Moving in the Washington D.C. area is no small task!

The Ron Sitrin Team, with over 20 years of real estate experience in District of Columbia and Maryland, has put together some packing tips to make sure your move is as easy as can be.

Whether you are moving to a larger home or downsizing to a townhome or apartment, you’re going to want to make sure your belongings arrive at their destination in the same condition as you packed them.

Take a look at the useful moving tips our team has put together for you:

  1. Get rid of most of your stuff.

Even if you’re moving into a larger home, consider your move the chance to purge yourself of unnecessary belongings –  the backup wok, the dog’s television. If you’re moving into a smaller space, think of this as an opportunity to start fresh. You’ll undoubtedly find that living with less at your new place (no matter how big it is) helps you feel calmer and more at peace.

A company we recommend for junk removal is 123Junk.  Mention Ron Sitrin and you will receive a 10% discount.  Plan to spend around $700 for the removal of the cubic volume equivalent of 9 refrigerators. In addition to removing and disposing of junk, they will deliver items that still have value to charities, and provide you with the receipt so you can take the charitable tax deduction.

  1. Decide how you will move your remaining belongings.  

Most people within the District of Columbia move to another neighborhood in the District itself, or just a few miles away in Maryland or Virginia. Even so, hiring a professional moving firm can make a big difference.  The weight of all your belongings can be deceiving.  I bet you could measure it in tons, not pounds, and someone must lift it all.  I see a lot of do-it-your-self movers with very stiff backs the next day.  The average move can cost between $2,500 to $5000 and for most people, it’s worth it.

If you are hiring a moving company, make sure they have good reviews.  Things happen during moves, even when hiring the best of movers.  You want to make sure you are working with a company that will stand behind their promises.  Here are a few movers that our clients have used in the past and have had good experiences:

  1. Make a master moving list and put all the tasks on a calendar.

Moving entails lots of small details:  find enough boxes, make needed repairs, enroll children in new schools, and so on. Some things need to be done before others can even get started and so you’ll need to plan your tasks. Here’s a great “what to and when” list to help you plan your move.

  1. Purchase or borrow extra packing supplies.

You can never have enough boxes, bags, tape, scissors, box cutters, and markers. Trust me on this.  Round up more than you think you will need, then double that amount.  

Check out Craigslist to see if you can find some free boxes.  Most people only need the boxes for a few days. Once they’ve unpacked, they would be delighted if someone would come and take moving boxes off their hands.

One thing that caught me by surprise was books.  Books need to go in lots of small boxes.  If you put too many in one box, it very quickly becomes too heavy to lift.

  1. Start packing. Today.

Sure, you’re not moving for two months, but packing takes time. Whether its clothes or bric-a-brac, take some time each day to pack some things. You’ll be glad you did.

Just so you know, your movers can pack everything for you.  Typically, I find the older you are, the more likely you are to opt for this – and often it’s worth it!

  1. Photograph your electronics before you disconnect.

A picture of the back of your TV and other equipment can be invaluable when you are ready to reconnect things on the other end of your move.

  1. Pack a ‘First Night Kit.’

Moving day can be long and exhausting.  The last thing you want to do is to open lots of different boxes to find a few essentials.  So, do yourself a favor and pack a ‘First Night Kit.’  Include things like a roll of toilet paper, a first-aid kit, basic cleaning supplies, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, scissors, duct tape, a small tool kit, a pen and pad of paper.  Also remember something for your creature comforts like sheets and a pillow, a shower curtain, a change of clothes, a towel, basic toiletries, a few plates and utensils, and maybe some snacks.  You’ll be very glad to have these all collected in one, easy-to-find place.

Your kit should be extremely well-marked.  You could even pack it in a piece of luggage so that it is easily recognizable and not lost amongst the sea of boxes.  Be sure this is the last thing put on the truck and the first thing to come off at your new home.

  1. Label boxes – well.

This is critical. Even though you think you can remember where you packed what, I promise in the chaos of the move, you will forget.  Especially if it’s a long-distance move, as you may not see your boxes for weeks.  Label boxes by category and/or by room. You may even want to purchase different colored tape or labels (red for kitchen; blue for your son’s bedroom) to help you and the movers identify which box goes in which room.

  1. Plan parking and moving day schedules.

As you well know, parking in DC can be a big issue.  Most movers will pre-arrange a restricted area where they can park so the moving van is near the home.

If you are moving into a condo, always make sure to pre-arrange with management as most have restricted move-in/move-out times and will want to protect their floors and elevators in advance.  Don’t be surprised if they require a security deposit, as well.

  1. Arrive safely and start unpacking!

Believe us: all this work will be worth it once you’re settled in your new home.  Still have questions? Contact the Ron Sitrin Team and we will help you solve your D.C. area moving problem or help you find the perfect new home to move into.