Moving is stressful. There’s just no way around it. Some things are just par for the course and we have absolutely no control over them (like the ever-shifting closing dates and the never-ending “one more thing” paper work requirements), but there are steps we can take that will help ensure a less chaotic move.
With my recent moving experience still very fresh in my mind, I feel slightly qualified to offer some tips to help you with your next move. So here, in no particular order, are my insights…
- Take it one room at a time. Focus on just 1 room and pack AND clean as you go. It’s the perfect time for cleaning along the baseboards and finding out what’s been hiding under your kids’ beds. Taking these measures as you pack will make your final clean up a whole lot easier. Unless, of course, your rooms are already spit-shined on a regular basis. In which case, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.
- Purge as you pack. When you’re packing those boxes, you should also be making piles for give-away and throw-away. And then, and this is important, every time you leave the house you should be taking your give-away stuff to the appropriate place (such as the local mission or the neighbor who’s getting your kid’s hand-me-downs). Having the stuff you don’t need out of the way will go a long way to helping you think more clearly. A good rule of thumb is: If you haven’t used it or thought about it in 6 months, it needs to go. (Thanks, Aimee!)
- Make to-do lists each morning. Take note of every accomplishment so that you see your progress. Otherwise, you’ll feel overwhelmed every time you look around and see chaos. I may or may not have written stuff on my list after I’d done it just so I could scratch it off.
- Be willing to make concessions. So maybe you don’t normally use paper plates, but if using paper products lets you pack all your plates and glassware then go for it. And maybe you don’t normally let the kids watch 3 hours of TV a day, but if having them out of the way (and still safe) lets you have uninterrupted work time then now’s not the time to be picky.
- Keep a calendar. You can use your smart phone or just plain, old-fashioned pen and paper, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t forget to schedule service connections and disconnections or have your mailing address changed.
- Put everything (and I mean everything) in a box. Of course, you can’t do this right away, but you should begin working toward that goal the moment you have your moving date so that by the time the moving truck (or your uncle’s trailer) pulls up in the yard, you don’t have any loose items that are left scattered about the house. Don’t ask me how I know this…
- Label every box. Be specific. Write the room and the contents on the outside of the box. This is super helpful for finding the band-aids and antibiotic ointment that somebody’s gonna inevitably need. And, don’t be ashamed if you have one or two boxes labeled, “I don’t even know…” ’cause sometimes it’s like that toward the end.
- Pack a suitcase for each family member (or, better yet, have them pack their own). Having a suit case packed with enough clothes and personal hygiene items to last a few days can be a lifesaver if you takes longer to upack than you expected. Which leads me to tip #9…
- Expect the unexpected. Please don’t think your move will be without hiccups. Problems will most likely occur. Maybe the line to your well will get cut by yard equipment and you’ll have no (none, nada, zilch) running water the first night you move in. Or the washing machine will break down or maybe the dryer connections won’t be good. Or possibly the dish washer will get stuck in “lock” mode and not wash your dishes and can only be used as a drying rack. Or you may find that you have little to no cell & internet service making it virtually impossible to run your blog. Or maybe those things only happen to me and you’ll have a smooth as butter, can’t-get-any-better-than-this moving experience. But I doubt it. 😉
Do you have any tried and true moving tips? If so, please, please, please share them in the comments. Somebody somewhere will be so glad you did!