“Hooray! I get to disassemble and/or pack Every. Single. Thing. I own, and then do it all in reverse days or weeks later in a strange, new location!” Said no one. Ever.
There’s no getting around that moving adds a lot of stress to an already major life event, but take the following tips to heart and you can reduce the hassle to more manageable levels.
- Lists are your best friend.
Online or smartphone-based list apps are great because you can easily move things around, and add or edit items. Alternatively, if old school pen and paper works for you, go that route instead. You’ll have way too much going on to depend on your memory.List out all of your needed supplies, contact information, phone numbers and addresses, important dates and deadlines, what got packed in each box, and so on.
And don’t forget your address change notifications. Not just utilities and mail, but auto insurance, cell phone, credit cards, magazines, etc.
- Pack your “Need It Now” items in clear plastic bins.
Plus a fresh change of clothes for work in a hanging or overnight bag.Medications, toiletries, laptop, cables and accessories, power strips, a small lamp, toilet paper and roll holder. Any important documentation like moving contracts. Invariably, it’s the stuff you really need that’s scattered amongst different boxes.
Don’t forget a shower curtain (if needed) and towels so you can take what will likely be a much-needed shower after a long day.
- Label what’s in your boxes AND what room each box goes in with a big, fat marker on the tops and sides.
- Measure all of your new rooms, closets, the refrigerator nook, and especially all of the doorways and hallways at your new place before you move.If you’re moving into a condo building, measure all of the elevators, doors, and hallways.
The last thing you need is to find out on moving day is two of the five pieces of your sectional won’t make it through the front door.
Also, check to make sure your refrigerator door opens the “right” way for your kitchen.
- Gallon- and quart-sized freezer bags are great for holding random stuff that can go missing for days.You can also use individual bags to keep track of everything associated with specific items like screws for your bed frame, cords and remote controls for your entertainment systems, etc.
- Paper towel and toilet paper rolls are the best cable and cord holders ever invented. Once you make the decision to move, start saving them.
- Use your clothes, towels, and linens instead of bubble wrap for dishes or anything breakable.
- You can wrap entire drawers of stuff in a heavy-duty stretch wrap to save on boxes as well as packing time.
- Buy the right kinds of tape.
Packing tape, not scotch. Packing tape keeps boxes closed. Scotch tape fails at exactly the worst possible moment.Painters tape is also great for writing on or lightly securing things because it’s easy to peel off.
- Laundry hampers, IKEA blue bags, luggage, and just about anything with four walls and a bottom can also reduce how many boxes you’ll need.
- If you’re depending on the kindness of friends and family to help move, make sure everything is packed before they show up. Don’t be “that” guy.Plan meals and snacks ahead of time. Get food preferences and dietary restrictions up front so time won’t be wasted polling everyone when they’re tired.
- Less is more.
Purge everything that hasn’t seen use in “x” number of months or years. That toaster that stopped working, but you’re “sure you can fix;” the Nehru jacket that, sadly, will never come back into style; stuff that’s still in the boxes from the last move.Sell it on Craigslist or eBay if it’s worth something. Offer first dibs to anyone who helps you move. Contact charities and schedule a pickup. Hold a yard sale. Drop off old electronics at a recycler.
Every box worth of stuff you get rid of is one less box you have to deal with. Win-win!
- Avoid the busy/costly moving days.
First of the month? Saturday? Your truck rental rates are going to be higher and your selection will be lower.If possible, plan your move a week or two before or after the 1st, and on a weekday.
- Buy a cheap oven mitt at the dollar store, and put all of your knives in it. Wrap the mitt closed with some painters tape.
- Take a picture of your electronics before you unplug everything so you’ll have a reference for what goes into what.
- Change your address at least two weeks before your move date. You can have the post office hold your mail so you won’t have a pile of it waiting at your new place.Schedule your shut-off times for utilities at the same time.
- Stop buying food at least two weeks before moving. The less you have in your refrigerator, the less that can go bad in the move.Unplug your fridge at least one day before moving and wipe it dry. A smelly, mildew-filled appliance is not the way you want to christen your new digs.
- First things first: make your bed.
Assembling the frame, dragging mattresses onto it, putting on sheets and the rest can seem all-but-impossible after a day of hauling literally everything you own.So do yourself and your aching back a favor, and make sure that come nightfall you’ve got something familiar and comfortable waiting for you.
Spend Your Money on Boxes
Some people may view this as heresy, but remember a hack is, “a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently.”
So you have two choices:
- You can spend hours driving between liquor stores, supermarkets, and big-box warehouses picking up stray boxes of varying shapes and sizes, questionable sidewall strength, and stains you really hope are just water-based.Or
- Drive to one store and spend a little money on brand-new boxes that are all the same size and shape and that come with hand-holds and lids.They’ll stack simply and evenly and make the whole process much less painful.
Even better, you can also pick up the aforementioned moving tape, stretch wrap, big fat markers and anything else you might need in one go.
Moving Made Simple(r)
Nowadays, if you tell someone, “I have to move” they’ll probably look at you with the same pity reserved for adults who need to get their wisdom teeth pulled.
But with a little ingenuity and pre-planning, there’s no reason your move can’t be straight-forward and (relatively) painless.
Would you like to know more about how to make your move easier all around? Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you.