*Guest post courtesy of You Move Me
Moving is one of the most stressful and expensive things anyone ends up having to do. The amount of time and coordination that it takes can make anyone feel like any mistake is going to be catastrophic. The good news is, nothing has to go wrong. It doesn’t take much more time or effort, but a bit of extra planning and preparation goes a long way. Your peace of mind is paramount, and the best moving experience is only a few checklists away.
Step 1: Start with a list
All organization for your move starts in the planning stage. Before anything goes into boxes, or you even get boxes, sit down and make a list. You can organize this list however you want, but generally sorting by room is the simplest and easiest method. List off all the items you’re going to be packing into boxes, and all the furniture that’s going to be moved as-is.
Set aside that list. You’ll use it in the future when you’re packing, so you can reference which box has what things in it. Do this with every room until you have a full inventory of everything you’re moving.
Step 2: Put aside non-pack items
The next important pre-moving step is to set aside what you don’t want packed into boxes. This should be a bag or two of useful things for the road or flight, along with some essentials you don’t want to fish out of a box immediately after arriving. Make sure the containers and items aren’t stuffed underneath everything else in your bag, otherwise you might have a mess on your hands or a hard time grabbing items.
These non-packed items typically include phone chargers, medication, and some toiletries. Travel-size deodorant, soap, and shampoo are best, but if you don’t have those on-hand, just use what you have. Also, consider a little bit of cash to tuck away in there in case you misplace your wallet in the move.
Step 3: Sort out what to toss
A good way to keep everything running smoothly and organized is to spend some time sorting out what you can toss. Everyone collects junk and unusable things over the years, and this is the best time to get rid of it. This will lighten the packing load and keep you from opening a box at your new place, only to discover you didn’t need any of its contents. Here are some viable questions to ask yourself when deciding if you should toss or bring along:
Have you worn or used it in the last year?
Does the item have sentimental value?
Is it in good condition?
Does the value of the item exceed the cost to move it?
Step 4: Boxing your treasures
Now for the actual boxing and packing: labels and the list are key. Box one room at a time and label the box clearly on three sides with both the room and a number, or another general indicator like “electronics” or “books.” Correlate that to your inventory you made earlier, and list everything inside the box on that. Go as specific as you think is necessary. The goal here is to keep yourself from upturning twenty boxes to find one specific item you want at that moment.
A good general rule for packing is to do it incrementally, room by room. Set aside a day for each room in the week leading up to packing, leaving only daily essentials unpacked until moving day. Try to avoid packing anything on moving day; you’ll be in a rush and much more likely to misplace something.
Step 5: Check the furniture
Do a visual check on all your furniture. Make some notes about the condition, like the scratches along the corners or any other notable damage you might already have. If you’re especially invested, take a few pictures of it for your own documentation. If anything is damaged by movers or in transit, you’ve got an indicator that no, it was not like that before the move. A good moving company will take extra care not to damage your belongings, but it doesn’t hurt to cover your own bases.
Step 6: Complete the unloading
Lastly, when unloading, don’t just dump everything into the same room. That adds to the legwork of moving the boxes even more. Sort them into general locations, such as bedroom boxes in the bedroom, living room boxes in the living room, etc. The unpacking process will have less cross-house movement and make any searches much more localized.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Set up a virtual organizing appointment to ease your mind.