Moving House the Minimalist Way: Preparation

It takes a little planning to have a successful move.  Here are ideas our family has implemented to make our many moves over the years less stressful.

* Most moving companies include assembly/disassembly of large furniture items in their estimates.  Make sure they’ll have the tools needed to do so on hand so you may pack yours before they arrive.

* Block out an hour of time to call the post office, subscriptions, and utilities companies.  Keep all of your bills or records in front of you to make the process go smoothly.  Focusing on completing this massive task in one sitting will save you a lot of time.

* Keep family medical and school records on hand should you arrive in your new city before your belongings.  This allows you to register kids for school in a snap.

* If you have a pet with a nervous personality, it’s best to reserve him a spot at the nearby kennel on moving day.

* Don’t forget the garage door openers!  It’s common for people to accidentally take them along in a move.

* Hold a garage or moving sale as soon as you find out you’re moving to make some cash and get rid of the things you don’t want to pay to move.  We decided to do this last week and made about $1000 in 3 hours.  It was an easy preparation by going through the house with a pad of construction paper and labeling items for sale and their corresponding prices.  We invited people to walk through our home to shop.

* For your moving sale, keep it simple.  Have each family member walk through the house asking himself this question: “Which items do we own that I’m not willing to pay to move to our next home?”  Those are the ones you should sell.  Instead of labeling every item, toss them in bins with a sign on the front “Everything $1″.  Your kids can help this process move quickly.

* Learn from my mistake.  While movers unpacked our refrigerator during our last move, I noticed it had a number of dents in the doors.  I appealed to the home office to ask for a reimbursement but with no pics on hand to prove they were a result of poor packing, I had no case.  (Note: Don’t make a big effort to record too many pics.  Use your smart phone to snap one pic each of your most expensive items before the packing is done and leave the rest alone.)

* List furniture or electronics on Craigslist (if you don’t want to sell them during your moving sale).  Use your mobile phone to snap a pic to upload.  In my experience, weekends are the most likely time you’ll be contacted by a buyer, so get items listed no later than Thursday if you want to sell it quickly.

* My BIGGEST personal moving lesson has been this: call movers to get estimates.  I don’t like using the telephone to talk much, so my natural tendency is to do online searches for most services.  I learned the hard way if you submit an online request to one of the major moving companies in the industry, you suddenly have dozens of phone calls and emails flooding your inbox from others wanting your moving business.  My hard-learned lesson is to call only a few reputable places and choose among them.

What’s something that helped you make a move less stressful in the past?


PS – Tomorrow I’ll share the order in which I pack our home as well as some other ideas for simplifying your move.

2 Responses to “Moving House the Minimalist Way: Preparation”

  1. Felicity June 12, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    this series is perfect timing for me, Dana! We’re moving to Dan’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska at the end of July. : ) Thanks!

    • Dana Byers June 14, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      You’re welcome, Felicity! The payoff for me is always knowing the content helps someone. :) Also, we’ll be living in the same neck of the woods, sort of! Happy moving…

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