Summer is here, and with it college towns across America are observing the traditional student migration. Some students are making their first move from their parents’ house or dorm room into a place of their own while graduates are making that first big move toward a career and the rest of their lives. So first off we want to congratulate every recent graduate and each of you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Secondly, we’d like to impart some things we’ve learned about moving over the years onto all college students, or anyone else, who may be making a move this summer. Specifically, we’d like to teach you a thing or two about Do-It-Yourself moving, without the help of professional moving companies.
To begin with, you’ll want to make a full inventory of your stuff and be ready to make some tough decisions. Give away, donate to charity, or sell anything you don’t need or want anymore. Do this and you’ll save yourself the time and effort of moving things you won’t ever use (and may not even want) and you might even make a few dollars on Craigslist, eBay or with a garage sale that you can put toward the cost of renting a moving van.
Take your time and pack everything carefully. There’s no point in moving something if it’s just going to get broken along the way. Use high quality boxes and packing supplies (available for purchase at most of your local self storage facilities) and pack your belongings smartly. Don’t make boxes too heavy. Clearly mark any boxes holding fragile items. This extra care takes time, so don’t put your packing off until the last minute.
We mentioned the use of high quality packing/moving supplies. Don’t overlook their importance just because there are cheaper alternatives. It’s natural to think one cardboard box is the same as another, so you might as well get some free ones from the local grocery or department store. That’s a mistake you don’t want to make and certainly one for which you don’t want to pay the price. Boxes made specifically for packing/moving are much sturdier, making them far less likely to collapse under their own weight when stacked.
If this is your first move, the best advice we can give is to have lots of friends and acquaintances you can go to for help. Most of us have moved at some point in our lives, it’s how we all know how terrible moving can be. Having said that, because most people have experienced going through a move, most people have realized the importance of having lots of help for the actual physical act of moving boxes and furniture from one place to another. It’s an almost unspoken, but universally understood agreement from one person to another that if you have received help with a move you provide help when asked. You won’t have to pay anyone in cash (which is a nice alternative to hiring professional movers), but having food and beverages in abundance is a nice way of saying thanks for all the help.
Do yourself a huge favor and plan out your move completely. We mentioned the importance of taking the time to pack your stuff, but planning ahead and getting on a schedule can make moving day much easier as well. Extended weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, but they will give you at least a basic idea of what you can expect on your targeted moving date. Try to pick a day where rain and/or excessive heat or cold are less likely to be concerns. Planning in advance will also make it easier to get the help of friends and family (since you can allow them to plan their schedules around our move) and knowing well ahead of time what day(s) you need to rent a moving van, how to pack your unit or see if it is possible for you to reserve, and guarantee the availability of, these services.
No amount of planning or help from those close to you will ever make moving easy, but it doesn’t have to be awful. Following these basic tips will keep your move as efficient and stress free as possible and save you the financial burden of hiring professionals to pack and move your stuff.