Monday, February 25, 2013

Get Organized for a Less Stressful Move

This past weekend I helped my sister and her husband move. They are moving in with his family while they look for a new home.

One thing I've learned from moving family members and friends over the years is that you need to have a plan.

Start Packing Early
As soon as you find out you will be moving start packing. Anything not used on a regular basis gets put in a box.  Packing up a whole house is a monstrous task that takes a lot of time.

Sort Your Stuff
Put all like items together whenever possible. Try to avoid boxes full of random stuff. It will take you twice as long to unpack if your personal belongs are just thrown randomly in boxes.  Sort by room is the easiest way. Preferably pack items that will all go into the same room in your new place together, so you can label the box "Kitchen", "Master Bedroom", "Guest Bathroom", etc.  The goal is to make it easier to unpack as well as to pack up your current home.

Label, Label, Label
In addition to labeling what is located inside your boxes, it's really helpful to write where that box should go. For example, mark boxes for "storage", "Becky's Room", "Upstairs Bathroom", or "Living Room". This small step will help everyone. Who wants their moving helpers asking you non stop "Where does this go?".

Have Lots of Help
Come moving day get as many people to help you move as possible. If you have the money hire movers and a moving truck. A dolly and or a hand cart are really helpful to have on hand especially for moving dressers, shelves, buffets, and more.

Don't rule out kids helping to move - well behaved ones that is. I say well-behaved ones because it will be more stressful having to deal with unruly or bored kids. Elementary school aged or older can be quite helpful. They can carry lighter items such as bags of clothes, bedding, and small boxes.

When possible, arrange for a sitter for babies and young children who could easily get under foot and possibly hurt.  If you must bring kids and they aren't able to help make sure they bring a toy to keep them occupied. This is the perfect time for a portable gaming system or dvd player.

Let There Be Food
Hopefully lots of people will be helping move your stuff to your new home. These people are going to be working hard and are going to work up an appetite. Be sure to offer plenty to drink, especially  water. Also some food that will curb their appetite such as pizza or fried chicken. The reason for this is it's convenient, you won't need to stop working to cook, plus it's not terribly expensive.

Once your personal belongings are all boxed up, labeled, and ready to go. Start moving boxes to storage, if you can, or designate a spot out of the way if possible.

If your home is currently on the market and potential buyers are touring your home, seriously consider renting a storage unit or pod.  You will want to stage your home to make it look as big, open and bright as possible. Remove almost all your personal belongings. Buyers need to envision themselves living in your home to buy it.

Only leave the essential items you need to live and a few items to stage the home. Pack up all your collectibles, family photos, most of the kids' toys, and non essential kitchen items. Remember that items in storage aren't gone forever. If you really need an item you can always go get it.

A little planning ahead of time will cut some of the stress of moving. It will be easier to find something when you need it. It will be easier for your moving helpers because they won't have to ask lots of questions. It should make your move go a little smoother and the alternative.

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