Moving into a new home is one of life’s most stressful experiences. You’ve packed up everything you own and tried to get as organized as possible for the big day. But that’s just part of the picture. Your new space needs to be in good shape ahead of time and ready for you to make it your own. Your goal should be to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Remember that moving is all about preparation and paying careful attention to detail so that nothing gets overlooked—troubleshooting is the last thing you want to do in the middle of a move. Hiring professional movers will make things easier, but there’s a laundry list of details to check off beginning well in advance of moving day.
Suddenly realizing you need to do some painting after you’ve moved in isn’t ideal. Take a good look around your new digs, identify walls that need a fresh coat of paint, and get it all done before you move in if at all possible. That’ll give you time to decide on a color scheme before you get down to the business of rearranging your life. You’re making a fresh start in a new space, so you might as well start making it yours before all your belongings are in place.
Get familiar with your new home
Spend a little time in your new home, taking pictures and measurements so you know where all your furniture will fit. Have a good idea of where your biggest items will go so you don’t have to do a lot of last-minute guessing and rearranging. If possible, draw up a diagram indicating exactly where your couch will go, how coffee tables will be arranged, and where the TV and stereo equipment will be set up. And don’t forget to measure all doorways. You don’t want any nasty surprises, like finding out that your beautiful antique chest of drawers won’t fit through the door of your master bedroom. Assign bedrooms in advance so you or your movers know exactly where to put boxes as soon as you arrive. Don’t underestimate the importance of a home inspection. Buying a new home is a huge investment, and you want a professional taking a very good look at your roof, plumbing, and wiring before you get too far along with moving plans.
Once you’ve moved everything in, you’ll be busy bringing order out of chaos for a while. There’s box after box to unload and items to put away in closets and drawers. If possible, focus on putting your new house together for a day or two before you worry about hauling in the really big stuff. Put off moving in big appliances and furniture for a couple days, like that huge dining room table or your oak armoire. Know where each object will go and keep that space clear. It’s a good way to avoid having to push heavy objects aside as you move the smaller stuff around. Your muscles and blood pressure will benefit.
Label your boxes
Clearly label all of the boxes as you pack them up. Write down whose bedroom each one is going to and if they’re intended for the living, dining, or family room. Write clearly on the top and on each side so you don’t have to move each box around trying to find out where it should go. You’ll save a lot of time not having to play a guessing game or slicing into boxes trying to figure it out as you go. Everyone wants to get through the moving-in process as quickly as possible. You can take a big step in that direction by having everything organized before you even load the moving truck.
Coordinate with the movers
If you’ve hired professional movers, meet with them beforehand to plan your moving day carefully, and make sure you understand all moving-associated costs. Make sure everyone is clear about what time you’ll get started and by what time you want to be finished. Go over any fragile or high-value items so the movers know what to look for and if they need to take any special precautions in advance. If you’re moving into a rental or condo community, there may be restrictions on how and when you can move, information your movers need to have in advance.
You’ll be busy packing and getting your home cleaned up before you move out. Don’t forget to prepare your new house before you start moving in. Get organized ahead of time so moving day doesn’t become one long debate over what should go where.
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Certified Home Inspector.