Countdown to Moving: 3 Steps to Get Prepared

Properly preparing for any move – whether big or small – is essential for a successful, low(er) stress moving experience.

Assessing everything in and outside your home that you want to take along – and figuring out exactly how you’ll actually get everything on your list into your new space – is essential when preparing to move. Here are three steps to pulling it off.  

Taking inventory

Making a list of all your belongings may be daunting, but it’s necessary for a flawless moving experience. Take comfort knowing that once you commit, the benefits of a home inventory don’t end on moving day.

Sure, a thorough home inventory helps you determine all of your belongings, but an inventory also helps reduce the stress of boxing it all up and moving your (organized!) things into your new home. It can even assist you in assessing your homeowners insurance needs.

Find a home inventory checklist and customize it. Checklists you’ll find online will include an exhaustive list of categories, so look through a few examples and create your own to best fit the needs of your home and family. You may want to try out a home inventory app, depending on your preferences.

Sort your list by rooms, and don’t forget to include hallways. For items of particular value, take photos of or describe the items. Be sure to add items to your inventory list that aren’t physical items, such as copies of all your important documents. 

Don’t toss out your checklist out after you pack up. Save it (and make copies!) for after the move to remind you which items you packed where – as well as to help determine the right coverage for your new homeowners insurance.

Boxing it up

Once you’ve taken stock of what you need to move, the next step is figuring out exactly how many boxes you need to pack up your home – and it can definitely feel like a puzzle to sort out.

Online packing calculators can help you estimate how many boxes you need. These tools generally ask you the number of rooms in your home, along with the number of people living in it. Some even get more detailed by asking if you consider yourself to be a minimalist or pack rat.

Try out a few packing calculators, and you should get a pretty accurate idea how many boxes of various sizes you’ll need. (If you have a serious move coming up and are nervous about properly assessing your moving needs, bring in a professional mover to walk through each room and give you a detailed estimate.)

In general, someone in a small studio may not need more than 20 boxes, while someone in a 3-bedroom may need as many as 80 to 100. 

Of course, typically, the longer you live in a space, the more items you accumulate – and the more boxes you’ll need.

Renting a truck

Just as there are calculators that estimate the number of moving boxes you need, there are also a variety of helpful calculators that suggest the moving truck size that best fits your needs.

A good rule of thumb is to multiply the number of furnished rooms in your home by 150 to get an estimate of the cubic feet of space needed in a moving truck. 

A cargo van may work just fine for a small studio, while a 12-foot truck generally works for apartments and small homes – and a 22-foot truck tends to be best for a three- to five-room home.

Most moving experts suggest paying a few extra dollars for a slightly larger truck to be safe, especially if you’re packing the truck yourself.

Don’t focus solely on the interior of your home when assessing your moving truck size. Consider your outdoor belongings like bikes, sports equipment, and patio furniture, too.

It’s no secret that planning your move in advance is wise, but even those under a tight moving deadline can save time and money – and improve an already stressful situation – by taking a home inventory and researching how many boxes you’ll need, along with the proper moving truck size.

Take care of these three moving musts, and you’ll be sure to have an organized and efficient move.

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