Movin' on up...
My family would probably dub me as a veteran mover. From College to internships to jobs to college round 2 to new careers to my current home, in the span of 15 years, I've probably moved 12 times. In my defense, 8 of those years their were only 2 moves within the same apartment complex, and the rest was moving across the state and frequent college moves #dorms).
So whether you have moved once or a dozen times, it probably never seems to get any easier. Especially, after surviving the rigamarole of finding a home, only to realize the daunting task of moving lies ahead. I've curated a list to help you make that move a lot easier. **Hint: It's to create more lists.... I love lists!
Make a MASTER list. Everything that needs to be accomplished from pre-move to after-move should be included. Chunking down the task of moving into manageable tasks will keep you organized and stress-free. Include things like purging, donating, setting up the movers, the actual move itself, turning on utilities at the new residence, turning off utilities at the prior residence, internet, etc. Need more description... go to pinterest.... someone somewhere has already made printable lists....
Leasebacks. No overlap between residences? Talk to your realtor about adding a leaseback addendum to either transaction to ensure you have enough time to perform the actual move. If you are buying a new home and selling the old in one transaction, I definitely recommend this or hiring movers and making arrangements with the buyers/sellers to ensure there is no confusion and moving can go without a hitch.
Time for the purge. This might be my favorite part of moving.... having an excuse to force myself to examine my belongings and their worth in my life. I'm not saying you have to binge on Marie Kondo on netflix and change your whole life... (I certainly haven't been able to), but you can consider downsizing that junk drawer, donating those clothes that don't fit, or getting rid of that project piece of furniture that you have hiding in the garage/attic/shed... (In Weatherford, consider donating to Manna Storehouse or Center of Hope, or one of the other worthy charities.... and if you find old paper/pens/school supplies, check with a school in your neighborhood--teachers would love to have any extra supplies! I know I loved that when I taught).
Moving Plans. Are you going to want to do the entire move yourself? (oh heavens to betsy, I know why you think you want to do that---trust me, its worth the cost to get a decent mover who can complete it in a few hours or less) Will you want a professional mover to handle the entire process? (YES) Don’t wait until the last minute, or trust that your sibling will pull through and assist---because something always comes up and you may be doing the whole move on your own (why did it ALWAYS manage to rain when I moved). Compare rates and services as well as availabilty. (I recommend Fireman Movers, my clients always give them great reviews)
Purchase List. Every realtor would tell you, save the big buys for after closing, so you don't mess up your credit picture and lose that dream house. Make a list on any important items you will need to buy for the new house. Examples: appliances, draperies, blinds, shower curtains, etc.
Start packing early. I can't stress this enough. You don't want to get to the week before closing and realize that you have 20 hours of packing to do on top of the actual move, work, family obligations, kids sports and sleep. Anything that you are sure you will not be using before moving day should get boxed AND LABELED. And if you are selling your current residence before the move, you should do this before listing. "Staging" your current home will help it sell quicker and alleviate a lot of the stress of moving once it goes under contract. The boxes can be stored in your garage, a pod or even moved to storage.
Determine a “staging area”. This can be a living room, spare bedroom or whatnot, where any items that are ready to be moved are placed. This saves a lot of the aggravation associated with having half-packed boxes scattered throughout your present abode and gives you a centralized place to look, should you need an item that is already packed. Once the entire house is packed, it also allows you to see if you are leaving anything behind unintentionally. Not enough square footage for one designated space? Allot a corner in each room to stack your boxes.
Check the weight. Check that big boxes are packed with light items, that heavy items are in small boxes and that nothing will throw your back out when you try to lift it. Trust me, it might not seem heavy now, but you will be loading that into a truck, off a truck, and possibly around the new house until you decide where it goes. AND, after moving for 2-5 hours, you will be tired and incapable of lifting it. (I like packing my books and shoes in medium sized rolling suitcases to make life a bit easier on me...)
Mark everything. Labeling every box with which room it will go into in the new house and a brief description of the contents will make your life run smoother throughout the process. Need Mr. Binky three days before you move but not sure where he went to? Check the Nursery box. Moving day complete and you need a plate for your dinner you had DoorDash bring you? Check the box that says Kitchen: plates. One thing remains a constant in every move I've completed--I'm a gradual unpacker. Like, full on might take me twice as long to unpack as it did to pack. Labeling helps you find things more efficiently and not lose your mind. For my clients, I even recommend color coding the rooms on the box labels. (Whether you have movers or family, in the new home stick color coded tape on the thresholds to each room so they know where that box is headed and it will save you from Mount Saint Box-opolis in the center of your new home.