BEGINNING OPERATION MOVE
I now consider myself pretty much an expert on moving. This particular move will be easier because I have more time to plan and prepare. And we have less stuff now. It will also be temporary until the place we want to move long-term frees up. So many items will remain packed. I learned a lot from my previous moves and the mistakes I made hopefully won’t happen again!
Here are my tips:
TIP ONE: PLAN WELL
Start preparing at least 3 to 4 weeks before your move-in date – by arranging for a moving company, getting supplies (boxes, tape, and labels, bubble wrap, shrink wrap), using up food (especially in the refrigerator), making a MASTER TO DO LIST and packing everything you can. I find colored labels to be invaluable. Also, don’t forget to fill out the change of address form, arrange utilities, etc. Write everything down! Trying to keep everything in your brain is impossible during this time.
Moving essentials – and that is an empty liquor box – ha! The paper has measurements of all my furniture. The bag makes the supplies portable.
TIP TWO: PACK WISELY
Pack all items you will not use in the next month – books, hobby supplies, most kitchen stuff, sofa pillows, most linens, etc. If you pack a lot of your things in clear stackable plastic bins, you will be able to find items if you need them. I use small liquor boxes for easy carrying. I also like to use shopping bags for ease of carrying. And make sure you can lift these bins and boxes. Stack boxes and bins against the walls to keep the living areas easy to walk in Clear out as many cupboards, drawers and closets as possible so that you will have less to do last minute. I like to keep some essentials in an open bin – things like markers, tape, scissors, labels, etc. Remember you can leave things in the dresser drawers – so pack them to the brim since you won’t have to be moving these, the professional movers will.
I love these 99 cent jumbo shopping bags for lightweight items!
TIP THREE: KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER
Try to keep up with your laundry and cleaning. You don’t want to get to the overwhelmed state. Try to keep things tidy even when you are in a chaotic state because your health and sanity are at stake during such a stressful time. I found that having cleared horizontal surfaces was such a mental lift. I can also find things easier when surfaces were cleared off. I keep all my important papers and office supplies in a large briefcase. I keep my to-do lists on my notes app on my phone. Put it on the list as soon as it pops into your brain. The biggest lie we can tell ourselves is that we will remember something we don’t write down! AND DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE DEEPLY!
Your horizontal surfaces are your work areas, so keep them cleared!
TIP FOUR: HAVE SEVERAL MOVING DAYS
If possible, move most of your small items a couple of days before the movers arrive. This is possible if it is a local move. We spread the actual move out to three days. The first day was moving all the small items, plus marking on the floors where the movers needed to place the furniture. The second day was unpacking some of those items, storing things away, and getting some groceries into the new place. The third day is having the movers move the oversized furniture items. I had a couple of family members assist on the first day. Any more helpers than two can be hard to manage.
Things my helpers and I can carry get moved before the professional movers come.
TIP FIVE: RELAX WELL
Be kind to yourself. Don’t try to be a superwoman. Don’t overload yourself. Try to get some form of good exercise every day, even if it is just twenty minutes. I also find that stopping cooking the last few days before a move to be a wise idea. It frees up a lot of needed time and effort. I also made sure to have some wind-down time every evening by watching a movie on TV with my husband. I like to read before sleep because it removes the mind clutter that the moving process can create.
After a good swim in the pool, soaking in a hot tub, a quick shower then slipping into my fuzzy robe I am now ready for our dinner from Doug’s Diner and then a Netflix movie! No stress here!
I hope these tips will help make your move less chaotic and more joyful. The more you prepare and plan, the easier your move will be. Moving can be stressful and exhausting, so the more you know in advance of the moving day, the better. Save all the non-essentials until after you move and make an “After the Move To-Do List” to free up your mind further. Non-essentials might be: haircuts, non-emergency doctor appointments, shopping for things that can wait, etc.