Moving Tips and Tricks

Make your life easier by reading these quick tips before moving.

Congratulations – Moving into a new home is a time to celebrate! However, without careful planning, you can suddenly find yourself sweating bullets over the transition, struggling to hold up a couch on the stairs, and yelling, “Pivot! Pivot!” Let’s look at ways to get ready for the big move and make the transition stress free.

How do I get started?

Change the locks in your new home. Who knows how many copies of your house key are floating around? After that, eliminate unused items in your old home from the equation. The more personal belongings you donate or dispose of, the less you’ll need to move into your new home. Purge yourself of items you don’t often use. Save donation receipts from places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army for a potential tax write-off.

Arm yourself with plenty of boxes and packing blankets. Convenience stores, bookstores, liquor stores, etc, may be willing to give you their boxes for free. Label your boxes by room to save time – this provides a clear destination for each box to movers. Mover’s wrap is also great to protect your furniture from dings and scratches.

No need to remove hanging clothes from hangers. Place clothes on hangers in trash bags instead, and save yourself some time.

How can I make my move stress free?

When it comes to moving, repeat these words: “Stress free is the best me.” Setting a predetermined schedule will make the transition feel more manageable and relaxed. Select days for purging, packing, labeling and, finally, moving. Make a step-by-step schedule in the weeks or months leading up to the big move.

Time is money – get a quote from two or more moving companies. While it may be frugal to handle the move yourself, the time you save and the convenience of hiring a moving company can be well worth the cost. It’s also a good idea to check the moving companies’ reputations on Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau.

Communicate well in advance with movers. Whether you are using a Pod, hiring movers or bribing trusted friends with pizza and cold beverages, make reservations early. Waiting until the last minute to fling treasured mementos into random boxes will not be a pleasant experience.

Out with the old, in with the new (address).

Once the new move is complete, it’s time to change the old mailing address to the new one. Get started by updating your address with USPS.

Creating a “Change of Address” spreadsheet can be helpful to track each and every bill that is connected to your old address. In this spreadsheet, list the different companies you’ll need to notify. In addition to your bank, you’ll need to update your credit card, cell phone, internet, cable, car insurance, magazine subscriptions and countless other online shopping accounts. You’ll also need to change addresses on retirement accounts, health insurance, and notify your employer. After each address is updated, mark the change in the spreadsheet. Remember to update your billing addresses connected to the accounts, too.

Don’t forget to end the old and start the new utilities. Put in a call with your electricity and water companies to communicate the last day you’ll need their services, and to establish a start date for your new home. You also may need to return the old router or cable box to your internet provider.

One other detail to manage – your driver’s license. To make the change official at the DMV or RMV, some out-of-state moves may require pieces of mail with the new address to establish residency. You don’t want to waste time waiting in line to get a new license only to discover you don’t have the right documents with you. Other in-state moves may allow you to simply apply for a new driver’s license online. Don’t wait too long to update your driver’s license – in most states, you could receive a ticket or pay a fine if you’re caught with an old address on your license.

Finally, don’t forget to tell friends and family about the new address! (You don’t want to miss the annual holiday card from dear Aunt Susan.)

Moving Checklist


  • Change the locks in your new home
  • Set a schedule
  • Get a quote from a moving company
  • Make reservations well in advance


  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Throw out extraneous items


  • Acquire free boxes from local stores
  • Rent or buy packing blankets and mover’s wrap to protect furniture
  • Label boxes by room for easy unpacking


  • Track your address changes carefully with a spreadsheet
  • Notify USPS
  • Notify utility companies – old and new
  • Get a new driver’s license
  • Tell friends and family!