Smooth Move

    Moving is a stressful time in anyone’s life. It can cause more anxiety if you are transitioning from being a renter to owning your own property. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by preparing ahead of time for the upcoming changes. When you know what to expect, it eases the transition from one location to another by helping you to feel more comfortable about belongings being moved and your expectations being met.

    Most importantly, be prepared for a shift in responsibility. When you’re a renter and your air conditioner suddenly stops working, you call your landlord. When you’re a home owner, you are the landlord. Now, you will have to pay someone else to get work done within your property if you can’t do it yourself. Becoming a homeowner means that repairing the broken air conditioner or backed-up toilet is now solely your responsibility.

    Work with your real estate agent during the home-buying process to assess potential repairs that will be needed in both the short and long term. A thorough inspection should be a part of every buying process, as a trained home inspector can spot issues that you may not notice.


    Often people find themselves scrambling to get everything done, and making sure it’s done correctly. By following some simple steps, you can ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible and without the typical headaches.

    1. Hire a Good Moving Company – The easiest way to ensure your moving day goes smoothly is to do your homework ahead of time. Clearly communicate your needs and expectations to a professional mover, check their references and keep a record of all conversations and estimates. See our blog about choosing a quality mover here:

    2. File a Change of Address with the post office and your bank/financial institutions.

    3. Establish Utility Services or transfer existing ones if applicable.

    4. Withdraw Children from Schools – and make appointments to enroll them into their new ones. Sometimes children will need to receive additional immunizations to become enrolled in a new school. It is best that you find this out before you relocate so that your child can visit the same doctor they are used to seeing.

    5. The Packing Process – On moving day, your job is to supervise the movers. If they are packing your items beforehand, pay special attention while they handle your valuable or fragile objects. If you are doing your own packing, start your packing early. Packing can be tedious and cumbersome. Having an organized approach will save you a lot of time when unpacking. You don’t want to be so rushed that you stop being careful and start jamming things into boxes any which way. When it comes time to unpack and you can’t find the things you need, you’ll regret that! There are various methods to pack for convenience, and we have listed several here:
    You can go to places like Lowes, Home Depot, U-Haul or the UPS Store and purchase boxes in a variety of sizes, but there’s no need to do that. Stop into your local liquor store, grocery store or price club, talk to a manager and ask if they have any boxes they can give you. The nice thing about liquor boxes is they are sturdy and typically come equipped with partitions for glasses and bottles, as well as open slots which make it easier to carry them.
    See-through Garbage Bags:
    No need to take all your shirts and dresses off their hangars. Take a large, 30-gallon garbage bag and work your clothes into them from the bottom up, then tighten the draw string. Everything stays together, is protected from dust and dirt, and it will be easy to put them away once you arrive at your new house.
    Ziploc Bags:
    These work great to secure smaller items like shower curtain hooks, makeup items, children’s playing cards, kitchen utensils, and already opened items containing liquids.
    Plastic Cling Film:
    Cling film has a multitude of uses. Wrap empty furniture in cling film or plastic stretch wrap to ensure items stay protected.
    Color-Coded Labeling:
    All boxes full of items that go into a specific room should be color coded. You can purchase different colors of masking-tape, or get multi-colored sticky labels from your local office supply store, for example. Label all boxes on two sides so it’s easy to see the labels.
    Use Towels or Clothing as Padding:
    Rather than using bubble wrap to protect fragile items such as glass or pottery, consider wrapping them in towels or even your clothing. It helps the environment!

    6. Enlist the Help of Family and Friends – The process will go smoother and will be more fun with familiar people around. Friends and family can add extra eyes to the process and take care of simple errands for you.

    7. Take a photo of the backs of your electronics – Your TV, DVD/Blue ray, Surround-sound and your computers all have various things plugged into various ports. These days all the cords are color-coded, but better to be safe than sorry. Take pictures of the backs of your electronics before disconnecting them to make it easier to hook everything back up in your new house.  When you take apart your electronics or other items, keep all the hardware together (in Ziploc baggies or wrapped up in cling film).

    8. Pack an Overnight bag – Make sure each member of your household packs an overnight bag with clothing for a couple of days, tooth brush and toothpaste, deodorant, and so on. (Once you get all the boxes into your new home you may not have the energy to start unpacking that same day).

    9. Pack an Easily Distinguishable Container for your Essentials – Even when you label your boxes, they’ll still be hard to sort through immediately. There are certain items that you’re going to want to access right away. We recommend using a Tupperware bin stocked with scissors or a box cutter, chargers for all your electronics, toilet paper, paper towels, pet food if applicable, stuff to cook and eat a quick meal with, paper plates and plastic utensils.

    10. Animals – will also need an adjustment period to acclimate to a new environment and schedule. Animals rely a lot on scent, so try spraying your new home with the same air freshening sprays you used in your former property to reduce their anxiety. Show them all around the inside and outside of your new property, and try not to leave them alone for a few days once you’ve moved in. Keeping their routine in tact will also help ease any discomfort.



    Once you’re moved in, go ahead and introduce yourself to your new neighbors. When you become an owner, you may be having more neighbor-to-neighbor discussions. Remember that communication is a good way to get referrals for reputable service providers in your area, and can help you be informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood. You never know, a new neighbor could easily become a new best friend!



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    About our blog

    Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Northern Virginia area.