Planning and Executing an Organized Move
By: Julie Heijster, CPO
I probably don’t need to tell you that moving is one of life’s more stressful events. But I can assure that with a little preplanning you will save yourself time, money, headaches and much of the unneeded stress.
Eliminate Chaos has been managing clients’ moves in the greater Seattle area, across the country and internationally for well over a decade. Clients call in a panic because they are moving in a couple of weeks and want to know how they are going to get it all done. Moving is a process with many steps, and you need to be able to track them.
Here are some things you need to consider for your next move:
Create a “Move” Calendar
Plan backwards with the first date on the calendar as your actual “move” date. Then fill in other important dates, such as when you will complete your downsizing, remove donations, haul away stuff to the dump, pack, and so on.
Once you’ve secured a mover, ask if they have any used moving boxes they would like to recycle. Many moving companies will provide these at no charge or a small delivery fee. Look on Craigslist, Nextdoor, OfferUp, Facebook Neighborhood group for someone that wants to get rid of their boxes – or post your own request. We are often able to find grateful people happy to come pick up boxes from one of our moves.
Best Place to Purchase Boxes
Packing yourself? The most economical place to purchase boxes is at Home Depot. You may be able to purchase less expensive packing paper from a storage facility that also sells boxes, but their prices may be two to three times that for boxes.
Create a “Master Room List”
This is a list of all the rooms in your new home. This is how you will label each box or ask the moving company to label them. Label two sides of the box with the room name. Create room signs that you can hang just above each room with painter’s tape to identify the room for the moving company or any friends that you’ve recruited to help.
Don’t Pack What You Won’t Use At Your New Home
Make the decision now so you don’t have to spend even more time deciding where things will live in your new home. Packing things you don’t really want wastes time on both ends of the move and costs you extra money.
Packing Takes Longer Than You May Think
If you’re doing your own packing, start as soon as you can with items you won’t need until after the move.
Pack the contents of each box based on where those items will live in your new home. For example, if you have large entry closets that contain items for the office, pantry, kitchen and laundry room in your new home, don’t just pack the contents of those closets into boxes labeled “hall closets.” You’ll just spend more time on the back end sorting it all out.
Open Me First
If you plan to sleep in your beds the day you move, pack one box per room that is your “open me first” box. This box should contain a set of fresh sheets, other bed linens, pajamas, a set of bath towels and any toiletries you’d like that evening. It’s hard to determine which is the “open me first” box in a sea of boxes, so wrap blue painter’s tape around the top of the box to spot it quickly.
Get a Babysitter
Make child care and pet care arrangements whenever possible so your attention can be used for the many important decisions you’re going to need to make on moving day(s).
Create a spreadsheet of utility information - those you need to hook up and those you need to shut down. Include important turn-on and shut-down dates along with information about monthly fees, account numbers, phone numbers, website addresses, any deposits required, and other notes.
You’ve Got Mail!
That is, as long as you remember to forward it. The easiest way to change your forwarding address is to go to the USPS website and enter your information.
Notify the Neighbors
Most likely, your neighbors are aware you’re moving, but they may not be aware of the specific date. It’s always nice to let them know that a large moving truck will be taking up a good part of the sidewalk in front of your house and theirs. Moving companies may have “no parking” signs placed on busy streets so their truck will fit come moving day. This will be included in the fees you pay to a moving company.
Last In, First Out
If you have a certain room you want to set up right away, such as the kitchen, those boxes need to go on the truck last. Request this of your mover, or remember to do this on your own if you are doing a DIY move.
I hope some of these tips will prove to be very useful during your next move, and may that move be as efficient and stress-free as possible!