Since our recent move, I have received numerous requests for any simple moving tips I might have to share. Yes! I certainly learned a lot through the process and learned the best tip (#3) from a dear friend who had moved some 30 times! I knew she properly had it down and were worth taking note. So we delay the start of our March theme to talk some practicals.
1. Weed out as much as you can before moving.
My goal was that we would not take anything with us that we did not absolutely want! We sold a bunch of things on craigslist, gave stuff away, or consigned items. This made it so much easier to start fresh.
2. Pack your stuff for their destination room.
Start by picturing your new home and where you would like to relocate your goods. Sketch our a map if desired. Determine as you pack where they will be put in your new home. Chose a color for each new room in your home and then tape a construction piece of paper in that color on the box. When you move the boxes, then you can know easily where each box is going and then it is easy to unpack!
We selected RED as the kitchen color, GREEN as the basement, BROWN as garage, ORANGE as the kids room, etc. If you have a lot of furniture, you could also tape the colored paper on to them as well to indicate destination room. The friends and family that helped move us made several comments that this really speedied up the process of unloading our truck. They quickly were able to recognize and determine the destination of the colors.
3. Make a master spreadsheet of the contents in each box.
Rather than just randomly labeling each box with the contents, we chose to use the number system with a master itemized spreadsheet. I would number each box starting at 100 and make a quick list of the contents of each box on my spreadsheet. Each box would simply get the number written on several sides.
So for example, box 118 contains silverware, pots, pans, and glass vases and had a red piece of paper on the top (indicating its destination was the kitchen). Box 121 contained humidifer, potty chair, travel bags, etc. It worked beautifully!
This was extremely helpful especially in the initial packing stage. If I packed something that I needed it was so easy to find that box and bring out the item and return it to its location after use. Of course the kids got sick in the middle of our packing, so to find the humidifer was easy. I knew it was in box 121, even if there was already 25 boxes packed in our garage. It was also extremely helpful for a speedy unpacking. It seemed a crazy idea initially…but hey, I knew where all my plates were with one quick glass at the spreadsheet!
4. Use red duck tape to label all your essential boxes.
Pick up some red duck tape with which to wrap around all the sides of the boxes of your essentials. This includes anything you will need right away – bathroom stuff, bedding, kitchen essentials, etc. That way you know you need to unpack these first even if you don’t have energy to attack everything else.
5. Keep simple meals for your moving week.
As to meals for your family during a move, I just bought easy freezer meals, canned soup, and burritos for the week. I made sure they were meals that I only need one pot to prepare. I used disposable plates and the like. This made it really easy without mess.
Other means that we found helpful for keeping it frugal: find free moving boxes and paper on craigslist! Then repost them for another’s use when you are done. This left us with just packing tape and duck tape as the only things we had to purchase. Use the help of family and friends to help you move! Feed them a simple lunch, and they will be happy!
Hope that is helpful for any of you all!