It’s been three months since our move and while moving during a pandemic wasn’t entirely stress-free, it went pretty seamlessly given the circumstances. Our only major stressors were that the car filled up way faster than expected (annoying but not surprising) and when we arrived in NYC, an unfortunate parking ticket situation and issues with our rental car drop-off location made for a rough day (but quickly initiated us into the “terrible Manhattan moving stories” club).
I wanted to share some things that worked particularly well for us; obviously we did a cross-state move, but everything applies even if you’re relocating locally…I’ll definitely be using this checklist again when we move again!
Start a to-do list way in advance. Starting any kind of to-do list as early as you can is a great way to slowly get the ball moving without adding too much to your plate at once. We made one as a shared iPhone note…put everything on it, small and big, and chip away when you have downtime or bursts of motivation to make a dent. Ours had everything from confirming a time to have our place professionally cleaned and canceling our internet, to getting renters insurance and updating Millie’s registration with the new address.
It’s never too early to start purging. This is probably my #1 piece of advice–start purging your belongings as soon as you know you’re relocating! The upside for us was having about a year of advanced knowledge of our move, plus the better part of that year was spent quarantining so it was much easier to make time for decluttering. A lot of us do closet inventories every season but don’t end up tackling the kitchen cabinets, bathroom, linen closet, and junk drawer as often. These spots often take the longest and aren’t worth leaving till the last minute–do them well in advance, and a quick touch up as you start packing!
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! I asked our movers so many questions ahead of moving day and it gave me great piece of mind to know we’d done our due diligence in getting pricing squared away. I was really worried about getting upcharged on moving day so recommend asking the movers details about their pricing structure and whether they have the right to increase the rate when they arrive onsite to start the job. If you’re shopping for movers, I don’t recommend getting ones who charge by the hour (vs. by distance or quantity) because you never know what may happens with elevators breaking, traffic, or unexpected delays!
Make a spreadsheet of places to update your address. So simple, but such a time saver: start making a list of everywhere you’d need to update with a new address! Whether or not you have a move on the horizon, it’s helpful to start compiling them so it’s less work when you actually have to do it…ours is just a Google Drive spreadsheet with one column listing the name of the place to contact and another column indicating which one of us that particular item belongs to. Things we added off the bat were banks, alma mater, and former employers.
Pack a bag (or two) with essentials. Pack the basics–a change of clothes, toiletries, toilet paper, snacks, a corkscrew, water bottle, bath towels, chargers–that you may need as soon as you arrive in a convenient bag that rides with you. And know where your sheets are! I love unpacking much more than the average person but don’t want to be digging through boxes looking for something in a panic on day one. Also, if your bathroom situation requires a shower curtain, plan ahead–we had one delivered the day before we arrived!