Do you think that's an oxymoron? Maybe. I'm going to be positive and write about ways that I think can help make our move from one home to another as easy as possible
I have moved 5 times:
1. Hometown of Westfield Massachusetts to just 30 minutes away, then 2. Maine, 3. back to Hadley, MA, then 4. New Haven, CT, and 5. now in Virginia. They were all an adventure, and I like new beginnings. Now it's time to do it again. My husband and I are moving from a three-story home to a two-level, "active 55" community. I'm going to go at this in a positive way. I will lay this out following a path of planning, and helpful tips.
One thing that has changed since both my husband and I moved over 30 years ago is obvious: Technology. Yes, there's an app for that! Here we go!
1. Download helpful moving apps
Make your upcoming move an easier, smoother experience. Here are six to get you started.
Realtor.com - This real estate app helps users find homes, apartment rentals, and open house listings directly from the MLS. It also allows users to research neighborhoods, home prices, and schools to find their dream house.
Nextdoor - Connect with neighbors, sell household belongings and find local home improvement professionals with the Nextdoor mobile app.
Sortly - Described as “the ultimate organizer app,” Sortly helps users create a visual inventory of their belongings with photos, tags, notes, and more.
2. Getting prepared
The best way to pack for moving is to start earlier, rather than later. So before we get to packing tips and tricks, here are some moving hacks that will help you start off on the right foot.
Call the utility companies as soon as you know you’re moving. You’ll not only get it out of the way early on, but you’ll also ensure you don’t forget to do it later.
Find a mover fast. Find movers near you that have already been vetted for quality and reliability.
Set your budget. Moving can get expensive, and you don’t want to end up with major sticker shock on top of everything else.
Plan out your packing supplies. Use a packing app like Moved to get a good idea of just how much you’ll need in terms of packing supplies. This way, you can be sure to get what you need on the first run to the store.
3. Print customized checklists
Moving to a new home often involves many moving parts. From dealing with moving company logistics to handle financial obligations, there are numerous details to keep track of during a busy move. Unfortunately, figuring out what you need to do and when you need to do it isn’t easy. The solution? Create a comprehensive moving checklist for your upcoming relocation. Having this list of to-dos on hand will make it possible to manage the moving parts of your move, and do so in an organized and timely manner. Fortunately, Moving.com’s move planner includes printable moving checklists for every type of relocation. In addition, you can create your own customized moving checklist to organize all of your different tasks by week for a successful move.
4. Color code moving boxes
Labeling your moving boxes by corresponding room? Take it one step further by color coding those labels. This will make it easier to spot your belongings on the moving truck and in your new home. Fortunately, you can find color-coded labels marked with corresponding rooms from a number of retailers including Walmart and Amazon. You can also create your own color-coded system with multi-colored tape. For example, assign all boxes marked with yellow tape to the kitchen, all boxes marked with pink tape to the bedroom, etc.
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5. Plan a packing strategy ahead of time
Don’t just pack up your belongings willy-nilly. Instead, come up with a room-by-room packing strategy for moving. To begin, decide which rooms and closets to tackle first. Start with the rooms containing non-essentials (in other words: items you won’t need in the weeks leading up to your move). This could include the guest bedroom/bathroom, library, storage closet, playroom, basement, attic and seasonal clothing in your closet. Rooms that should be packed up last include the kitchen and bedrooms. These rooms will most likely need to be used in the days leading up to your move. Once you’ve decided when to pack various rooms, you’ll need to figure out the amount of moving supplies needed
6. Make a list of what each box contains
As you pack your boxes, make a list of what each box contains. This will help you to keep track of your belongings (what’s been packed and what hasn’t been packed) and will help with locating your items after the move. A popular method is to number all boxes and then write itemized lists for each corresponding numbered box. Other ways to include itemized lists include placing the lists inside of the boxes or taping the lists to the outside of the boxes.
7. Keep contact numbers for all utilities
Need to cancel or transfer your utilities when you move? Make sure to keep all utility information organized by keeping a list of contact numbers for each monthly service provider. Utilities may include cable and internet, water and sewer, gas, electricity, satellite, security system, trash, and phone. For tips on how to transfer your utilities check here:
8. Saving money on your move
Look at all your options. The best way to move is the way that makes sense for your needs and your budget. Price compare moving companies against renting a moving truck or using a portable moving container to hone in on your most cost-effective option.
Find free packing supplies. You can often score free boxes by calling up local retailers or just asking friends and family members.
Be flexible. Have some lee-way in terms of when you have to relocate? Save money by opting for a mid-day or mid-week move.
9. Last-minute moving hacks
Start with logistics. Figure out how you’re getting from point A to point B before doing anything else. You can wing a lot of things with moving, but not this.
Pack now and sort later. Now it the time to pack, not think. Take care to properly wrap valuables, breakables, and sharp items, but don’t put pressure on yourself to organize or label your boxes—you’ll figure it all out later when you’re not on a tight deadline.
Leave some tasks to the movers. If you’re working with a moving company you can offload some of the tasks to them, such as wrapping up furniture and getting last-minute into boxes. Just be prepared that this may tack on some time, and thus some cash, to your final bill.
You’ve finally arrived, but there’s still more to be done. Here’s how to stop procrastinating and speed up the unpacking process.
Start with the kitchen. Getting the kitchen done first will give you a big sense of accomplishment right off the bat and allow you to fully focus on the easier-to-unpack rooms.
Give yourself a deadline. Schedule a housewarming party or a more casual get-together for a few weeks after your move to provide yourself with a set end date for having all of your unpacking done.
Put on some tunes. Music makes everything better. Skip the TV (it will just be a distraction) and put on some good tunes to entertain yourself while unpacking and provide a much-needed distraction from the monotony.
Do a little bit at a time. Don’t stress yourself out trying to get every single box unpacked right away. Get the major things done, and then focus instead on doing what you can as you can, devoting just ten or fifteen minutes at a time to unpacking instead of feeling like you need to spend hours on it. It will all get done eventually.
Give yourself no choice. Feeling a bit sadistic? Dump out a box worth of stuff onto your bed or in your bathtub so that you have no choice but to clear it all out and put everything away if you want to get used out of your space.
Get rid of boxes as you empty them. As soon as a box is emptied of all its items, break it down and recycle it. This will give you a physical marker of progress and clear up much-needed space in your new home.
Have a plan for food. Let’s get real here: you’re not going to want to be cooking while also settling in and unpacking. Give yourself the gift of guilt-free takeout so you can focus more on everything else that needs to get done.
I wrote this with tidbits from various sources and with things that I have done in the past. Right now we're in a holding pattern because the "right" house for our future hasn't been found. That's the moment when the "move" will be a reality and things will be happening.
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Thank you for reading this post!