Tips for a hassle-free move

Moving is hard. No matter who you are or how you're doing it, the process of uprooting your family and your belongings is filled with numerous little tasks and the seemingly endless processes of packing, cleaning and unpacking.

If you've moved several times in the past, you've probably picked up some tricks of the trade to cut down on the stress -- and costs -- of the moving process. But there's always room for improvement. Read on for advice that can alleviate some of your concerns while transitioning to a new home.

Transferring utilities

It can be easy to forget about, but transferring utilities is an important chore to address during your move. If you're moving but staying in the same general area, you may only need to set a date to have your utilities transferred to your new address. If you're moving to a new region, though, you likely need to stop service at one address and set a date to start your new service.

Schedule utility transfers and changes at least a week in advance. Sometimes the wait can be several days before a technician is available to visit your home, and if you procrastinate, you could endure a few cold showers or miss a few of your favorite television shows.

Packing up properly

The first things to pack should be non-essential items that are rarely used  -- seasonal clothing, books, and anything currently tucked away in storage. Work your way backwards from the least essential items to the items you use daily, such as cooking and eating utensils, household cleaners and personal hygiene products.

You should also pack a suitcase with enough clothing to get you comfortably through your move. And make sure any potential breakables are well-packed in paper and/or bubble wrap, and have been marked as fragile. When packing electronics, use the manufacturer’s box, if you still have it. Otherwise, remove electronic cords before packing, label them and put them in a separate box. These and other important packing tips will take a lot of stress out of the moving process.

Keeping organized during the transition

Having trouble keeping your bearings during a move? Create a moving checklist to help you prioritize tasks. It will also improve your ability to delegate other chores to family members while giving you a good sense of whether you are ahead or behind in your moving duties. With your entire life getting uprooted and stuffed into cardboard boxes, a little organization can go a long way.

Cutting costs during your move

The biggest cost-saver is deciding to pack up and move your home by yourself, but if you aren't up for the manual labor then you'll have to find other ways to save. You can still minimize your costs by gathering quotes from a variety of moving companies, or by packing your belongings yourself and paying only to have them moved. And if you can, schedule your move for during the week. Not only is it easier to make unexpected trips to the bank and store, but some moving companies offer lower rates for weekday moves.

Unfortunately, there's probably nothing you can do to fully alleviate the common stressors of moving. But a little foresight and planning can make a big difference in the pre-move crush that intensifies as the date draws near. By being organized and staying ahead of deadlines, you’ll be considerably more relaxed – and more able to enjoy  our new home when you get there.