So, you’re going to make the big move soon—but the problem is you don’t know how to go about it if you skip the professional mover route and do it yourself (DIY) instead. It is doable, but you’d have to at least get car shipping quotes online for your car. At the very least, you need a professional mover to transport your vehicle since you cannot take a sedan or SUV and move all your belongings. You’ll probably need to hire a small truck you can drive on your own and let a separate company handle your car.
Doing a DIY project out of moving is possible. However, it takes more time and effort than simply packing and letting the movers handle your stuff. People usually do it the other way around—they haul their stuff to their next destination while letting a professional car shipping company deal with their vehicle. Professional movers are expensive since they go by the weight of the shipments. Your car will weigh less than all your stuff in the house combined.
Do you know that moving companies can charge as much as $4,500 for boxes of clothes and kitchen utensils and furniture—but that you may only need to pay around $2,000 for them to ship your car to your destination? That, of course, depends on how far it will be.
Find People Who Can Help You
Moving by yourself doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself. You should find people willing to help you pack the boxes and load them into the truck. Sure, you can box the items yourself, but who will help you carry them out of your old house and into your new one? That’s why you need reliable people who will be there and make this process easier for you. If there are no friends or family available to help, that’s when you can start looking for hired help.
Declutter and Remove Junk
Do you want to make this easy on you? Before putting the items in the boxes, declutter and remove junk first. Make three piles of your stuff: throw away, donate, or sell. You can throw away actual garbage, such as years-old receipts and statements of account and ratty old shirts that hold no sentimental value. If you have clothes and shoes you haven’t used for more than a year, donate these to charitable organizations.
Moving is an expensive process. You can organize a garage sale of things you don’t need in your new home. Do you want to take that old microwave oven to your new apartment, or is one provided there? You can sell these things and use the money for your move.
Rent a Truck or Trailer
Your DIY move will only be possible if you rent a truck or trailer. You can’t move all your stuff using a sedan or an SUV. Renting a truck is practical because it is more affordable than hiring professional movers. Ensure that you’ve blocked out the date of your move. Don’t wait until a few days before you move to hire a truck. Schedule this ahead of time.
It is also practical to time the move on weekdays since it is cheaper. Another thing you need to check is whether the truck company has a return center near your new destination. You have to switch companies if you need to travel far to return the truck.
Decide on a Labeling System
This is a common mistake among people who move. They pack items according to their sizes and not by category, and then they forget to label them. While you may not notice the difference when you pack, the struggle will come when you start to unpack. Where did you put your kitchen utensils? How about your winter boots?
Label the boxes accordingly. Decide on a labeling system—by category or by room. The move is less stressful when you know exactly where you put certain items. You can start organizing your new home better, too.
Use Proper Moving Boxes and Supplies
If there’s one thing to keep in mind about moving, it is never to scrimp on your moving supplies. Buying substandard and flimsy packing boxes will cause headaches in the end. Examples of boxes you might need are corrugated, telescope, wardrobe, and plastic bins. You also need bubble wrap, newspaper, foam pouches, and heavy-duty packing tape.
Another tip for DIY movers is to use smaller boxes. Not a small box per se but one smaller than what professional movers typically use. This will make it easier for you and your friends and family to haul the boxes to and from the truck.
Pack an Essentials Kit
Do you want to spend the first night in your new home unpacking? You will probably not have the energy to do it anymore. This is why you need to pack an essential kit. It has all the things you need on your first night there, like an overnight bag. Make sure you have your underwear, toiletries, and medication.
This is not your important-items box. That will be a separate suitcase, although you need to bring it with you and have it always beside you.
Use an App
Nowadays, there is an app for everything, including what you put in certain boxes when you move. Some apps will even allow you to take a picture of the boxes before you close them. This way, you can search for a specific item and the app will tell you where you put it. Of course, you need to put time and effort into using the app for what it is intended for. The process is rewarding because it makes unpacking a breeze.
Learn How to Seal Boxes
Not many people know how to seal boxes effectively. You should use heavy-duty tape across the seams of the boxes. If possible, double the tape to make the boxes sturdier. Stretch the tape tightly on four sides of the boxes, making sure there’s no open seam from where the box can burst open.
You should also wrap another strip of packing tape around the box to secure the side seams. Tightly packed boxes are less likely to burst open because there is no air for the things to move around in.
Hire a Babysitter on Move Day
The last thing you want to worry about on move day is your kids. Since you need to make sure all the boxes are locked and loaded onto the truck, you should hire a babysitter so someone’s looking out for your kids. This ensures that they won’t roam around the house pulling boxes here and there, disarraying what you’ve already organized. If you have pets, you can also hire someone to look over them, though pets are usually not a problem when they know something’s going on at home.
It is not impossible to be successful in moving without hiring professional movers. You can DIY most of the things you need—from decluttering to packing to driving to your new apartment. As long as you have a comprehensive checklist of what you have to do, moving can be an easy process.