Intro: How to Move and Not Go Insane
Step 1: Take the Devil Out of the Details
Before you even buy your first roll of packing tape, make sure to contact the local post office, utility companies, cable/internet provider and any household services (lawn care, pest control, etc.) to notify them of your upcoming change of address and to halt any unwanted subscriptions. This can often be done up to two months ahead of time and today most of these changes can even be made online which means you can cut down on out the time on spent waiting on hold and ensure that you wont be paying two cable bills at the end of the month.
Step 2: Get It Together…Then Junk the Rest
Whether your home is large or small, chances there is significant amount of clutter that you could go without. Since you'll be examining every item in your home as you begin your move anyway, better to start by eliminating what it is no longer needed, and then hold a garage sale or pass it along to a charitable organization. With that out of the way, you can move onto the most seemingly insurmountable task of them all: packing.
Step 3: The Wise Way to Pack
When devising a system for boxing up your belongings, the obvious method is always best: label, label, label. An accurate listing of both the contents and desired location guarantees that not only will you will be able to find your possessions once the move has been made, but that movers will be able to put them in the right spot with no second guessing required.
In the event that anything should go awry, however, a box of essentials -- with toiletries, a change of clothes or two, disposable dishes and cutlery and the like -- should be the first box to be prepared and the first to be unpacked. Also, should you have any especially valuable or personally important items, arrange for them to be shipped separately via a secure, traceable service that offers insurance and protected delivery.
Step 4: Make It Easy on the Movers (and Yourself)
Everyone has heard horror stories of moving companies that leave scraped walls and broken belongings in their wake, but this is as much your responsibility as it the movers. If you plan on using a professional moving company, make sure to mover-proof your home by removing low-hanging light fixtures, rugs, or any other items that might lead to damage ahead time. Also give the service a detailed itinerary of everything they will be transporting and remember to provide them with your travel itinerary and emergency contact information should any problems arise.
Step 5: Finish Up Anxiety-Free
Before the moving van rolls out, check and double check your home for any stray items that might have been overlooked in the attic, basement, closets, drawers and other out of the way nooks and crannies. With your inventory in hand, make sure that each box and piece of furniture has made it safely aboard the moving truck and, if any damage has occurred, snap a photo of it then and there. With the moving day morass out of the way, your exemplary and thoughtful preparations should allow to you to move on "literally" without a nagging conscience.