A couple weeks ago, you put in an offer on a new home and it was accepted. So you did what anyone would do and you placed a nice bright sale sign in the front yard of your current residence.
Within a matter of days, you had an offer on your old place and the respective closing dates were set. And though, of course, you knew that moving would be part of the process, it suddenly hits you that you actually have to move!
Are you ready? Here are a few tips designed to help you do it right.
- Take Care of the Information Transfers
The very first thing you need to do is address the paper trail. Before you move, make sure you’re aware of which utilities you’re responsible for transferring to the next owner and go ahead and schedule these switches.
You’ll also need to fill out your change-of-address form online. You’ll want to switch the billing address for all your credit cards to the new place since this is what the post office uses to process and verify your change request.
- Rent or Buy the Right Materials
Having the right materials and equipment on hand can make a big difference. It will all cost you money, but this is an investment that will pay huge dividends (in terms of organization and stress relief) throughout the moving process.
Start by obtaining lots of moving boxes. Scour your attic, ask the neighbors, look for boxes on Craigslist, go to Walmart. You can never have enough boxes.
You also need some good packing tape. Don’t cheap out and purchase the low-quality stuff; cheap tape tends to be harder to work with. It may cost two or three dollars extra for a good roll, but it will be money well spent.
Finally, a moving dolly is a lifesaver. If you don’t have one and don’t care to own one into the future, you should be able to rent a dolly from a moving company for a few dollars. If you’re going to be moving large boxes, appliances, and pieces of furniture, a dolly will save your back.
- Gather the Important Documents
It’s easy to misplace something in the process of moving. You throw it in a box and then forget where you put it when it’s time to unpack. Safeguard against losing essential items — such as birth certificates, passports, financial records, jewelry, and cash — by setting them aside in a fireproof lock box and storing the box in a safe location that will be under your supervision preferably at all times.
- Devise a Moving Strategy
“How are you going to get from point A to point B on moving day? For shorter moves, you’ll either need to assemble some very nice friends with trucks or consider renting a truck for the day,” says Tara Nolan of Style at Home.
“If you have a big family to move or you’ll be moving a long distance, you’ll want to price out moving companies.” Don’t just assume that everything will fall into place.
Yes, your friend may have a truck, but will he be in town on the day of your move? There’s a moving company down the street that you’ve used in the past, but are they still within your budget?
Assumptions are dangerous when it comes to something as substantial as moving a household. Figure out a strategy well in advance and stick with it.
- Send the Kids Away
Children can either be a big help or a major distraction during the moving process. If you have kids under the age of 10 or 11, they’ll probably slow the process down more than anything else.
Try to set up a playdate at a friend’s house or find a babysitter who can watch them at a separate location. The less you have to worry about them, the more you’ll be able to focus on moving.
On the other hand, if you have teenage or adult children, those can be huge assets. Encourage them to help out by offering some sort of incentive.
- Try These Packing Tips
Throwing stuff into boxes and then cramming them into the back of a moving truck is a recipe for disaster. You need a packing strategy. Here are some tips that have helped plenty of others.
- Try putting numbers on every box in big black ink. Then, after each box is loaded (but before it’s taped shut) take a picture of the contents on your phone. Once you arrive at your new home and find yourself looking for a specific item, you can just scroll through your pictures, find the accompanying number, and locate that box. (This is a task that you can assign to one of your kids; he or she will love it!)
- Another strategy is to give every box a colored sticker and a number. The color represents the room that the box belongs in (for example, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom) and the number indicates how many boxes there are of each color. This enables you to unload boxes in the correct rooms and lets you know immediately when you’re missing one.
There are plenty of other strategies like these, so find one that works for you. The key is to make it as easy on yourself as possible. The last thing you want to do is spend hours looking for something after you’ve moved in.
Let Green Residential Help
At Green Residential, we are proud to be one of the few real estate companies in the Houston area that offers affordable flat-rate fees for home listings. Whereas the typical commission for a $400,000 home is around $24,000, our fee is just $20,000.
That means you save $4,000 right off the bat. That’s $4,000 that can go to upgrading the kitchen, increasing your down payment … or paying for professional movers.
Whatever the case, we’d love to help you sell your home. We know the market inside and out, and will work with you to help you get — and keep — maximum dollar. For more information, please contact us today!