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20 Tips To Make Moving Less Stressful
There are few things I dread as much as moving. And I’ve done it a few times in my life. The next move we make will be after living more than 20 years in the same house. We will need at least six months to prepare. but I think using the following tips will be a time, back and mind saver. Anything that makes moving less stressful is my friend.
Pack a carry-on type bag with all of your essentials
If you have the energy to find an unpack your things when you arrive, you’re superhuman. It’s best to have the things you’d pack for an overnight stay at a hotel, but be sure to include towels, shampoo, conditioner, and the things a hotel provides, because you won’t want to go looking for them.
2. Pack the items you’ll need as soon as you arrive in clear plastic bins.
These are the containers that hold everything you need to go through the other boxes. Kitchen essentials like: garbage bags, silverware, a few pots and pans. Home essentials: your phone charger (if you don’t already have it in your carry-on bag), toilet paper, hammer and nails, a screwdriver, scissors, a box cutter.
Having these in a clear container keeps you from having to wade through the other boxes to find the one or two you need to get started.
3. Wrap your fragile items in clothing.
That’s right, a two for one with this tip. Saves you a buttload of money, and you have nice cushy wrapping for your dishes, etc. And now you won’t need as many boxes for your clothes. Hahahaha
4. Along the same lines as the previous tip, use socks for your glass and stemware.
Let’s reword that, CLEAN socks. LOL Socks are great for the extra padding these items will need.
5. Use sandwich size zip lock bags for small items
For items that need to be disassembled, put the small parts in a baggie and tape it to the larger parts, or shrink wrap them all together.
6. Shrink wrap cords to electronics.
If you’re wrapping up electronics, use a large roll of shrink wrap, the kind used to wrap large pallets. This will keep everything together and tidy.
7. When you grab your colored sharpies to label the boxes, take a tip from the pros and mark which room the boxes go in.
With different colored pens, you can color code: red for bedroom, green for kitchen, etc. Make sure you label the sides of the boxes. All sides, even better.
When you arrive, you’ll know exactly where each box goes. This may make the unpacking process easier if you want to unpack one room at a time.
8. Start unpacking the bathroom and kitchen first.
This way you’ll have all of your toiletries and towels in place. Because you’ll definitely want a shower either soon after you arrive, or at the end of the day.
9. Speaking of toiletries.
Pull the caps off and place plastic wrap over the openings, then replace the caps, then place in a zip lock bag. This is just one layer of protection should your containers break. I use this tip when I’m traveling too.
10. Treat dresser drawers like moving boxes
When I used to go to trade shows, we’d leave the displays intact and cover them with press ‘n seal. This kept us from having to put everything back on the display from show to show. The same process works for drawers; use the press ‘n seal over the tops of the drawers, then you don’t have to pack and unpack them.
11. Are you taking the fridge?
Make sure you leave plenty of time to defrost and dry it out. You don’t want that mess to deal with when you arrive at your new home.
12. Use tomato boxes for books and heavy items
Ask your local grocery store or even restaurant if you can have some of their tomato boxes. They have nice handles on the side which make them easy to lift.
13. Take photos of anything you must disassemble and reassemble.
This includes electronics, appliances, anything that requires assembly on arrival.
14. Save on space and boxes
Use your laundry baskets, suitcases, gym bags, and storage bins to pack your items. This may seem like a no brainer, or it may seem like a hassle, but I can guarantee you, when you have to break down boxes after unpacking, you’ll appreciate having less boxes.
15. Leave your clothes on the hangers
It won’t take any extra room, since you’ll have to pack a box full of hangers anyway. Leave your closet items on the hangers and it will make unpacking much less hassle.
16. Donate or give away food, drinks and alcohol.
Maybe you could plan a huge meal for the people who help you pack, and ply them with alcohol to get them there, but there’s little reason to take that stuff with you. Maybe enough food for a few meals until you get settled but donate the rest to a food bank.
17. If you’re going to enlist your friends, make sure everything is packed when they arrive.
Your friends don’t want to pack all of your boxes too. And that’s sort of crappy of you to expect it. Just be glad they’re doing the heavy lifting and helping to load up the boxes.
18. Change your address at least two weeks before moving.
Make sure you have a list of all of the bills you pay through the mail; credit cards, utilities, Netflix, credit cards, and others. You may pay a lot of your bills online, but you need to contact those companies too, so don’t forget to change your address regardless of how you pay the bill.
19. Now is a good time to pare down.
We have 23 years of stuff on our farm, so this is something we’ll be doing for months in advance, but you might want to consider it at least 5-6 weeks before moving. Anything you don’t want to give away, either have a garage sale, an estate auction (if they have them in your area), or start selling online: eBay, Craigslist, Facebook markets. If you haven’t used it in six months, get rid of it.
20. Donate, donate, donate
Just like donating your food to the food bank, donate any items you don’t sell to a local charity. Many charities will bring a truck to pick up your items. But make sure you contact them and make an appointment weeks in advance.
When I say sell or donate,
try not to let your feelings keep you from getting rid of stuff. You may think it’s no big deal when you pack up all that extra stuff, but believe me, when you arrive you’re going to wish you’d gotten rid of most of the things you haven’t used in six months, because now you just have to find a place for it again.
I hope these tips for making moving less stressful are helpful. I know I’ll be using them for our big move, even though we are keeping two houses for the time being.