Each year, one in five American families move. Our little family is about to join that number. As I wrote about a few days ago in Houses vs Apartments, we have been overdue for a new place. Moving is difficult enough when planned out weeks in advance. But our move is this Friday, meaning we have two days to pack. We are attempting to perform moving magic. Between Lloyd’s shooting/writing schedule and my classes, this coming weekend was key to get this (amazing) new place set up to be our new home.
After the formalities of paperwork, I found myself diving into best practices of packing, physically moving and settling in. This is when I realized that I was made for moving! Sorting, organizing, labels, color coding, research, decisions and a whole lot of hard work. Because of this, I say bring it on.
We are going from a small one bedroom to a glorious three bedroom. Not only do we have more space, but we’ll have each of our own spaces to work. Finally, another life changing amenity, a washer & dryer!
In all the articles I have sifted through, weeding out clutter was first on the list. Luckily, since I just completed my Make My House Happy Project, most of the sorting/donating has been completed.
The next to-do in packing was making a list, again right up my ally (as seen in my post To-Do or Not To-Do List). List in hand, one builds an idea of how much stuff one has and the boxes required. In addition to needing a list, I am good with limits.
Based upon the moving company we are using, we can have up to 40 boxes. Just my luck I have insider information on some amazing free boxes. Unfortunately for my height, I had to literally dumpster dive to get to them. I set aside my pride and literally jumped in. A few minutes later I reappeared and crammed 20 solid boxes into my car.
Reading these articles was also a great reminder of creative methods to use when packing, like using luggage as boxes, lining boxes of breakables with towels and keeping clothes directly on hangers.
Labeling each box clearly was also stressed. I am saving the formalities of printed labels for the old school black permanent marker method. In addition to listing where the box should go, one should also include remarks like ‘breakable,’ ‘this end up,’ or ‘load last.’
In case you may be in a similar situation, a tight timeline move within the same city, this was a great blog post listing the following tips: http://smallnotebook.org/2009/05/29/how-to-move-in-6-weeks-or-6-days-and-keep-your-sanity/
1. Call in help. Most people spend too much time organizing and thinking about the stuff they need to pack (where it will go in the new house and what they hope to do with it). A friend will just put it in the box. Your goal at this point is to get everything into boxes to go on the truck.
2. Take one morning to make phone calls and reserve the moving truck, transfer utilities, and other jobs. You don’t want to forget to have the electricity turned on at the new place, or pay extra for last-minute hookups.
3. For local moves, resist the urge to make a few car trips over to the new home. It seems nice to take a few boxes over and unpack them, but it is so much more time-efficient to make just one trip with a truck and move everything at once.
4. When you pack, reach for whatever is closest to you. Don’t worry about sorting books into one box and pictures into another. You can organize by location (such as “living room shelf”) instead of item type.
5. Hire help. Consider hiring a cleaning service to take care of cleaning the old home. If a full move isn’t in your budget, perhaps you can afford movers for just two hours to help you load or unload the truck.
6. Donate as much as you can. If you want to sell any of your stuff, advertise it as soon as possible so you don’t have to deal with buyers on moving day.
7. Eat take-out. This isn’t the time to cook and clean up home-cooked meals.
In case your move is much more extensive, like cross country or moving a large home Martha Stewart Moving Checklists offered some great step-by-step guides.
We have been in our current place for the last six and ½ years. It has seen us from girlfriend & boyfriend to Mr. & Mrs. The picture to the left was taken on the day we moved in, both in our twenties.
It was definitely a DIY move: boxing up, lifting furniture, taking multiple trips, painting, fixing it up kind of moving experience. Over six years later, thankfully we now have a few more tricks up our sleeves to pull off this move. Because we are going to need magic to do it.
But this move signifies a new chapter for us. A big change like moving is becoming the new normal for our family. Of course, moving is very stressful, in addition to being expensive. We are both trying to stay positive and keep with the idea below:
So, let’s get moving!!