From Here to There: Moving Tips

‘Tis the season for moving! So I thought I would offer up some of my top moving tips. It’s not an exhaustive list but should still be really helpful.

Moving Basket
This little guy is your answer to what do you do with the thing that you need to have on hand the actual day that you move. You may realize you didn’t label that box or the couch legs do need to be removed in order for it to get through the door.

Here are some good items to put in the moving basket:
– scissors
– tape
– paper
– pen, pencil, sharpie
– mini tool kit (tape measure, hammer, phillips and flat head screwdrivers)
– mini first aid kit (bandaids, alcohol wipes, first aid ointment)
– toilet paper (one roll for each new bathroom)
– hand soap
– paper towels
– flashlight
– batteries
– all screws for disassembled furniture (labeled, in baggies)
– rope
– water, water, water, and snacks

Weekend Bags
One of the reasons moving can be stressful is that we think everything needs to be in it’s forever home as soon as you get to your house. That simply is just not realistic in most cases. Giving each person in your home a weekend bag frees up some of that time and sense of urgency. Pack the weekend bag as if you were going away for a weekend and only had those items to access. This way every person will have their most important things within reach and enough clothes to last until either clothes are put in drawers and closets or until you can get a load of laundry done. Remember too that you are going to an empty home, not a hotel. Keep in mind what you will need to keep your kids (whatever age) occupied as well whether they need to be helping with the move (elementary and up) or away from the action (babies – preschoolers).

Here are some good items to pack in the weekend bags:
– enough outfits for 2-3 days (think daytime, nighttime, outerwear, underwear, socks, shoes)
– medications
– lovies (favorite stuffed animals, toys, books, etc)
– toiletries
– makeup
– sheet set, pillow, blanket
– towel, washcloth (and shower liner!)
– alarm clock
– night light

Packing, Moving Day, and Unpacking Tips
1. Use a garbage bag to move hanging clothes. While the clothes are hanging, pull the garbage bag from the bottom up to the top where the hangers are, enclosing the hanging clothes. Tie a bow (resist doing a knot) around the base of the hooks. When you get to your new home, hang the clothes in the bag, untie the bow, and pull down the bag. The bags can be reused as their original purpose of trash bags. No waste! So much time and energy saved!

2. Keep your folded clothes in the drawers. BUT remove the drawers from the dressers before moving the dressers. For those delicate items that you’d rather your friends or movers not see? Put a towel over them or but them in a garbage bag and back into the drawer. The dresser goes to the moving van, the drawers get reinserted. When it’s time to move the dresser from the moving van, take the drawers out again and move the dressers to their rooms. When the dressers are in place, put the drawers back in the dressers. So much time and energy saved!

3. Use dish towels to wrap dishes. Both of these items live in the same room so you can pack them together and unpack them together. You probably don’t have enough dish towels to wrap all your dishes but it does help to use what you have.

4. Inventory any items going to storage. Have a list of things that are in storage including a list of what is in each box. This can be as detailed or general as you would like depending on how you will need to access those items.

5. Label each box with what room they are going to. Then label each room with the same label. Boxes need to go in a place that they will not block furniture.

6. Have one person in charge of directing movers (furniture and boxes) at the new house. Together with the room and box labels, having one person who is in charge of directing traffic and nothing else will go a long way. Be sure this person knows where furniture goes as well. This person should go to the house early to hang signs.

7. Set up beds right away. Use your movers if possible. This allows you and your family to have a place to sleep comfortably from the first night. Good sleep will go a long way in unpacking and settling in.

8. Choose the most important room and unpack it fully first. The kitchen is usually where most people start but choose the room that makes the most sense for your family. Then move one room by room unpacking each room fully until the house is unpacked. Do your best. Put things in places that make sense right now knowing that you have the freedom to move things if it makes more sense later.

9. Don’t rush out to buy things to fill space. Take your time making decisions on pieces that will serve your household. Check prices, quality, and “grow with me” details as well.

10. Put boxes out for FREE porch pick up. List them l social media or just put them on the curb, whichever works best in your area. One of the most important parts of moving is finishing. Part of that means getting your moving supplies out of your house. If you plan to move again in a few years, decided whether or not it is worth hanging on to boxes or if you can just grab some from someone else when the time comes.

Kid Tips
What do you do with your kiddos while you are loading and unloading the moving van? While a lot depends on their ages, here are a few ideas.
– get a sitter
– let them help
– let them color on boxes with crayons (as long as this doesn’t deter from the room label)
– paint with water
– play in the backyard
– hand out waters and snacks
– write notes (thank you notes to movers and helpers, notes to friends they are moving from or toward)
– be sure they have snacks and drinks at the ready

What tips do YOU have? I love learning and although I have moved a ton as an adult each move has brought different learning experiences!

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