Surprise, surprise. I moved. AGAIN. Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about moving and I wanted to share my secrets on how I make moving a little less stressful.
I find that life is easier when you make a “to-do” list (with any task really). That way you know exactly what you have to do and you’re not wondering if you’ve missed something when you’re just going off memory. I use these tricks every time, and they’ve made my life a whole lot easier. TRUST ME. Organization is the KEY here.
My boyfriend and I have moved a total of 6 times in the past 3 years. His job requires us to move every other season (spring and fall) so we do a lot of packing… eh hem I do a lot of packing. He likes to not pack anything until the night before/the morning of, and then tap his foot when I’m not ready when he is because I’m still cleaning where he just moved his stuff from. Literally, every. damn. time. SO, I’ve learned to pack/clean around him, giving myself time to clean his “areas” the day of.
Unfortunately, when we move, there is no going back to clean the space. Once everything is out of the house, so are we. So, everything has to be cleaned as the last box hits the truck. This makes everything a little more stressful and adds to my already way too long to-do list.
Here are my 9 most useful tips and tricks:
MAKE A LIST or 12. I have to make a list of things that need to be packed in each room and a separate list with things that need to be cleaned in each room. So each room has two lists. I know I sound crazy, but it is so much nicer when everything you still have to do is laid out in front of you.
Now, with these two lists, make a time schedule list. Aka a list telling you what needs to be done each day leading up to moving day. Go through your pack and clean lists to make sure everything is on your schedule list. As you go cross off each task, a weight is lifted off shoulders knowing that you are one step closer to being done. Love that feeling.
MY GO-TO PACKING SUPPLIES are 100%, hands down, labels and Rubbermaid totes. The totes come in a variety of different shapes and colors and stack nicely. They are more expensive than cardboard boxes, but with the totes you don’t have to mess with tape, worry about rodents chewing through, water damage, or the box breaking. I use labels on everything. You can either purchase plain white labels from the store and use sharpie or buy the label sheets that can be printed on. I use the sheets just because I can use a font that’s easy to read and make duplicates. And really, these two items are my main mode of packing. I’ve fussed with boxes and writing on them with sharpie and I didn’t like it. Totes last longer and you can always take the label off or switch it out. Not to mention they can hold more weight without the worry of the bottom falling out.
START PACKING two to three weeks in advance. The first thing I do, is take down anything on the walls throughout the house, then I start packing the room I use least (ps this should be the first room on your schedule list). Decluttering and packing the items I don’t use every day first, then stacking the totes on one wall. Even if you are only packing a few items away in the room each week, eventually the whole room will be packed. If you have the opportunity, you can move the totes into your garage or in a safe spot outside. That way you can clean that rom faster and easier. If you are able to do this, keep everything in designated room zones (I hope this goes without saying). That way when everything gets loaded, all the totes are in the same area.
When I make my schedule list, I tend to jump around a lot. Packing a few things in each room each week. This way I’m not spending too much time in each room. Also, so I don’t go crazy.
PRO TIP: PACK COFFEE AND COFFEE MAKER LAST. There’s nothing worse than waking up two days before moving day and realizing you packed up your one and only life line in a sea of totes the night before. In the event that this does happen, it’s okay because you labeled that tote and you know exactly where it is (get it girl)… see labeling comes in handy pre-move too.
WHEN PACKING CLOSETS use trash bags. No, I don’t mean throw all your clothes in bags. Section off 12 hanging items or so, and place the clothes inside the bag starting at bottom first while they are still hanging. Work the bag around your clothes and over the sides of the hangers. Then, use the draw strings to tie around the tops of the hangers. This keeps all of the clothes together, makes them easier to stack or move, and also stops any sliding that may occur causing random hangers to fall to the ground. This is one the best tricks I’ve found.
PLAN MEALS for two weeks before moving day. This way you can get rid of everything in the fridge/freezer. Also, this allows you to plan around the use of the oven/stove top. Your last few meals should be ones that can either be heated up in the microwave, be takeout, or BBQ’d outside. Cleaning the oven and stove is the most time consuming task (at least in my eyes) you have while moving. If you add cleaning the stove top one day and the oven the next to your schedule list, it will break it up and make the task less daunting.
START DEEP CLEANING the empty rooms and closets as you go. We almost always live in houses with carpet (which sucks when you live with a stain prone boyfriend) so there are plenty of stains that need to come out. As I clean out/ pack up each room, I go through and spray stain lifter. I like to use Resolve, it’s the best cleaner I’ve found. If you have any suggestions as to a better stain lifter, PLEASE leave it in a comment bellow! I am open to any new suggestions. While the stain lifter is setting in, I usually wipe down the walls and base bards.
When your fridge/freezer has just a few things left in it, take them out and deep clean that bad boy. After everything is cleaned out, lay a towel down on the bottom shelf and place whatever food… or wine, is left on it. This way your fridge stays clean and you don’t have to worry about cleaning it the day of. Maybe just a quick wipe down the day before, but def not a full on deep clean.
AS YOU LOAD up your totes, load them in the order of their new destination. So, if the master bedroom is in the back of the house, load them last. Then say, the office is next, and so on and so on. This way there is less traffic going through your new place and less dirty foot prints to be stain lifted.
PRO TIP: I always start in the back of the house. ALWAYS. If you start unloading items that go in the front room first, someone… eh hem sh*t for brains… will continue to bring totes in and just dump them in the front room along with everything else because its less steps HE has to make. So after trial and error, I’ve learned to start in the back first. Work smarter, not harder.
LABEL ON EACH SIDE of your tote. Sounds a bit much I know. But in the past I have only labeled one side, thinking that would be enough. “Oh, I’ll just load them all facing forward so that you can read the label and know where it goes”. But, when you have a man load all your boxes, your idea will go out the window and the back of the box will be facing outward. Labeling all four sides will make things easier and faster when unloading.
STICKY NOTE EVERYTHING, because guys are idiots. I use sticky notes on all of our furniture. I’ve seen people use the little colored dots and each room has a specific color. I found this a dead end. Unless you have colored arrows pointing to the corresponding rooms in your new house, someone’s not going to remember that blue means bedroom not living room. So, I use sticky notes with the name of each room to label furniture. You literally have to label each piece of furniture otherwise your armoire will end up in the mud room because “how was he supposed to know?”. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather dumdum move it to the right spot the first time, than have to move it myself the second time. Again, smarter not harder.
I hope you found these tips and tricks helpful. I do this every time we move and it makes everything easier for me. I’m constantly looking for easier ways to do things when it comes to moving, so if you have any advice please leave me a comment bellow! And also, let me know if this was helpful in a comment below too! I love feedback!