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The average American will pack up all their belongings and move to a new house or apartment 11.4 times during their lifetime.

Many of us – especially those of us with young children and a multitude of possessions – have come to dread the moving process.  Yet, there are people who have a knack for making it all look…dare we say…easy.  On the day that the moving trucks arrive, everything just seems to fall into place.  Everyone knows the plan.  Things happen quickly.

Truth be told, those are the people who planning and organized for weeks beforehand, which is the key to a smooth move.  To become one of those people, here are six suggestions:

Get Started Six Weeks Beforehand – Organizing for a whole-house move takes time.  This is not something that can be rushed.  Give yourself at least six weeks to prepare.

Hire a Pro to Help You Purge – If you’re like most people, you love the idea of streamlining your possessions before a big move, but you find it one of the most challenging of tasks.  The solution: Hire a professional organizer.  Typically, the organizer will provide coaching, support and recommendations, as well as physical help.

Develop Plans for the New Spaces – Move-in day will go much smoother if you determine ahead of time exactly where you want your furnishings to be place in the new property.  Take measurements.  Create a schematic.  Put notes on each piece of furniture.  You should even designate a space in each room where boxes can be safely stacked out of the way.

Include the Kids – If you have children, give them plenty of advance notice so they can get used to the idea of a new home.  Take time to answer their questions.  Visit the new home and neighborhood as a family.  And finally, arrange for someone to care for your children off-site on moving day.

Arrange a Smooth Exit – While you’re surely excited about your new home, you’ll want to focus some of that energy on your current residence too.

  • Renters: Plan to meet on-site with your landlord at least two weeks before your move-out date to review all the move-out processes and expectations.  Ask if any of the required steps or paperwork can be completed before your final day.
  • Sellers: Confer with your real estate agent about what items should/should not be left behind, how much cleaning needs to be done and more.

Set Aside the Essentials – Moving is an all-day affair – which means you won’t have time to do much unpacking before the next day dawns.  Red-tag the items you’ll want to access the first day in your new space (phone charger, essential kitchen items, etc) so they can be packed in a specially marked box.

Taking the time to plan in advance can save you a lot of stress on moving day and help you start enjoying your new home as quickly as possible.

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