If you're about to embark on a smaller move, especially if you're moving alone, there are a few things that you do need to do. Although your experience will be different than those of people who have lots of family members and furniture, you still need to plan to make sure that things go smoothly on moving day.
Decide What You're Taking
Some people dread moving because of the packing factor, but you can use the act of packing to your advantage. This is your chance to make sure that you're not carrying unnecessary items from one home to another. Even though you're not moving lots of items, take a look through your space to determine what will be going with you. Maybe you adore that small end table you've had for a few years, but you can let some of your throw pillows go. Or, maybe you'll choose to give the clothes you don't wear to a charity that can use them.
Whatever you decide, even if you just choose to give away few things, your move will be starting off on the right tone. You're only packing the essentials. And, okay, maybe a few mementos, too.
Prepare Smaller Items
There's nothing worse than packing your belongings on moving day. The people helping you will definitely have a problem if you're still wrapping your cherished photos in newspaper when moving day arrives.
Once you know what you're taking, you should prepare smaller items. If you're the recycling type, start collecting assorted cardboard boxes from places like grocery stores (and even your office, if possible). If you'd prefer to start fresh, go to a container store and buy the specific sizes that you need. Don't forget to buy other packing materials like newspaper, bubble wrap and tape.
However you choose to collect your boxes and supplies, pack items as soon as you can. If you don't plan to use it before you leave, pack it. Starting the process even a week or two before your move will save you time in the end.
Make sure to wrap small, fragile items with newspaper or bubble wrap so that they don't shatter or crack. And clearly label your boxes with the contents and whether the contents are fragile, so that you'll know how and where to place them later.
Pack Bigger Items
You never know how the weather will be on moving day, so try to protect and prepare your bigger and heavier items. You'll need to put your books in boxes and make sure that the boxes are light enough to carry. You may want to scotch guard some of your upholstered furniture or use protective covering in case of rain on moving day.
Again, the more work you can do before moving day the better. You also should be using the days that you spend packing to clean your place before you leave. If you're renting, you want to be able to get back as much of your security deposit as possible. Plus, it's always good to leave your place clean for the next resident.
Arrange for Moving Services
If you don't have lots of heavy furniture, or if you have strong and willing friends, you may not need to hire a professional mover.
If you do think you'll need help with heavy items or need to rent a moving truck, check out the resources on move.com. With just the click of a button, you can enter your location, specify the type of service you need and select the size of your move to get a quote from a company in your area.
Once you settle on a company and moving date, you're pretty good to go. Since you have a smaller move, you won't have to stress about lifting lots of heavy items or accumulating stacks and stacks of boxes.
If you're moving somewhere close by, consider doing a little pre-moving before the big day if you have access to your new place. Even if you're just doing a small move, setting aside some time to carry over a few boxes in advance will earn you some extra time on moving day.
On the day of your move, all electronics should be unplugged, all items should be packed away in sealed boxes and you should be ready to go as scheduled.
This last point is worth repeating: Do not keep others waiting on moving day.
Even though you have a smaller move, make sure that you're prepared when the time finally comes to leave your space.
After all, your new home is waiting.