DIY Moving Made Easy

Few days combine excitement and stress quite like moving day, especially if you're handling the move yourself. At first glance, DIY moving seems like a quick way to save money and hassle. But a lack of planning and proper packing techniques can defeat the purpose -- to save time, money, and your sanity.

Do-it-yourself moves don't have to consist of late-night pack-a-thons, strained friendships and frustration. Follow these simple tips and your DIY moving experience will roll out smoothly.

Start Early and Purge Your Clutter

Moving day can creep up and can bite you if you don't get a head start. Start the packing process early and pack away your non-essential items a few weeks ahead of your move date. This head start helps you to avoid last-minute cram sessions and stay ahead of schedule.

You can also take advantage of this opportunity to purge some of your stuff. Not only will you have less to pack, but you'll also save the hassle of taking your collected clutter to your new home. Make a trash pile, a donation pile, and a garage-sale pile and sort through your belongings with a sharp eye toward the future.

Make a Daily Schedule

More than likely you'll have to arrange your packing and other moving-related tasks around your work schedule. This is where your organization skills will be put to the test. Use a calendar and write down specific tasks that need to be done and when they need to be completed.

Use the weekend to find boxes and to pack up your belongings. After you get home from work during the week, use your evenings to handle things such as change of address forms, obtaining moving truck or moving container quotes, and transferring your utility services. By spreading these tasks out and completing a few each day, you'll save yourself hassle down the road.

Pack and Label

Packing away something important and not knowing where you put it is an easy recipe for frustration. Keep notes of what you've packed in each box. Assign each box a number and write the contents of that box in a notebook, or write a content list on the side of each box so you know by looking at it exactly what's in it. Labeling correctly is crucial if you use a self-service moving company in which you load and they drive.

Enlist Help

Moving day is notorious for straining friendships. In most cases, this strain correlates with poor planning. While you may have no problem finding friends to say yes to help you, you need a plan to optimize their time and yours.

For example, rather than have eight people in each other's way on Saturday, have four help you on Saturday and four help you on Sunday. You don't want your pals to feel overworked or get the impression that they're being taken advantage of. Make sure you have plenty of refreshments and food available to show your appreciation.

How to Transport?

One of the most important decisions you have to make in a DIY move is how to get your possessions moved from your old home to your new place. If you're moving across town, renting a moving truck may be the best choice, but if you're moving across the country, a moving container is a better bet.

Folks who think do-it-yourself moving means packing as much as you can into your car and transporting it in a series of trips are in a for a rude shock. If you have to make more than five back-and-forth trips, you'll not only be exhausted, but any savings you thought you would make by not renting a truck will evaporate with your gas expenses.

Other articles in our 8 step Moving Guide:

Step 1: Choose a Mover
Step 2: Do It Yourself Moving
Step 3: Packing it Up
Step 4: Declutter With a Great Garage Sale
Step 5: Transfer Your Utilities
Step 6: It's Moving Day
Step 7: Make Unpacking Fun
Step 8: Settle In

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