5 Tips for a Smooth Move

The biggest problem with moving - besides paying the bill - is that everything you own must be picked up and put in a box. And that includes every little thing you own: paperclips, books, clothes, furniture, pens, everything.

To get over the potential migraine of just thinking about all of the stuff you have to pack, here are five tips to make moving easier.

1. Packing supplies. By being organized, you can turn this one big mess of moving into smaller steps that are done more easily. Either buy boxes from your moving company or somewhere else (the unused boxes can usually be returned for a refund), or get used boxes at liquor or grocery stores before they're smashed for recycling. Also get packing tape in a dispenser to make closing boxes easy, and either used colored markers or numbers on boxes to help get them organized by where they need to go. For example, boxes with a green mark on the side can contain kitchen supplies.

2. Use it or lose it. Spend the extra cash to rent a Dumpster and throw out as much as you can. Why move stuff that you're not going to use at your new place anyway? Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter your home and get rid of everything that hasn't been used in a year. It will save you a lot of time in the long-term.

3. Pack early and often. Tackling the problem a little at a time, if you have enough advance notice, will make packing a lot easier. Pack a few boxes, or a dozen if you have the time, each day. Also pack a few boxes with things you'll need as soon as you walk into your new home - and be sure to mark these boxes as the first to go in. They should include cleaning supplies so you can scrub away the previous occupants' germs; a box of food such as peanut butter, crackers, coffee, cereal, sugar and whatever else you'll want if you get hungry while unpacking; a box or two of clothes and personal belongings such as toothpaste and toilet paper so you're not digging through boxes late at night; and lastly, clean sheets and blankets so you can sleep in comfort without having to worry about finding that box.

4. Power on. This seems like a simple step that you hopefully won't have to worry about, but it's better to check with your power company that the electricity and gas will be on at your new place, and that the bill's in your name, than to have a dark home during your first night.

5. Get someone else to clean your old place. Hiring a cleaning service to clean your old home is money well spent. Your efforts and energy are all focused on your new home, and cleaning your old home is the last priority on your mind.

For more great moving tips click here.

Aaron Crowe has lived in at least five rental properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at www.AaronCrowe.net
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