On the Move: Preparing for Moving Day

You’ve signed a lease and have a moving date! Now what? There are a lot of logistics to consider in order to get you moved in and settled. Here, we’ll share some helpful tips to make sure your big move goes as smoothly as possible!



Depending on how much stuff you have (and what kind of stuff you have), you may or may not need to worry about buying a lot of boxes. Consider all the items you already own that can be repurposed as moving cartons: suitcases, large tote or duffle bags, plastic tubs or storage bins, and more—feel free to get creative! Use the same process for finding materials to keep fragile items secure: wrap your dishes in dish towels, use a blanket to protect your television screen, or wrap your drinking glasses in last week’s newspaper. When you run out of these strategies, head to your local shipping or hardware store to buy only the materials you need to fill in the gaps.


Try to pack things by room: keep all of your kitchen stuff together, for instance, and pack up all the things for your bathroom separately. Label boxes as clearly as you can, with both their destination (bedroom, living room, etc.) and a quick reminder of each box’s contents. This can help you prioritize where to start when it’s time to unpack—and to find any specific items you need before you’re all settled in. It’s also a good idea to pack a few essential items together in one box or bag that you will remember easily: toilet paper, some basic cleaning supplies, your toothbrush, a phone charger—anything that you will definitely need to use on moving day and before you’ve got everything else unpacked.


It’s a good idea to start packing as soon as you have a moving date confirmed. It can be easy to forget or to underestimate how much stuff you have, and you don’t want to still be packing when moving day rolls around. Start with the stuff you don’t use often, like keepsakes and memorabilia or out-of-season items. If you’re moving in the summer, go ahead and pack up all those coats and gloves and snow boots first—you know you won’t need them right away! Try to divide it up and do a little each day so that you’re ready to go by the big day. Make sure you also account for time to clean, both the place you’re leaving and your new digs.

Equipment rental

If you’re moving a long distance, have a lot of big or heavy items like furniture, or don’t have your own transportation, you’ll need to consider renting a truck or other vehicle to transport your things. Maybe you have a friend who owns a truck and owes you a favor, but otherwise you can contact a local moving company or truck rental in your area. Consider picking an off-peak day—rates can surge on Saturdays and at the very beginning and end of the school year, when demand for moving assistance is high—and include rental requests for any additional equipment you’ll need besides the vehicle itself, like a dolly, trailers or trailer hitches, and storage containers.



Changing your address

The first place to submit a change-of-address request is with the United States Postal Service. They charge a very small fee ($1.00 as of this post) to verify your identity and will ensure that any mail sent to your previous address will get forwarded to your new residence. The USPS will forward your mail for up to a year and will even notify some senders that you’ve moved. You’ll also want to be sure to contact any companies or organizations that may need to reach you by mail: your school, your employer, credit card companies, and any subscription services, including magazines.


Make sure all your utility accounts are set up for your new residence, and also confirm that their services will be active and available for use on or before your move-in date. You don’t want to show up and not yet have water or electricity! If you have utilities set up in your name at your current home, contact those companies to request a cancellation of service—making sure you allow enough time to be fully moved out of that dwelling before services are turned off.

Moving to a new place involves a lot of moving pieces (see what we did there?), but by taking some time to prepare ahead of time it can go smoothly! Keep these helpful hints in mind, and also check out our other blog posts with information about finding a place and living on your own!


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