The Ultimate Guide on How to Plan a Move

It’s no secret that moving is one of the biggest stresses in life, but it’s still shocking every time we go through it. Believe it or not, studies show that most Americans rank moving as more stressful than divorce!

While we can’t eliminate the stress of moving entirely, there are plenty of ways to reduce the stress that comes with moving. Let’s talk about how to plan a move for the best results and the least stress!

1. How to Plan a Move: Write Everything Down

Moving is a complex and intricate operation. If you don’t write out a list of tasks that you need to complete, you’re almost certain to forget about something. Unfortunately, there is a chance that it will be something important.

Using this article as a reference, add anything specific to your move. On top of that, you should have a personalized moving process laid out on paper. This list should include:

  • Budget for moving
  • Which subscriptions to change or cancel
  • Changing doctors or other professionals
  • Contacting schools
  • Taking time off of work
  • House-selling schedule
  • Garage sale or waste management
  • Logistics

Add any of these that are applicable and anything else that’s specific to you. From there, use the rest of these tips to make your move as smooth as possible.

Write Down a Schedule

Feel free to use a calendar as a template, type it out on your computer, or write it by hand. Either way, try to keep track of a schedule for everything with your move. This should include meetings, deadlines, and more.

For example, you’ll need deadlines for finding a moving company, packing, and selling your home. You’ll also need to add dates for showings, open houses, meeting with your agent, and more. It’s important to keep diligent track of all of these and to set up alerts if necessary.

2. Look for Ways to Save

For moves that cross state lines, the average person or family will spend around $5,000 on moving-related expenses for each move. That means there are a lot of ways to save, especially if you know where to look.

Packing Materials

Packing materials are the silliest item to overspend on. Yes, you could easily go to Walmart or another store and spend $2 per box, $10 for each small roll of foam, and $6 on each roll of tape. These costs quickly add up, often to hundreds of dollars for larger moves.

Well, why overspend when you could easily obtain these materials for free? Ask your local department store or grocery store for unwanted boxes they’re throwing out. Try to avoid boxes that held frozen items or produce, as they’re likely water-damaged, but if you can find them, you’ll have free packing materials!

Ask for Help

If you hire movers, you should expect to pay a bare minimum of $1,000, even if you’re moving nearby. Movers are one of the most expensive parts of moving, so if you have family or friends who are willing to help, use them!

Limit Your Trips

For DIY movers, try your best to limit the number of trips you take, especially if your new place is far away. If you’re moving within the same city, then it may make more financial sense to take multiple trips. However, if you’re crossing state lines or driving more than 30 miles, then it would make more sense to rent a truck.

Fuel prices are at all-time highs and are expected to reach $6 a gallon for gasoline by August. If you’re taking repeated trips with your SUV or pickup truck and each requires a tank of gas, that’s going to be $100 per trip for most of us. If it’s 4 trips at $100 each and $400 to rent a larger truck, you may as well rent the truck and save some time.

Move During the Off-Season

Especially if you live up north, consider moving during the winter. This could save you money on just about everything, including:

  • The house or rent prices
  • Moving company
  • Moving truck rentals
  • Moving supplies

If you have flexibility in your time schedule, consider waiting until the off-season for the best results. Yes, it will be cold, but moving in will certainly warm you up!

Realtor Fees

Sometimes, it makes more sense to ditch the real estate agent and save yourself an extra 4% or 5% on your sale. You spend years building that equity, so don’t just give it away. Especially in today’s housing market, a quick cash sale is often the way to go.

Also, this is a great way to limit some of the stress of moving. A lengthy, drawn-out sale will require a lot of phone calls, meetings, and more with your real estate agent and potential buyers. Not only that, but if the sale doesn’t happen quickly enough, it could put you in a tough financial position or even delay your move.

If you need to make a quick sale, then find a cash offer today and sell your house as soon as possible.

3. Get All Hands on Deck

Even if you’re hiring professional movers to help you, invite your friends and family over to help you pack. Our loved ones tend to be the cheapest labor, as they only require some take-out after a hard day’s work.

Some of the more time-consuming projects involved with moving, especially packing, don’t have to be so daunting. If you have help, then you could even have some fun with it.

Of course, there are phone calls, meetings, and forms that you’ll need to complete on your own, but look for opportunities to ask for help when you need it. Moving doesn’t have to be the most stressful time of our lives if we don’t make it that way.

If you’re moving with a spouse or partner, make sure that the “administrative” tasks are delegated appropriately. One of you can be the point of contact for the moving company, agent, or whoever else. Regardless, sharing the load and communicating with each other is essential!

4. Clean Your Home

Once everything is packed and ready to go, it’s important to deep clean your home. While your rugs are still on the floors, it would be a good idea to vacuum them before transport so you aren’t laying down dirty rugs in your new home.

However, once everything is packed and ready to go, it’s a good idea to clean the rest of the place more thoroughly, but try to keep it fairly clean throughout the entire process. This is especially important before any viewings of the home. Clean homes sell faster than dirty ones on average, so always clean before showings.

5. Reduce Your Clutter

Moving sales exist for a reason. Especially with inflation and rising fuel prices, it’s important to get everything done in as few trips as possible, especially if you’re moving further away. Purging yourself of all of your unwanted belongings can make this process a lot easier and give you some extra cash for all of your moving expenses.

We strongly recommend going through your items while packing to limit unnecessary work. Ask yourself if you really need each item before packing it, and consider adding a “maybe” pile if you’re unsure. If you have enough items, host a moving sale and advertise it in your neighborhood a week before.

If you put some thought and consideration into your moving sale, you can easily net $500 to $1,000, which is enough to pay your friends and family for their help, offset other moving costs, or offer some take-out money for the first few days while you’re settling in.

However, if you don’t have enough to justify a large moving sale, then you can earn even more money for each item! Moving sales usually mean big markdowns, but if you only have a few items to get rid of, consider selling them on Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or elsewhere for a better price. For the best results, try to do this as far in advance as possible, as it may take time to find buyers!

6. Get to Know Your New Area

One of the most enjoyable parts of moving is getting to know your new area. Head over to your new destination for a drive around town, try out some popular restaurants in your area, meet with the schools, or do whatever you want!

Also, if you have a period between sales where you own or reside in both homes, this is a great opportunity to unload some of your belongings. If you’ve already packed some less-used items, bring them over to the new place, put them away, and explore!

If you live too far away, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to people in the area, ask questions on online forums, and more. From there you can easily look on an online maps platform, Google Earth, or something similar. This can give you a good idea of what’s around your new area, including parks, restaurants, recreation, and more!

7. Have a Plan B

It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan for every aspect of the move. One of the biggest stressors of a move is that there are simply too many moving parts (pardon the pun) involved. Any one of those aspects can fall through, no matter how much you’re counting on them.

For example, your home sale could take longer than expected, same with your home purchase. If that’s the case, you may need to find temporary housing to attend your work in the area or get familiar with your new area. If so, having a plan for this ahead of time can help!

If you’re relying on a moving team, what happens if they get tied up for one reason or another? For example, if there is a Covid outbreak on the team, what will you do? Well, if your deadline is strict, try to figure out a backup plan for that day.

The more that you plan for the worst in advance, the more likely you are to have a smooth transition to your new home. Always think ahead and plan for situations that may arise. It could save you a lot of stress and a lot of money!

8. Sell Your Home Fast

Selling a house takes time, and if you’ve accepted a new job offer, you may not have any to spare. If that’s the case, then it’s important to aim for a quick sale.

If you want to sell your house as quickly as possible, then cash offers are always the best. With a real estate agent and a traditional sale, it can easily take 60 to 90 days to close, and that’s if you’re lucky. If you try to go the traditional route without an agent, then it will take much longer and involve a lot more work.

To sell your home as quickly as possible, talk to cash buyers that can do the necessary research on your home and return an offer to you right away. Often, this can get you cash within 14 days, allowing for a simple and quick sale. For more information, read more about how it works.

Get a Move On

Now that you know how to plan a move, write down your plans and stick to them as closely as possible. With these tips at your disposal and a little extra planning, you can have a smooth and (almost) stress-free move!

Stay up to date with our latest tips and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your home sale!

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