Even if you are not planning a move for yourself, you probably need to read this post. Even if you are staying put, perhaps you have children who are ready to move from home to college or from college back home. Or maybe they are just moving from one apartment to another one across town. Maybe you have an elderly parent who is moving to a smaller home, or maybe you are ready to pack up your childhood home after someone’s death. As dreaded as they are, moves are probably in most of our futures. The size and kind of moves might be different, but the steps we need to take to make a move easier are all the same. And believe me, after just going through a move, I guarantee that doing these things will make your move easier.
Have a Plan for Your Move
I have always been a list maker – like since the fourth grade. I love getting out my planner and making lists. It has always helped me stay sane. If I have it on paper, then I can relax about a task or a to-do list. Even though we travel frequently and I often take similar items on my trips, I still make a list for every trip. So, take it from me. If you have your move planned on paper, you will just feel better about the tasks ahead of you.
As soon as you find out that a move is imminent, get started. Some of the steps in this blog post require early action. Read on, and you will see what they are. A smooth and organized move takes time, and waiting till the last minute to get everything accomplished might just make it a hot mess. For example, do you have pets to deal with? Who will keep them? How will they adjust? Do you need to schedule time in pet care for them? Do you need to buy a pet carrier or buy a plane ticket for them? Have you filled out your address change forms at the post office? If you are moving to a new town, have you had your medical files forwarded? Did you register your children at their new school? Have you found a new bank? All of these things need to be done early so this important family member has a smooth transition.
Schedule Your Movers/Truck Rental
If you are hiring a moving company to move your packed items to your new home, then schedule them early. They book way in advance. The end of the month and summers are their busiest times so it’s important to get on their calendar early. Ditto, if you are planning to rent a moving truck and move yourself. Schedule as soon as you know there’s a move. If you are asking some friends to help you, get on their calendars early, too. And be sure to buy their lunch and pay for their gas on moving day.
Have the Right Equipment
If you have a moving company doing all of your packing, then lucky you. Unfortunately, I am the chief packer in these parts. We have made several moves over the years. Some were biggies from one state to another, and others were small from one house to another in the same town. If you are moving, though, things have to be packed. It keeps them organized and protected from loss and breakage. The items that help me make packing easier start with moving boxes in several sizes. Because books are so heavy, they go in small boxes so you (or someone) will still be able to lift them easily. Appliances, like a counter top mixer and lamps, go into big boxes. They pretty much have boxes for everything. There are special boxes for goblets and glasses, boxes for dishes, boxes for clothing, etc. Also have plenty of bubble wrap for protecting glass items and delicates, wrapping paper, box packaging tape, markers, scissors, and several sizes of ziploc bags that will corral small items so they won’t fall through the cracks.
Have a Place to Work
Pick out a place in your home to do your packing. Someplace that is centrally located yet not in the middle of all of the action works best. When packing items upstairs, I set up a packing station in the guest bedroom. I was surrounded by everything that I needed and just worked away. When the upstairs was packed up, then I moved my command station to the kitchen table, which was out of the traffic pattern. Since it’s just the two of us here, it was a good place to work. We just ate our meals at the kitchen bar so that I didn’t have to move my packing items for meal time.
Have a Place to Stack Packed Boxes
Mr. Right moved the boxes out of my way as I packed them. We lined the walls with them in the great room and in the kitchen. He stacked them as high as they would safely go. They were out of my way, and I could do my thing without being hindered by them.
Have a Donation Pile
As you are packing, you will come across items that you don’t like any more, don’t need, or just don’t want. If you are have a moving sale, then put these items in a moving sale pile. If you are donating them to Goodwill, etc., then put them in a pile and periodically make a trip to the donation site. Just be sure to keep them out of your working area. When we moved into this house, I had a donation pile in the corner, and as it grew and grew, I decided to turn those items into a moving sale. I ended up making $1,000. on sale day and sold every single item. For this move, I don’t have time to have a sale.
These are the steps I have been taking, but I must admit that I’m still feeling stressed. We have so many piles – apartment pile, things to give Bobo when the fixer upper is finished, donation pile, things to store at the storage center, things to store in our finished garage. Eeeeek! I keep telling myself this is temporary, and I am so thankful to have a home.