Moving to Missoula? Or maybe somewhere else? You’re not alone. Americans are on the move! Every year, 1 in every 7 Americans moves. And if you rent your home, you’re much more likely to move in the next year than if you own.
If a move is the horizon for you, use these helpful tips to make your move an easier one. Be sure to check out our Moving Checklist, too!
Helpful Moving Tips
- Make the time to spend research the neighborhood before you rent or buy—it could save you the time and money of moving a second time. Visit the closest grocery store, take a walk around the block, look for signs of kids, know where you’re at in relationship to the school(s), shopping, churches and the hospitals.
- Be sure to check it out during different times of day. Stop and ask someone for their thoughts. Missoulians are always willing to give their “two cents” and there’s nothing more accurate than getting it straight from the horse’s mouth.
- Before you begin your home/neighborhood search, provide your realtor with a list of your favorite hobbies and activities as it will help them narrow down the list of likely neighborhoods.
- The moving process can be completely overwhelming if you don’t plan for it. Prepare a moving checklist broken out by month, week, and day.
- If you’re moving yourself, and you’re moving sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day, be sure to call and reserve a moving van several months in advance. Otherwise, rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis and you may just be “up a creek without a paddle.”
- Find good movers and be sure to tip them well. It goes a long way in how they treat your possessions. Note: this is especially true if you’re moving around the first of the month when everyone else is moving.
- Contact your new local phone company and Internet service provider at least a month prior to your move. That way you’ll have your new phone number (land-line) for all the other paperwork you fill out when you get to town.
- Remember to back up your computer files before you move your computer to avoid losing valuable data/photos that might be sacrificed if your computer is damaged during the move.
- Label your electronic cords with masking tape as well as the back of the corresponding computer, printer, tv, or stereo component. It takes a lot of the guess work out of reconnecting everything.
- If your email account is tied to your home phone number or a local internet service provider, set up a free hotmail, gmail or Yahoo email account before you move. Email all your contacts, friends & family with your new physical address and phone number and ask them to contact you via the hotmail/gmail/ yahoo account until you get set up in Missoula. Once you’re settled in you can email them your permanent email address.
- Check with your local newspaper to see if they have any ‘end-rolls’ available. End rolls contain un-used newsprint so you can tear pieces to the length you need AND avoid the dirty ink.
- Check with your local recycling center for boxes. Restaurants and Liquor stores can also be a good source for boxes. (I’m told that French fry boxes are the best—they’re sturdy and perfectly square. And if you call your local fast food restaurants in the morning, to see if they’ll save them for you.)
- Don’t overload boxes—especially with books. If you have lots of books, consider lining the bottom of a box with the books and then packing clothes or lighter thinks on top…that way you spread the weight of the books out over multiple boxes.
- Ziplock bags of various sizes and a marker come in handy when you’re taking apart furniture. Put the nuts and bolts all in one bag and label it clearly so you don’t lose anything.
- To avoid theft of valuables, avoid being specific when you label the exterior of the box.
- Label boxes A, B, and C in order of importance. “A” items are those that are important and you’ll want to get to right away (i.e. coffeepot and filters) “B” items are less critical and can be opened after a few days, and “C” items are the last to get unpacked.
- If you’re using movers, be sure to pack an “emergency bag” and keep it with you instead of the truck. That way if the “wheels fall off” of your move, you’ll have a change of clothes, pajamas, toiletries, medications, make-up, jewelry, and hard to replace documents such as passports, birth certificates, etc.)
- Set aside a box for remote controls, a tool kit, a phone and things you might need right away. That should be the last box on the truck and the first box off as you unpack in your new place.
- Don’t take the time to remove your clothes from the hangers before moving them. Instead, while they’re still on the hanger, bundle several items together with rubber bands and cover with large garbage bags (with a small hole torn at the bottom of the bag.) Once at your destination, simply hang the bundle and rip off the bag.