Step 1 – plan a yard sale!

Go through your furniture and possessions on paper and figure out what you’re going to want to move and what you’re going to need at your new place. You might be planning on making some new purchases to fit your new place, so you’re not going to want or need to take that old stuff with you, so why pay someone to move it?

Also – don’t forget to get rid of things that you don’t use or won’t plan to use anymore. For instance; planning to move from Boston to Wilmington? You’re not going to need that snow shovel here!

Step 2 – get estimates from movers

Once you’ve planned your yard sale and know approximately how much you’re going to be moving, you’ll want to get started on hiring a mover. On that note – they may be expensive, but this is something that is totally worth the cost. Moving (the planning, the closing, the coordinating) is enough to deal with on its own; you’re not going to want that extra stress of physical exhaustion on top of that. If your friends and family want to help – by all means, put them to work! Just have them help box up personal belongings and/or help you unpack and decorate. That’s the fun part! Movers know what they’re doing and they do it quickly and efficiently. While looking for a mover, be sure to not only compare multiple companies, but also look for movers that are licensed and bonded and insured. This will give you some assurance that these guys are able to safely move your belongings, but also legally drive them to your destination!

Step 3 – Boxes!

This is something that you don’t want to skimp on. Your well-meaning family and friends may suggest that you get some boxes at the grocery store or use some old boxes they have in their basement. Don’t. You can try to find a good deal on used moving boxes on your local Craigslist page or something, just make sure they’ve only been used once or twice (they’ll start to lose their sturdiness) and that they’re true “moving boxes.” You wouldn’t want to put your grandmother’s china in a distressed, broken box, would you? The right moving boxes can be expensive, but not as expensive as replacing your valuables. Also – you’ll see different types of boxes (small, medium, large, dish packs and wardrobes notably). Use these boxes accordingly! They’ll make packing, moving and unpacking MUCH easier. Wardrobe boxes are exactly as they sound – for your clothes. They are tall and have a metal bar that you can hang your clothes on, with room below to throw in socks, t-shirts and such. Dish packs, like wardrobe boxes are also very sturdy and like their name suggests, they’re for dishes. And when you’re packing your dishes and other valuables – be sure to use packing paper. Don’t use newspaper!!! I repeat – do NOT use newspaper! You might find that the print will rub off on your plates, glasses and whatever else it touches. Not to mention, your hands will be black by the time you’ve finished packing/unpacking the box. You can find packing paper at Lowe’s, Home Depot and any moving supply company. It’s not expensive and completely worth the cost.

Step 4 – Start packing

Start with the items that you will not need to use in the coming weeks. I.e. – décor and frames and any off season clothing. As the weeks go by, you’ll start to recognize other things you may not need until you unpack at your new place. And those suitcases – you’ll need to save those for the move. Think of the week leading up to and the week following your move as a vacation (haha – not really, right?). You’ll pack your bags with clothes and items needed only for those weeks.

Step 5 – Notify

Notify neighbors, friends, family and the post office of your new address so that you will not lose any correspondence. On this note – be sure that your bank and any other important accounts are notified of your new address because your mail will only be forwarded temporarily.

Step 6 – Utilities

No later than two weeks prior to your move – notify your old utility accounts that you will either be stopping or transferring service. If you have to set up a new account at your new home, be sure to know what you need to provide to do this. They may require your HUD statement to prove that you do, in fact live at the location provided (they will understand that you may not be able to provide this until the day of closing). And be sure to set this up in plenty of time. Some power companies require a few days’ notice and you’re not going to be a happy camper if you’re… well, camping out in your new house after a long day of moving.

Step 7 - Food

What to do with all of the food in your fridge and pantry? In the last weeks preceding your move, be sure to plan your meals around the food you have. Depending on where you’re moving (in town – cross country), you may not be able to take much with you, but try not to waste it! Then, the day of or before your move, you can ask neighbors if they need that dozen of eggs or carton of milk.


When packing boxes – be sure to not only label what is in the box (you’ll be happy you did this when you’re looking for little Sam’s teddy bear with the blankie attached at midnight at your new house), but also make note (in a very large way) of what room the box belongs in. You’re not going to want to be hauling boxes up and down the stairs when you just paid movers to do that because the boxes were not put in the proper location. Many moving boxes have a label on them within which you can mark which room they belong. Use it!

Get more boxes than you think you need. You can actually sell them back to the moving store or you can always sell them on Craigslist for a good amount. You won’t want to have loose items when moving day arrives. You’re going to have more than just a bag’s worth of those items and you’ll be happy that you have the extra boxes. And your movers will thank you!

Be sure to stand at the front door of your new home when the movers arrive. You’ll be able to give notes as to where furniture and any unmarked boxes belong.

Good luck to you on your move!  If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to contact me.

Carrie Upchurch