The Ultimate and Complete Moving Guide to Orange County, CA

Posted by David Feldberg on Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 9:09am.

Just the thought of moving can make people stressed and tired before even lifting a box.  It’s hard, daunting, and complicated whether you’re moving for the first time or have moved before.

This ultimate and complete moving guide can help not only reduce the stress and hassle, but help to ensure your move goes smoothly from beginning to end.

Each chapter is filled with links to hand-picked posts that are filled with tips and tricks to help make your move easier.

It’s time to take the first step to your new home.

Table of Contents

moving boxes

Rather than making you scroll through the page for ages or sending you to other parts of the site, it is all right here.  Click on the chapter titles and it will take you directly to your chapter.  No need to wait for the page to refresh, just begin reading.

Chapter 1: How to Know Your Needs for Your New Home

Chapter 2: How Knowing All Your Home Options Can Make You Happier with Your Home

Chapter 3: Why It’s to Your Benefit to Know These Buying Tips

Chapter 4: How to Keep Any Renovation Costs Low with Some Simple Tips

Chapter 5: Why Good Movers Can Make All the Difference in a Successful Move

Chapter 6: How to Make Packing Easier with Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

Chapter 7: How to Make Moving Day Less Stressful for Everyone Involved

Bonus Chapter: Getting to the Orange County, California Community

Chapter 1: How to Know Your Needs for Your New Home

 

The first and most crucial step before choosing a new home is to know what you want in your new home.  Knowing what you want will help you be happier with your new home rather regret it or feel like you could’ve had more.

Who will be living in the house? How many people?

Will my family be growing or will I have guests?

Do I already have any pets or plan on getting any?

Do I want a house that needs little to no renovations or am I okay doing some fixing and updating?

Do I need air conditioning or heating?

How many bedrooms do I need?

How many bathrooms?

Updated kitchen? Or a kitchen big enough to cook for myself or others? 

These are just some of the many questions you need to ask yourself before you buy or rent anything.  Your needs are important.  Don’t push them to the wayside because one place is a better deal than another.  A better deal doesn’t always mean it’ll pay off in the long run.

Now let’s think about the area around your house.  This is just as important as the house itself.

You won’t be spending all day in your home.  You will have to take the trash out, get your mail, maybe do some yard work here and there.  So, ask yourself some of these questions.

How far am I from my work?  Will I need to walk, bike, drive, or use public transportation?

Do I want neighbors?  How close will they be?

Do I want a yard or a garage?

Am I going to live in an urban, suburban, or rural area?

If you want to go out, how close are you to restaurants, bars, or other places?

Do I want a lot of noise from the outside or do I want it to be quiet? 

Just like before when thinking of the interior, these are just some example questions you need to ask yourself.

To some knowing the area you want to live in might be hard to determine because you’re not quite familiar with the differences between an urban, suburban, and rural areas?

Though there will be some overlap and grey areas transitioning from one area to another.

In more urban areas to live in you can expect that you will most likely own or rent a smaller space than something in a rural area.  Urban areas are almost always in cities where all the life is.  Bars, clubs, restaurants, all of it.  The best part is it is all within walking distance or a quick taxi ride.

The downside is you are in the city.  There will be noise and your home might have a wall or two shared with neighbors.  Noise from the outside and your neighbors will find its way into your home and you should think about if you’re willing to put up with that.  Urban areas also tend to be highly populated so there may be heavy foot traffic or car traffic during certain times of the day.

Suburban areas are somewhat like urban living with the fact that you will be kind of close to your neighbors.  In suburban areas, there may be a hedge or a patch of grass to separate your home from your neighbors rather than wall.  You most likely own your own place and have the nice luxury of a neighborhood with much less foot traffic than the urban areas. Unlike the urban areas you will have a yard, a little piece of land to call your own. 

Don’t forget the downsides though.  In urban areas, a lot of things are taking care of for you.  Leaf removal is up to the city or landlord.  No need to worry about maintenance in urban areas if you have a landlord.  In suburban areas, you oversee leaves or weeding the garden on your own.  You are much more responsible for your home than in urban areas.

All this information you just received may seem overwhelming to a new homebuyer or even an experienced one.  You think to yourself you don’t want to make a mistake in picking where you want to live, but don’t forget there is always something for anyone.

You don’t need rigid plans and wants for what you want for the interior of your home.  The more flexible with your wants, without completely disregarding them, will allow a realtor to help you more.  Sure, you may have to compromise on your dream kitchen, but you get your own home office.  Or maybe you need to replace a thing or two to make it what you dreamed of.

Also, don’t forget the world isn’t black or white. Urban and suburban areas are not always clear cut.  There is gray area and transitional areas between the three.  Maybe you don’t quite fit into one of the three, but that is okay!  Everyone has unique needs and wants.

What is important to know is that you have a plan now.  You know what you want and need so when you work with a realtor they can help make your home dreams real.

Look for more home buying tips below.

 

Chapter 2: How Knowing All Your Home Options Can Make You Happier with Your Home

In the previous chapter, you learned how to think about your needs for your home.  Now you have some stuff lined up and decided.

It’s now time to think about your home.  Do you want an apartment, condo, townhouse, or house?  These are the four most common options when it comes to realty.

Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.  Some will be able to suit your needs better than another.  Look at the list and notes you made about your needs and keep them in mind.

So, the real question many homebuyers ask themselves are what’s the difference between all these home buying options?

Well to make it clear and easy to understand without much confusion below is listed each option and their own advantages and disadvantages of the apartment, condo, townhouse, and house.

Tip: you can click on the name of which one you want to read about instead of scrolling!

Apartment 

 

apartments

 

Apartments are most likely to be found in urban areas and some densely populated suburban areas.  They hold their own advantages and disadvantages and how to take these are dependent on your own preferences for your new home.

Advantages: One of the biggest advantages of apartments is the fact of where they are typically found.  Being in cities means that you’re in a suitable location for convenience and a great social life.  You will be in walking distances of places and may be able to walk to work.  This means you’ll be saving on gas and other transportation costs that would normally come with other places.

Not only that, but the apartment complex you choose may have some extra amenities.  This can include a pool, a gym, laundry rooms, security monitoring.  Sure, that can be part of a condo, townhouse, or a house, but this is usually at your expense of providing the equipment for what you want.  A home gym will cost a good bit and a pool even more so those extra amenities may be nice for someone who doesn’t want the hassle of building or installing something like that.

Some apartments may be more secure than your other options.  Many current apartment complexes have levels of security to get to your own apartment.  From the door on the outside of the building to doors to each floor.  It allows for better security and safety of yourself and your belongings.  Plus, you won’t need to pay for home security like you would a house or condo.

Maintenance is also easier.  When you live in an apartment complex much of the care of the building and surrounding land is taken care of by the landlord.  You as the tenant only worry about your belongings.  If an appliance stops working or needs to be replaces the landlord will handle the issue with having you pay for the repairs or replacement.

Apartments are a small option for many, but the size isn’t always a bad thing.  Apartments are small spaces that don’t require as much heating or air conditioning as a house or something bigger.  Electricity is much more controlled if you’re the only one using it and so is water.  So, your monthly utilities bill will be lower compared to a condo, townhouse, or house.  Most apartment complexes also only charge you a small fee for additional services like maintenance of the building and lawn.  Though it may be worth paying if you’re not the one doing the work.

Disadvantages:  As lovely the advantages of an apartment can quickly sound appealing it’s important to know the disadvantages too.

That benefit of an apartment being small is a double-edged sword.  You are restricted as to what you can do.  The room you have when you rent or buy it is what you get.  You can’t have more room or less room.  So, you need to be able to make do with what you are given and think about how much you have.

If you are renting the apartment that means it’s not entirely yours.  In the end, it belongs to the landlord and they may have rules as to what you can and can’t have.  What you can and can’t do and any modifications you may want to make may have to go through them.

Your neighbors may also become a nuisance to you.  Unlike your other home buying options an apartment will share a wall or two with neighbors.  Noise will travel through the walls and any noisy neighbors may drive you up the wall if you like silence.  So, keep that in mind when looking around.  If noise doesn’t bother you then maybe you don’t have much to worry about.

Maybe noise won’t get to you, but maybe the confines of an apartment might.  The area outside of your apartment doesn’t belong to you.  You might be competing with neighbors and other tenants for prime parking spots.  Maybe you’ll want to do a little gardening, but you can’t because you only have your apartment.  So, your outdoor space may be limited or nonexistent.

If you have or plan on getting any pets they may not be allowed in some apartment complexes.  That can throw a rock into your plan because that perfect apartment that’s two minutes from work may be thrown out the window.  Look at the pet policy of apartment complexes before you get too attached to it.

Overall, apartments are great for small families or single people.  They allow you to have your own space that only you must worry about. 

If your list of needs seems to fit the apartment home option than start looking for apartments.  If not, then keep reading on to other home options.

Below is a link to more advantages and disadvantages when living in an apartment.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in an Apartment | Impressive Interior Design

Condo

 

Unlike most apartments, with a condo you own it.  No need to worry about a landlord or reporting to someone else.  The place is yours and you still might get some of the luxuries that come with apartments.

Advantages: Just like the apartment, condos are minimal maintenance.  You pay for your home and most likely some extra fees for the upkeep of the building and surrounding area, but you don’t have to do building cleaning and maintenance so it’s worth it.

It is found that condos may be a cheaper option compared to a townhouse or apartment.  Don’t be fooled by the thought that renting is cheaper in the long run.  If you plan to live in your condo for a long time then you may save money.  You will be making payments to own it that relatively fixed unlike renting where it can shift unexpectedly.

Condos are also the happy medium of houses and apartments.  They give you the convenience and location of an apartment and the pride and ownership of a house.  Not only that, but since your neighbors should take care of their place just like you, condos do tend to look and run nicer. 

Disadvantages:  The condo is very similar to the apartment in many ways and that means you will face some of the same disadvantages.

Condos are a fixed size like apartments.  There is no expanding beyond the walls. You are restricted on storage and space which may hold some people back from what they want.

Those extra amenities that come with condo complexes can cost you extra.  If it’s one building with many condos in it than gyms, pool, and other potential amenities of the place may cost you money.

Since condos are individually owned there is typically an overarching association, or HOA, that will oversee all condos.  The association may restrict pet ownership, what types of changes can be made to condo such as renovations, and they may limit your options for service providers such as cable and internet.  This can make you feel like you have a lack of freedom in your choices.

Don’t let surprise fees catch you off guard.  Apartments may have maintenance and management fees covered in the rent without any extra cost to you.  But condos can charge those services separately.  Since condo complexes are run by a group or association many choices are left to vote and some decisions may not be in your favor.  This can lead to a sudden increase in service fees or have large projects, major repairs, or renovations happen with money out of tenants’ pockets.

In the end, maybe the decision is up to.  To some the sound of ownership sounds amazing while others want the easy rent without much worry.  Then there is some this option still isn’t right for them.  Continue reading to keep learning about the last two options.  

If you need more information check the link below about living in a condo.

Condo Living Advantages and Disadvantages | HOA Management

Townhouse

townhouses

 

A townhouse is a wonderful place to live for homebuyers, old and new.  They offer the middle ground between a family home and a condo.  You get more room than a condo, but less maintenance than a standalone house.  Look at their own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages: Just like the condos and apartments, townhouses can be found in suburban and urban areas.  Unlike the condos and townhouses though, townhouses offer a bit more.

Rather than owning a single floor home like the condo, a townhouse will most likely have multiple floors.  Not only that, but rather than a door in a hall that leads to your home, a townhouse has the front like a house with a walkway to your front door from the outside.

Townhouses also offer some yard to them.  You may get a small front yard and backyard depending on the townhouses you look at.

Disadvantages: Just like the previous two, you might be sharing a wall with your neighbors.  This means potential noise pollution that finds its way into your home.

Townhouses are normally part of their HOA also.  Like previously stated, the HOA can control major changes and renovations of your development and they may control the exterior look of the townhouse.  The HOA isn’t all bad because it may help to cover shared costs of the townhouse development including maintenance and shared areas, but you will have to accept losing some control of how your area looks.

Another disadvantage of the townhouse is that it is like a house financially.  This means you will need to obtain mortgage financing and some lenders will have difficulty correctly classifying and appraising your townhouse. 

The only tricky thing with townhouses is that they can be a bit ambiguous in definition when house hunting.  Some places classify them as condos while other townhouses maybe be standalone from your neighbors giving the appearance more of a house.

If you move to a townhouse where your townhouse may be classified as condo then lenders will be able to have higher costs for your home.  The best way to avoid having to pay more than you need or supposed to is to look at your area.  If you are moving to a place with a lot of townhouses then find a lender who has experience in that area.

Before buying a townhouse it is best to ask as many questions as possible.  A great resource for better understanding townhouses is linked below.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Townhouse | Smart Asset 

House

house

 

Many people at some point want to own a house at some point.  It is finally a place to call your own without any restrictions put on you from a landlord, HOA, or some other group.  Though it will have its advantages and disadvantages like everything.

Advantages: One of the biggest advantages of a house is the privacy.  You have much more privacy than any of the other options.  You won’t be sharing your walls with neighbors or have to worry about someone hearing you.  The added privacy with houses is a great appeal.

Houses also come with yards that allow you to pursue your hobbies whether it be gardening, woodworking, fixing up a car, and so much more.  You have the room to expand and add things that you see fit to your property.

No more do you have to compete for parking spots or walk through the rain because with a house you have your own private driveway and garage if the house comes with one.

Houses aren’t just a home option.  They can also be a financial investment.  Land value is always up and down, but if your land is yours then you may choose to do what you want with it.  You have the choice to keep it or sell it when land value is high.

Houses normally increase in value the longer you stay there and you can build equity for the future.  Your costs of your home are also predictable and much more stable than renting or buying a place under an association where you pay shared fees with other tenants.  This is all because a house is based on a fixed-rate mortgage.

Speaking of mortgage payments, the interest and property tax that is part of the mortgage is considered a tax deduction.

Most of all, owning a house gives someone a sense of pride.  You care and keep up with upkeep of your home because you want it to look nice to people around you.  You also form relationships with your community because with a house you’re most likely looking a while into the future.

Disadvantages: A big disadvantage and can scare many people, especially in 2017, is that house is a long-term commitment.  It’s not like an apartment where you pay monthly rent and if you need to move you can right on the spot.  Houses will create somewhat of a paper trail that can be daunting to people.

Another thing is the fact all costs and expenses of owning a house are on you, the owner.  Any lawncare you choose, plumbing, electric, replacing appliances.  It will all have to be paid for you by you.

Now that you have mortgage payments, they may give you a tax deduction, but the payments are typically higher than rent payments.

You will also need money for closing costs and your moving expenses.  You may need money for renovations of the home or need to buy more furniture to fill the rooms in your new home.  These costs can add up and make it seem more expensive than it is worth.

At first your home value won’t increase.  It most likely will not increase for a couple years after closing the deal.  So, a house is a commitment.

More information on the pros and cons of home owning.

The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Home | Dummies

Before you jump ship on the idea of house, don’t forget that a house is a home.  All of the home buying options are meant to be a home.  So, to make yourself happier know your options and know what you’re getting yourself into before you pay anything.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and have things looked in to.

In the following chapter, you will learn buying tips that encompass all your home buying options.  Keep reading on if you feel like you know what you want in your home, where you want to live, and what home buying options you want.

Below are more resources comparing home buying options.

Chapter 3: Why It’s to Your Benefit to Know These Buying Tips

home buying

 

Buying or renting can get confusing and difficult.  Especially if you’re new to it.  There are words that you might not recognize, lots of different numbers and percentages, and before you know it you’re signing something you don’t fully understand.

To help eliminate some confusion and make you feel more confident in what you want and what you’re doing, check out some buying tips.

The best place to start when you’re starting to look at places is to set a budget for yourself.  When you have a budget you’re more likely to stay within it and you won’t drain your savings account.  Having a budget also helps to make sure you will be able to afford your monthly bill whether it’s rent, utilities, or mortgages.  You don’t want to get caught in scraping by every month to pay your bills with little to no wiggle room with your monthly budget.

Another great tip is to make sure all these numbers you’re seeing are clear to you as the buyer.  Some people may take advantage of the fact you aren’t looking too closely at the numbers and can slip extra fees and charges into your bill without you knowing.  Know how much you’re paying in rent.  Know how much you’ll be paying in mortgage payments.  Research your utilities and how much they will cost you.  If it becomes confusing ask questions until it is clear to you. 

Don’t forget about your other expenses.  While at first it might make sense to set a budget for your home, but you will be paying for your home monthly and you don’t want your whole paycheck to go to that.  Consider the cost of groceries, gas, leisure money, and any other costs you foresee.

Make sure you know you’re credit score so you’re not in for any surprises.  Landlords, realtors, and lenders will want to know your credit score.  The better your credit score the better it will be for you to get your home.  Especially if you’re considering buying a house because it will put you in a better standing with lenders compared to those with a poor credit score.

Another tip is don’t go too big.  Contrary to the popular saying bigger is better, that’s not always the case.  Big homes typically appeal to a small group of buyers.  It may not make sense now, but if you decide to move later in your life it will make it harder for you to move because no one is looking at your house.  Not only that bigger homes cost more to maintain.  From heating, air conditioning, and utilities to keeping them clean and kept up. 

A great tip many people don’t know about and do is get the home or apartment inspected.  Just like when you buy a car you want to know what you’re getting.  You have the engine checked, tires are good, and nothing is on the verge of breaking.  Why do you do this?  You want your car to be safe.  A house or apartment should be treated no differently.

Hire a home inspector before you buy or rent something.  A home inspector with a good reputation will tell you all the details you need to know about your home.  They will be able to inform you about any issues or things that they feel you should know about.  Their opinion will be like an unbiased third-party opinion that can help you make your decision or use to get a lower price on a place.

This might sound odd to some people, but take a look around the neighborhood.  Drive by at different hours of the day and days of the week.  Maybe take a test drive from your potential new home to your work at the time you would typically be going to know what your commute will be like.  Make mental notes of how far the grocery store is, the doctor, a hospital, pharmacy, and anything else.  If you have kids look at schools.  If you don’t have kids look anyway because if you do choose to have them, you want the best education for them in safe and clean environment.

Maybe not all of these tips apply to everyone, but you can always modify them so they are more tailored to you. 

Up to this point through the guidebook you have: picked out your needs, you know what kind of area you want to live in, you chose your home buying option, and you have hopefully narrowed it down to some choices.  The ideal number of places you should be choosing between in the end is 5 then narrowed down to 3 and lastly down to the final choice.

In the following chapter, you will learn about home renovations, if you need to do any to your new home.  If renovations don’t really apply to you then there will be links to some easy DIY projects for your home.  Keep reading on below!

These are only a few of the home buying tips.  Check out some of the resources below to learn about other home buying tips.

If you’re moving to anywhere in Orange County take a look at these highly rated home inspectors of the area.

Chapter 4: How to Keep Any Renovation Costs Low with Some Simple Tips 

home renovations

 

At this point you have your new home picked out.  It hopefully most if not all your needs.  It’s in the perfect area for you or you and your family.

Maybe during your walk through of your new home, you made some mental notes of what renovations you might need to do.  Whether it’s replacing some appliances, repainting a room to a different color, or redoing a room or two or more. 

Renovation costs can add up quickly and before you know it you spent more than you initially wanted to.  To keep your renovation costs low and have an amazing product, take a look at the renovation tips below.

It may seem contradictory to title of this chapter since you’re trying to keep costs low, but one thing you don’t want to skimp on is materials.  The saying “you’re going to get what you pay for” reigns true in this case.  Cheaper materials may seem like a promising idea at first, but down the line you’ll be right back to renovating it and spending even more on materials.  Save your time and hard-earned money by taking the money to spend on good materials.  And if you can’t afford it now and this isn’t a necessary renovation then put money away for this project later.

Measure twice, cut once.  It’s the saying of may carpenters and contractors.  If you don’t measure it correctly the first time then you may have to start over and need to go out and buy more materials.  You don’t want to do that.  Make sure your dimensions for whatever you’re building are correct.  If you’re replacing or updating a door frame then dimensions are important.  You don’t want an asymmetrical door frame or a frame that is too big or small for your door.  So, make sure you’re measuring correctly and down to the smallest increment you can.  A half an inch can make a significant difference.

Just like before you cut anything, you want to do the initial prep work.  You don’t want eyeball things even if you’re confident you can’t do it wrong.  Prep is important.  It’ll save you time and money in the long run and afterwards you have a nicer final product that you can take pride in.

If you’re doing a whole room this can be costly, but it can be even more costly if you don’t have a plan.  Many people make the mistake when it comes to redoing a room is to completely strip the room.  Decide where to start and each step after.  When you have a plan, you have more control of the situation.  You can better visualize where material is going and how much any surprise changes or additions you want to make can be accounted for in your renovation budget.

If you choose to repaint a room you come to find that paint isn’t cheap.  When you have to do multiple coats then the paint costs start to add up and eat away at your budget.  But we all know that your paint job won’t last forever.  When you’re moving furniture back into the room you might nick the wall or a couple months later you notice some chipping in the paint or you missed a spot.  Nothing will upset you more than when you go to get the old paint out it’s dried or separated.  To avoid paying for more paint later on for touchups store your paint and any other materials correctly.  They will last longer and you won’t need to spend money replacing improperly stored materials. 

Another renovation tips is if you decide to go on the route of a contractor.  Contractors are great because they take hassle away of having to do the renovations yourself.  But be cautious.  Be sure to read reviews of different contractors in your area to know the person you’ll be paying will do an excellent job for a good deal and won’t be spending months on a project that could take a few weeks. 

Here are some contractors that are well reviewed in Orange County.

If you want to know more about renovating and remodeling and how to save money while doing it, click on the links below to learn more.

 

Chapter 5: Why Good Movers Can Make All the Difference in a Successful Move

movers

 

By this point in the guide you have most likely made it official which home you have chosen.  Papers have been signed and payments are in place.  Now it is time for the part most people dread most, moving.

It’s not easy packing up all your belongings and deciding what’s worth going and what might have to stay behind.  Then packing it all into a truck can be just as stressful.  You might be asking friends or family to come help you move.  Not everyone will be able to help and some people might try to get out of it no matter how close you are because well…nobody likes moving even if they’re not the ones moving.

That is why moving companies exist.  They provide the manpower to move boxes from your old home to the truck and from the truck to your new home.  They also will help moving the boxes from the truck into your new home. 

But, you don’t want any just movers.  You want ones that have a good reputation who are known to be helpful, efficient, and well-priced.  These are the people that are handling your belongings from old home to new home so you don’t want anything less than the best.

The best way to start choosing movers is check out reviews and get recommendations by word of mouth.  Nothing is more reliable than people’s opinions in this case.  A company can talk about their prices and services, but it’s the reviews of the people that matter. 

Search for moving companies in your local phone book, online, and advertisements.  In this day in age a simple Google search can return thousands of results of moving companies near you.

Once you have found some moving companies that seem to fit what you want you want to do your research about them.  Use Business Bureau (bbb.org) to check out your potential moving company is accredited by them.  It’ll help to make sure you won’t be scammed or lose money.

Next you want to check out their pricing.  Moving price estimates aren’t really something that can be done online.  You may think one thing about how much stuff you have to move and the company might think something else.  Rather than be surprised if the bill is more than you thought have a person at the moving company come out and give you an in-person price estimate.

Not only do you get a more accurate estimate, but the way they go about making their estimate can give you an idea about their company.  If the estimator takes quick glances or doesn’t seem to focus on what they’re doing that should raise a few eyebrows.  Estimators, if the come from a reputable company, will look at things in detail to give you the correct estimate.

Also, don’t take just one moving companies word for how much it’ll cost.  Have a few companies in mind and have each one come out and give you an estimate.  You might find one has a better price than the other or one might cost a little more, but they have much better service.  The decision is up to you, but don’t get caught in one option.

One of the best resources you can check out is from Real Simple.  They go over the steps on how to hire mover.  They don’t just talk about picking a mover, but how to know you’re getting a fair price estimate from a trusted moving company.  Link Below!

12 Steps to Hiring a Mover  | Real Simple

Movers can sometimes be a risky move if you don’t do it right.  You don’t want to pack a truck full of your belongings only to find things missing or worse, the truck never shows up!  Below are sites filled with tips to hiring the right moving company to go along with the steps on how to find a moving company. 

Tips include…

Another great resource of backed moving companies in Orange County can be found below.

Chapter 6: How to Make Packing Easier with Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

packing boxes

 

You’ve picked your home.  You’ve picked your movers and now it’s time to start packing up boxes of your belongings.

When most people start packing boxes, they go room by room and fill boxes.  When one box is full they grab an empty one and continue tossing stuff in boxes.  That may be quick, but when it comes to unpacking it might be a headache.  Things aren’t organized and when you’re unpacking in a sea of boxes it can be daunting to know what goes where.

Instead use these tips, tricks, and hacks to help packing and unpacking less stressful. 

Food is one thing many people can forget.  You’re used to keep your fridge and pantry stocked and when it gets low you refill it.  Well when you move it might not be that easy.  The last thing you want to worry about is food when it comes to moving day.

To avoid wasting food that’s still good or throwing away money from uneaten groceries take a quick inventory of what you do have.  Plan out your meals two or three weeks ahead that won’t create much leftovers and use up what you have around the house without having to do the weekly big grocery haul.  Instead you'll be buying groceries that complete your planned-out meals.

Another thing before you pop off to the store to buy boxes try stopping by local shops.  Your local grocery store and businesses that receive shipments might have some extra boxes or boxes that are being tossed in the trash.  You’re not going to be displaying these boxes so why spend the money on brand new ones when you can get ones for free.  Plus, you help reduce waste by reusing old boxes.

As you pack your boxes up you can get a sharpie and label them.  You can write what is in them if it helps you later, but the best tip is to write what room they’re meant to go in!  When you get to your new place the first thing you can do is move each box to their correct room and unpack rooms one by one without racing from one end of your home to another.  Be sure to write what room on the top, bottom, and sides so no matter what angle you or some helping you move can see easily.  If writing might be missed than try some colorful tape for color corresponding rooms.

If you need to dissemble any furniture you have in your home to save room in the truck can be a disaster later if you don’t do it right.  To start have a Ziploc bag to place screws, bolts, and anything else that corresponds to that piece of furniture.  If it’s a more complicated built piece of furniture take pictures with your phone of what screws go where and what pieces fit with what to save frustration later.  Once it’s all deconstructed label the bag with what piece of furniture it goes to.  It might help to have a small box full of furniture hardware so later all you need to do is reach in and grab the correct bag.

Another great tip is for clothes, pillows, towels, and bedding is to use giant Ziploc bags that are made to have the air sucked out of them.  It may not seem like it, but things like clothes and bedding take up a lot of room after a while.  Why?  It’s all that air that gets stuck in there so if you suck all the air out with vacuum then you have yourself packed away clothes, towels, and bedding that take up less than half the room they originally did!

Do you have a lot of electronics in your house?  All of those wires and how to wire them back can get confusing.  Make it easier on yourself or whoever is plugging everything back in by taking a picture.  Get behind your computer or TV and snap a picture of the back.  Then you know what wire goes where without having to guess, making you more and more frustrated.

Last great tip that is so simple it’s amazing that many people don’t do this!  Before you put anything in the boxes, cut handles into them.  All you need to do is a cut an oval or a rectangle, but not all the way around.  Leave the top of the shape uncut so all you have to do is fold it up and into the box.  It’ll make it easier to hold later rather than have cardboard cutting into your hand.

Check out other great moving tips, tricks, and hacks below!

Chapter 7: How to Make Moving Day Less Stressful for Everyone Involved

 

The big day has come.  It’s moving day!

The fridge and freezer have been cleaned out, you’re doing the last sweeps of room to make sure nothing gets left behind and all that is left is moving boxes from inside your old home into a moving truck or your car. 

You most likely aren’t doing this job alone.  You probably have friends and family helping you or some movers coming to move boxes to their truck.  It can get stressful between making sure everything gets packed, nobody breaks anything, and keeping track of what is going where.  It’s a lot for someone so here are way to make your moving day less stressful.

Just like every chapter before that you have read and learned, a game plan is a must.  This keeps your organized and makes sure everything stays on track.  No one will be left standing around wondering what to do if you have a game plan.

You can’t control the weather so don’t forget about it!  Check the forecast for the day.  If you’re lucky it’ll be clear outside with no rain.  If you’re not so fortunate then you might be rushing to move boxes from the house to the car without them getting soaked.  You don’t want to be stuck moving things in rain so if it looks like it’s going to be bad weather to move on where it’s not safe or comfortable for your friends, family, or movers then you may need to change your moving day date.

Another great thing to do is keep a small basket of snacks out for people.  Have granola bars, protein bars, pieces of fruit, and anything else that’s enough to give someone a quick boost of energy.  You’ll hear less complaining when people start asking when is it time to eat.

One big stress creator on moving day is time.  Time isn’t infinite and sometimes it might feel like you’re pressed for time as you move.  To help reduce the time stress take the time to account for time in your game plan.  Plan out how much time a certain task should take.  What really helps is to start early!

Things happen.  Maybe someone doesn’t show up or the movers are late.  Whatever it is, it’s safe to bet you didn’t account for it in your game plan.  Instead of spiraling into a panic of what to do because there’s a bump in the road, work with what happened.  If the movers are late, try to move boxes closer to the door so all they need to do is walk in, grab a box, and go.  If someone is missing try to account for the extra time it might take now to move boxes.

Maybe you got distracted in getting all your last-minute stuff packed.  Make the end of moving day better and have an overnight bag.  Have a change of clothes, toiletries, toothbrush, and whatever else you normally would pack.  It makes this kind of stuff easily accessible when you need it when you get to your destination rather than rummaging through boxes to find the toothpaste.  If you are moving with a family then make sure they have a bag too. 

No one can predict the future so you can’t predict exactly what will happen on your moving day.  Things most likely will go wrong!  People don’t show up, moving is taking longer than you expected, the movers are late.  Whatever it is it’ll get stressful. 

So, don’t disregard the amazing ways to make moving day less stressful.  There are more to follow with the amazing resources found below.

You’ve done it!  You have completed the guide and hopefully you feel more confident in your moving skills.  You now know how to know your need, how to pick your home and its location, choosing your movers, packing with tips and tricks, and lastly you know how to make your moving day less stressful.

Since this guidebook is best catered to the Orange County, California area there is a bonus chapter included about Orange County.  Check it out just below!

Bonus Chapter: Getting to the Orange County, California Community

orange county skyline

 

Congratulations on your move to Orange County!  Hopefully the guidebook has really helped you in your entire moving process.  Here you will find amazing links about Orange County.  Life in Orange County is like no other and you can find unique, fun things to do wherever you go.  Check out all the amazing things Orange County can offer to you.

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