If it takes a village to raise a child it takes an army when moving a home! Don’t do it alone unless you have to! Hiring professional movers to pack up and transport your stuff may be outside your budget. But, if you do plan to hire out, make sure you are willing to let go of some control.
Movers are efficient and knowledgeable about packing things safely. They can usually be held responsible for items they damage. But they may not pack the boxes exactly how you like them or in a way that is logical to you. Make sure you talk to the person in charge and understand how things will be packed and where things will be going. Don’t try to figure it out yourself later. Taking notes will help. If they’re just helping with the transportation side of things, make sure you’ve labeled what has breakable items as well as whether things need to be a certain side up. Not all movers will stick 100% to your guidelines, but having everything labeled will help ensure most of it is followed.
Now if you’re like the rest of us poor souls and have to rely on favors from friends here’s an excellent article detailing 8 ways to convince your friends to help!
What to store, trash, and take with
Getting ready for your big move means knowing what to bring with you directly to the new place, what to store long or short term, and what to give up on. We Americans can get sentimental about some of the silliest things. It’s okay, we’re all in need of a little therapy about throwing things out. Here are a few guides with ideas on getting rid of sentimental items, what documents need to be stored, and how to declutter.
There are a couple tricks to help your packing go a bit smoother:
- Make a list a few weeks ahead of packing time of all the items you use in a given week. These are the short term items you’ll want to have ahead of time. Your most used pots/pans, utensils, etc., your essential bathroom items, those other random things you didn’t realize you needed (like cleaning supplies)!
- Make three piles out of each room, trash (put a trash bag in each room for these items), long-term pack, short-term pack. Once everything is organized, start going to town! If you have friends coming to help organize all this ahead of time. Label the piles and leave them to it so all you have to do is come around and make sure they’re clear on what needs to be done.
- Music and munchies are often overlooked parts of the moving process. Make sure you have a plan around both. Music can motivate your helpers and yourself. Food will fuel your move so you’ll want to have the right kind of munchies to keep everyone happy.
What size unit to rent
Any Storage facility worth its salt will have a website with a sizing guide specific to their units. Make sure you pay attention to how much will fit in the space before you go to the facility or check out for online rentals. Nothing sucks more than getting to a site and not having space for everything. No one wants to make last-minute decisions about what needs to be thrown out. Or pay the extra money for a bigger unit when you’ve already allocated a budget for the current size.
You may also want to do a practice run by mapping out the storage unit on paper and what will go where. If you’re fancy you can even use graphing paper and an actual scale model. It’s a bit like Tetris but without the time limit. Just make sure you think about weight, size, and fragility when planning what to stack on what.
Moving it all together
Moving can be chaotic or it can be cathartic. It depends on how well you plan (and the reason for the move). Storing property safely and efficiently takes a lot of work but can really help the move go that much smoother. Protecting self-storage tenants’ property is what we do. But you can help by setting up your unit safely and being aware of potential problems. And of course offering TPP to your tenants!