From My Experience: Moving Preparation

Texas highways

I’m not sure where my next move will take me yet, whether it’s across town or across the country, but I learned a thing or two last time that I want to remember and pass along to all of you.

  1. You will always need more packing tape. I stood in the office supply section of Wal-Mart today and finally landed on the big roll. I don’t think I’m going to regret one less trip to the store in the middle of taping boxes and wrapping up items in the Alabama heat.
  2. Wait to pack the fans. Moving in the middle of summer is the worst (unless you are moving in an ice storm), so be prepared for sweat, dehydration and exhaustion. Don’t overwork it and don’t expect the AC to operate at maximum effectiveness with the doors open. Sorry to sound like your mom, but it’s true that a cool house quickly becomes a drain on your power bill when you’re constantly going in and out. Take breaks in front of some fans with water bottles, even if you don’t feel maxed out yet or want to finish “just one more box.”
  3. Gather boxes early. I lucked out this year when a Facebook friend posted that she had free boxes to give away. I knew I would be moving eventually, so I snagged them weeks before I need to pack anything. One less thing to do when the time comes! I suggest asking around to friends and acquaintances first, especially if they work at a company with a warehouse full of spare cardboard from products delivered to them. If you don’t have a friend with a hookup, try Hobby Lobby, grocery stores or Wal-Mart. Boxes I got from Hobby Lobby four years ago held up and will be making the move with me again soon.
  4. Research options for movers. I didn’t have much furniture moving from Texas to Alabama, so we used a “you pack it; we move it” service. They dropped the big metal box off in Texas empty, we filled it by their deadline, then they delivered it to my new apartment in Alabama with no fuss. By packing everything ourselves and sealing it before the movers ever arrived, we were sure everything made it intact and was exactly where we left it. That said, it’s not the best option for large, heavy items if you don’t have an army helping you, so I’m probably going to go a more traditional route this time.
  5. Forward that mail and change your address. I’m so grateful I discovered this handy chart on Pinterest and thought to save it. It’s from the UK, but most of it still applies Stateside. I only wish I could send it to the previous occupant of my apartment whose mail is still coming here four years later…
  6. Research your new city. This one is probably all too obvious, but just in case you don’t know where to start, I recommend AAA, the city’s tourism board and travel guidebooks. Most cities have a free lifestyle magazine or two, but new residents might not think to check them for information about what it’s like to live in that city. Before you move, visit your local library for a free peek at their travel selection. Just make sure to return them before you move.

Don’t forget to check out my two previous posts on exploring your new city once you get there!

What would you add to my list? I’m definitely open to any advice and wisdom on moving tips you have to share from your experience. Just leave a comment here or reply on Twitter to @Jenna_DeWitt.

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