I’ve been through chaotic, last-minute moves, a few crazy DIY moves, and some that weren’t so bad. When we moved to a new apartment recently, it was our best move yet. We even had our entire apartment unpacked just two days later.
Most people’s feelings after moving are “I hope we live here for a long time. I don’t want to move again.” Moving can be really difficult, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.
If you have 6 weeks notice:
- Commit to packing two or three boxes each weekday, or box up that same amount to donate to Goodwill.
- Don’t pack anything without a bag close by ready to fill up with things to donate.
- Buy more tape and collect extra boxes. It always takes more than you expect.
- Designate a moving staging area. I tend to procrastinate on packing because I don’t like the unsettled feeling of being surrounded by boxes at home. Find an area where you can stack boxes out of the way. (We rented a storage space at our apartment for a few weeks, and it was so nice to carry out a couple of boxes each day and get them out of the way.)
- Label the sides of the boxes so that even when they are stacked, you can see their contents. Also write the room they will go in at the new house.
- Start eating the food in the freezer and pantry.
- Save packing the necessities for last. Doug had to buy toilet paper three times because I kept packing away the extra rolls, thinking we had enough. Keep a “last packed, first unpacked” box of cleaning supplies, handy tools, and other necessities.
If you have 6 days notice:
- Call in help. Most people spend too much time organizing and thinking about the stuff they need to pack (where it will go in the new house and what they hope to do with it). A friend will just put it in the box. Your goal at this point is to get everything into boxes to go on the truck.
- Take one morning to make phone calls and reserve the moving truck, transfer utilities, and other jobs. You don’t want to forget to have the electricity turned on at the new place, or pay extra for last-minute hookups.
- For local moves, resist the urge to make a few car trips over to the new home. It seems nice to take a few boxes over and unpack them, but it is so much more time-efficient to make just one trip with a truck and move everything at once.
- When you pack, reach for whatever is closest to you. Don’t worry about sorting books into one box and pictures into another. You can organize by location (such as “living room shelf”) instead of item type.
- Hire help. Consider hiring a cleaning service to take care of cleaning the old home. If a full move isn’t in your budget, perhaps you can afford movers for just two hours to help you load or unload the truck.
- Donate as much as you can. If you want to sell any of your stuff, advertise it as soon as possible so you don’t have to deal with buyers on moving day.
- Eat take-out. This isn’t the time to cook and clean up home-cooked meals.