The Do’s And Don’ts Before A Move

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You know what they say: If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.

This saying may apply to a variety of life situations … but it doesn’t apply to moving. Following the rules of relocating could save you a lot of time, trouble and stress. Below are several relocating rules that you don’t want to break…

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Make a Budget

Not going to sugar coat it: Relocating can be expensive. Whether you’re making a down payment on a house or fronting the security deposit for an apartment, moving into a new home requires hefty sums paid upfront. Other moving expenses include new decor for your brand-new home, endless takeout, moving boxes, markers, bubble wrap and, of course, movers.

Make a budget and set money aside for your upcoming relocation.

  • Get quotes from moving companies early to ensure you’ve set aside money for the actual relocation
  • Work a margin of error into your budget just in case you spend more on takeout and curtains than you originally planned

Pack a Go-Bag

You’re going to need quick access to quite a few things when you arrive in your new home. For example, a toothbrush. The last thing you want to do on the night of your relocation is rip open five boxes labelled “bathroom” in search of your toothbrush.

To make life easier for yourself, pack a go-bag with items you’ll need in your first few nights at your new home. Things to pack in your go-bag might include:

  • Pajamas
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Important moving papers
  • Extra clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Snakcs

Plan to Spend at Least One Day Packing Each Room

Packing takes time — sometimes an absurd amount of time. Plan to spend at least one day packing each room, and for rooms with a lot of stuff, set aside two days. If you’re a pack rat, set aside three days.

Running short on time? Do yourself a favour. Hire professionals to do the job for you.


Clutter takes up space in moving boxes and takes a lot of time to pack. The more clutter you plan to bring with you, the more money your relocation will cost. To control your moving costs, get rid of clutter as you pack. Donate anything that can be used by someone else.

Not sure what to do with your sentimental items? Off-load them on friends and relatives. When throwing things away, don’t forget to recycle.

Label Boxes Meticulously

Labeling boxes may seem tedious, but it’s worth the time spent. Mark all boxes containing breakable items with a “fragile” sticker. Label all boxes where they should go and describe their contents. You’re going to go through a lot of markers during this process, so stock up.


Leave Packing to the Last Minute

There’s nothing worse than packing while in a panic. (Actually, there are worse things — but panic-packing is bad nonetheless.)

As soon as you’ve decided to move, start packing — even if you won’t be relocating for a year or more. Pack your seasonal items as soon as you’re done using them. Set aside time each weekend to pack something new.

Hire a Mover Without Vetting Them First

Hiring the wrong movers can have serious consequences. It’s important to find a moving company that values you as a customer, takes care of your stuff, shows up on time, and doesn’t charge unexpected fees. Vetting a moving company takes a little time, but it’s worth it.

  • Meet in person. Never hire a moving company that will quote a home relocation sight-unseen.
  • Get it in writing. Get the cost of your relocation and any applicable fees in writing.
  • Call references. Every moving company should have references. Call at least three references for any moving company you’re thinking seriously about hiring. When calling references, ask questions such as:
    • When did you hire these movers?
    • Were they courteous and professional?
    • Did they protect your floors and walls while moving?
    • Was anything broken during the relocation, and, if so, how did they handle it?
    • Would you hire these movers again?
    • Would you refer these movers to others?

Select a Mover Based on Price

While it’s important to hire a moving company that you can afford, the cheapest moving company may not be the best moving company for you. Hire movers that prioritize customer service, professionalism and reliability.

Try to Handle Packing and Moving on Your Own

This is not a joke: Moving is a big job. When you’re in the middle of a relocation, the packing can seem endless, and moving the boxes and furniture can be gruelling work.

If you can fit it into your budget, hire full-service movers to make your upcoming relocation easier. If you can’t hire full-service movers, then get help from friends and family while packing and doing other moving-related activities. Don’t try to be the hero. Reach out to someone who can help.

Feel bad about asking for help from friends? Pay them back with pizza and a promise to help next time they relocate.

Pack Without Protecting Your Valuable Items

If you’re packing things on your own, wrap your valuables in packing materials designed to protect them. Bubble wrap, packing peanuts, packing paper — all these items are helpful if you’re hoping to have a safe move. Some other tips for packing breakable items:

  • Don’t place too many items in one box
  • Stack boxes containing valuables away from boxes that contain less breakable stuff
  • Put valuable items in extra-sturdy boxes or boxes designed specifically for that type of item. (For example, put a painting in a box designed specifically for holding paintings)

Follow the Rules — You Won’t Regret It

It’s important to find a good moving company, to give yourself ample time to plan your move and to respect your items when you’re packing. By following these Do’s and Don’ts, you should have a better experience relocating, and you’ll be better off when you arrive at your new home.

This article is written by Kelli Warren. Kelli is a co-owner of Moving Proz, a moving company in Kansas City and Denver. She has over five years of experience within the moving and transportation industry and loves to help provide a great moving experience for clients no matter what their moving situation may be.


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photo of Millie Archer

Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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About Millie Archer 142 Articles
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You'll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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