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Tips for a Successful Move

A successful move begins with planning. Spend some time thinking about how best to move your household. Will you hire a moving firm? Are you looking at moving trucks? Move yourself with the help of friends?

If you decide to hire a moving company, spend some time looking for recommendations. There are professional firms that can take care of you and your belongings very competently, delivering you and your household goods on schedule. Others will make your move miserable with broken furniture, lost boxes, and poor attitudes. You can ask for recommendations from friends who have moved recently or research moving firms on the internet.

Once you have made a list of possibilities, do some research. If you’re planning to hire a moving company, a representative will visit your home to estimate the amount of belongings you have and give you a free moving quote. If you are looking at moving trucks, you can call the rental companies or research prices on the internet. Estimate how much the move will cost so you can plan your budget. Don’t forget to estimate the costs of packing materials; it’s not worth it to save on packing materials if it means broken possessions.

As packing begins, choose carefully what will travel to your new home. This is a great time to weed out worn, outdated, or unused belongings, either to the dump or to a charitable organization that will appreciate the gift. As you pack, be generous with padding material. Crumpled paper is fine for non-breakables, but for anything fragile spend the money for packing peanuts or similar packing materials. “Float” delicate objects in the box by putting in a layer of padding first, and then pour in more around it. Don’t overpack boxes—lighter boxes are easier to lift anyway. Be particularly careful with books, which are easy to overpack.

As you pack, keep careful track of what goes into each box. It will be worth the time later to keep a list. Every box should be numbered and have a label with your name and new address on it. In many cases, shipments from different families share trucks and detailed labeling will help keep your boxes together. Numbering the boxes and recording the contents by number in the list will also help protect your belongings by making it less obvious what’s in the box. Do write the room where the box belongs on the list—it will make unpacking easier.