While moving is a great opportunity to pare down belongings and have a fresh start, it's not on anyone's list of Fun Things to Do. Spending money on the right things, though, can help keep your move smooth and successful. Whether it's to stave off potential moving disasters or to make things just a bit easier on everyone involved, these are the things you should never scrimp on when moving.
1. House cleaners for your old apartment
You're moving on and starting over. Who wants to spend hours scrubbing and dusting a place that's quickly become a part of your past? (But, yeah, you definitely want that deposit back.) Hire cleaners and keep yourself and your energy moving forward.
2. Professional painters
Not only is painting a pain, but no matter how many times you've done it, you just can't do it like the professionals. In addition, you have plenty else to do with packing your old place and moving into your new one. And let's not even bring up the horrifying possibility of having to paint while you're trying to move in.
3. High quality movers
If you're hiring movers, make sure to do your research and hire good ones. (We had to hire movers at the last minute once. Our boxes, which were packed horribly, didn't all fit in their truck. They asked if they could tie them to the back of the truck on the outside instead of trying to make them fit inside. My husband said no way. And it's a good thing because it rained on the way.)
Getting good movers definitely requires planning ahead. Read reviews, make sure the company has proper licensing and insurance, and allow enough time for a few of your top picks to make in-home estimates. Real Simple's 12 Steps to Hiring a Mover is a good guide.
4. The bigger truck
Whether you rent your own truck even if you're hiring movers or you're going the move-yourself route, spring for the bigger truck. It's worth it to pay a bit more and only have to make one trip or, heaven forbid, have to upgrade trucks in the middle of a move. When it comes to details like ramps and low truck beds, also spring for the nicer truck. It'll make the entire process for you and your helpers or movers shorter and easier.
5. Good quality packing supplies
If you're going DIY for your move, budget for and spend on good quality packing supplies. Wrestling with cheap packing tape and trying to find the end of the roll again and again and again—so not worth it. Get the good tape and, more importantly, the good tape gun. Get a roll of bubble wrap and a rolling wand of saran wrap. Invest in colored labels to sort boxes by room and a nice juicy, wide-tip Sharpie. As far as boxes, I personally get what I can from grocery stores and the like. Small liquor boxes are great for heavy items such as books. But for items like hanging clothes, I'll buy boxes specially designed for the job. Just think of what will make everything easier and more organized and realize it's probably worth the cost.
6. Refreshments and food for helpers
Friends that help you move are true friends. Whether it's your co-workers and neighbors or your teenage kid's buddies, make sure you spoil your helpers with good refreshments and a nice meal. They aren't only giving you their time and sweat, but they're uplifting the morale of the entire not-particularly-fun project. Thank them well and send them away with full bellies and happy hearts.