Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can be a stressful experience, too. There are so many things to remember to do, and if you don’t approach the process in an organized way, it can be all too easy to miss something important and end up scrambling at the last moment.
The key to ensuring that your moving process is smooth and as anxiety-free as possible is to have an organized plan of attack that you put in place as soon as you know that you are moving. Here are 10 simple tips that can help you get everything done with a minimum of stress.
- Get a binder to help you keep all of your moving information organized. As you move, you’ll be dealing with a lot of things – moving trucks, rental companies, utility companies, insurance companies, and so on. If you keep everything together in one place it will make the whole process easy. Make sure to include an envelope for all expenses related to your old house, such as last-minute repairs, as well as one for expenses related to your new house. It will make filing taxes that much easier when the time comes.
- Before you start packing, declutter your home and get rid of anything you don’t want to bring with you. After all, there’s no point in putting in the time and effort to pack something you’re going to recycle or sell. Make piles of things to throw away, recycle, donate, and sell – and get the kids involved too!
- When it’s time to start packing, make sure you have plenty of boxes in a variety of sizes. Small boxes are best for heavy items like books and dishes, while large boxes may be necessary for electronics, linens, and other big objects.
- Buy color-coded moving labels and use them as you pack. The moving-in process will be much easier if you can tell at a glance where each box is going in your new home. Let the kids each pick a color for their rooms and then clearly mark each box so you can tell what’s inside.
- Another helpful labeling technique is to make a note of the priority of each box as you pack it. For example, a box that contains your everyday dinnerware will need to be unpacked quickly, while one that contains holiday plates may be able to wait. Mark priority items with an A, items that need to be unpacked but not right away with a B, and holiday and rarely-used items with a C.
- Store all of your packing tools (labels, packing tape, markers, and so on) in one basket so that everything is together and you can find it easily. That way even if you take a break from packing, you’ll know exactly where to find what you need when you’re ready to start again.
- Get your kids involved by having them pack small items in large Ziploc freezer bags. Small toys and other items that might be difficult to corral can be packed first in freezer bags and then in boxes, thus ensuring that everything will be organized when you get to your new home.
- Order address labels for your new home before you move. You can use them as a quick and easy way to change addresses as you prepare to move. It’s also a good idea to leave a few with your old home’s new residents, along with some stamps or money for postage so they can forward items to you as needed.
- Create a survival box for your first night in your new home. For example, you might want to have basic toiletries, pajamas for the whole family, some basic dishes for dinner and breakfast, pet food, and your kids’ favorite cereal. Label it clearly and set it aside so it’s the last thing out of your old home and the first thing into your new one.
- When you get to your new house, get one room set up as quickly as possible so you have a peaceful retreat where you can get away from the boxes and chaos of moving. It’s going to take you a while to get unpacked, but that doesn’t mean that every area of your new home has to feel unsettled.
If you follow these ten tips, your move can be smooth and stress-free.