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Source: Residential Resale Council

Taking time to plan out an efficient and well-managed move will not only help you save time and money, but it will also allow for an easy, low-stress move for you and your family. Follow the tips and tricks below to make this happen!

1. Set a Budget

It is important early in the moving process to determine a budget. This budget will include the relocation of your belongings (and yourself & your family, of course). The key to this step is to stick to your budget. Our skilled brokers can help you estimate costs and expenses you’ll need to take into account.

2. Hire Movers

This is not an expense you’ll regret. Find a reliable moving company as soon as you know you’ll be moving. Our brokers would be more than happy to recommend their favorites. Communication with your movers will be critical. Be clear about your needs and expectations and be sure you understand the company’s policies and the possibility of additional charges before signing a contract. Another key component to this step is comparing prices. Don’t go with the first offer you receive. 

3. Take Care of the Details

Arrange your utilities – this includes, phone, electric, and internet. Make sure to shut off these services in your previous home or transfer them to your new home. If transferring these services is not an option, make sure you know your option or options for service providers in the area you are moving to. Contact your bank, credit card issuers and any company that regularly mails you an invoice to inform them of your new address. Complete a change-of-address kit at the post office.

4. Make a Packing List

Go room to room and make an inventory list of everything. Organize first by room, then by item type (furniture, linens, packable items, fragile items, etc.). Once you have a comprehensive list, use highlighters to color-code all items into three categories: keep, sell or give away.

5. Get Rid of Everything You Don’t Want or Need

It’s best to minimize and with all the online selling and giveaway apps available these days, it’s easy to do so. Post unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, Mercari, or any others you can think of. Just want to give away? Most local donation centers do pickups for larger items, and as for smaller items, just drive them over to your local thrift store, drop them off, and feel 100x lighter immediately.

6. Pack Belongings in an Orderly Fashion

Box up your least used items first. These could be off-season clothing, extra linens, specialty kitchen supplies, electronics, etc. This will give you head start on your packing and will make the remainder of the job feel less overwhelming. 

7. Transport Valuables Yourself

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but while your movers will be responsible for pretty much everything else, you should personally move hard-to-replace or valuable items such as electronics, jewelry, art, family heirlooms, etc. This will bring peace of mind, making for an easier move.

8. Prep Your New Home

If possible, go to your new home before moving day to clean and make sure the necessary utilities have been turned on. Having a plan of where big furniture pieces are going to go can also be extremely helpful.

9. Make Life Easy for the Movers

Show the movers which items you want loaded last (and therefore unloaded first). Have as many items as possible ready to go—this should be close to everything in your home. After they’ve finished unloading your belongings on the other end, assess whether there’s any damage. If there is, be sure it’s noted in writing before the movers leave and before you sign anything. Also, have a cash tip ready for each mover.

10. Donate canned goods and food items so that you don’t have to move them.

Organizations like Move for Hunger can help you clear out your pantry while also helping those in need. Move for Hunger works with a network of about 650 moving companies to deliver unwanted canned goods to local food pantries. Or, if you’re looking for a local food bank, visit Feeding America’s website (www.feedingamerica.org) for a zip code-searchable list of food pantries. Here in Skagit County, you can donate non-perishables to Helping Hands Food Bank.