As I said earlier, we really had a super-successful move into our new little house. Not only is this because we hired the best movers ever (3-Men Movers), but I think it’s because I
have a little OCD had my act together and I’ve learned a few things in the 10+ times that I’ve moved.
So here are my 11 Best Moving Tips for an efficient and hassle-free move:
1.) Use Professional Movers — You don’t necessarily need to have them come pack up your stuff (although they will), but it’s totally worth it to let someone who does this for a living (with super-fancy and industrial dollies) to do it for you. For us it was that we value the nice things we’ve acquired over the years. Moving from college….not so much. Moving into my second home, absolutely.
2.) Label Your Boxes And Rooms By COLOR — It was fortunate for me that we only have 5+ rooms in the new house; therefore each room was designated a specific color. This was another reason for me to pack up my own boxes, because I knew where I would want them to end up. I’ve tried writing on the box directly, I’ve taped note cards to the outside, and I’ve just “remembered” what was in each one, but I knew this time would be different. I’m so glad that I did the color thing because as I said, those guys were fast and they were bringing in boxes faster than I could have ever read what I wrote on the box. It was also nice to have them say as they were walking in, “these are all orange labels!” I could then make sure I had a place to put them within the “orange room”. And I did combine ideas by writing the contents on the actual colored piece of paper. This has made unpacking a dream.
3.) Invest In Good Boxes, With Handles — Thank you LOWE’S for having boxes with handles. And the smalls are only .74/ea. Not only does this make it efficient for the movers to stack similar shapes, thus carrying more at one time (like 5+ boxes at a time!), but once it’s inside your house, the box is small enough that you can actually pick it up and move it again. But of course not everything will fit in a “small”, so thankfully the Mediums also have handles and you will need a few Larges to hold bigger things, i.e. lamp shades, yoga mats, etc. The more you can actually fit into a perfectly taped box, the faster the movers will pack it up because they can stack it!
4.) Pack As Much As You Can Into An Actual Box — See #3; If it doesn’t fit into a box, bring it yourself in your car. These are things like plants and floor lamps, your laundry basket, and that awkward sculpture. Certainly the movers can move all of those things, but it slows them down and takes time to “secure” for the move. Put it in your car — or your mom’s car!
5.) Use Wardrobe Boxes — These are portable, cardboard armoires! I invested in these for two reasons: 1. I knew that we did not have
any much closet space in the new house and 2.) B was not going to be able to build our bedroom closet for a while. Thus, I knew I would be living out of these “wardrobes” for a while. They come in two sizes and are not cheap, but worth the investment to me. (I found the cheapest ones here by just stopping in.)
6.) Plan Your Furniture Layout Prior To Moving — You do not have to be married to an architect to work on a floor plan — although it’s a pretty nice perk to have someone create a digital rendering of your future house! Some good old fashioned graph paper and #2 pencil will work just fine. But knowing exactly where I wanted/could put things in the new place made the move in not only faster, but also kept me from asking them to move things around multiple times, or worse, trying to move it on my own after they left! I am a habitual re-arranger, so this is by no means the final layout, but it was good enough to get it done. Also, an extra tip here: Make sure they pack the boxes into the truck first and then furniture last so that the furniture will be the first thing out and can get set in place, able to stack boxes on top. This is especially important for area rugs. Our large one was the first thing in the house and put in place! (I was also a little fussy — i.e. took time out — about making sure it was perfectly square/centered because I knew that I would most likely never have the time or back to move all the furniture out of the room to adjust it!)
7.) Set Aside A Few Cleaning Supplies & Empty, Flat Boxes — Depending on the place you are leaving you may or may not be responsible for a final cleaning. For us, it was that I didn’t want to have to hide in shame from our landlord when he saw the size of the dust-bunnies living behind my furniture that was moved! I kept behind the vacuum and a bottle of Mrs. Meyers and a few rags and I was shocked at how many times I used them. There will inevitably be something else that was left out or behind or once the majority of your house is empty. Put that stuff and the cleaning supplies in your final box.
8.) Make A “Must Have Now” Box — For me, this box included all paperwork for current work projects (I still had deadlines to meet despite the fact that I was moving!). And this included tax papers as April 15 will be here very soon and I did not want to have to go on a hunt for all special papers. (About 2 weeks before the move, as the last tax documents arrived in the mail I made sure to digitally scan all of them just in case something happened to them during the move.) I also thought to add in my Must Have Now Box a few magazines, my phone charger, a journal, some pens, gift cards we had recently been given, headlamps, and two extension cords. I subsequently added the packing tape and markers I had been using during the packing process. The magazines were nice to have on about the 3rd night when we were “settled” and sans internet, but were able to crawl in bed at a decent hour. Keep this box in your own personal car!
9.) Pack An Overnight Bag — Medicine, toiletries, pajamas, clothes (and shoes) for the next day (or two). I would also include a towel, washcloth, and hand-towel. After a long day of moving you will want to take a shower and you do NOT want to have to hunt for these items. Keep this bag in your personal car with your Must Have Now Box.
10.) Buy Bottled Water & Paper Goods (just this once) — We RARELY use paper products; but for this occasion, it was a thoughtful gift from my mother and I’m glad we had it. She dropped off those items (and a large easy-to-heat meal!) a few days before the movers were set to arrive. I needed to pack away ALL of my dishes and having these paper products were really handy. The bottled water wasn’t so much for us, but for the movers (and family helpers) the day of the move. Again, who wants to try to fish out their glassware right away?
11.) Move On A Sunday — If at all possible, take advantage of clear roadways and book a move on a Sunday. Seriously, the movers were able to get on-street parking right in front of the house and then traveling to the new house was a breeze as we did not have to fight business commuters or soccer family caravans.
*12.) Bonus — If possible, do a load of laundry the morning of the move so you will not have to move any dirty laundry. (Ours was drying while the movers were there.) This was especially nice as our sheets and a couple of towels were the last items to wash and therefore wonderfully clean for our first night in the new house!
(I wish it was all unpacked and not just this little corner! *insert distressed emoji*)