calendarAs we all know, moving is one of the biggest and most stressful things you will do in your life.  One way to make things easier is to get several things done that can be taken care of a couple of months before the actual move.

Airfare. If you’re moving to a faraway place and not driving, you’ll need to buy plane tickets. It’s best if you can get this out of the way well before the two-month mark so you can watch ticket prices and land a good deal.  And don’t forget the family pets-arranging their travel can take even more preparation.

Movers. Unless several of your friends are bodybuilders, you’re probably going to need to hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting. If you put this off you might not have time to conduct research and get the best deal. Start at least two months in advance by asking your friends and relatives if they recommend any movers, calling the movers in your area, comparing prices and then lining someone up for your moving day. Besides a good price, you should be looking for a reputable company that is licensed with your state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and, if you’re moving out of state, licensed for interstate transport. You also want a moving company (and its workers) that are bonded and insured.

Unwanted items. Moving is the perfect excuse to get rid of junk that’s collected in your house over the years. If you haven’t used it in about a year and it doesn’t have any sentimental value, get rid of it. Also, to move as few items as possible, use up as much of your existing supply of food as you can.

Pre-packing. There’s plenty of stuff you don’t use on a regular basis. If it’s summer, start packing your winter items, including blankets and holiday gear. The same goes for summer. You can also pack by the room, especially when you have a guest room, since it’s used the least. You don’t really need five radios or TV’s around your house for the last few days there. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Wastebaskets can also be cleaned and packed while you switch to using plastic bags.

Odd and ends. Start researching your new community. Arrange to have school and veterinarian records transferred. Contact health clubs, organizations and other groups to cancel or transfer memberships. File a change of address with the postal service or ask them to hold your mail at the post office in your new city. Leave a note with your new address so that future residents can forward stray mail.

Even if you do all the things suggested above, there will be plenty to do later so let the culling begin!