While our house was on the market I spent some time scouring the internet (let’s be honest, Pinterest) for tips and tricks to make moving easier. I knew with two little ones I would have to be organized to make it as easy as possible. It turns out that moving is never going to be easy but you can make it a little less stressful with some planning.
– Rubber band all your silverware together and put in a clean plastic bag. Pack it with the drawer divider. This way when you unpack it, it’s all clean and ready to be used.
– Use a different color of construction paper or duct tape for each room in the house. Label each room in the new house with this same color. This makes it easier for the movers to be able to identify which rooms which boxes go in. The listed contents also helps you to identify boxes that are the most important to be unpacked first (for instance, unpacking your daughter’s things before the guest room).
– Label boxes with contents. Number these cards. Take pictures of cards and keep a list on your computer. This might be overkill for some (and definitely eats up packing time) but when you’re looking for one thing in particular, it helps to be able to quickly identify which box number that item (say, mixing bowls) is in and then find that particular box instead of opening all of your kitchen boxes and glancing through the contents until you find what you need.
– Have a medium sized box opened and pre-labeled with each bedroom for the last minute items that need to be packed up the morning of the move. Have large trash bags in them for bagging clean linens and keeping them clean or keeping dirty linens away from clean. This way you can just throw everything in the box and tape it up quickly and your box is already labeled.
– PURGE as you pack! Be ruthless with your things. If you’re keeping it because so-and-so gave it to you ten years ago but you’ve never used it, get rid of it. If you think you might use it for a craft project later but it’s been sitting in your pantry for over a year, toss it. If it’s only broken a little and you think you might be able to fix it, throw it away because if you haven’t found time to fix it yet, you’re not going to find time to fix it. By purging as you pack it will leave you with less to put away at the new house.
– Utilize local donation services that will come to your house to haul away donations. We used a rescue mission in our area that comes and gets furniture, clothes, etc. They came three times during our packing and took everything from old lamps that still worked but weren’t in style to furniture pieces that no one had any use for anymore.
– Wear an apron as you are moving in and keep things like pens, small notepad, felt pads to put under furniture, and scissors or a box opener in it. It’s so handy to have those things with you and the apron allows you to carry more than if you just put things in your pockets.
– Pack your plates with styrofoam plates from the dollar store in between them and then package the whole thing with bubble wrap. This keeps your plates clean but protected and the styrofoam plates absorb some of the shock of moving. We, thankfully, didn’t lose any plates and our large ones were packed this way. Our smaller plates were just packed with bubble wrap between each layer (same concept). (Tip from The Frugal Girls)
– Gather pre-used boxes for your items. Our moving company brought us all of the boxes that we could possibly need (for free!) since they typically move military families and pack and unpack all the families items. Ask your company if they offer free boxes or a reduced rate on boxes. You can also find boxes from places like your grocery store, a liquor store (perfect for glasses!), or a department store. Most places can tell you when their truck gets unloaded and free boxes might be available.
– Have your kids help you pack and unpack their rooms (if they’re old enough). Charlotte loved getting to pack her items in boxes and then unpack them later. I think it helped her process the move better since she knew exactly where her “stuff” was at all times.
And probably the most useful tip….
– Get the ends of rolls of newsprint from your local paper to wrap things in. Ours was giving them away since the printing department was moving to another area but I’ve heard that sometimes you have to purchase them. These “leftover” ends enabled us to not buy any packing material for our boxes and the unprinted paper didn’t leave any yucky residue or printing on our items.