Don’t move anything you don’t love. I’m sure it’s happened in the past – you open a box at your new home and wonder “Why the heck did I move this?” As soon as you know you’re moving, begin looking around your current home with a critical eye. Ask “Do I love this? Does it make me smile? Do I have more of this than I need?” This applies to clothing and shoes also. Fewer items to move means a faster (and quite possibly cheaper) moving experience.
Measure the spaces in your new home before buying any new furniture or if you’re not sure your current furniture will fit. Especially if you are moving into an older home, be sure to take into account the width of the doorways and any tight corners that may make furniture moving a challenge.
Beware of being too lax about moving if you’re “just moving across town.” I’ve been there – it doesn’t seem worth it to bother actually packing things up. Believe me, when you start to toss loose items or plastic bags full of your stuff into your vehicle, you’re just creating a larger mess to deal with on the other end (unless you’re ultra organized and putting things directly where they go as soon as you walk in the door at your new place!) Take the time to properly pack things in boxes and you won’t feel overwhelmed when wading through piles of your things at your new home. Boxes stack. Most loose things do not.
Create a box (or two) of items that you will need just before you leave and immediately at your new home. Make sure this box is the last thing loaded and the first thing off. Things to include: – Cleaning supplies, including a trash bag or two – Rubber gloves – Paper towels and/or rags – Basic kitchen utensils (skillet, pot, spatula, sharp knife, dishwashing liquid, a dish towel) – Paper plates, napkins, plastic glasses and plastic ware (so you can still eat in if you don’t find or unpack your kitchen boxes right away) – A toiletry bag full of your basic bathroom items. Trust me, you do not want to be rummaging through boxes for your toothbrush at 2am after a long day of moving! – Sheets and blankets for each of the beds and an alarm clock – Toilet paper and hand soap for the bathroom
Ask around for extra boxes before you purchase them. Chances are, someone you know (or someone they know!) has recently moved and will be happy to give them to you. In fact, keep the moving karma going and let people know you have boxes to give away when you’re done with them.
Start packing as soon as you can. If you have room, designate an out-of-the-way space for packed boxes, both at your old place and your new one. If you have to delay unpacking at your new home, having the boxes mostly out of sight will minimize clutter and lessen the post-move stress.
Mark room destination on top and box contents on all sides and the top with a Sharpie. This may seem like extra work, but if you have people helping you move, finding your boxes in their proper destination (and being able to see what’s inside no matter which side is facing out) will make your life so much easier. Regular pens aren’t dark enough to be seen from a distance, so using a Sharpie or similar marker matters. Packing an entire house or large apartment? Go ahead and pre-print sheets of file-folder sized labels with the destination rooms so you only have to slap a label on the top and write the contents. If someone is helping you pack, make sure they’re doing the same – especially if they’re mixing rooms in a single box.
Tips for packing your boxes: – Lay plates and glass (like picture frames) on end instead of stacking them flat. They are less likely to break, but you’ll still need to be careful. – Pack boxes solid, even if you have to fill with packing paper or some other filler. The boxes will be less likely to crumple and either create a box avalanche or crush the contents inside. – If you have a lot of books, find or purchase the letter-sized banker’s boxes available from office supply stores. Even if you pack the box full of nothing but books, they won’t be too heavy to lift. (Better yet, pack partway with books and partway with other light items.) – Wrap breakable items in extra towels and linens to cut down on the amount of packing paper or bubble wrap that you have to purchase.