1. Plan ahead by organizing and budgeting. Develop a master “to do” list so you won’t forget something critical. To estimate moving costs, use a moving calculator.
2. Sort and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, donate to a charity, or recycle.
3. But don’t throw out everything. If your inclination is to just toss it, you're probably right. However, it's possible to go overboard in the heat of the moment. Ask yourself how frequently you use an item and how you’d feel if you no longer had it. That will eliminate regrets after the move.
4. Pack like items together. Put toys with toys, kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils. It will make your life easier when it's time to unpack.
5. Decide what, if anything, you plan to move yourself. Precious items such as family photos, valuable breakables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you. Don't forget to keep a "necessities" bag with tissues, snacks, and other items you'll need that day.
6. Use the right box for the item. Loose items are prone to breakage.
7. Put heavy items in small boxes so they’re easier to lift. Keep weight of each box under 50 pounds, if possible.
8. Don’t over-pack boxes. That will increase the chances that items inside the box will break.
9. Wrap every fragile item separately and pad bottom and sides of boxes.
10. Label every box on all sides. You never know how they’ll be stacked and you don’t want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what’s there.
11. Use color-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in. Color-code a floor plan for your new house to help movers.
12. Keep your moving documents together in a file. Including important phone numbers, driver’s name, and moving van number. Also keep your address book handy.
13. Back up your computer files before moving your computer.
14. Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives.
15. Remember, most movers won’t take plants. If you don't want to leave them behind, you should plan on moving them yourself.