Let’s be honest. Moving, no matter the size of the move, can often be an overwhelming process – a lot of changes and challenges happen at once. 

However, you can alleviate the stress that comes with a move, residential or commercial, and focus instead on the adventures that lie ahead.

In preparation for your move, you should try to start planning about a month in advance, or sooner, depending on the size of your move. Start by making a comprehensive list of the tasks you need to complete (personal and logistical) – like transferring memberships to local organizations, switching banks if needed, reserving the freight elevator in your building, etc. Find a moving company who can help you achieve your goals. Once you’ve scheduled their services, it’s time to assess your belongings. Make a plan for your new space and get an idea of what needs to go where.

In general, we all tend to accumulate a lot of stuff and not all of it is worth moving – like that ‘special’ sweater your aunt gave you for your birthday or the broken fax machine that hasn’t worked in months. Sort through your belongings and try to eliminate those things you no longer need or want – make a little extra cash at a garage sale or donate to charities who could really use your effects. Now you can better estimate the amount of packing supplies you’ll actually need. As you go through your things, create an inventory to track what items you are actually transporting and their condition. Once you’ve finished, you can rest assured that you will have the fresh start you want in your new location.

If you choose to pack your items on your own, leave yourself plenty of time to pack your belongings. Start by packing those things that are used less often than others. Make sure to clearly label your boxes – color code them based on your plan for your new space. As the day of your move gets closer, pack up all but the essentials. You’ll also want to create a ‘survival’ kit, complete with those things that you will need for your first day and night after your move – for example, homeowners might include their toothbrushes, a change of clothes, and a charger for their cell phone. Check out our Packing and Moving Tips page for details on how to prepare and pack your belongings.

A move doesn’t end after your belongings have been moved and delivered to your new location. The last step requires you to now unpack everything that you spent time carefully placing into boxes. At this point, you might feel surrounded by chaos, but stick to your plan. You know where everything goes in your new space and your boxes are all properly labeled. Now it is time to prioritize. Make sure your furniture is where it should be, then unbox your items, starting with the essentials first and those rooms that are used most frequently. You should finish by unpacking those less used items that aren’t vital to everyday practices.