14 of the Best Tips for Moving Day Success
Moving day is all about finding a balance between your expectations and your reality. There is no such thing as a seamless, completely stress-free move—things go wrong, timing gets shot, and what you thought was enough boxes for your whole house is actually only sufficient for one room. (Hint: use our packing calculator and you won’t ever have to worry about that last one.) And while it doesn’t have to be—and likely won’t be—a complete cake walk, moving day doesn’t have to be totally awful either. Below, we’ve compiled 14 of our favorite, most helpful tips for moving day to help you get it done fast, seamlessly, and (hopefully) with as little stress and anxiety as possible.
- Figure out your plan early on
Are you going to hire professional movers? Embark on a DIY move? Ask your friends for help? One of the best tips for moving day we can give you is this: however you plan to move, get the ball rolling as early as you can. Research and book movers, rent a truck, ask your friends to block off their schedule on a particular day—whatever you need to do that’s absolutely essential for making your move happen, cross it off your list as early as you can.
- Make a moving day to do list
Moving day often turns in to a scramble. Loading boxes on to the truck is a big part of your job for the day, but it’s not the only thing you have to get done. So that you don’t forget everything else, keep a to do list on your phone or a piece of paper that you can reference before you lock up for the last time. This usually includes things like a final vacuuming, leaving the keys with your landlord, and doing one last walkthrough to check for forgotten items. In the lead up to moving day, add to the list anything that pops into your head that you know you’ll have to get done before you can fully be out of your old home.
- Get your day going early
It’s important to be well rested on moving day, but you don’t want to sleep in. Give yourself as much time as you possibly can to cross your Ts and dot your Is by waking up early so that you have plenty of hours ahead of you to finish up everything on your list. If you still have some packing to do, err on the side of going to bed early and waking up early, instead of pulling an all-nighter and being totally exhausted the next day.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged
Moving day is not the day to run out of battery on your phone. Have your charger available in your essentials bag just in case (see tip #7), but plan to have your phone fully charged and ready to go all day. You won’t have much time for cell phone games or scrolling through social media, but you’ll need it for coordinating logistics with your friends or movers, and you may need it to pick your rental truck as well.
- Be ready to go before the moving truck arrives
You don’t want your movers or your friends to have to wait around for you to finish packing, nor do you want to completely derail the timing of your day. Consider the time that the moving truck is going to arrive in your driveway as your non-negotiable deadline for having your home packed up.
- Get someone to watch your kids and/or pets
Little ones—both two legged and four—bring a lot of joy into our lives. But when it comes to moving day, they, and you, are often much better off if they’re not on site. For everyone’s safety, have a trusted friend or family member take over kid or pet duties for the times you’ll be loading and unloading the truck.
- Have a moving essentials bag
A moving essentials bag is a bag that you keep by your side that has everything you might need for the day of your move and the day or two after. This includes: your wallet, your phone charger, important documents, medications, a couple changes of clothes, etc. If you know it’s something that you’ll need access to right away, put it in the bag.
- Keep sandwich baggies on hand
As you or your movers take apart your furniture to load it into the truck, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of screws and other small pieces that you definitely don’t want to misplace. Keep a box of sandwich bags handy and designate one per furniture item so that you can keep all of the parts together. Keep labels and a marker out as well so that you can mark which bag of parts is for which piece of furniture.
- Practice proper lifting
Always be sure to lift boxes correctly, since failure to do so can result in injury. If a box feels too heavy for you to lift or you’re nervous about navigating up or down stairs with it, get someone to help you. As with all other things in life, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Supply refreshments
Whether you’re moving alone, with friends, or with the pros, it’s a good idea to supply some snacks and water. Moving is hard work that requires a break here and there for hydration and food. Good moving snacks are ones that can be eating on the go for a quick burst of energy—think protein bars, nuts, string cheese, and sandwiches.
- Take a picture of your utility meters
This is among our top tips for moving day, though it’s isn’t exactly for moving day itself. Walk around your home and snap pictures of the readings on your water and gas meters. That way, when you get your final bill from the utility companies you can be positive that they got it right (or alternately, have proof that they got it wrong).
- Have cash to tip your movers
Professional movers work extremely hard, and while it’s not expected that you’ll give them a tip, a bit of cash on top of their normal pay is a great way to show them that you’re grateful for all of their effort. They won’t be able to accept tips by check or credit card, so be sure to have cash on hand—$20 per mover, handed to each of them individually instead of to the supervisor, will always be appreciated.
- Always do a final walkthrough
Always, always go back through each room of your home for a last look before you leave it for good. Anything you leave behind could be difficult to acquire later on, especially if you are moving out of state. Open all of your cabinets, peek inside all of the closets, and don’t forget to check any outdoor spaces as well. If you brought it with you when you moved in, you should be making sure that it gets on the truck with you when you move out.
- Renting? Take pictures during your walkthrough
We have all head horror stories of landlords who try to claim damages or cleaning costs after move out that end up costing renters their security deposits. To cover your bases, take pictures all around your unit showing the state that you left it in. If there are any unwarranted complaints later on, you’ll have photographic evidence you can use to back up your side.
Follow these tips for moving day success and you should find that your day goes a whole smoother than it might have in the past. And if you need some advice for getting settled in as well.