salons) in bleach and sticking it to the moldy grout. Let it sit overnight, and when you pull away the cotton the next morning, the mildew will be gone.
- Repair holes in the wall. Chances are, you’ll have a few of these, especially if you mounted a flat-screen TV on the wall. If the hole is microscopic, but you’re worried your landlord will still notice it, you can try using white (nongel) toothpaste to repair your wall. Squirt some directly into the hole and smooth the edge with a putty knife (your finger works in a pinch). Let it dry overnight, then use a piece of sandpaper to smooth over any ridges. Of course, caulk or spackle is preferable, especially on larger holes.
- Get rid of grease or burnt-on food in the oven. To clean your oven naturally, make a paste with baking soda and water. Coat the entire oven and let it sit overnight (the perfect excuse for takeout!). The next day, wipe it down with a damp cloth and spray white vinegar on any hardened areas, then wipe away. Keep doing this (and ordering takeout!) until the oven sparkles.
- Clean a grimy microwave. Remember that time your burrito exploded and you, um, “forgot” to clean it? (Yeah, been there.) Follow this tip from Julie Edelman, The Accidental Housewife: Half-fill a small microwave-safe bowl with water. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze its juice into the bowl, and throw the rinds in too. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes and don’t open the microwave door for another 5 minutes or so. The steam will help loosen any built-up gunk, making it easy to wipe your microwave clean.
- Remove crayon from walls. This might be more of an issue for tenants with toddlers (though it’s entirely possible your 20-something roommate or kid sister got a little wild when burning off some creative energy). Crayon is easier to remove than you might think. Simply squirt some nongel toothpaste on the crayon marks and then gently rub with a soft scrub brush or dry cloth. Wipe any remaining toothpaste with a damp sponge.
- Clean carpet stains. For light stains (read: not red wine), gently rub the stain with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the solution dry before vacuuming. For darker stains, add 2 tablespoons of borax to the mixture.
- Wipe up refrigerator spills. While discarding leftover food is a given, it’s also a good idea to wipe up any spills or debris while you’re at it. Becky Rapinchuk, who blogs at CleanMama.net, recommends mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 4 to 6 cups of warm water. Dip a dishcloth or microfiber cloth into the solution, wring it out well, and wipe down your empty fridge. Give the fridge door handle and front panels a good wipe while you’re at it.
Posted by Michelle Hainer on Trulia
Moving can be an exciting but stressful time in a person’s life and the average person moves between 6 – 10 times in their lifetime. Between those 6 – 10 times of moving, we continuously acquire more and more possessions. So what are the best techniques to get organized and packed for that move to the next home? First, knowing that you and your family own a lot of things will help you understand that moving is a process and that with any process, there is risk of running into challenges. Keeping your frame of mind flexible will help you make it through the moving process. Here are some more tips on this infographic to help you understand what else you can do to manage through your move.
Posted on HomeZada
Where are the towels? Which box holds the can opener? Who packed the cat food? When you’re surrounded by boxes, what you need is a strategy.
Once all the moving preparations have been made, all the arduous moving tasks have been taken care of, and everything has gone more or less according to plan on moving day, you finally find yourself in your new home, surrounded by piles of boxes, tired and glad that your relocation is about to end.
To fully complete your moving adventure, however, you need to unpack your belongings and make your new place feel like home. But how to even begin unpacking?
First things first
No matter how much you want to get it over with as soon as possible, there are several important things to do before you can actually start unpacking.
- Clean and prepare your new home. It’s easier to wipe down shelves, clean windows, and mop floors before your belongings have been put in place. Make sure your home-to-be is spotless when your items arrive. If you can’t get to your new place early enough to do a thorough cleaning, consider hiring professional cleaners to do the job for you.
- Inspect and organize your belongings. Check all the delivered boxes and household items against your inventory sheet to make sure nothing is damaged or missing. Then have each of your possessions taken to the room where it belongs. If everything was properly marked and labeled, sorting out your items will be a piece of cake.
- Open your box of essentials. There should be tools, toiletries, clothes, medicines, packed food, basic kitchenware, and other “lifesavers” in it that will allow you to refresh yourself, open the sealed boxes, reassemble your furniture, and so on.
- Set major furniture and appliances. Position your large furniture pieces and bulky household appliances first. Then you can put any smaller items you unpack later directly in their rightful places. Plan your interior design well in advance so you don’t end up moving heavy pieces around several times.
Tackle the necessities
What matters most when unpacking your items after a move is ensuring that your essentials are immediately accessible. So prioritize your belongings, and unpack only the necessities first.
You may not be able to unpack the entire bedroom right away, but you will definitely have to set up the bed the day you move into your new home. Reassemble it (if necessary), lay down the sheets, unpack the pillows, and spread the blankets so you can get a good night’s rest — you’re going to need it!
Provided that you have a change of clothes and some comfortable indoor shoes (as well as curtains on the windows to ensure your privacy), the rest of your bedroom items can wait until you find the time and the energy to deal with them.
Without a doubt, your personal care items, toiletries, and medicines should top the list of the most important items to unpack after your move. Put out toilet paper and soap, find your toothbrush and toothpaste, hang the towels and the shower curtains, and unpack any other bathroom essentials you’re going to need in order to refresh yourself and wash away the weariness and stress of moving.
Also, fill in the medicine cabinet with the medications you have brought, and don’t forget to take your prescription drugs on time.
You may have brought some food with you, or you may rely on delivery for the first day or two after the relocation, but you’re going to need a fully operational kitchen as soon as possible in order to prepare healthy, homemade meals for yourself and your family.
Kitchens tend to take a very long time to unpack and organize properly due to the large number of items that need to be sorted out and carefully arranged.
As soon as you’ve hooked up the large appliances, such as the fridge and the stove, move on to your smaller kitchenware. Plates, silverware and glasses should be the first to find their places in cupboards and kitchen cabinets, closely followed by cooking utensils, pots and pans, and pantry items.
Kids’ and pets’ items
If you have young children, you should unpack some of their favorite toys, books, games, blankets and such during the very first hours in your new home. Keeping your young ones happy and occupied will let you concentrate on your work and finish it faster.
Of course, you should also take care of your pets’ needs immediately upon arrival. It’s a good idea to pack adequate pet food, water and food dishes, and some of your animal friends’ favorite toys in your open-first box.
When you’ve unpacked the three most essential rooms in your home (bedroom, bathroom and kitchen), everything else can wait a bit. There are no deadlines to meet, so you can set your own pace when unpacking and decorating your new place — just unpack in order of priority and without procrastination.
If you stay organized, set reasonable mini goals and complete them promptly, clean after every unpacking phase, and dispose of the packing materials in a safe and eco-friendly manner, your new surroundings will soon stop looking like a warehouse full of boxes and start feeling like home.
If you have some fun in the process — listen to your favorite music, play “unpacking games” with your kids, and invite friends over to give you a helping hand — the exhausting unpacking endeavor may turn out to be much easier and faster than you expected.
Posted by Moving.Tips on Zillow