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Moving across town, across the country or to a different country?
5 things you should do one month before your move.

From packing smart to knowing what to pitch, let’s take a look at a few strategies to prepare for your move. If you haven’t cleaned your closets in a decade, don’t panic. Perspective is everything. It probably isn’t the labor that’s making you apprehensive anyway, it’s the time crunch. Start laying the groundwork today to make the actual moving part of your relocation go smoothly.

Moving is an adventure. All you need is a reliable plan. These 5 tips will help:

Know where you’re going

If you’re moving to a loft in the city, that extra bedroom set will just get in your way, and you can probably lose the cross-country skis, too. Taking your new digs into account will give you important information about what’s sensible to take with you and what isn’t. The available space, your new lifestyle and the weather will give you clues, too. If you have pets, you’ll want to find out about state and city ordinances regarding inoculations, leash laws, and limits on the number or types of pets you can keep. Start gathering important details about schools, vehicle laws, the vagaries of insurance and even the bylaws for your housing complex.

Develop a system

You’ll likely have items you want to keep, items you want to sell, stuff you want to give away and junk you want to trash. As you go through your belongings, organize them into these four categories. If you’re packing your belongings yourself, you should also consider taking a hint from the professionals who pack for a living. They pack items a room at a time. That way, the unpacking will go easier on the other end. If you’re looking for a frying pan when you get to your destination, at least you’ll know it’s in one of the kitchen boxes.

Apply the one-year rule

If you haven’t used an item in a year, consider donating it to someone who will use it. Carting around those skinny jeans and the apple corer your aunt gave you last Christmas might seem like a good idea, but the truth is that you may never revisit either of those items, and paying to transport and store them is just wasteful.

Get Help

You might have to mount a big move on your own, but getting professional help is the best way to go by far. Professional movers know how to pack and transport a houseful of belongings with a minimum of breakage and fuss. Make sure you understand the details, though. Knowing when your new residence will be available and getting your belongings there at the right time is important. Moving is full of small details, and getting them right will make your life easier.

Have a schedule

Time can get away from you when you’re in the middle of a move, so put together a moving calendar or organizer to make sure you stay on target. Where moving is concerned, some chores are time-sensitive and others, like packing the valuable art or antiques or Christmas ornaments require more care, can and should be done well in advance. Decide which is which, and make yourself a handy to-do sheet.

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