One of the reasons why moving is so stressful is that people often wait until the last minute to handle all of their moving-related tasks. Unpacking, settling into a new neighborhood, and decorating a new home are stressful endeavors on their own. Why try to handle everything else the same week? Here are six moving-related tasks you can tackle as soon as you learn you are moving.

1. Hire a Moving Company

Most moving companies are more than happy to reserve your time slot months before your move. If you book early, you will also get your choice of moving companies. The good ones fill up quickly! Since you're handling this task in advance, you can take your time to get several estimates, thoroughly vet each company, and pick the one that best fits your needs. 

2. Make Plans for Your Cars

If you have more than one vehicle, you have to figure out how to get the second (and maybe third) vehicle to your new home. You may have the car shipped, tow it behind you on a trailer, or have your moving company tow it behind the moving truck.

Talk to the moving companies you're considering to see what they recommend based on your car and destination. Knowing how your car will get to your new place will give you some peace of mind. 

3. Get Rid of Things You Don't Need

Many people go through their items and select items to throw away, donate, and sell as they pack. Getting rid of so much at once can be stressful, and you don't always have time to run to the thrift store five times when you're moving the next day. So as soon as you find out you are moving, put an empty bin in the corner of each room. Whenever you come across something you no longer need or use, put it in the bin.

When you have a few spare minutes, you can spend them going through drawers and closets to sort out more unneeded items. When your bins get full, sort through the contents and donate, sell, and throw away items as desired.

4. Make an Inventory

If you do hire professional movers, they will want a checklist of your most valuable items for insurance purposes. Go through your home, and record — either in a notebook or your phone — what you have. You can even take pictures of the most valuable items so that, if they do become damaged during the move, you have a record of their previous condition.

5. Call Utility Companies

Once you've scheduled your movers and know what day you'll be moving into your new home, call the utility companies. Arrange to have the utilities switched over to your name on the day you move in or on the day your lease starts. You can typically do this months in advance.

The utility companies will just program the change into their system, and it will take place automatically. You can always call back and change the switch-over date if plans change.

6. Gather Your Paperwork

When your movers arrive and it's time to go, the last thing you want to be doing is running around the house looking for your insurance paperwork, lease agreement, or other important documents. Work on getting your paperwork in order long in advance of your move. Take photos of your documents so you have a backup source of the information if needed. 

If you get the tasks above done early, the week or two before your move will be much easier. Contact Fairfax Transfer & Storage if you're looking for a reliable, courteous moving company. We even offer free estimates for all of our customers.