Moving takes a lot of time and coordination, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard or stressful. Follow these six simple tips to make the transition to your new home a smooth one.
1. Make Friends with a Teenager
Packing and loading are tasks that require your full attention. If you have kids that are too young to help with the process, you don’t want them getting in the way or getting lost. The same goes for pets. Hire a babysitter to watch young children and pets while you pack, load, unload, and unpack.
2. Revisit the Neolithic Period of Human History
The wheel made its first appearance somewhere around 3500 B.C. and has worked wonders for transporting people and items ever since. Take advantage of the wheels already in your home when you are packing. Instead of loading your collection of heavy books into boxes and carrying the boxes to the van, pack books in wheeled suitcases and backpacks. Don’t have any books to move? This method works with any heavy items you’d rather wheel than lift.
3. Channel Your Childhood Creativity
Go to an office supply store and get the variety pack of colorful sharpies. Pick up some labels or some colored duct tape as well. When you get home, write down each of the rooms in your new home, and assign each room a different color (if you have more rooms than colors, start assigning some of the rooms two- or three-color combinations, or designs like polka dots or stripes).
Then mark every box with a color by adding a strip of colored duct tape, or by writing in colorful sharpie on the label. Even though everything is color-coded write what room the box belongs in and what is inside. When you go to unpack the moving van, you can use your reference sheet to know just where to put every box.
Extra Tip: number all your boxes so you know how many total units are leaving your old house, and how many should be in your new house before the moving van drives away.
4. Pack Like You are Going on a Trip
Unless you plan on packing, moving, and unpacking all in one day, you should consider packing an overnight bag as if you were going on a short trip. When you arrive in your new home, you won’t have to dig through boxes to look for pajamas, toothbrushes, clean underwear, or other essential items.
This tip is especially useful if you have children. Give every child an overnight bag and a packing list, and tell them to keep the bag with them in the car when they move.
5. Make Plastic Baggies Work for You
Plastic baggies are a mover’s dream. They are transparent, they can be written on, and they keep small items secure. Here are some ways to make these ingenious inventions work for you:
- If you have to take apart furniture, keep all the small pieces (like screws) in a bag, and tape it to the back of the furniture.
- When disassembling your television, DVD player, video game system, computer, or other electronics, put the cords in a bag, label it, and tape it to the electronic device it belongs to (extra tip: take a picture before disassembling so you know exactly how to reassemble).
- Follow the same procedure for curtain rods, picture frames, and anything mounted to the wall. Clearly label each bag with the item it belongs to just in case the tape falls off during the move.
6. Treat Your Movers like Royalty
If you want your move to go smoothly, start with the people moving things for you. Whether you are hiring professional movers or enlisting some friends, make sure everything is packed before the moving party arrives. You don’t want to make everyone sit around and wait, or worse, make them help you pack.
Provide some refreshments to keep everyone energized and in good spirits. Even though you will likely be stressed out and frazzled, do your best not to yell, scream, or in any other way take your frustration out on someone carrying a box of your possessions. Remember: people are much more likely to do a good job when they feel appreciated.
Implementing these tips takes virtually no extra time, but will help you feel organized and on top of things when you pack up your home.