It seems to be moving season! I don’t know if it’s just on the top of my mind and I’m noticing it more, but everywhere I look I hear, “we are moving”! My facebook is flooded with congrats and happy new seasons for many many of my friends. Several people have asked for me to share more moving tips, so that’s what I wanted to do today!
Honest to goodness, we have moved three times, and helped lots of friends move, and I think this was the most streamlined move I’ve ever experienced. I was still major stressed. We got started much later than expected, we got a truck and trailer super stuck in the yard, there was just lots of commotion. But it was still probably the easiest move I’ve seen. Here are a few things I would HIGHLY recommend if you’re moving soon.
Make a list – of all the utilities that need to be changed, addresses that need to be changed, set up mail forwarding or change of address. Our list included banks, work, services, etc. About a week prior to closing, when things are less likely to fall through, make sure you have the water and electricity taken care of. You don’t want to get to your new house and be in the dark, or without water!
Use labels – I made these (and you can download them here, too). This made unloading and unpacking such a breeze! As I packed a box, I made sure I labeled it – where it would go, and what was in it. We got to our new house Friday night around 8:30 – it was already dark, and nobody had seen our house yet. But NOBODY had to ask where anything went, because it was labeled! I didn’t have to stand at the truck and direct people. I was able unpack what needed to be unpacked right away (refrigerated food, soap, bathroom supplies, etc).
Pack ‘like things’ together - Obviously, things room by room will be, but I found bundling the clothes up in trash bags helped so much. Nothing was loose. Clothes weren’t dropped and trampled. They didn’t get dirty in the truck. This was so easy, you could grab a handful right out of the closet, take it to the truck, and then take it directly to the new closet.
Get a sitter – If you’re moving locally, get someone to watch the littles. I couldn’t have made it moving day with Elizabeth (and Jade) under my feet the whole time. Nor did I want to worry if they were inside or outside, since the doors were open and people were constantly in and out. Thankfully, my aunt kept her during the day while we packed up. I let her come home before we left, so that she could see it empty and understand a little more what was happening. We still weren’t sure if we would be staying at the new house or old house, and it was already bed time, so she went to her best friends for the night. It was her first night away from home, but I didn’t once have to worry about her. I didn’t have to stress to get her bed set up before we could sleep. I will do an entire post on how to help children handle moves.
Eat what you have – meaning, finish up the food you have on hand without going to the grocery. You may have to get creative, but the less food (particularly things from the fridge / freezer) the better! I tried to not go to the grocery the last 2 weeks we were in our old house. Of course, I had to run out a couple of times for milk and fresh fruit, but that’s about it. One night, we had these hamburger salads. I needed to use up the peppers & mushrooms and didn’t have steaks, or bread, so wala, I sautéed the veggies and then pan fried the burgers and served it on spinach. It was really really good.
Pack an overnight bag – Yep, you do NOT want to have to dig through boxes to find essentials. I left out a small suitcase that we could throw 2 changes of clothes in, toiletries from the shower, our supplements, 2 towels, and a set of sheets. I also packed a box that had soap, toilet paper, paper towels, dish towels, my cleaners, paper plates, silverware. They both stayed with me so that they wouldn’t get mixed up with everything else – it was the last things I put in the car, and the first things I got out. As soon as we walked in the house, wouldn’t you know someone needed toilet paper (and soap), and the previous owners didn’t leave anything (see this post for what I suggest you leave / do at your own house when you leave).
Expect things to be overwhelming. They will be – no matter how much preparing you do! It’s a brand new house, a new routine, new things to get use to. And a whole lot of work to make your house a home and get settled. Unless you hire someone to pack, load, unload, and unpack, things may look like this for at least a few days.
Make things ‘normal’ – as soon as possible get things taken care of that you will need for your home to function right away. For me, this was the kitchen. I had to get my kitchen unpacked and put together. I knew I would be painting in a few weeks, but I have to have order, and the kitchen is where everything happens in my home. I also got Elizabeth’s bed set up and her furniture placed and secured to the walls in her room before she went to bed her first night there. I unpacked her favorite books and toys so that she could have a little normalcy and feel secure.
And finally – as a bonus – you can celebrate!!! If it’s like ours, it will be a crazy, busy week! Take time to celebrate! While we were still packing up the old house, I made sure to still keep things as “normal” as possible and took lots of breaks to play outside with Elizabeth. And similarly, you need to take breaks after the move. Sit and celebrate! Enjoy your new home, chances are, you’ve worked hard to get there! Don’t let the work of getting it settled get in the way of loving it. One night, with sweat in our hair, and very tired bones, we just sat on the porch after Elizabeth was in bed and enjoyed a bottle of champagne. The mess was forgotten, and we took time to celebrate and love it!
So these are things that I do when moving… What things would you add?