Tips for the Big Move
Whether this is your first move, or you’re a frequent traveler, moving is made much easier with a plan. Follow these easy steps to make the smoothest transition possible:
- Collect packing materials. This is a big one. The last thing you want to do is to forget something, break something, or make the unpacking process painful. Gather supplies in one easy to locate spot to make packing your belongings easy.
- black permanent markers (lots of them)
- packing tape with a sturdy handle
- plastic totes and/or free cardboard boxes
- bubble wrap and/or packing paper
- labels (optional)
- Clearly label your containers. Black permanent markers are a must have as you need to be able to clearly define what is in each box. Some people prefer to write on the box itself or you may need adhesive labels if you're using totes. I recommend labeling them by room and then bullet point some defining items to make it easy to find items once you’re in the new place. No one wants to hunt for the toilet paper!Likewise, using clear, plastic totes is a great alternative to cardboard boxes because you can see their contents. Plastic totes are also reusable, and should it take you a while to unpack your items are safe from critters and various elements. To use totes most effectively, pack what you won’t immediately need and especially anything of sentimental value that could be damaged if exposed to dirt and moisture.
- Protect breakables. Wrap your breakable items in packing paper or bubble wrap and label these boxes as “fragile”. If moving a long distance, I would recommend using some painters tape to “X” the glass on any pictures or frames you may be moving in the event that glass breaks. You’ll have less of a mess if it does.
- Unload your goods to their designated areas. It’s easy to just throw it all in the home and then organize later, but if you take the time to place your boxes in their designated rooms you’ll be much happier about the unpacking process. In this method, you’re eliminating a lot of steps to put things where they go once it’s time to unpack the boxes.
- As you unpack, recycle the leftovers. This statement can be taken many ways. First and foremost, please recycle or pass along your cardboard boxes and packing paper. They may be beneficial to someone else who is moving as well. If while unpacking you can’t find a home for something, try to let go. During the packing process I quickly found that I was packing up a lot of things that we weren't missing in our day to day life. When it came time to unpack, I was likewise finding things that didn't have a designated home or seemed unnecessary in new surroundings. Take the time to purge the trash, recycle the rest, and remember that there are many community organizations that will happily pick up your leftovers for free!
- Change of address. This is self-explanatory. Make sure you feel out your change of address forms and compile a list of everyone who needs to be notified of the address change. Make sure to follow through with contacting services to take the stress out of missing mail or packages. Don’t rely on the post office to do the work for you – they are people too.
- Consider delivery. If you are too overwhelmed by the process, there are several companies out there who will essentially make the move for you. In long distance moves, some people find it helpful to take the smaller items that they can’t live without and leave the furniture behind. When you arrive at your destination, visit a one-stop-shop for home furnishings and set up delivery to take the hassle out of shopping.