Moving is Hard. Here’s How to Make it Easier.

Recently, I got an email for an epic moving checklist. There were 100 steps on this list, which is thorough, to be sure, but also daunting. Yes, there are many, many, many considerations when you’re moving, especially if you’re going to a new state, but is it truly a 100-step process? Maybe! In my experience, even those of us who think we know how much it takes to move and are prepared for it have a tendency to underestimate the process. If you’re a planner, have a look. If you want a shortcut, here’s a top-down look for simplifying the process as realistically as possible, plus a little bonus.

Get Organized

One of the biggest hurdles during a move is safely packing up essentials — and then forgetting where they are. Anything related to the move itself, like receipts, quotes, records, etc., needs a digital backup that’s easily accessible online. Don’t skip this step. Snap some photos and upload everything to Dropbox or Drive.

Get a recommendation for a moving company, and then some quotes. If you’re going to DIY it, you’ll likely still need to rent a truck, so check prices. Either way, read through the paperwork so you’re clear on what the movers are responsible for, and more importantly, what they aren’t. Are they qualified to move everything, including that baby grand or your pool table? You’ll need to plan for what they won’t touch — open alcohol, houseplants, cleaning supplies, guns, and more are all on that list.

This is also a good time to ensure that any moving company you’re considering is licensed and insured.

Declutter & Pack

Packing up an entire home is a great opportunity to get rid of all the stuff that’s been stashed away in the very back of cupboards and closets for years. Does any of this stuff bring you joy? No? Then make like Marie Kondo and move it along. If you’re motivated enough for a yard sale, make a little extra green clearing out your joyless stuff. If not, make some donations and breathe (somewhat) easier. Less to pack, right?

Then gather your supplies. And whatever you do, don’t skip the step of labeling the boxes! Keep in mind that you’ll need to recycle or dispose of corrosives, flammables, and poisonous items. And you have to that properly. Too often, people leave this to the last minute and then run into issues. You can’t dump this stuff in the regular garbage. If you have old paint that’s still viable — not dried out, good for touch ups, properly labeled — it can be left with permission by the new owners. But everything else needs to go. In the Bay Area, I can recommend someone who’ll dispose of toxic cleaning and household supplies.

General Housekeeping

Get on the horn (or online). You’ll need to have your mail forwarded to the new address, and find cable and internet providers so you can schedule your installation appointment. Contact loan providers, credit card companies, banks, insurance companies, and the payroll department at work to update your address. You’ll also need to order new checks, and update your vehicle registration. You should update your driver’s license as well, and be sure to notify the IRA and Social Security. A decent number of stimulus checks went missing because people moved!

Contact utility companies — water, electric, garbage, and natural gas — to transfer these services as well. If you’re a monthly subscription kind of person, make sure to update contact information there as well. I can’t tell you how many people forget this step, and packages from Amazon or PayPal go to the wrong place. And don’t forget to update your voter registration.

Finally, pack a box of essentials — everything you’ll need for the first day or two in your new home. Keep this with you so you have it handy. And have cash on hand to tip your movers!

I can invite you to an app that streamlines a lot of this, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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