The first thing to decide is how much of the moving work you’ll do yourself and how much will be handled by professional movers. If your employer is paying for the move you can take it easy and watch the professional movers do nearly all of the work. If you’re financing the move yourself, you might opt to do your own packing to save money. But before you decide how much to do yourself, call some moving companies to get estimates for what they charge for different levels of service.
Weed down your stuff: Most people are packrats to one degree or another and if you've lived in the same place for several years you probably have closets and junk drawers filled with stuff you really don't need. Start making stacks of what to throw out or donate to charities. Organizations like Goodwill and AmVets will accept a variety of clothing and household goods.
Collect supplies: If you’re doing your own packing, you'll need lots of boxes. The best boxes are the ones that reams of copier paper come in because they’re sturdy, have lids and are easily stackable. If you work in an office, find out who handles supplies for the copy machine and have them save boxes for you. You can also buy boxes from supply stores or some large discount stores, but this can really add up.
Identify high-priority items: During a move there are two kinds of high priority items:
- Your most prized possessions, like family photos, birth certificates, passports, etc. Plan on packing these yourself and transporting them in your car so they are never out of your control. Ordinary household items can be replaced if lost or damaged. If it's priceless to you, then you should carry it.
- Things you need every day, such as a handful of dishes, toiletries, Fido's dog dish, your car keys, etc. These may not be highly valuable, but you don't want to lose track of exactly where they are. Pack these yourself and keep the box handy so you can get in and out of it whenever necessary. Keep out your cleaning supplies so you can finish up in the old house and take the cleaning materials with you to the new house.
Change your utilities and services:
Contact service providers for utilities such as water, gas, electric, telephone, cable and internet services to inform them of the impending move. You can let these companies know when you plan to be out of your home and into your new home so that your services can be switched over. This will prevent you from paying for services you do not receive or having to provide a security deposit for your new residential service needs through the companies at your new location.
Postal Change of Address:
A change of address kit is available through your local post office branch office. These forms prevent the possibility of others gaining access to your mail without your knowledge. The mail will be forwarded to your new address beginning on the date you specify on your change of address form.