Today we have Sally from Daisy-Chain Creations on the blog. She has some great ideas on getting your family ready for the big move.
I'm sitting here writing this amid boxes and packing paper...we are on day 3 of living in our new house, in a new city and in a new state. And to put this into perspective, it's our 3rd move in the past 5 years and our 7th move in our 18 years of marriage. Each time I learn something new and I thought in this series for organization, I thought I'd pass on some things that make the transition go a little more smoothly.
(You will have to forgive me for the lack of personal pictures...the connection to the internet is not working on our home/desk top computer with all of my pictures and editing software...there's always some kink to keep things from going perfectly smooth:)
Step 1: Getting ready for the move/Getting ready to sell/show the house (it works for both) You've probably heard this before, but now is the time to PURGE. Go from room to room and set things in piles of keep/donate/throw away. If you are trying to get ready to show a house, add a pile of keep but pack away for now. Do this for EVERY room and closet...it makes things less hectic when it comes time to actually pack.
Step 2: Set a Date If you are moving yourself, reserve the truck (even if it's a local move) and some help to load. If you are being moved, communicate with the moving company and have it set up in advance. They can be booked up if it's a busy time of year.
Step 3: A week or two out, call your current utilities to schedule a shut off date and then call the new places utilities to turn them on for your arrival. It's also time to call anyone else that would need your new address ie. banks, insurance...you know all of those important things, but don't forget the fun stuff too like and subscriptions for magazines and friends and family. The post office does a mail forwarding (check their website), but it's not 100% reliable.
Step 4: Start to pack. If you did step 1 you'll be a little ahead of yourself. Even if you are being moved, there are things you'll want to pack and transport yourself. They usually don't take things like liquids and flammables. There's other things like your computer, things of sentimental value, pantry items, that you might want to take with you.
What I usually do is have a bin of some sort for all of the liquid bathroom stuff, cleaning supplies, kitchen/pantry items that have been opened or are liquid. Then I also have a bin for our important papers, documents and things like external hard drives and anything else that is not replaceable. These are the things you will take with you in your cars. Plants and pets are another thing you need to take with you.
Step 5: Label every box as detailed as you have the time to make it...it makes not only unloading and knowing where to put your stuff easier, but makes it easy to prioritize what to unpack first.
Step 6: Pack a sanity box. This is a tip that I learned from my sister who had to move a lot because her husband was in the Coast Guard and they moved every 3 years. Have a box or 2 that will go with you and you load last when you move and unload first when you get there. This box contains the things that you will need (and might not realize it) right away.
Here's what to put into it: toilet paper and paper towels, hand soap, a small supply of paper goods to eat and drink off of to last until you can get your kitchen unpacked, shower curtain and rod so you can take a shower as soon as you want, towels, sheets so you can make your beds as soon as the mattresses are unpacked and sleep on them the first night...trust me these are all nice things to not have to search for in endless boxes on that first night.
Step 7: Pick a room that is important to you and your family and make it a priority to get it unpacked and free of boxes as soon as you can. This gives everyone a little sanctuary to get away from the chaos. This one is especially important if you have little kids, has been my experience. This one has also changed with each move. Sometimes it's been the living room so the kids would have a place to play out of the way. One time it was the kitchen, mostly because there just wasn't room for us and the boxes. This time around, it was the bedrooms. Since my kids are older, they did a lot of unpacking in their bedrooms so we were able to get them all done by the end of the day.
So those are hopefully some helpful hints that will help someone's move go a little smoother. Moving is never an easy thing, especially when you throw kids into the mix, but it can go smoothly! Good luck if you are moving too!