Moving residences can rate very high on the personal stress meter, but a systematic approach can significantly reduce those moving day headaches.
Adequate planning keeps you organized for the big day, and help you avoid mental stress because you've planned for every emergency.
Here are several tips to make sure that things flow easily and smoothly, and help you plan for those unforeseen problems:
Prepare yourself mentally; learn de-cluttering techniques to help you out. If possible, get your spouse or housemate to help you out.
The general rule of thumb when you want to get organized to move is to move only the important things and get rid of the rest.
Start planning early, and have a well-advertised yard sale. A big one. Give generously to local charities. Sell items on eBay.
Look very closely at furniture. It's the biggest (and most expensive) burden. If the furniture is not valuable to you, don't move it. Loan overstuffed heirlooms to relatives if you can't bear the thought of giving it away. Use rental space if you have special needs.
Although it doesn't seem beneficial now, purging your home can really simplify your move.
Take the time to do this correctly. After your purging, make a master timetable that lines out dates, times, and shipping requirements.
Walk through your pre-move house with a video camera and take footage of everything that travels. Now, if the movers damage something, you've got evidence of its pre-packed condition.
Finally, make a complete list of furniture, appliances, artwork, and anything worth over $500 (or whatever your currency). In any case, if you use a moving company, they may force you to do this with their own paperwork.
It's time to round up your buddies, enlist help from your neighbors, and get everyone involved; this is where the real work of a move lies.
Here's a quick checklist for packing the small stuff:
You might need these things in your new home. You don't want to be worrying about not having a toothbrush while you're staring horrified at a mountain of boxes, exhausted after the first day.
If you've got help in this stage, start labeling one box in each room to demonstrate how you want to pack things.
Also, note the room where the items came from on the box, and the room where the box will end up at the new house. This will help later when you're placing those boxes in the new house and unpacking.
Now, you're ready to load the truck!