THANK YOU so much for your tips for packing on my last post. I really really appreciate your help! I’ve already put some of your tips to good use. We’re still involved with packing and we will be for the next few weeks. This is the sixth time that I’ve moved in my life, and though I’m no expert, I’ve found a few things that have helped me.
I thought it would be good to start in parts. One bite at a time. First step to moving is getting organized! You must lay the foundation to make the transition smoother. I know, I know! It’s easier said that done.
Where to start?
-Figure out your move out date. Find out when you get the keys to your new place. You might get lucky and be able to move in over a longer period of time. But! That shouldn’t mean you should take your time on moving. If you don’t power through and go full steam ahead, you might not be ready when you REALLY have to be out. This has totally happened to me.
-Do a once over in your home and get rid of stuff. What are the essentials? What will definitely not fit in your new house? What would you not want to move? Make lists of what you would like to keep/sell/donate furniture wise and create a game plan with that. Plan a day to take photos for your items to Ebay/Craigslist! If you can’t sleep at night because you’re thinking too much about this move (ahem, ME) make lists before bed and get things on paper.
-Figure out if you will be moving yourself, renting a truck or asking friends & family to help. If you are renting a truck or getting the help of friends/family, put it on your calendar and coordinate.
-Will you have movers help you? When we moved into our house, we finally splurged and paid a moving company to move us. It was the best money we ever invested! As much as it’s nice to have friends help you, you won’t necessarily be able to ask your friend to replace something they damaged during the move. Remember: You MUST be ready for them when they come to pick up your stuff. You also have the option of hiring a few organizers to help you pack up your stuff. From what I’ve heard is that they pack everything that’s in one cabinet in one box. So if you had a random toy hanging out in your cabinet full of plates, you’d find it there.
When you’re at the stage when you’re ready to start packing:
-Gather your packing supplies. ALWAYS have enough packing tape & boxes. I can’t stress this ENOUGH! You don’t want to have a reason to have to stop. When you’re on a roll you have to keep going! Also…TAPE GUN?!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE??! For this move, we decided to buy boxes. We don’t have the time to hunt for ones behind grocery stores (there aren’t that many at ours! I looked!). They are pretty inexpensive and if you find ones at Lowe’s they have punch outs on the sides of their boxes so you can hold on to something while you lift up the box. Home Depot boxes are more of a label lovers box. They have a section where you mark which room the box goes to is from and you mark a box if it’s fragile or not. It’s a nice idea, but somehow I ignore all the writing… and the fact that it says Home Depot on it. You also might want to check Craigslist for boxes that people are getting rid of as well as the website Used Cardboard Boxes if you have a little more time before you have to get started.
-Start with one room at a time. I know this sounds impossible but…it will feel less daunting and more productive when you have a whole room done. I’m really struggling with this now because we didn’t do this. I have like 4 rooms in disarray and random stuff hanging out in the most peculiar places. It makes my High Straightenence brain GO NUTS. Part of the problem is that we need to have our essentials still in place so we can live in our house until we have to be out. My kitchen is about 1/4 packed because I’m hoping to do some recipes in my kitchen before we leave. Big sigh!
-Make a bunch of boxes before you start on a room. That way you can go BAM BAM BAM.
-Figure out how you want to label all of your boxes and STICK TO IT. I write the name of the room I packed on top of the box as well as a brief description of what’s in it. I then write the name in the upper right hand corner on all 4 sides and write two words that would help me jog my memory of what’s in it. If a box is full of ESSENTIALS, then I put the word ESSENTIAL on the box. I know people who make spreadsheets of their boxes and they find it super helpful. I think that putting different colored tape on the outside of boxes would help you prioritize too! I saw different color duct tape (including zebra & leopard!) at Home Depot.
-Divide and conquer! After 5 moves with my husband, we realized that I’m better at packing small individual things and organizing boxes while he excels at doing all the labor of moving boxes, making the boxes and figuring out what to get rid of. Every night we check in and figure out what needs to be done for the next day and create a new game plan based on that.
-Some people (ahem, my husband!) will tell you that cleaning and straightening up your house while you’re moving is useless. If it makes you feel better, than you should do it! It’s really hard to go through the process of moving and if you don’t feel like your home feels like home it can be super stressful. Do what you need to! To reduce the clutter, I like to have all of the boxes out of the way after I pack them. Right now our dining room is housing them. It drove me bonkers when there were boxes throughout my kitchen.
-If friends & family offer to help you, TAKE their help. I shouldn’t have to tell you why! You can even throw a party around it. Make things easy and order pizza, supply the drinks and let people go to town. Just remember…your friends & family most likely aren’t professional packers… They need direction and you should be organized with what you need them to do when they show up to your house.
Now I’m off to continue packing! More soon next week. Wish me luck!