Moving soon? Or even in the next six to twelve months? Now is the time to start thinking about all of the details a move entails. You may be surprised at what important things can easily be overlooked. Start by…….
Looking at the Big Picture
Put the moving date on the calendar and work backwards to establish your overall timeline for a successful move. If you will be using professional movers, start getting estimates and get on their calendar NOW. Just because you’d like to move the weekend between the kid’s birthdays doesn’t mean that the movers have a wide open schedule and are waiting for your call. There are only twelve month-ends per year to select from as your optimal time to move; add in work, school, and vacation schedules and the window of opportunity keeps shrinking. If you will be doing a DIY move and need help, reserve a large enough truck and get an early commitment from your friends or neighbors, as not all of them will be anxious to load your hide-a-bed or move your washer and dryer up from the basement.
Will you need to rent a temporary storage unit to facilitate the timing of a cross country move or a work relocation? Are you moving to a rental apartment (with no garage) while your new house is under construction, and you need some place to keep lawn mowers and camping equipment? You will need to let your “movers” know about any multiple locations even if one of them happens to be grandpa’s barn.
Will your new space have more or less room, or be laid out differently than your current home? Plan where your furniture will go, and don’t move anything that will not fit or be functional in your new home. Think twice about moving any of your “maybes”. Now is also the time to research new schools, day care facilities, favorite grocery stores, and anything else that may affect a new commute.
Zoom in a Bit - As the moving date gets closer
1. Downsize, downsize, downsize. If you don’t want to move it, you don’t want to pack it! Give items to family members, have a garage sale or sell things on “Craig’s List”, or donate to your local thrift store.
2. Start collecting moving boxes from someone you know that recently moved, purchase some from the moving company, or buy them at your local home improvement store. The more uniform size of the boxes that you use, the easier it will be for stacking, loading and unloading. An earth friendly option is to rent reusable moving totes that are dropped off and picked up at your convenience. The tops fold and lock, so there is no reason to use or mess with tape!
3. Sort and organize the items that you will be moving for sure, as it will save you lots of time and lessen the tasks on the other end. Dispose of outdated or expired food and medicines, and items that are damaged, not working, worn or torn.
4. Pin down a detailed furniture plan for the new space. Take exact measurements of pieces to be moved and of the rooms where you think they will end up. Pay attention to the width of any stairwells and doorways that oversize pieces need to travel through. Repeat this step for your cherished artwork.
5. Start the packing process now, with items that you will not need for a few months before, and soon after the move date.
6. Reminder…Don’t move what you don’t have to. You are paying by the pound, literally and figuratively.
Get Close-up Shots of the Details
1. Time to switch over utilities, put in for a change of address, line up cable box returns and service for phones and Internet. Try to arrange for a test of the cellular reception at the new place as it may not be what you expect.
2. Take pictures of the backs of all of your electronic cord hook ups for TVs, computers and cable boxes etc. Better yet, label each cord also with a “to“ and “from” identification.
3. If someone else will be helping you unpack, take pictures of any specialty drawers or areas that have a unique setup or organization, and show them to the person unpacking in the equivalent areas of the new home. This will alleviate some of the questions you will already be trying to answer on moving day.
4. If this is a local move, label the boxes of the refrigerated items as “load last” for the moving truck, or transport them by private car.
5. Prepare to temporarily cover windows in the new bedrooms and private areas. Inexpensive paper blinds from a home improvement store are a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution to the problem.
6. Put strips of blue tape on the “open me first” boxes for easy identification. Those include boxes containing the coffee pot, some bedding, toiletries, a few cleaning supplies ,some first aid items, and any equipment or accessories needed for any upcoming sports practices, music lessons, or homework projects.
7. Arrange for a baby sitter for the kids on moving day, or have a few token surprises ready and waiting when they start to get frustrated from all of the chaos going on around them.
Now that we have shown you the stages of a major move, take a look back at the big picture with your eyes and ears wide open and enjoy what can be a stress-free, organized moving experience.
~ Cheryl Ford