By: Kristen Salera
As a home organizer, I love helping my clients prepare for a move. I love working with moving companies, and I LOVE making a client’s transition into their new home less stressful. This past month I had to move myself and it was a challenge for me because I wasn’t moving into my permanent home. I was moving into a temporary space until my actual apartment was finished with construction. That’s right. I had to prepare to move twice. I had to think carefully about what my son and I really needed until our next home was ready for us. I also had to be very particular about how I packed and labeled my boxes as they were going into storage for the time being. I was about to become my own client and a pretty demanding one at that!
Decluttering and organizing go hand in hand. We stress that all the time. Moving is no different and it’s the perfect time to go room by room and see what you’ve been using or if it’s time to let some things go. The last thing you want is to move with a bunch of items that no longer serve you. I started in the kitchen. I found I had six pie pans! How many times have I baked a pie in the last year? Why do I need six pie pans? By the way, the answer was one. Into the donate bin went 5. These are the questions we ask our clients all of the time. You can’t make your space bigger to accommodate your items so you need to get rid of the excess.
I went through each room assessing what I had and donating anything that wasn’t needed. The key to this process is not waiting until two days before a move to do the decluttering. You will be overwhelmed and stressed and end up just packing all the items you don’t need. To make this a little easier on my clients I try to find a charity that does pick up right from their home. Why add more to your to-do list when it is easier to just have a pickup scheduled. I took my own advice on this and was glad I did!
If you have kids, have them help in the decluttering process. This is a perfect time to release some of those toys and they see you doing the same thing with your own items. (For more tips on getting your kids to donate their never used items read more from our blog!)
Pack By Room and Label
If you are moving into a space with a similar amount of rooms this is the best way to help keep it simple. You don’t necessarily need to pack the whole room up at once either. You are still living there for the time being. Start by packing the decorative items you don’t need on a daily basis- pictures, knick knacks, books. Write the contents of each box on the sides as you go and give each space a name – kitchen, laundry room etc. Even if a box has extra space, avoid adding additional items from another part of the house. This will cause some unneeded confusion while unpacking. We really like these moving stickers to give each space a name and a separate color. For extra credit make a master box list. This is especially helpful when items are being stored for awhile (like me!) or moved to a different part of the country. You will know how many boxes you have, what is in each, and its designated room color. On moving day when things get a little hectic tape a colored piece of paper in each room that corresponds to the stickers on the boxes to ensure everything lands in the proper place. I know this seems a bit extra but every little bit of planning helps.
Personal Moving Essentials
Each family member should pack a bag of essential items you will need for a few days. You don’t want to go searching at bedtime for that favorite stuffed animal that your child cannot sleep without. Make a list of all the clothes you would need including socks, underwear, and pajamas. Pack all the necessary toiletries needed like soap, shampoo, hair brushes and toothpaste. If you take daily medications make sure you pack those. Don’t forget to take any electronics such as phones, tablets and laptops PLUS their corresponding chargers with you. For me, I packed a coffee maker in my essential bag. Anyone that loves their coffee can relate. (Make sure you don’t forget the coffee filters, mug, and COFFEE!)
Change Your Address
This is one moving tip that might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to do this when you have a million things going on. Remember most of us get auto deliveries from Amazon and other online companies. Take the minute to update your address for any future shipments. You don’t want that shipment being sent to your old address!
Remember to stop service on your existing utilities for the date you move and turn on service at your new address for the day you move in. This may be an easy switch if it’s the same utility company but could require a couple of phone calls if its not. Schedule your cable or internet hookup in advance as well. No one likes going without wifi longer than necessary!
I’m all packed and moved into space #1 and it went fairly smooth with the advanced planning I did. Next month we move into our new place and I am so excited for this chapter! Stay tuned for how to settle into a new home!