Moving can be incredibly stressful and is always hard work. However, it is possible to actually come out on the other side of a move with more clarity and a much tidier life. As soon as you know that you’re moving, it’s time to change your behaviors.
We’ve all heard stories of people who mess up and pack a bag of garbage in a box to move across the country. Avoid this by decluttering as you pack. Enter each space that you’re working on with
- a black bag for trash
- a white bag for donation or sale items
- a box for what you’re taking with you
Set a timer and grab a bottle of water and sort like crazy. If you’re going through the garage, keep the shop vac handy so you can clean tools as you load them. Keep a pen in your pocket so you can label boxes as you close them. Finally, as soon as you load one container, act on it so you don’t second-guess yourself.
Ship With the Professionals
If you have large furniture or tools to move, hire someone. Yes, you may be able to get it in the truck with a friend. However, this will not save you anything if someone gets hurt and can’t lift anything else for a week. Professional movers also have insurance and lifting tools.
From lift gates to custom trailers for motorcycle shipping, working with professionals to avoid overloading your volunteer crew and yourself is a good investment. You’ll be much happier at the end of the move.
Maintain a Healthy “Normal” for the Children
If your children are used to their seats in a minivan or an SUV, leave them there. Moving car seats to the smaller car can free up more space for the move. However, if you do it on moving day, you may cause a meltdown. Give them time to acclimate.
Let your little ones see you declutter your belongings. Let them help you sort and put things in the different bags noted above. Once they see that you’re working on your things and why they may be more open to getting rid of their own unused things.
Rely on Volunteers
If friends and family offer to help, take them up on it! If you’ve got a friend who’s a great cook, ask them to feed your family dinner so you can pack up the kitchen. If you’ve got a family member who has good luck selling things at yard sales, ask to sell items you were planning to donate. A moving sale can raise cash, but if it costs you a whole day of packing, it may not be worth it.
For those planning to put their current home on the market, those handy friends may be ready to pitch in. Set a painting day and line up the troops and tools so you have a target. Once you have this self-imposed deadline on the calendar, the rest of your moving schedule will make sense.
Use What You Have
Carefully what you currently have in plastic tubs in your home. If you don’t love that stuff, empty the tubs and use these for fragile or delicate items. Empty your linen cabinet and your towel drawers. Layer china plates and fragile display items in these tubs after wrapping them in towels, sheets, and blankets.
Drag out your suitcases and backpacks. Everyone in the household needs to have easy access to
- towels and toiletries
- bedding and a pillow
- pajamas and a change of clothes
Before you pack any clothing in boxes, set up these suitcases! No matter what happens when you get to the new place, you can at least make the beds, take a shower, put on fresh pajamas, and put on clean clothes in the morning.
Final tip: If you have a child who is acting as the tech guru for the household, put them in charge of the technology backpack. This child is the charging cord master for the move so every computer, tablet, and phone can stay powered up until you get to your home.
Your move doesn’t have to be a mad scramble, but it will take planning. Rely on folks who offer to help. Use what you’ve got to protect your moving budget.