You have made an offer on the house, and everything is moving along quickly. As you start planning to move from one location to another, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the details. Several things that you do ahead of time can keep you organized during a move, and make the process a smooth one!
Start early with planning your move. Decide on whether you are doing a partial hands on move, a complete DIY move, or hiring movers for the entire process. Regardless of what kind of move you are making, reserve your truck as early as you can. Movers and moving companies are particularly busy as the year progresses, and you don’t want to be scrambling to find a company or moving truck.
Make a punch list
A punch list will keep you organized and on course with your move. A punch list is a loose timeline with all of your tasks on it. Maybe you reserve your moving company three months in advance, start packing holiday and seldom used items a month in advance, start switching mailings a couple of weeks before, and packing all of the important household items a week to ten days before. Whatever timeline you use, keep it in sight so that tasks don’t get overlooked, and you can adjust as you need to.
Buy the correct supplies
Save yourself from ripped boxes and broken dishes or damaged goods. Buy quality boxes in a number of different sizes. Buy good moving tape, bubble wrap, sharpie markers for labeling, and packing paper. Smaller boxes may seem tedious, but are important to have on hand for fragile dishes, breakable knickknacks, and heavy books. Larger boxes work well for clothing, toys, and linens.
Label, label, and label again! It is impossible to label too much when you are moving. Label on both the top and at least one side, with a good sharpie that won’t bleed or smear. A good rule of thumb is to label what is in the box, what room the box should be placed in, and if it is fragile. You can also number boxes, if you are putting pieces of something in several boxes, so that those get grouped together.
Keep an inventory
There is no better time than when you are moving to create an inventory of your household goods. This is useful if anything is lost, stolen, or misplaced in a move, but will also be useful if you ever have a loss filed with your insurance company that requires information. Even a simple notebook with entries like “60 inch Sony flatscreen TV” or “Twelve, four-piece Dansk place settings” will be useful and easy to do as you pack.
While you are taking inventory of your household goods, it is a great time to take pictures. Pictures of unusual or high value items are always a good idea to keep on hand, and this is an easy time to take those pictures. Electronics, jewelry, antiques, and sports equipment are good examples of items that photographs are a good idea to keep on hand. Again, if they are damaged or lost in a move, pictures will be immensely helpful to have on file.
Pack with enough time that you are not rushed. Keep kitchen items with like items, bathroom items together, and children’s toys together. Avoid packing items that you plan on getting rid of, with the thought that you will donate them at the new location. Don’t be tempted to pack anything that needs to be repaired, fixed, or altered- use this time to be smart about getting rid of things you don’t love or need.
First night box
Pack a box that moves directly with you or that the movers know to put in a prominent place. Put important items in the box like toilet paper, light bulbs, a can opener, and anything else that your family deems important for the first few hours.
Break moving down into small steps, stay organized, and remember that you will be done with the boxes soon enough. Congrats on your new home!