According to American Community Survey (ACS) data, about 13% of Americans moved yearly in the last five years. People mostly move because of jobs, housing, or for family-related reasons.

Whatever your motivations for moving might be, you want to manage it with as little friction as possible. However, there are many factors to consider: the main pain points being the cost, logistics, and protection of your belongings. 

There isn’t enough time to prepare, and the overwhelming dread is starting to creep in. What’s more, you are relocating just a few things and wondering if any moving company will bother to help you in that particular situation. Sounds familiar? We’ve gathered all the best tips in one place to help you carry the load of your small but important move.

Consider Hiring Moving Services

In small moving scenarios, you have three options. You can:

  1. Do it yourself
  2. Ask friends or family for help
  3. Hire a moving service

Moving by yourself or with the help of someone you know is the best option if you want to avoid the costs of hiring professionals. However, moving services offer reliability, safety, and efficiency, especially if you have no experience with moving and are unsure of the necessary steps you need to take.

You Should Hire Professional Movers If:

  • You have little time to plan and execute the move,  
  • Your friends and family live far away, don’t own a convenient vehicle, or are too busy to lend you a hand
  • You want someone with experience in moving to treat your personal belongings with special care

If you worry that no service can help you with a small move – you can breathe out because that’s not the case! Whether relocating the contents of your tiny studio apartment or just a couple of valuable items, most of these services cover everything you need. Professional movers take care of the logistics, load and unload your items and provide all the necessary tools-dollies, wrapping sheets, protection pads, boxes, and more.

Before hiring a moving service, check if they’re a legit operation – go through reviews and testimonials and ensure the moving company you want to hire is insured and certified. You can always check out the registered movers’ database to protect yourself from fraud. 

Be Wary of Time and Plan Accordingly

People tend to underestimate the time, energy, and resources needed to finish a task. There’s even a name for this phenomenon called “The Planning Fallacy.” When facing complicated obstacles, our brains trick us into falsely estimating that something will be easy to complete – even when the evidence suggests otherwise – which calms us down but actually adds to the stress down the line.

So if you think packing and organizing your move will take x amount of time – double, or even triple that! Suppose you finish your obligations much sooner than needed. In that case, you’ll have some precious time to rewind and relax before the big day.  If you’re hiring movers, keep in mind that they’re often fully booked, so call them as soon as possible to reserve a date that suits you best.

Communicate Clearly with Movers

Think your needs through carefully and talk about everything with the movers so they can provide you with the best assistance. For smooth cooperation, cover the following points with your movers:

  • During the walkthrough of your apartment or house, point out things that were difficult to move when you first moved in. 
  • Point out your most cherished, fragile possessions, so the movers take special care of them. 
  • Review your furniture for any damages before it gets packed and loaded. That way, you’ll know if the injury happened on the road or during the move, thus avoiding confusion or arguments with the movers.
  • Before the crew leaves, ask for clarification if you need help understanding the paperwork. 
  • Do one last check-up with the crew, and go through closets and storage areas so that nothing is left behind when the movers hit the road.

Find Little Ways to Save Money

Hiring a moving company, and moving in general, may cost a pretty penny. Still, there are some ways to save money and move without breaking the bank: 

  • Declutter: The more things you move, the costlier it gets. Consider donating or selling items that you won’t need. 
  • Do as much as you can by yourself: If you hire a moving service, they can provide you with all the necessary supplies and assistance. However, you can always compromise and DIY some parts of your small move to get a lower rate. You can use boxes, sheets, scotch tape, etc., that you already own or purchase cheaply at a local supply store. Some stores in your area could give you boxes they don’t need for free, as they usually dispose of them or send them to recycling – all you need to do is ask.
  • Move in the middle of the week or middle of the month: Most people like to move during weekends, at the end of the week, or month, so they don’t miss days off work or school. However, it also means moving services charge higher rates during peak times. If you can clear up your schedule, move during the week and in the middle of the month to pay less.

Try out These Stress Management Hacks

Let’s face it – stress is an inevitable part of a move, no matter how small. Luckily, there are some simple hacks to reduce it to bearable levels:

  • Choose a convenient corner of your place to leave some things you will pack last minute: For example, you can keep a change of clothes and some items that make you feel good, like your favorite book, favorite blanket, or coffee mug – the choice is all yours. That way, when packing gets tough, you have a comfortable area to wind down.
  • Avoid social media: Social platforms have their place and time, and it is not while you are dealing with time-sensitive responsibilities. Scrolling through socials causes procrastination and makes you more sluggish, distracted, and irritable, leading to more stress down the line.
  • Make packing fun: Ease yourself into doing the hard work by playing your favorite podcast, listening to music, and ordering your favorite food.

Keep all essentials close to you

Surely, you don’t want to overlook or misplace your wallet, ID, or other essential documents when moving, so make sure they are always with you. Before moving, pack a small backpack or travel bag with necessities like phone chargers, medications, toiletries, snacks, etc. Thank us later!

Leave Your Old Housing in Proper Order

If you are moving out of a rented apartment or a college dorm, deep-clean it, empty the fridge, and throw out the trash. Also, if anything needs to be fixed, take care of it. You do not want to leave a mess for your landlord, roommate, or the next tenant about to move in. 

Give your landlord the required notice, ensure you’ve paid all the fees, and turn in your keys. It’s not a lot of work, and you’ll make everyone happy! Plus, you’ll leave no stone unturned and, thus, minimize the chance of leaving anything behind!

In the End, Find a Way to Enjoy the Moving Process 

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of a significant life event, such as moving, and forget why you are doing it, even if it’s small. However, it can also be an exciting venture, as it is a step closer to where you want to be in life. 

Appreciate the journey, leverage our tips to endure and overcome any unnecessary stress, and you’ll do great. Good luck!

Claire Preece