Whether your last move was across the country or across the street, it probably ended with two words: “Never again!” But you don’t always have the luxury of staying in the same place forever. 

Since moving pretty much always takes longer than you think it’s going to take, be smart and plan ahead. There’s lots of packing and organizing you can get out of the way a few months in advance of your move.

Make a few decisions about how to approach moving based on how far you are going and who will be assisting you with the move.

Go Through Everything and Identify Unwanted Items  Moving is the perfect excuse to get rid of unwanted items that have collected in your house over the years. The rule of thumb is: If you haven’t used it in about a year and it doesn’t have any sentimental value, get rid of it. It can be hard to let things go, though, so you may need to go through each closet or storage space twice. On the first run, you’ll remove the obvious unwanted things, and on the second run you’ll remove the items you’re a little more attached to.

About now is when you start realizing you have accumulated stuff you may no longer want or use. It is a good idea to plan a yard or garage sale, donate to you local thrift shops, give charities any items they could use, and throw out the junk. 

Begin Packing Little-used Items. You may think it’s silly to start packing two months in advance but if you’re like most people, there are many things you don’t use on a regular basis that can be packed well ahead of your move date. For example, if it’s summer, start packing your winter items — winter clothes, heavy blankets, holiday decorations. Or you can pack by the room — and perhaps the guest room is a good place to start, since it’s used the least. You decide.

Now that you are about to move every article you own, it’s a smart idea to make an inventory of your personal belongings. Not only will the list be valuable for insurance purposes but it will also help you organize your move, keep track of your home’s contents while they’re in transit and ensure that your belongings are placed in the right rooms on moving day. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website is making free Home Inventory applications for iPhone and Android users as well as a home inventory checklist (PDF).

A couple of other mobile apps: My Home Pro for Android and Home Inventory for the iPhone are available at a low cost.If you are looking for software for your PC, you might want to check out Know your Stuff and What you Ownboth are free.

If, even armed with this information, this all still seems overwhelming or time suddenly becomes an issue, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves to consult with you and help you make a plan to get everything accomplished before you move. It won’t help your job or family if you are too stressed out to enjoy your new home!

Our thanks to digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net for today’s  image.