So you've made an offer on your dream house, secured the financing and signed the papers...now it's time to start packing up and preparing to move your entire household to your new address. It's all so exciting right?
Even if everything still feels just a little bit stressful...don't fret, you're not alone and here are some tips to help you get your move on and get it done with the least amount of chaos. Whether you have moved 20 times or this is your first big move, you will find something on this list to help shave off some of your time and ease some of the frustration that so often occurs when moving.
1. Organize Yourself. Unless you are moving at the last minute, you likely have between 1-2 months to plan your move and get organized. You don't have to pack everything today, but you can definitely get the ball rolling. Any items you have that are used/worn exclusively in winter weather, can be packed! Once you start processing your stored up belongings, you can decide what to send to the new house, what to donate or throw away and what you will need between now and moving day. Organizing will keep you feeling positive about the whole process.
2. Purge Now. As long as you are in an organizing mood, let's talk about purging some of the things you have been storing and stockpiling. As a general rule, it's good to get rid of things you haven't seen or used in years. It's probably a good idea to have someone helping you that will be practical and not so sentimental about every little item that you are reluctant to part with. Since summer is upon us, it's the perfect time of year to hold a yard sale. If you are pressed for time or have no inclination to sell your items, pack up your gently worn clothing and household items and donate them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
3. Only Take Out the Actual Trash. Try to avoid packing things in garbage bags or leaving the boxes unlabelled. Well-meaning friends or family could accidentally throw them out on moving day and you could be very sorry you didn't take a minute to correctly label your boxes of valuables. If you must use large trash bags...tie them with colourful ribbon or use large pieces of coloured masking/duct tape to identify the contents, make them hard to miss and hard to overlook.
4. Go On A Box Hunt. When you are ready to start packing, begin bringing your groceries home in boxes and asking your local coffee shops, liquor stores and department stores for any extra boxes that haven’t been broken down. Getting a few each time you visit the store will ensure that you have a constant flow of available packing containers. Remember to use small sturdy boxes for heavy glass and crystal, larger boxes are more suitable for linens, blankets, teddy bears and lighter items.
5. Label everything. Label all sides of the box, in clear black marker, to ensure that it can be identified easily regardless of how it is placed in a room. Each box should contain the category of contents (linens, dishes, lego etc), the name of the room that it is to be placed in, and whether the box needs to be accessible and opened immediately or if it is a box for storage (seasonal equipment or scrapbooks etc) Some people like to assign red, yellow and green colours to quickly identify the boxes that need to be opened right away.
6. Delay Deliveries. If you’ve recently purchased any furniture like a dining room set or bedroom furniture, schedule the delivery for after moving day. That will help you focus your attention on moving day itself and will avoid any congestion between delivery people and those helping move your things.
7. Find a Dual Purpose. You will likely be need to transport your luggage, gym bags, dresser drawers and hangers with you, why not use them all to pack and carry your items. If you will be moving into the new house immediately, just pull the drawers out of all dressers and cabinets and place them carefully in your car to take to the new place. Once the larger pieces of furniture have been moved into the new house, you will be able to just replace drawers and hangers quickly.
8. Pets and kids-be-gone. Everyone will be excited about the big transition, and the house will be a beehive of activity, but the goal for moving day is to get things done efficiently and expediently. It's a good idea to find an off-site babysitter and put the pets in a day boarding program...or send them all to grandma's house. Everyone will be able to focus on the task at hand, move swiftly and safely up and down the stairs and no one will get hurt or traumatized by falling or being stepped on by anyone.
9. Take Good Care of Your Help. Whether you are hiring movers or cashing in on old favours with your friends, make sure you are considerate of anyone helping you get your house moved. First, have everything packed already, don't ask them to pack your stuff or wait while you fill boxes. Second, have beverages and snacks on hand for helpers, and if you need their help during a meal time, plan for a pizza or sandwich stop. Everyone works more efficiently and more happily when they have full stomachs and are well hydrated.
10. Plan All Your Service Installations. Make sure you find out how utility bills (gas, water, electricity) will be transferred over to you from a previous owner. Does a technician need to come out to the house? Can you do it over the phone? Also, arrange to have your phone line, cable and internet working as soon as possible after you take possession. After a tough moving day, it's very comforting to have life return to some of its normalcy again.
Hopefully your moving day will go off without a hitch. Whichever way you move your things from one spot to the next and however you choose to organize in order to help yourself through the unpacking days ahead, just remember that preparation in advance, will very likely save you time and effort down the line.