Advice For Your Move
The US Census Bureau reports that on average, people move 11 times in their lifetime. There are so many variables at play in each move, that even after moving multiple times, it can still feel overwhelming. We’re here to help you make your move stress-free and help you remember all the little details. With most people using self-moving services these days, we have compiled our 10 best pieces of self-moving advice to help you through the process.
Self-Moving Advice: 10 Things to Remember When Preparing to Move
- Get Parking Approval. This is number one on our list because it’s so important. Regardless of the type of equipment you use to move your belongings, you’ll be tasked with making sure there is a safe, legal place to park it. If you have your own private parking (like a driveway), approval probably isn’t required (unless it’s a rental). However, if you plan on parking on the street, in an apartment complex or storage facility parking lot, or if you have a Homeowner’s Association, you will be required to check on the parking situation. While some circumstances just need an “ok” from your landlord or HOA president, some require permits from the city or alternate parking arrangements. (Don’t forget that this applies to the destination too).
Prepare for the unexpected. There are so many variables at play during your move that even the slightest change in plans have the potential to throw you for a loop. When you pack your essentials bag (with all the stuff you need to keep with you during a move), err on the side of packing too much. Be sure you bring any medications, clothing, and personal electronics you will need. If you have one extra buffer day built in before you start your new job, why not be prepared just in case something happens – pack some work clothes in your essentials bag just in case you need them. Think through some possible “what ifs” and pack accordingly.
- Choose your dates wisely. When planning your move-out date, we recommend working backwards. Start with the date you want to unload at your new home, then work backwards for your transit time, loading and unloading time, and an extra buffer day or two. If you’re moving to start a new job or school, or you have a hard deadline for being unpacked, then you will want to either a) plan for a few extra buffer days so you have a little wiggle room, or b) use our guaranteed service. With U-Pack Guaranteed, you will know exactly when to expect your belongings at your new home. Without the guaranteed service, you’ll get an estimated arrival date, that could vary a day or two either way. A U-Pack representative can help you determine the best date for your move based on your circumstance. Call us at 1-800-413-4799 for help with this.
Take care when scheduling help. We recommend that your move breaks down like this: Your equipment gets dropped off at your home, and then the moving help arrives the next day. You have three business days to load, so even if you wait a day for your help, you’ll have two full days for loading. Whether you have family and friends coming to help, or you are using moving help, scheduling them like this ensures that you aren’t waiting on the equipment to arrive so you can put your help to work.
Look at your house for specialty items. As you pack, make note of any items that may be difficult to handle while self-moving. Pool tables, pianos, or heavy pieces of furniture may require special packing materials or expert help.
Use up your non-moveable items. There are certain items that you can’t ship (see the Do Not Ship list), like perishable food or cleaning products. Start using them up now so that you don’t have to throw them out on moving day.
Contact utility companies. Scheduling for your utilities to be shut off and turned on is similar to scheduling your moving help. Give yourself a buffer day. So if you are planning on being out of the house completely on Wednesday, have your utilities turned off on Thursday. If you want to arrive at your new home on Tuesday, have them turned on Monday if possible. For non-essential utilities, like your cable or satellite, you might want to wait until after you get unpacked so the technician has room to work.
Budget for “extra” costs. After you pay for your move, there may be travel costs, like hotel and food to plan for. If you’re moving with U-Pack, the only “extra” costs are those you’ll encounter on the road. However, if you’re moving using a rental truck, don’t forget to budget for fuel for that truck. Those big trucks can be gas guzzlers, so check out our fuel estimator to see how much money to set aside for fuel. Or skip that worry all together and let U-Pack do the driving.
Locate the important places in your new hometown. If you’re moving to a new town, there are some places you’ll want to have mapped out already. We recommend making a list of the essentials before you hit the road. From the closest grocery store to your home, a pizza place (pizza is the official food of self-moving!), the hospital or urgent care, and a hardware store – just make sure you have a list of the important places you might need when you arrive. This post mentions some great places to start.
- Plan for kids and pets. Begin setting aside any crucial items that your kids or pets will need during the move. If there is a toy that your kiddo needs to have with them, make sure it doesn’t get packed up. Be sure you set aside any medications, snacks, and food that you’ll need to keep everyone happy. And for your pets, make sure you keep a leash, their carrier (if applicable), and food bowls out for the trip.
If you follow our self-moving advice, along with our helpful moving checklist, you should be all set for your move. For additional information about moving with U-Pack, get a free moving quote online. If you have any questions about our advice, or have any more tips to add, please leave a comment.