I’ve moved 10+ times since I was little, and the longest I’ve ever lived in one house/apartment is 4 years. Half of those moves were done Internationally! Recently a good friend of mine asked me what she should prepare for before moving and as soon as I sent her my top 5 recommendations, she said this needs to be a blog post. So here we are!
My moving patterns have always been:
Step 1 – Downsize
You don’t want to move with a bunch of crap you never use and will just end up getting rid of. Toss, sell, re-home and donate everything you don’t want to lug over to your new home.
If you are in Japan, throwing things away can get a little tricky and it costs money. If the item is gently used and still going strong, I recommend re-homing the item. Craigslist and Facebook are great places to give things away.
Pro tip: If you haven’t used an item for more than a year, re-home it! If you have not used that panini maker for 3 years, you can probably live without it. *true story.
Step 2 – Start packing
If you have a set date for when you’re moving, start packing the things you want to bring with you and don’t use on a day-to-day basis. Start with seasonal items and memories. These always take the most amount of time to pack and definitely don’t want to throw them all in a box last minute.
Pro tip: pack things according to which room it will go into at your new house and label the high priority/open first boxes. Pack the open first boxes with essentials you will use right away. The items you’ll use the day you move should go into your suitcase for super easy access. I’m talking new underwear and toothbrush kind of stuff.
Step 3 – Find moving companies
Ask your friends and family members who have moved recently. What company did they use and what they liked about them? I recommend getting quotes from at least 3 companies before making your final decision.
Factors to consider:
– when can the moving company come?
– how big is the truck? (The bigger the truck, the more expensive)
– how many movers will be assisting?
– will you pack your house yourself, or will you have the company help pack?
Step 4 – Make a list of people/companies to contact, to change your address.
THIS is my least favorite part about moving. Know who and where you need to contact for your bills, subscriptions, licenses, ward office, etc.
Step 5 – Know who to contact to register your utilities for your new place.
Call ahead to utility companies so they can be with you on the day you move in. They will sure the electric, water, and gas are working. Extra points for getting the internet guy to come in on moving day!
Pro tip: Pack your suitcase with everything you will use one week before the move and one week after the move. This will save you so many headaches, I promise!! The most annoying thing is when you need nail clippers and have to open 5 boxes to find it.
Bonus step for moving countries: Passports, visas and flights, oh my! Should be a no-brainer, but I thought I’d mention it anyways.
What was the one thing you did while moving that you were super grateful for? Mine was planning dinner ahead of time. This can mean packing a picnic or knowing what delivery service to use. One less decision on moving day = everyone is happy.