I am a bit of a news junkie and I listen to a lot of talk radio. I’ve recently heard reports that the real estate market is starting to bounceback and foreign money is buying up a lot of the housing inventory–making it a good time to sell. Of course I then hear that the market is terrible on another station. The only thing I am able to know for sure is that I have run into a lot of people who are moving. Not only are they moving, but they’re moving up and not downsizing! It’s awesome.
Moving is stressful and time-consuming but it is a great time to declutter and get rid of things you no longer need or want. There are a lot of tips and tricks out there to help organize your move. Below are the guidelines I use when I organize a client’s move. I am always on the lookout for other helpful tips too.
- Make sure to have all of the proper moving supplies you will need. This includes: Boxes, Packing Tape, Bubble Wrap, Sharpie, Labels and any other specialty items.
- Get rid of as much as you can before moving. As you are packing, sort through the things you don’t need, never use or toss things that are broken. Don’t hold on to anything that you wouldn’t love to see in your next house.
- Group and pack your belongings according to their new destination. If you are putting plastic cups and silverware in the garage in your new home rather than your kitchen, make sure to put those items in a box designated to the garage.
- Label and number your boxes. Write the box’s contents on each label, the family member it belongs to and the location it belongs in the new house. I usually assign a color to every room, mark the boxes with coordinating stickers and seal boxes with matching packing tape. Remember, when coding furniture, be mindful where you affix stickers.
- Make a master spreadsheet of the contents in each box and write down who and what room is assigned to each color so you and the movers will know where things should go.
- Get as many boxes as you can in all the same size and make sure to get a size box that you are able to move yourself when it is full.
- Create a Last-Out, First-In Box. The last box you pack should contain your everyday necessities. When you make your final trip to your new home, you bring this box with you in your own car so you will have constant access to its contents. This box should include: bedding, towels, toiletries, toilet paper, basic tools, cleaning supplies, medications, a camera (to document anything broken in transit), underwear, snacks, a few dishes and utensils, phone chargers, laptop computer, glasses/contacts, etc.
- Make a comprehensive list of all services and utilities that you will notify about your move including: gardners, poolman, etc. When you notify your utility service providers, request that your utilities, phone and Internet service be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the day before you arrive.
- Arrange to have the locks in your new home changed on moving day, or earlier if convenient.
- Consider having housekeepers come in before you arrive at your new home and to clean up the old one after you have left.
- Change your address two weeks before your move. You can complete a change-of-address form online or at the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions, notify banks and credit card companies and you are supposed to get an updated drivers license within one month of your move.
- You may want to take photos of every room and plan beforehand where each piece of furniture will go, using the pictures as a guide. This saves time and assists you in telling the movers exactly where each piece should be placed.
- Document valuables and keep smaller items with you. Have items such as artwork and antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph or videotape them, and upload the images to your computer. ( you can save them to a CD, and store it with your small valuables as well).
- Print an information sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions, and your cell phone number. Have a cashier’s check or a credit card (if accepted) on hand, plus cash for a tip.
- Arrange for someone to be at your new home when the movers arrive to oversee them and answer questions. Check items off the inventory list as they’re unloaded.
Here are some helpful packing tips:
- Sort through any “junk drawers” and group like items together to be moved their new destination.
- Pack heavy items like books in small boxes, and lighter items like blankets and pillows in larger boxes
- If you need to disassemble your beds before moving; place all the hardware in a small plastic bag and tape it to the rails or headboard
- Fill empty spaces in boxes with lightweight items like towels, linens, etc.
- Add Handles to your moving boxes if they don’t have pre-punched grips. Make a set of your own using a box cutter, create inverted triangles on opposite sides of an empty box. The top edge of each triangle should be wide enough to accommodate all hand sizes.
- Take care not to overpack your boxes as they’ll be more difficult to maneuver,
- Protect Glass by making a masking-tape X across mirrors and framed artwork. While this technique won’t prevent shattering, it will help absorb shock and hold the glass in the frame should the item be dropped. Pack objects in a tightly fitting box clearly marked “fragile” on all sides. Make sure the corners are well-padded, so the objects won’t slide around.
- When transporting anything with doors or drawers, such as bureaus, cabinets, or large appliances, wind a few layers of plastic wrap around the item to secure them. This will eliminate the need for tape, which can damage delicate surfaces, and helps safeguard against scratches. Plastic wrap can also protect upholstered furniture against dirt.
I won’t end this post by saying moving will be easy if you follow these steps. I will stand by the notion that if you plan your move, follow a timeline and keep a checklist, your move will feel much more organized and you will eliminate a lot of the last-minute stuff that can add to the stress.