Moving from one home to another can be a stressful event. But, with the right prep work, you can make packing and transporting all your worldly goods less trying and a little easier. While moving may never be completely stress-free, we asked a busy real estate agent for his real-life tips. Jeremy Blanton from Myrtle Beach Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Chicora, has helped clients with numerous moves. Here are some of his suggestions for minimizing packing and transportation headaches.
Streamline your possessions
Get rid of things you don’t use, so you’re not spending time and money packing, unpacking, and paying for the transportation of clutter. “The first thing to do is to go through your things and decide what to keep and what to give to charity or sell at a yard sale. Get rid of the things you don’t use on a regular basis,” says Blanton.
Start packing early
“We tell people to try to start packing a month in advance,” says Blanton. “Pack up the knick knacks that are out on shelves and those kitchen items you don’t use that often, like waffle irons.” Out of season clothing and sporting goods, seasonal ornaments, and other seldom-used items are other early-packing candidates.
Opt for reusable boxes and bins
While old cardboard boxes are free, sturdy plastic storage containers are better in the long run, says Blanton. “If you use a cardboard box and it rains on your moving day, you’re going to have problems. The boxes get mushy and break down. When I moved house, I used Rubbermaid bins to pack my things.” Blanton adds that in humid Southern climates, even without rain, securely lidded bins are a wise investment. Best part: you can reuse them for storage in your new home. Consider large Roughneck totes / bins for your move.
Find a reliable mover
If you’re confident in your movers, you’ll be less likely to stress. “Don’t save a few bucks by going with the cheapest possible moving company,” says Blanton. Ask friends and relatives who’ve recently moved, or your new neighbors, for their recommendations. “In a new community everyone will have moved in recently, so ask around.” You could also whittle down your list of candidates by seeing if any have unresolved complaints against them on file at The Better Business Bureau.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
On the big day, keep an eye on your movers. Say something if they’re too rough with your belongings. “Don’t be afraid to baby-sit,” says Blanton.
TIP: Moving day tasks will be easier if you enlist childcare and you put your pets in a kennel.