Whether you’re moving to a new neighborhood or relocating to the Bay Area from another state, you want your move to go as smoothly as possible—no matter how big or how small it is.
You may think since you only have a few boxes and a couple of pieces of furniture, your move will automatically be easier, but this isn’t always necessarily the case. Even a smaller move can be just as hectic and stressful as packing up a large house and moving it across a large distance.
To help ensure your overall moving process goes smoothly, here are some basic tips for hassle-free small moving in the Bay Area.
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Make a To-Do List
Even moving from a tiny studio apartment requires a plan. This way, you are ready to meet any unforeseen obstacles head-on without a lot of worry and stress that traditionally comes with moving.
- Start by creating a budget: Even moving across town can be expensive. Your budget should cover all of your moving expenses, including the cost of packing supplies.
- Find a professional mover: This may be a small move, but this doesn’t mean you want to go it alone, and professional movers will make the job a lot easier. However, shopping around for the best price is a good idea, and don’t forget to check if the moving company carries insurance or if you’ll need to get it from a third party. This way, if something is damaged in the move, you can seek compensation.
- Take a look at your stuff: Chances are you have accumulated a lot of stuff; it doesn’t take long to pack closets and dresser drawers full. If you start early enough before your move, you can break the job down into segments to make things easier. Each day, go through a dresser or closet, weeding out what goes and what stays.
Your to-do list should also include setting up the utilities at your new place. After all, you don’t want to move in and wait for the electricity and water to be turned on. You will also want to take care of a change of address. The new tenants at your old place do not want to deal with your mail.
Don’t Wait to Book Your Movers
The Bay Area is a popular place for everyone, from young professionals to retirees. The area has a lot to offer, and this can make it difficult to book a moving company at the last minute. Booking early not only ensures your move stays on schedule, but it may also save you money.
Some moving companies offer discounts to clients who book in advance. You can also pick a weekday moving date by booking ahead of time, and weekdays are typically less expensive than weekends. Try to plan your move for the middle of the month, as the beginning and end of the month are often busy times for moving companies, and they tend to charge slightly higher rates.
Get Rid of Your Clutter
After going through your stuff, you probably have piles of what goes with you and things that stay behind. However, you can’t leave these unwanted items behind. Your landlord and the new tenants are not going to appreciate your mess.
Some landlords/complex managers may even charge you fees to remove your items, which can also mean potentially forfeiting your security deposit. If you own the home, you still don’t want to leave your stuff behind. Suddenly, the new homeowners may back out of the deal or try to negotiate new sale terms.
So, what can you do with your unwanted clutter? You have plenty of options, and some may even benefit your community.
- Consider renting a storage unit if you want to keep some of your stuff. Your moving company may be able to recommend a place that fits your budget and is close to your new home.
- Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted stuff. Best of all, you get extra cash to add to your moving budget.
- Gently worn clothing and household items make great donations to charitable organizations like local churches, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army. You can also use the donation as a tax write-off.
- Recycling some of your unwanted things is another great option. The Bay Area is home to several recycling centers that will walk you through what they do and do not accept.
Gather Your Packing Supplies
To help guide you through the process, below is a list of commonly used packing supplies. You may not use everything on the list, but it gives you a better general idea of what you need.
- Packaging paper
- Bubble wrap
- Plastic covers
- Plastic zip-lock bags
- Labeling kit
You may also want to include scissors or a box cutter to make opening the boxes easier at your new place. A screwdriver is another handy item, as you never know where you may find a loose screw during the moving-in process.
A good tip is to start packing non-essential items several days before your moving date since even small moves take some time to pack everything safely and securely in boxes.
Your non-essential items are typically books, knick-knacks, photos, and other decorative items. You can also start packing seasonal clothes. For example, go ahead and pack your winter coats and sweaters if you are moving in the summer. You may want to leave a light jacket or sweater out, as the Bay Area can still be a little chilly in the evening, even during summer.
Pack Your Essential Items
The day before the move, go ahead and start packing your essential items, which means all of your clothes, bathroom supplies, and whatever’s left in the kitchen.
After packing up the last of your stuff, do a walk-through. Check to see if anything is left out. The goal is to have everything packed and ready before the movers arrive the following day.
Don’t forget to label the boxes as you pack—you’ll thank yourself after moving into your new place. Label boxes “fragile” if they contain breakable items. This way, the movers know to be a little more careful.
Ensure Your Move is Hassle-Free
With a little planning and packing before your moving date, your small move in the Bay Area can go smoothly without any stress.
Just make sure you keep the tips in mind above and try to keep a level head, and you’ll be comfortably set to move and start settling into your new space.