Moving is full of excitement, change, stress and unknowns! It is considered to be the third most stressful thing you can do in your life, with death and divorce being the only things more stressful. Yikes! While you can’t control everything, you can implement the following tips to possibly lessen the load. When it’s all said and done you will be in your new home and there is a lot to look forward to. So it’s time to buckle down and get the hard work done so you can move on to the fun!
General Moving Tips
You may have moved a few times before or maybe this is your first time. Either way, here are a few things to consider that will make your transition easier.
- Decide if you will hire professional movers or do it yourself. If you hire professionals you will want to do your research and get quotes. Ask the moving company to come out to your home to give you a more thorough quote. You can hire them to do all the work of packing, loading, driving and unpacking or you can hire them to do a partial amount of the work. They offer different options to best suit your needs and your budget. Either way, hiring professionals will come with a price. The question you will need to ask yourself: Is it more stressful to do all the work or to pay a high price? Go with the least stressful option if possible.
- Plan out your moving schedule. You may need to plan your move around your work schedule or your kid’s school schedule. In addition, you will want to plan out when you will do what. If it is a local move, you will have a bit more flexibility as to when the utilities are switched over or when your mail will start and stop at each location. If you are moving long distance, you will want to be very specific in your time frame and schedule the utilities and mail carefully.
- Prepare for packing by getting a variety of packing materials. You want to be careful not to get boxes that are too big. Big boxes are easily over packed with heavy items and become impossible to carry.
- When you are in the middle of working, it’s annoying to have to stop packing to go get forgotten supplies. Try to stock up on things like packing tape, boxes, markers, bubble wrap and newspaper. Using different colored tape and markers will help you organize your boxes. Remember, the more information you put on the box, the easier it will be for you at your destination. With the different kinds and colors of tape available now, you can get very creative and make your move easier. Consider designating a color for each room. You can know that all the living room boxes will end up in your new living room and that your silverware won’t end up under the box of tools in the garage.
- Take advantage of this time and use it as an opportunity to declutter. Everyone needs to declutter from time to time and since you will have to sort through every item you own anyway, you might as well clean out some things. Essentially, the more you give away, the less you have to pack and unpack! Use different colored trash bags to help you sort your things. Work in one room at a time and designate a Trash bag (a white bag) and a Donate bag (a black bag) for each room. Depending on your situation you may need to add a Storage bag or box as well. Start by going through the entire room and donating and trashing anything that you don't absolutely need in your life anymore. When you fill the bag up, take it out. Don’t let the bags pile up and clutter the space visually, as it will only produce more stress. You may have a week or two where you make a run to the local donation center each day. After you have cleared out the clutter, it’s time to start packing!
- Start packing the rooms of the house that aren’t essential for your everyday needs. All the decor and books in the living room can be packed and the boxes stacked in the corner. Off seasonal clothes can also be packed, as well as the extra linens. Try to get a few rooms completely done. It will give you a great sense of accomplishment to get an entire room checked off your “to do” list. You can also pack non essentials in your kitchen. A week before the move, it’s time to grab a pack of disposable plates, cups, napkins, forks and knives. Start to clean out your pantry and fridge. Donate canned goods and toss perishables like sauces that are half used. Buy easy to fix and eat foods for your last week. Things like fruit, sandwich ingredients and frozen pizzas will be very helpful while you are packing up your pots and pans.
- A few days before your move, pack a weekend bag of clothes and toiletries. Use this bag for getting ready each day and begin packing your clothes and the rest of your bathroom items.
- Don’t pack your cleaning items! You will need your household cleaning items as you empty each room. As soon as a room is packed and loaded, give it a quick clean. More than likely, if it is not a long distance move, you will need to plan time to come back to your old house to finish cleaning in the kitchen, bathroom and garage.
In a perfect world we have ample time to make a moving plan and implement it with precision and care. In a realistic world, often you have to move quite quickly. If that is the case for you, here are some additional things to consider.
- Enlist help. Have a packing party and invite a few of your friends to help you with the bulk of the work on a weekend. Prep for your party with plenty of packing supplies, pizza, soda and music. Tape a list of simple instructions on the wall of each room so everyone is clear on what needs to be done. Consider getting a “thank you” gift for your helpers, but don’t make it too complicated.
- If you can swing it financially, hire a moving company to do the loading, driving and unloading for you. This will save you tons of time. While the movers are loading, you can be doing the final cleaning of each room so that when the truck pulls out, you are ready to turn in your keys.
- Allow yourself a fast food budget for your quick move. You won’t have time to cook and clean up after each meal. Have some fruit and drinks on hand and grab the rest of your meals out to save a lot of time during a fast move.
- With limited amounts of time to pack everything, decluttering will be critical to making your move fast. Let go of anything you haven’t used or enjoyed in the last 6 months. Larger items can be picked up by donation centers and will free up a lot of time you would have spent loading the unneeded item in the moving truck.
No matter what your moving circumstances are, planning, preparing and staying positive are going to help you make the transition successfully.