Trying to move without a plan can be like trying to find your way around London with no directions: You might get where you’re trying to go eventually, but at the cost of lost time and frustration.
All sorts of things can go wrong during a move; for instance, furniture might not fit through doors, movers might not show up on time, and important documents can disappear under mountains of stuff.
But the following checklist–split up into two planning stages and one action stage–can help you avoid some of moving’s most frustrating pitfalls.
Download a PDF copy of this checklist to print out and use to help you with your moving and storage.
Stage One: Initial Preparation Work
❏ Weed out old items
Donate, throw away, or sell items you can get rid of. This will make your move easier and probably less expensive.
Check out moving company and storage options to get estimates.
❏ Organize paperwork
Gather important items you don’t want to lose and may need soon after the move, like passports, moving contracts, and medical and insurance records. Keep these in a box that’s easy to access.
Stage Two: Preliminary Packing
❏ Gather supplies
You’ll need boxes, markers, padding, and tape. These can be purchased at storage sites, or as part of a packing kit.
Take measurements of your new home (and storage unit, if you’re renting one) to make sure items will fit in it. Pay attention to door widths vs. the size of your large furniture.
❏ Confirm arrangements
Make sure you and your mover and storage site operator are on the same page regarding rates and schedule.
Step Three: Main Packing
❏ Prioritize items
Try to pack the least essential items first. If some of your items are going to a storage unit, see our guide on properly packing for a storage unit.
❏ Separate belongings by room
Bedroom items should go with other bedroom items, and kitchen items with other kitchen items. This will make unpacking less chaotic.
❏ Separate belongings by weight
Large, bulky items shouldn’t mix with small, fragile ones.
❏ Label all boxes
This will help you keep track of where items are and unpack more quickly.
❏ Load in reverse order
Items you want off the vehicle first should go in last.
Adapted from information on RealSimple.com