Now I’m not saying that your move will be flawless and stress free but it sure can be less of a nail biting hair pulling experience than you picture when you first survey all the belongings you have accrued. It really just takes the right planning before hand to lead to a successful move, and that’s where I come in. Let the OCD person tell you how it’s done with a few quick tips.
I recommend starting the process a month before you move. This will you give enough time to thoroughly go through your things, take your time in choosing what stays and what goes, buy enough packing supplies, then go buy more bubble wrap and tape because you’ll never have enough and then have the time to sleep the night before the move.
1. Start with going through each room, closet, shelf, nook and cranny and decide what is definitely going, what might go, what should be thrown away and what can be donated. After going through all your other rooms, go back through the maybe piles and I guarantee you can lessen them in some way. If it’s broken or warped go ahead and throw it away because a move is certainly not going to help it’s condition. Be brutal. Be thorough. Think about when the last time you used the object. Now is not the time to be a hoarder.
2. Decide on a numbering system for each room. Example: Kitchen starts with 100. Living Room starts with 200. Bedroom starts with 300. As you pack each box, jot down what’s going in each box and assign it a number. Label the box with which room it’s going in and it’s box number. Like Box 203: Throw pillows. This will save you so much time when unpacking and trying to organize your new home. It also lets you keep track of what is fragile or not, so you can appropriately label the boxes.
3. The first things that should be packed up will be decorative objects: pictures, paintings, mirrors, vases, etc. If it’s not serving a function beyond aesthetic, it can be packed. Your home will look bland for a little bit but be focused on the end game. Besides, how much entertaining will you be doing during this time in your life? Pack books early on too, and in small boxes. No need to try and impress anyone with how much you can carry because a hernia is never impressive.
4. For the kitchen, since this is where the bulk of my fragile belongings are, I found other ways to protect my belongings besides just buying the Container Store out of their bubble wrap supply. Use disposable plates to separate your dinnerware. Wrap things in dishtowels, they belong in the same room so why not. Put glasses in koozies for extra padding. Put measuring cups and spoons inside of storage bins. Get creative. Use what you have in front of you.
5. If you have the space, leave open boxes in the rooms so as you use something for the last time it can be packed. Once a box is packed and taped shut, move it out of the way (garage or other outside storage or against a wall) so you can better survey what’s around you.
6. For the last couple of weeks, set aside a place setting for each person and just re-wash those. Set aside one set of sheets and one towel per person and just re-wash those as well. Bonus points if the sheets and towels can be washed together. You’re getting the hang of this now. Live like a minimalist for a week or so.
7. Pack a clear tub with all the things you will want as soon as you get to your new home. This can include cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels, chargers, and toiletries for the first night. If you take it with your or if the movers move it, you’ll be able to see what’s inside and set it aside early on so no frantic searching for a toothbrush!
As a future Army wife, I am positive that I will have my fair share of moves coming up and hope to update this list as I get my system streamlined but these will have to do for now!
Hope these tips help you breathe a little easier during such a stressful life event.