Here are a few of the tips that I give my clients before they move in:
1. Don’t move at the beginning or end of the month. Everyone else does; you can’t get trucks, people, or utilities installed, etc. If at all possible, try to move mid-month, both for your own sanity as well as for the sake of your pocketbook.
2. Stake out the parking spots in front of your new home. Be willing to take a ticket or two (which usually range from $45-$65) to make it easier and faster to get in and out–otherwise you are paying people to carry your stuff up and down the street. But don’t block a hydrant — you’ll get towed.
3. Don’t move yourself. Your desk job hasn’t given you the stamina to cart heavy boxes, and unless you were born to a life of manual labor, you probably don’t know the tricks of maneuvering furniture through tight spaces. Even if you do, there’s a good chance your furniture simply won’t make it upstairs. The first time you gouge the door with a sofa negates the cost advantage, so please don’t try to be a hero.
4. Get rid of all liquids in glass bottles before you move. I recommend having a Drink All My Alcohol Party a week before moving. Likewise, if you haven’t cracked your textbooks since college, you might want to sell them use the money to fund decorations for your new home.
5. Change the locks asap. Who knows who the prior owners gave keys to? New cylinders are around $10-12 at the local hardware store, and only take a few minutes to install.
6. Got kids? Moving day would be a great day to have them visit their grandparents. This gets the the two most stressful sets of people out of your life on moving day.