If you missed it, We’re Moving!!!! So now it’s time to get in the nitty-gritty…
Show of hands, how many people DISLIKE packing? How many of you simply have thrown in the towel and PAY someone else to do the dirty deed for you?
I can’t express to you how EXCITED I am about this move. Not only am I IN LOVE with this house, but the best part is, this will be our Forever Home. This is a blessing because, I myself have moved at least 19 times in my almost 30 years. (repeat the latter number and I’ll find you.) That being said, I would say I do have a good grip on my packing/unpacking skills, as well as some great tips to help the Not-So-Experienced “Mover” Move. I hope these ideas help you out! And remember, we all have those a-mazing Tetris skills from “back in the day”, so that will be your greatest weapon… USE IT!
Packing tips to make the transition easier!
1. Start Early!- No matter if you’re buying or renting… usually we all know at least 30 days in advance that we are moving. So this gives AMPLE time to get ready! Waiting to the last-minute will only make you feel overwhelmed, and takes away from time that you can be devoting to last-minute paper work, cleaning, etc. I started packing the day we had our contracts signed!
2. Find boxes from friends Here is the social media status you need to post right this minute… “On the look out for boxes and old newspapers…Any size will do! Thanks!” Within hours of posting this I had more than enough supplies offered to us! (It might even lead to a, “Hey we can help you move!” offer! -SCORE!)
3. Pack one room at a time- This will help you really figure out what is done, and what isn’t. If you’re at all like me, I panic at the thought of leaving something behind. So I find it easier to let this fear go if I am certain that the entire room is packed.
4. Designate a “Box Zone”- Making a Box Zone helps you to stay on top of the box clutter. No one likes to live in a box filled room (other than my 4-year-old). So remember to try to keep those boxes hidden away in an already packed room. For example: I packed up my dining room first and designated it the Box Zone, because this is a room that we can live without for a month, and still survive. I also set up stations in this room. All the full boxes are stacked starting a far corner, then I use the dining table as a station for newspaper, tape, scissors, etc. And next to that I have the “box” station for empty boxes. This stops your house from being cluttered up in packing supplies.
5. Tape the bottom, fold the top- I have found that it is not necessary to tape both the top and bottom… It’s a waste of tape, AND TIME.
6. Utilize supplies that you already have- Paper towels, paper plates, and household linens are equal to newspaper and bubble wrap. This is a HUGE money saver!!! That way, all you need is the newspaper that your scored from #2.
7. Box space is prime real estate!- Think of ways to utilize box space. A great way to do this is to have more than one box going at a time so you can plan ahead. As long as you aren’t overloading the box with weight, I would try to use to Tetris Skills from when you were a kid. See Mom, those wasted hours of video game time are paying off!
8. De-clutter- This one is one of the most satisfying! I use the “Silver Rule” for this one. (next best to the Golden) It is as follows: “If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months to a year. GET RID OF IT.” Yes… I’m talking about those pants that haven’t fit since baby #1. Honestly… if I lose the weight, instead of wearing old jeans… wouldn’t it be nice to treat yourself to new ones AFTER your hard work? Other items to toss in the trash or chuck in the donate piles are: unused toys (fast food junk), mates to missing Tupperware, old books that we didn’t like the first read, expired items in the medicine cabinet, old lotion bottles, cooking utensils from No Man’s Land, etc…
9. Label everything- These are key to organization, and less headache at the new place. What room it belongs in, color coding, (easier for someone who doesn’t know your house plans to find its location), the contents, if it’s breakable, when to open it (First vs Last). etc… The more you label the easier the process! So be nice to yourself!
10. Watch your weight!- Don’t over pack! It took me a few tries to understand that moving one heavy box isn’t as bad, but moving a whole load of them can equal a tired and cranky husband. So I really try to watch the weight… and mark things that may be too heavy. A way to insure this is by leaving those HUMONGOUS boxes for big bulky light items, like pillows, stuffed animals, etc.This is also helpful for those nice people who offered to help! We don’t know their personal restraints, and honestly.. I don’t want to be the cause of them either.
11. Use those old Shoe Boxes- I know there was a reason I saved those old shoe boxes! They are great for the VERY breakable things. Movers will spot them easier, and will take more care when loading the truck. I use them for: dried wedding flowers, glass candle sticks, candles, small fragile trinkets, etc…
12. Wardrobe malfunctions- There are a few tricks to packing up the wardrobe. For hanging items, a wardrobe box is GREAT.. But if you aren’t lucky enough to snag some, try this… Garbage bags upside down over clothes hangers, tie on the bottom, and through a whole twist tie all the hangers together. This will prevent a tangled and wrinkled mess. Also, if you are only moving 5-10 miles away (or less than 1 if you are us) leave clothes in drawers! Just lay a towel over them to prevent something from falling out, and also to hide your guchies. juuuust sayin’.
13. Minimize to the essentials- We are about 3 weeks from moving day BUT, my kitchen is already packed!! I kept out a few things to make things livable in the meantime. Here is my list: 1 pot, 1 pan, 2 mixing bowls, crock-pot, 1 casserole dish, 1 flat pan, 2 kids cup per kid, 1 butcher knife, 2 dinner knives, and a few cooking utensils. THAT’S IT! WOW! For the next few weeks we will be using paper products, plates, plastic ware, cups, napkins, etc… Easy cleanup AND we WILL survive. I also packed up every room in this manner. If you will need to place these essentials in a box to move, then if you are able do it now, and leave it be. For example, I put all of our fish tank stuff in a box and set it next to the tank. The little guy will need fed in the next few weeks, so its needed to leave out, but it is also ready to be packed up for moving day! We will be so busy in the next 3 weeks, all that extra stuff wouldn’t even get used anyways… so why wait?
14. Prevent Mess- To prevent spills, place everything liquid in gallon zip-lock bag. You can also use saran wrap over top of items and place the cap back on.This creates a seal in-between the bottle and the lid. No one wants to open up their essentials box and find their toothbrush has been soaking in shampoo all day.
15. Toys- I packed up the majority of the kids stuff. I kept out their favorite items, and enough to keep them busy for the next few weeks. I kept in mind that it is warmer weather, so the kids will be spending most of their time outside anyways! Then on moving day, they can pack up their remaining items to take to the new place. This gives them ownership, and also comfort knowing they having control of that treasured item.
16. Pieces and Parts- Everyone has at least a few items that need to be taken apart for easy moving. So place screws and assembly parts in a zip-lock bag and tape to the furniture item. This prevents anything from getting lost, or scrambling through boxes to find where they are.
17. Yard sale!- Remember that pile of items that we are de-cluttering? Well why not make some dough off them? After all, moving isn’t cheap and I’m sure you would like to change a few things at the new place. So a yard sale is a great way to do this! Someone else’s junk is someone else’s treasure! I already have in mind what I’m using our profit for. So while de-cluttering, keep a box open in the room for Yard Sale storage. And also designate a location specific for the yard sale items. This way nothing gets confused or lost among other boxes.
18. Hold off on groceries- For me this one is simple. Since I do all our shopping once a month I can plan that it will be grocery time after move in day. It’s pretty self-explanatory. A full fridge/freezer means you have to figure out a way to pack and keep all these items fresh/cool during the move. So use up what you have so that moving day is less spoiled!
19. Prep a plan of action for Moving Day- Moving day can be a stressful day. So make a list, and check it twice. Make a plan for who is going to be stationed where. Un-loaders, loaders, un-packers, kid/pet watchers, etc. Where are you landing zones going to be located? What vehicles will be used? Do you have moving supplies needed: tools, dollies, furniture blankets, etc. And don’t forget about meals. More volunteers = more food. You don’t want them fending for themselves or moving YOUR stuff on empty bellies. Which brings me to my last tip…
20. GET HELP!- Moving is no easy job. It can take DAYS if you’re on your own. So asking for help is crucial. Like I noted before, you’ll want people to help with all sorts of things, so figure out what each person will thrive doing. Muscles = lifting, No lifting allowed = packers/ cleaners, etc. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help in the beginning stages too. Packing can go quicker if you have some extra hands. Bribing with food/ or beverage helps!
I hope these tips make your prep for moving easier. I know that I have learned something new each time we move, so don’t’ get discouraged! Leaving for a new home can sure be bittersweet. Leaving old memories behind, with the potential of a blessed future someplace new is such a strange feeling. So enjoy these steps, be aware of your emotions, and just keep moving forward!
Stay tuned for some facts on the actual Moving day!