Moving in Order
Moving can be stressful but it doesn't have to be. One of my nearest and dearest friends is moving her family 800 miles to North Carolina in search of new adventure. In her honor here are some tips to get her move in order.
1) Start early!! Waiting to the last minute is never a good thing. Especially when it comes to packing. Ideally you want to start the packing process two months prior to the move. So to my dear friend, you need to start in April!
2) Declutter. Even if you hire movers to pack your belongings you will want to start deciding what stays and what goes to your new home. Moving to a warmer climate means you can let go of snow blowers and heavy winter clothing. Go through the entire house room by room and clear out items that you don't want or need before you move. Then you won't have those 5-6 boxes in your new basement that never get unpacked.
Decluttering prior to the move can also help when selling your current house. When your house is clutter free and organized it much more inviting to potential buyers.
3) Label, label, label!! There is no such thing as to much detail when you are labeling a box. Label of the outside top of each box. Putting the label in the same spot on every box will make the process much smoother. Label what room the box goes in (ie. Master bedroom, boys bedroom, kitchen) and what is in it (ie. clothing, toys, pots). Otherwise you will end up with dozens of boxes labeled misc and that isn't helpful at ALL!! I also recommend numbering the boxes and keeping a corresponding list. This will help you ensure all your boxes are delivered, a very important step if your belongings are in storage for a period of time.
4) Last to pack-First to open. This is your survival box. Think of all the things that you and your family will need to make those last days and first days easier. Moving cross country might mean spending the first couple days in a hotel while you are waiting for the moving truck. Make sure everyone has their necessities like medication, clothing, lovies, phone chargers and nightlights. When the truck finally arrives your first to open boxes might include the coffee makers, mugs, bed sheets, blankets and pillows, toilet paper, a first aid kit and some cleaning supplies. With kids you might want to include a few dishes, sippy cups and snack bowls for those hungry tummies. All the essentials to get through the first night and morning in your new house. Make these boxes stand out with extra labels, colored tape or extra big writing.
5) Get the kids involved. Getting your kids involved can help them get excited about the move as well as keep them occupied while you are trying to pack. Help your kids sort and edit their belongs prior to packing. This is a great time to get ride of toys that they no longer play with, crafts that aren't worth packing and clothing that no longer fits.
Have kids sort toys into three categories: Pack, Donate, Trash.
Go through craft bins and have kids test all the markers and pens, keep the ones that work, discard the ones that don't. Depending on the size your marker stash this can keep your kids busy for hours, and give you time to pack in peace!
Let the kids pack a couple boxes. Once items are sorted , have them give packing a try. You might have to do a little re-packing or re-arranging but it will help them feel involved in the process.
Have the kids decorate their boxes. Not only does this keep them occupied it makes figuring out who's box is who's that much easier
If your kids are too young to help consider hiring a babysitter for a couple of hours so you and your partner can get packing done. If a sitter isn't an option divide and conquer, one parent takes the kids and one parent packs. For big or small kids this is an excellent time to take them to favorite zoos, parks, museums, and ice cream shops one last time.
6) Hire an organizer! Having a professional organizer helping you pack will keep you focused and on task. An organizer can also help decrease the cost of moving. Movers charge by weight. An organizer can help you pare down the belongings you move thus decreasing the amount charged by the mover. A professional organizer is also a fantastic addition to the unpacking process. She can get your organized in your new home from day one!
Dog in Box Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash