Give yourself at least 4 weeks to plan. Get some sturdy boxes, bubblewrap, tape, other padding materials, newspapers, labels and markers. There are a lot of things you don't use and you can start sorting them out first. Go through your closets, garage, storage room, kitchen cabinets and decide what you'll be taking with you. People tend to accumulate a lot of stuff throughout the years that they don't need and never use. Now is a good time to get rid of it - plan to sell or donate the items that are in good shape - consider having a garage sale, and throw out the rest. This will save you time and money in the packing and moving process.
Now that you've cleaned out your house, it's time to start packing. Pack the items that you rarely use first, then go room by room. Don't get overwhelmed, just do things one by one. When you're done with a room, label all boxes and arrange them near the door. This way you'll know what goes where when you're unloading and unpacking at your new house. Follow these tips to make your packing easier:
- Remember to stack boxes containing breakable items on top or separately to avoid any damage. Use a lot of padding for those and mark them clearly as "FRAGILE".
- Don't overstuff the boxes, this will make them too heavy and you won't be able to seal them properly.
- Place heavy items in small containers, and light items in big ones.
- Put loose objects such as kids' toys with small pieces in Ziploc bags.
- It's a good idea to create a list for the contents of each box - this way if a box goes missing during transport, you can file a claim with the moving company.
- The heavier items go on the bottom of a box.
Don't forget to:
- Leave the garage door opener for the new owners.
- Return your library books.
- Put in a change-of-address form at the post office.
- Collect the spare key from under the mat or the neighbor.
- Get your clothes from the dry-cleaner.
- Get your medical and dental records.
- Transfer your gym membership to a club in your new area.
- Transfer your prescriptions to a local pharmacy.
- Transfer your funds to a new bank account if necessary.
- Leave your new address for the new owner or tenants in case they'll need to forward any stray pieces of mail.