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10 Tips to Make the Move Go Smooth

September 15, 2022 | 6 minute read

Congratulations, you’re in escrow! Now that you’ve found your new house and sold your existing home (or talked to the landlord at your rental), the hard part is done. 

Not quite. When relocating to a new home, the dreaded move is the final step before settling in. At Summit Mortgage, we’ve closed more than 5,000 homes in the last five years alone, so we know a thing or two about the moving process. 

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for an easier move.

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1. Enlist Help

You’ll do it for them; they’ll do it for you. In a move, your support system is your biggest asset (especially those with large trucks and vans). Offer free food, beverages, and eternal gratitude. 

Also, keep in mind that your friends and family are doing you a favor — so make sure you have all your belongings packed up and ready to go before they come over.

Extra tip: You don’t want to be too bossy, but if you know who is coming to help, designate jobs in advance. This can help avoid fights among friends or anyone “showing off” and then being too hurt to pick up boxes.

2. Label Like Crazy

We can’t stress this enough: Labeling your boxes will better organize every step of the moving process. From knowing what boxes require extra care when loading to where boxes should be placed when you get them in the new place, labeling smooths the moving process.

Extra tip: Create symbols. For instance, a red exclamation point could represent breakable items, a spoon for kitchenware, and a paw print for pet supplies. You get the picture.

3. Put Life on Pause

Trying to do a million other things can be tempting when you’re in the moving phase. However, we recommend taking a day or two to shut everything out and focus solely on the task at hand. 

This could mean turning off your phone, ordering your favorite meal instead of cooking, and turning on the radio so you can focus less on what’s going on outside and more on what’s going inside your boxes.

Extra tip: Schedule something fun at the end of your week of packing boxes so that you have a goal to look forward to. Maybe it’s as simple as taking out the friends who will help you move or planning a trip to the movies for the whole family.

4. Quit Hoarding

The box of feathers you collected when you were 8 years old may have once been relevant, but now, it’s got to go. Donating or throwing out unused possessions is one simple and often overlooked way to shorten the moving process. Less stuff = less stuff to move.

This could also be a good opportunity to sell old clothes, furniture or other items and gather some extra money. When moving, it’s always a good idea to have some extra cash flow in case something breaks, or you plan to replace any items.

Extra tip: Does your town or neighborhood have a social media free box? If you’ve found items that are still usable, consider posting them on Facebook or Nextdoor to let your neighbors get some use out of your previously loved items (think: baby stuff your kids have grown out of).

5. Have a Separate Bag for Your Immediate Essentials

Pack a duffel with a few days of clothes, pajamas, toothpaste, and whatever items you need on a daily basis. This way, you won’t have to reopen suitcases, boxes and bags, putting you back at square one.

Extra tip: Buying one-ounce bottles of bathroom products is easy to keep up your daily routine without having to lug around all your heavy shower supplies. This is especially important if you’re moving across the country instead of across the city.

6. Pack Breakables in Clothing

Not only does this tactic save the planet from plastic, but you can also kill two birds with one stone by finding useful spots to pack extra clothes. This method also works to put small items or vases in socks if you don’t want to wrinkle your clothes.

Extra tip: Separating plates using newspapers was Grandma’s method of moving. Using T-shirts or cloth napkins between dinnerware ensures you don’t have to put a load in your dishwasher as soon as you get to your new home.

7. Prepare a Strategy

Having a detailed plan of attack for the move will help you feel more in control. Determine whether you want to move everything in a single day or if multiple small trips over a couple of weeks are a better option. 

Set specific dates and times for family and friends to help. You can even go so far as to have a written plan for who is in charge of unpacking certain rooms. However detailed you want to go, organizing the process will never hurt.

Extra tip: Don’t hesitate to ask for help while organizing. The stress of packing and creating a schedule can sometimes make us forget the simple things. Bringing in outside ideas can help clarify your strategy.

8. Have Someone Watch Your Pet

We all love our pets. But the one time your pet is 100% a nuisance is when you’re transitioning homes. 

The process will be much smoother if you find a babysitter to watch your furry friend while you relocate. Then you can excitedly show them your new home with much less stress.

Extra tip: Pets will obviously notice packing and moving boxes, which will also add stress to their lives. While packing, ensure you keep their routine as normal as possible to eliminate some of that anxiety.

9. Defrost Your Refrigerator

This is one of those obvious things that can be extremely easy to forget until it’s too late. Careful planning could allow you to use or dispose of most of your perishables before you move and order meals as you go until you’re all settled into the new place. 

Pending perfect planning, you’ll likely still have some food to bring to your new home. Just make sure you have a sizable cooler ready to transport anything that needs to stay refrigerated.

Extra tip: Depending on the size of your freezer — and the potential for ice buildup — it could take as long as 24-36 hours to defrost a freezer. If you need to speed up the process, open the door and put a fan near the freezer to melt the ice more quickly. 

10. Hire Help

If you’re moving a long way, have large items, or simply find that the benefits of hiring professional movers outweigh the cost, then this could be a good option for you. For long-distance moves, consider the benefits of selling some oversized items (like couches or dressers) and having new furniture delivered to your new home after you move in.

Extra tip: Don’t forget to book movers as early as possible. The end of the month is often the busiest time, so it’s best to be prepared in advance.

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