Hi everyone! With both of my kids going off to college this Fall, I decided to downsize and move to a smaller place. Though it’s just in the next town over (about 5 miles away), moving is still a huge undertaking. For the last couple of weeks Emmett and I have been furiously sorting, packing, and labeling all of our belongings in preparation for moving. In the midst of all of my packing, I thought that a handy moving and packing guide would be helpful.
Step 1: Create a Budget
Determine how much you will need to spend on your move. Take in to consideration expenses for hiring a moving company vs. moving it yourself. Include packing supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap, tape, labels, markers, etc. Keep all of your estimates, receipts, and other moving documents together in a binder.
Step 2: Reserve Equipment / Movers
Many moving companies are reserved several weeks out, so be sure to make your reservations early on to avoid unwanted delays. If you are going to be doing the moving yourself, be sure to reserve your moving truck a few weeks in advance. If you are going to be relying on the help of family or friends to help with the loading / unloading, be sure to double-check with their schedules to make sure they are available.
Reconfirm any reservations a week before just to be sure.
If you need to keep items in a storage unit, be sure to reserve this as soon as possible. You may have items that won’t fit in your new home or that you simply don’t want to store there such as seasonal items or large equipment. Storing these items ahead of time can cut down on the rush at the last minute. If you already know what you want to store, you may wish to go ahead and begin transporting any items that you can now.
Step 3: Purge
Go through all of your stuff and determine which items you wish to get rid of. Don’t forget the attic, basement, under the stairs, closets, drawers, crawlspaces, garage and outside. Sort the items into four categories; move, sell, donate, and throw away. Have a garage sale if time permits to sell any unwanted items. Take all items you wish to donate to your local Goodwill or donation drop-off. The less stuff you have to go through when you begin packing, the better.
Step 4: Packing
If you begin packing your less-frequently used items a few weeks ahead of time, it will save you from unnecessary stress and hassle at the last minute. Take the time to pack things carefully, and be sure to label. I cannot stress this enough. LABEL! LABEL! LABEL! You will thank me for this later when you are looking for toothpaste and you don’t have to rummage through 40 boxes to find it. Use color-coded labels to indicate which room in which each box belongs. Get my printable labels here.
Wrap breakables in t-shirts, towels, and other clothing items that you won’t immediately need upon arriving. This not only protects the breakables, but also saves room by packing things you already will be taking with. Use additional bubble wrap and packing material to ensure that nothing rubs or clinks together during transport. Mark each box with FRAGILE labels on the top and all sides to ensure safe handling.
Group like items together whenever possible. For example, put all books together, all office supplies together, etc. This will save a tremendous amount of time when you unpack.
Use appropriately-sized boxes and pack items as tightly as possible to avoid leaving empty space in the top of the box and to avoid crushing when stacked.
Use blankets, pillows, and towels as extra padding during the move.
Pack one room at a time. Leave essential bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen items unpacked until you’re close to moving day.
Step 5: Transfer Services
Transfer all of your new services to your new address to ensure that you won’t experience an interruption of services at your new home. Fill out a change of address form at the post office as well.
Step 6: Arrange for Babysitting and / or Pet sitting if needed to keep them safe and out of the way. The commotion of moving can be especially stressful on pets and young children. Keeping them away from the commotion and allowing them to be introduced to their new home after things settle down can help ease the transition for them.
Step 7: The Big Day!
Be sure to get enough sleep the night before. Pick up your truck the night before, if possible. If you are hiring movers, make sure that all last minute things are ready for their arrival.
I hope this will help make your move little bit more organized and less stressful. Be sure to hop on over to get my Ultimate Moving Checklist and Printable Labels here.