The land of roads, Los Angeles has spread across vast space, uniting over 88 small cities under one county. And if there is anything that unites Angelinos despite cultural, ethnical and social diversity it would be dreaded commute time spent on 405, 101, 10 and other infamous freeways. To avoid wasting two-three hours of life every day while stuck in traffic, many decide to move closer to their jobs, schools, religious communities, etc, resulting in almost 100,000 relocations each year in Los Angeles county along according to census data 2018.
For some LA residents moving has become a yearly routine, as well as 12-month lease, and USPS forward-mail applications. Along with the move follows the stress of packing, furniture assembly-disassembly, reassigning of utility bills, change of addresses for your bank, DMV, insurance companies, to name a few. And each time the same question comes to mind – how to mitigate this treacherous relocation experience and make it less painful? At Best Movers League our moving specialists face the same problems of frustrated customers every day and have come up with 5 easy to DIY steps to make virtually any move stress-free.
#1 Timing is the key
If you are local (within Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura county), give yourself 4-5 weeks of time to prepare for the move. For out of state moves, it is better to have at least 8 weeks of preparation to assure smooth relocation.
Start your preparation by shopping around for moving companies. During high demand season (summer and early fall) most reputable companies are booked 2-3 weeks in advance for local moves, and 1-1.5 months for long-distance moves. Booking last minute, especially if you have 2 bedroom+ home to move is never a good idea, and the chance of booking rogue movers increases significantly. Learn how to avoid hiring rogue movers here.
For local moves, 4-5 weeks of time should be enough to arrange:
- purchase of boxes/packing supplies (if you decide to pack yourself)
- Arrange end-of-lease and new lease agreements
- arrange some time off work for the move
- Reassign your utilities and forward mail to the new address
- pack up small items and valuables
- get rid of unused and long-forgotten clutter in your storage
- learn about the new location, its routes, grocery stores, schools, restaurants, etc
Gosh, that is a lot to remember! Have a look at tip #2, and hold it on paper, not in your head.
#2 Checklist will help
Whether it is on Google Drive or folded in your pocket, making a list of tasks associated with the move (few of which are mentioned above), as well as a list of items packed in boxes for future easy unpacking is another key component of stress-free relocation. Use this list to record other valuable information such as quotes of at least 3 moving companies, prices for packing materials from either Home Depot, Storage facilities, or local stores, measurements of doorways and rooms in your new place, tracking numbers of new furniture you ordered, key dates of activation/deactivation of utilities, etc. After all, one dull pencil is worth two sharp minds. The less you hold in your head and in your house (more on that in tip #3), the easier your move would be!
#3 Unclutter Yourself
Remember those angel wings you made for Halloween 2005, wore just once and stashed it the next day on the top shelf of your garage storage? Or those “still good” leather boots you bought from a thrift store to utter disappointment of your wife, so you never wore them and, let’s be honest, never will? It is time to say good-bye to it and donate it to nearby Goodwill.
People tend to underestimate how much junk they have accumulated over the years, and when it comes time to pack – what expected to be a 3-day chore at the end stretches to over the week of sleepless nights accompanied by a profanity, suicidal thoughts and desire to submit yourself to the monastery.
Start your packing day by decluttering the storage, closets, attic, basement and getting rid of unused items first. Chances are you might have so much junk, that it would be a good idea to arrange junk removal services as well. Once all unwanted stuff is out of your house, it is time to pack up all valuables.
#4 Pack Up Smart
Besides obviously needed materials, such as boxes, packing tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap, every successful packing job requires a packing list, labels, markers, and if possible – instant camera (like Polaroid). Organization of boxed up items might vary from person to person but here are few tips that would not hurt to implement.
- Mark your boxes from all 4 sides, besides the top. This will help to quickly determine which box is stacked up one another at the new place. Since movers tend to grab 3-4 boxes at once in one stack, lack of labels on boxes’ sides will make it impossible to know what’s at the bottom.
- NEVER pack heavy items into big size boxes/bins. Most carton boxes of 3 cu.ft. + size will not hold heavy stuff like books, exercise equipment, solid items made of marble, metal, etc. Pack those in small boxes/bins only. Your mover will thank you for it.
- If you plan on moving your items into storage, purchase wardrobe/garment boxes for your hanging clothes. These boxes usually come with a metal bar where you can hang clothes onto. Even if you don’t have many clothes in your closet, use these boxes to pack up light miscellaneous items, like shoe boxes, pillows, blankets, etc
- Pack up essentials last. The day before the move should be dedicated to packing your everyday bedroom, kitchen and bathroom items.
- Most valuable belongings jewelry, documents, expensive small electronics should be packed separately. If your move is only a few miles away, consider putting this box in your car instead of moving truck.
- Create a packing list summarizing what you have in each box and place it on its side. If you have an instant camera, it would be a great idea to take a snap of what box contains and tape it to the side of the box.
- If you absolutely hate the idea of self-packing or simply do not have time for it, consider hiring a moving company that does both packing and moving. Usually, if your place is no bigger than a 1000 sq. ft. 2 bedroom apartment, the team of 4-5 movers will pack and move you within the same day. For larger size moves, the moving company would need at least one day dedicated to packing and another for moving. At Best Movers League we specialize in both packing and moving and would be happy to lift this burden off your shoulders.
#5 Familiarize Yourself with New Location
Moving from Downtown Los Angeles to the beach area sounds like a marvelous idea. However, be ready to learn new commute routes, train schedules, and closest bus stops beforehand. You will use it the next morning after all and your manager/teacher/team will not be happy to hear “just moved” excuses.
Check your local grocery store locations and their closing times. Some stores close at 10 pm whereas others are open 24 hours. If your move is finished in late hours, and there is no food in the fridge, you might have to wait until morning to get groceries or spend extra on delivery services.
If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming move, just give us a call at 1-800-617-25-11 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Our job is to make your relocation experience as easy and stress-free as possible.