Unless you’re a military family, odds are good you don’t move all that often. Last year, only 11 percent of the U.S. population moved, and of that number, a little more than half stayed in the same county. What this means is, whether you’re planning to move across Tacoma or across the country, you’re probably not feeling prepared — and you’re not alone! With such a low portion of the population moving, most people aren’t going to be moving experts. If you’re preparing for a move, try these tips from your Tacoma moving pros to make the process go a bit smoother.

#1. Create A Calendar

In a perfect world, you’ll have plenty of notice about an upcoming move so you can house hunt, take your time packing, and tick everything off your list at a calm pace. Of course, that doesn’t always happen. Whether you’ve got months to plan or a week, one of the biggest pieces of moving help is to create a calendar/to-do list for yourself. This should include things like when your moving company will arrive, any dates for buying and/or selling properties, and so on. Having all of those different components listed in one place should help minimize last-minute scrambling.

#2. Start Packing ASAP

Yes, even if you’re still three months out from your big move, or even if you’re only moving locally, you should still get a jump start on packing as soon as you can. The reason we suggest this is because packing up your entire household is a prime time to do some major clearing out, too. If you’ve been in the same place for years, odds are good you’ve accumulated a few things you don’t need. Go room by room and split everything into two piles: keep and toss. The ‘toss’ pile can also be split into trash, donate, and sell piles. Whether you hold a garage sale or not, that will be less to move, less space taken up in the moving truck, and fewer boxes and packing supplies necessary. Of course, if you’ve got a good pile of things to sell, a garage sale can help you make some extra money to fund your move.

#3. Create a Budget

And speaking of funds, creating a budget is a key component to moving success. This can help prevent any surprise expenses down the road, which alleviates a lot of stress. Start by arranging any moving help you’ll need, whether you’re hiring packing services, or just moving services. Your local movers will give you a quote and explain their fee system. On top of that, you’ll also need to account for home expenses like paying a new deposit or closing costs on a new home. And don’t forget to include a buffer for the sundry items you’ll need after moving in, including things like appliances or maybe new furniture.

#4. Find The Right Packing Supplies

Just because you can get a bunch of free boxes from the recycling behind that big box store, that doesn’t mean you should. It may seem silly to pay for boxes when you can get them for free, but the freebie boxes aren’t going to have the same quality and durability as new ones. See if your professional movers offer moving box kits or a buy-back program to help save on expenses. But, even if they don’t, it’s worth it to make sure your fragile and irreplaceable items are well-protected — not dropped in a muddy puddle when the bottom of the box falls out.

#5. Plan For Kids And Pets

Moving isn’t just stressful for you, it’s just as hard on kids and pets. If you’ve got children, help ease that stress by preparing them for the changes to come. Explain what’s going on and give them time to say goodbye to friends and familiar places before you go. When it’s actually time to move, you may find that things go easier when you don’t have to worry about your kids or family pets getting in the way of your moving help. If you’re moving locally, arrange a playdate for your kids and a day or two at pet daycare for your furry friends. If you’re moving long-distance, you may want to send the kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Also, talk to your vet about ways to calm your pet if daycare isn’t an option.

There are so many things that can make a move more stressful. Let the experts give you the help you need to prepare, pack, and move. Get the best in professional moving help. Contact PNW Moving for moving services in Tacoma and the surrounding areas.