-Written by Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel
Even in the best of circumstances, moving is stressful. In fact, researchers have found that most people find it even more taxing than getting a divorce! Save yourself the headache by making your move as organized as possible with these five moving tips.
Downsize before you pack
There are few instances where planning a move needs to happen overnight. Usually, most of us have weeks, if not months, to prepare in advance of the big day. Spend that time wisely by weeding out old clothes or books, and sorting through piled-up stacks of mail and paperwork early. Decluttering can feel like a daunting task at first, but tackling a specific category of items — rather than an entire room — can help make the job feel more manageable. Set a schedule for downsizing and stick to it. Come moving day, you’ll have far fewer boxes to lift, and a lot less to unpack in your new home.
Labels, labels, labels
It’s hard enough to find anything in the sea of cardboard boxes. Save yourself unnecessary frustration by creating a labeling system that clearly identifies which room in your new house that box should go. Whether you choose to print off your own or purchase pre-made labels, aim to have roughly 100 per room, since you’ll want to stick one to each side, as well as the top of the box. If you have children who feel anxious about misplacing their favorite things, let them pick out their own patterned duct tape that can be used for only their special boxes. This will make them easy to identify, even for the youngest of kids.
Even though it’s easy to just start throwing things into boxes mindlessly, fight the urge. Instead, write a general list on either the top of the box or in a Google doc. If you opt for Google docs, be sure to number each box so that it’s no sweat to find exactly what you need.
It’s important to think about how quickly you’re going to need each item, too. For example, you’re most likely going to need a spatula long before you need your Halloween decorations.
For those boxes that will need to be opened immediately, label them with an ‘A’. Boxes with items that you’ll probably need the first week, mark with a ‘B’. For things that you need access to, but aren’t crucial right away, mark ‘C’, and any seasonal or keepsake boxes will be ‘D’. Before moving day, head over to your new house and assign specific areas for each of those groups in every room of the house.
Save essentials for last
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find your contact case and toothbrush after moving all day. Hold off on packing up any essential items like toiletries, charging cables, and your children’s favorite toys until the very end. If possible, stow those boxes in your car rather than the moving truck. If that isn’t feasible, make them easy to find by using clear plastic tubs instead of cardboard boxes, and load them toward the back of the truck. Either way, save unpacking those items from your car or truck for last so they don’t get buried under other boxes.
Furniture first, individual boxes last
When it comes time to pack up the moving truck, load your heavy furniture pieces like sofas and safes first. Then, fill in with lighter items like nightstands and lamps. Don’t forget that some pieces will fit better flipped on their side or upside down. Once all of your furniture is secured, organize the boxes by room so that when it comes time to unload, you can grab all the boxes for the same room at the same time.
Though it may take a bit more time and planning at the outset, an organized move will save you hours of frustration, and make your new house feel like home even sooner.
This was a guest post for Movers Who Blog by Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel. Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel is a mother of two, and lover of all things Danish modern. She enjoys writing professionally for Home Improvement Leads, with the goal of empowering homeowners with expert guidance and connecting them to qualified contractors to make their dream homes a reality.