Moving is maddening. It’s a super-dooper heavy scoop of effort on top of daily work and home life. But getting an effective system in place for coordinating all the steps involved can help you maintain sanity.
The first step toward good organization is to determine what you can afford to spend on the move. Will it be a DIY project from beginning to end or will you be able to hire professional help?
Tips to Help You Get Rolling
Here are eight basic organizational tips to help you avoid potholes on the road from one abode to another. There is no such thing as perfection, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt the smoothest move possible.
Analyze Your Budget
Analyze your budget to see what options are doable. If you think you can afford a moving company, interview a few to learn the range and price of their services. Ask whether they will transport large appliances or if you need to hire a specialty moving service. Here is detailed information about matters to consider when hiring movers.
If you need to rely on help from friends and family, consider whether to budget for a rental truck. It may be necessary if (1) you have lots of furniture and large appliances; (2) it’s a long-distance move; and (3) you want to maintain goodwill by avoiding multiple moving trips between the old and new residences.
Create a Notebook
You need a notebook separate of your daytimer for jotting down to-do lists and recording moving plans, including your budget, checkoff list of items to move, and timeline. A binder may be the best choice, because you’ll need pocket pages for documents -- such as mover or rental agreements -- and receipts.
Set a Timeline
Develop a timeline setting dates for accomplishing tasks. Divide it by weeks into early, middle, and late parts of the process. For example, early work would include making moving arrangements, cleaning closets, purging unnecessary possessions, and obtaining packing supplies. Don’t forget to set dates for sending out notifications of your address change to organizations that need it (such as utilities, credit card companies, and schools) as well as family and friends.
Accumulate Moving Supplies
Although it may be necessary to purchase specialty containers such as wardrobe boxes, standard sizes of sturdy boxes often are free through Craigslist and neighborhood social media websites such as Nextdoor. You’ll also need bubble wrap, packing tape, markers, and filler materials like newsprint or packing peanuts. Eliminate headaches by accumulating these supplies the week before you plan to pack.
Inventory What to Move
Obtain measurements of your new home’s rooms. Then, measure your furniture to see what will fit in which rooms. Can you squeeze your large, heavy oak desk through the doorway of the upstairs room in which you are visualizing it? Does it fit anywhere? Measurements will help you make decisions about what goes with you and what to give away. By setting an inventory of what to move, you can fine tune your moving costs.
Sort, Purge, and Pack
Moves are great for culling your herd of possessions. As you prepare to pack by sorting the contents of bureaus, closets, shelves, garage, garden shed, and wherever, consider what you can live without. Do you really need your childhood VCR tapes? Are five red sweaters one too many? Why in the world do you have two vacuum cleaners, three blenders, four hammers, and 50 mugs? Now is the time to let go and give away some of the abundance.
Open up your moving notebook and make a list of thrift shops and other organizations to which you can make donations. Does your library earn money by selling used books? Hallelujah! Add them to your delivery list.
As you pack boxes for the move, label them according to where they should be placed (bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen) in your new place.
Use or Give Away Food
Once you have a moving date, start using up the contents of your refrigerator and freezer. If your freezer is full and transporting cold goods to your new home isn’t possible, develop a list of people and organizations with whom to share the excess. Your neighbors might even use some of it to prepare a going-away party for you.
Be sure to add a date to your timeline for defrosting the freezer.
Pack Immediate needs and Valuables
Set aside suitcases for packing items you’ll transport in your car. These should contain immediate necessities such as changes of clothing, toiletries, and medicines as well as valuables including important papers (birth and wedding certificates, deeds, rental agreements, financial documents), and jewelry. Use your notebook to plan a list of these items.
Finally, don’t just take care of your move; take care of yourself. Add dates to your timeline for stress-reduction activities, including get-togethers with neighbors you will miss, meals at favorite restaurants, and walks in the park. You’ll never regret taking time to say goodbye.
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