Summer is a time when lots of people are moving and I've been getting lots of questions on the topic. Since I've moved over 15 times in my life (many of the interstate moves) and also have helped several clients move, here are some of my best tips to help you make the transition to your new home with a lot less stress.
MAKE IT EASY FOR THE MOVERS AND YOURSELF BY PACKING WITH THE END IN MINDMake a list of the rooms in your new home. Establish unique names for each room in your new home. So if you have 2 bathrooms, you could say Master Bath and Guest bath. Same with Bedrooms. On moving day you will put a Jumbo Post-it or sheet of paper with the room name on each door. As you pack, label all boxes with the rooms they will be going to - using the exact same room name. Have the movers put the boxes in the appropriate rooms. (Same goes with furniture, you can pin room labels to things after wrapping them in cloth.)
MOVING AND PACKING SUPPLIES
- Bubble wrap / newsprint
- Labeler (optional)
- Box sealing tape
- Donation bags and boxes for breakables
- Trash bags
- Recycling containers
- Furniture pads/Blankets (may be provided by your mover)
As you pack:
- Use 2-4 sizes of boxes and try to make them consistent so that they stack easily.
- Mark the contents directly on the box with a marker. INCLUDE THE ROOM NAME they will be going to and a number. e.g. JJ's BEDROOM #4 Do not use Post-its on the boxes. You can use labels. I personally list as much detail as possible so that I don't have to open all the boxes later if I'm looking for one thing.
- Start packing AS SOON AS you know you will be moving. Shoot for 3 months before the move (if you can) so that you have time to declutter as you pack without stressing out.
- Set aside one room or area for all your newly packed boxes to be stored till moving day.
- Start with long term storage areas / cabinets / drawers etc. and pack things you don't use often into their own boxes. Mark them as "OPEN LAST."
- When packing things you use often (daily, weekly, monthly) Label those boxes "Open First."
- Fragile, valuable items should be packed according to UPS shipping guidelines which include packing a smaller box inside a larger box filled with insulation. If possible keep these items with you rather than shipping them with the mover.
- Pack light. Keep boxes under 50 lbs or if you are moving yourself, pack them so that you can easily lift and move them. And I don't mean pack as much as you CAN lift. If you are going to be moving 30 or more boxes, the first one feels fine, but they get heavier and heavier with each box! So make it easier on yourself!
PREPARATION CHECKLIST FOR DAY ONE IN YOUR NEW HOME
I recommend creating "DAY ONE SUPPLIES" boxes for things you will need as soon as you arrive in your new home. Also pack suitcases for each member of the family with what you need for at least a few days. If you don't have suitcases, perhaps you could borrow some or just use boxes. Here a few ideas for Day One.
- Sheets and towels
- Alarm Clock
- Favorite Music
- Phone (if you will have a land line)
- Toilet paper
- Cleaning supplies
- A Couple Games / Toys for the kids
- Basic dishes / silverware
- A frying pan and pot
- Shopping List and Take Out / Delivery Menus for the New Location
VITAL PAPERS & ESSENTIALS CHECKLISTOne of the most common complaints I hear about is vital papers getting lost in the shuffle. Don't let this happen to you! Create a single place for all your critical documents. If they are in folders even better. You can get a portable safe / document box or you can use a brief case. But ideally, your documents container should be fireproof and water proof. Here are some of the most common essential documents to keep in a special place.
- New House Keys
- Bills to be paid
- Emergency Contacts
- Phone Number List for Movers and all the new services you will need in your new home
- School Transfer / Immunization / Medical Records for the kids
- Birth Certificates / Adoption Records / Marriage records
- Insurance policies
- Check book
- Legal records and papers related to your new home
- Add your own here....
Should you create an inventory?
I get asked this a lot. The answer is: it depends. For liability reasons, the proper way to do this for insurance purposes is to list all the items, estimate their condition and value, and take photographs.
However, for many ADDers the idea of this is overwhelming. If you can't wrap your head around it, you can hire someone to do it for you before the movers come, or if you are willing to accept the risk, go simple. Before the boxes are moved, a simple inventory listing the Rooms and the number of boxes per room could suffice.
I know it's tempting to research this like crazy....but don't get bogged down with this task. Stay focused on getting packed, getting your address changed with all your billers, getting services shut off in your current place, and getting your new accounts setup in your new place and you will be fine! HGTV's Front Door has a pretty comprehensive Moving Guide Change Your Address Online with USPS You can also pick up a Mover's Guide at your local Post Office. 26 Post I've written on Donating and Recycling Your Stuff Wishing you a stress and hassle-free move!
I know it's tempting to research this like crazy....but don't get bogged down with this task. Stay focused on getting packed, getting your address changed with all your billers, getting services shut off in your current place, and getting your new accounts setup in your new place and you will be fine!
HGTV's Front Door has a pretty comprehensive Moving Guide
Change Your Address Online with USPS You can also pick up a Mover's Guide at your local Post Office.
26 Post I've written on Donating and Recycling Your Stuff
Wishing you a stress and hassle-free move!