Moving is considered one of the most stressful events in one’s life. Sorting, discarding, packing everything up, and unpacking can be time consuming, exhausting, and down right overwhelming. But, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. My family and I just completed an interstate move (to another part of the country no less) and it was a very smooth process. As a professional organizer, I have a few tips that I relied on to manage our organized move and I’m sharing these tips here with you. If you are moving soon or know someone who is, make sure you bookmark this blog post for future reference!
Before Moving Day
The best part of moving is that you get to make a clean, fresh start. I’ve written other posts about decluttering and purging before a move. You can check those out HERE and HERE. But, in this post, I wanted to stress the importance of thinking through where you placed items in your existing home and whether these items make sense to stay in those places or move to new spaces. As you pack up your stuff, think about how you use the items, the systems you have in your household, and the layout of your new home and decide how you can create more efficient systems in your new home.
For example, in our previous home we kept the printer on the second floor in a piece of furniture in our guest room. As time went on though and my husband and I worked on laptops on the first floor, going up to the second floor to grab paper off the printer was cumbersome and we decided to re-create this system in our new home. Similarly, cleaning supplies were located in an area of the home that we found to not really work for us as time went on. Therefore, we decided on a location in our new home that made more sense for our household and day to day lives. While this takes some time to think through prior to moving day, it will make unpacking and organizing in your new home more feasible. So, bottom line, decide where items will go in your new home and write that location on your boxes as you pack.
Create Master Lists
List making is a favorite pastime of a professional organizer! Whether you keep data electronically or on paper, it’s essential to get everything out of your head and on to something that you can refer back to and share with your family. Here are the lists that we kept for our move and definitely ones that I would recommend for your upcoming move:
- Change of utilities for the previous and new home – list vendors, contact information, end/start dates, account numbers, and due dates
- Repairs/updates for previous and new home – list vendors, work completed, contact information, and cost
- Inventory of the large furniture being moved and the number and contents of each box
- To do list post move such as update driver’s license, vehicle registration, changing banks or health insurance, and school registration
Make Moving Day a Breeze
Even though we had a very smooth and organized move, there are always things that come up at the last minute. For example, there are last minute boxes to pack, cleaning to be finished, and technology to disconnect. Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for an easy, breezy moving day:
- Have extra assembled boxes on hand for moving day to pack bedding, laundry (put laundry in garbage bags), and toiletries
- Pack your suitcase a day or two before your move and be prepared to live out of your suitcase for several days. Make sure you look ahead at the weather conditions expected for the area you are moving to
- Create a plan for who will be watching kids and pets on moving day and if necessary, board dogs and hire a babysitter
- Don’t turn off wifi until the day AFTER you move so that you have access to laptops, ipads, etc.
- Have an assembled box ready for light bulbs
- Place valuables, jewelry, and important documents in your car
- Stock up on cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paper towels, paper plates/plasticware, water, and snacks
- Get cash the day before moving day so you can tip your movers
- Know exactly where furniture and boxes are to be placed so you can direct movers
Moving Into Your New Home
Moving out is only half the battle of moving…moving in can leave us overcome with a never ending to-do list. As I sat in our beautiful new home looking over a sea of boxes, I felt myself getting anxious. But, then I remembered that I had what I call “The New Home Strategy.” First, I assembled all of the essentials that I would need into my unpack kit. The items in my kit were: box opener, garbage bags, and wipes/cleaning products. Second, I had prepared an unpacking plan of attack. Let me break this down for you:
- Prioritize your unpacking – unpack your bathrooms and bedding first so you can comfortably stay in your home on the first night
- The following day, unpack your kitchen by creating zones relative to where your dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove/oven are located
- Unpack food/pantry items which will also help make you feel settled in and that your home is livable
- Set up TVs, printers, and any other technology (taking pictures before you move of existing set ups is helpful)
- Unpack toys for kids so they have something to do while you unpack more boxes
- The last items to unpack would be items that are not essential to daily living such as holiday, general decor, off season, etc.
Post Move: Shop for Supplies for Your New Home
After you move and unpack, walk your home and create an inventory of all the supplies you will need to make your home more organized and quite frankly, more livable. Pro tip: It’s very important to measure your space before your buy any organizing supplies to ensure a proper fit. Here is a general list to get you started:
- Bathrooms – drawer organizers, garbage cans, shower curtain liners, shower curtains, kleenex box holders, and soap dispensers
- Kitchen – bin/baskets for the pantry, garbage/recycling cans, dividers for drawers, containers for under the kitchen sink
- Bedrooms – hangers, bins, laundry baskets
- Command hooks – my family loves command hooks and we use them everywhere. Place them on the back of doors in bedrooms to hang robes, back of doors in bathrooms to hang towels, and on the inside of kitchen cabinets for oven mitts
- Front and back door mats
- Cleaning supplies – mops, brooms, dust buster, cleaning caddy, cleaning products (you may have used up quite a bit of supplies moving out of your previous home and into your new home)
Moving is a life event that all of us will certainly face multiple times in our life. While it’s exciting to create a fresh start, moving doesn’t come without challenges. By following these tips, I guarantee the three “E’s” – your move will be more effortless, easier, and enjoyable! If you feel as though you need some help organizing your move, reach out to me and let’s chat. I’ll help you create a custom strategy that will leave you less overwhelmed and ready for this next step in your life’s journey!