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Practical Moving Tips- How To Do it Yourself

Practical Moving Tips- How to Do it Yourself

It would be wonderful if we could magically move all our belongings from one home to the next. Unfortunately, most of us are stuck doing at least the packing/unpacking. I read somewhere that moving is the third most stressful event in our lives; I believe it. It’s a nightmare at the best of times- and we always seem to have to move when it’s most inconvenient.moving-is-not-fun

Here’s a list of moving tips I give to my clients when I’m helping them move.

1. Keep all your moving information in one place.

  • Get a notebook big enough to make a lot of notes in and put everything moving-related in it. Believe me: you will never be able to find the slip of paper with the mover’s cell phone number written on it.
  • Have the notebook with you to jot down notes when you call people.
  • Have a master list you can check off of everything you need to do. Hint: I put my master list on the last page so that I won’t have to flip around to find it if I need more than one page.
  • Clip/tie a pen to the notebook
  • Keep it with you at all times.

2. Make sure you have everything with you to order to survive a couple of days without your belongings.

Get the following stuff together and keep it with you during the move:

  • Pack a suitcase as if you’re going away for three days.
  • Add your purse/wallet
  • Add the following: light bulbs, toilet paper, lease, passport/etc, maps/directions, phone, flashlight, basic cleaning supplies, paper dishes, plastic cups, plastic utensils, extra paper towels, basic tools, band-aids, medication, aspirin.
  • Then add juice/soda/energy drinks, granola bars, apples (or another easy-to-eat fruit). Go online and find the number to a few delivery places/etc in your new area then print out the info and put it in your notebook.
  • Now include the personal things you can’t do without: laptop, iPad, favorite toys, books.
  • Finally, add a sheet/pillow case/pillow/blanket for each bed.
  • Mark this suitcase/box(es) with a big note that says “Do not pack! Emergency kit.”

3. Pack in a way that will make unpacking as easy as possiblemovingisnotfun

When you’re packing:

  • Purge as you go. Since you’re probably doing this in a hurry, don’t waste time trying to sell things. Put them in a big pile and have a charity pick them up. Remember: the more you purge, the less you need to move, and therefore, the less it costs.
  • Color-code your boxes using tape or markers. The categories can be by room, by item, by importance, whatever makes sense to you. Most people use a combination of categories: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, long-term storage, dining room, playroom, office, computer equipment, decorations, work supplies.
  • Divide your things into those categories and put the appropriately colored tape/marker on each box. I put the tape around the side of each diagonal corner so you can see what color it is from any side.
  • Don’t mix colors, but plan to have a few “Miscellaneous” boxes at the end.
  • Number each box and make a master list with at least the basics of what’s inside. Don’t put “bathroom”, put “personal hygiene” or “everyday dishes”.
  • Get more boxes than you think you’ll need.
  • The heavier the item, the smaller the box.

4. Moving Day!

How to get through the big day:

  • Put your suitcase/box(es) from Step 2 somewhere you can get to it later. Don’t put it in a closet or it will be blocked in. The kitchen table or counter is a good place.
  • Put up signs where you want the movers to stack boxes, put big items, etc. If you color-coded your boxes, you can put up one sign with directions at the front door and then a sign on each door such as “Blue Bedroom” or “Yellow Kitchen”.
  • Don’t unpack today. Live out of the boxes/suitcase for the rest of the day and order in a meal or go out. Moving is exhausting. You’ll need a good night’s sleep. There will be plenty of time to unpack later. Recover now.

Modify all the above based on your needs and abilities. It will all take longer than you think and will be far more tiring, but you will get through it!

Good moving!

About the author


I am a professional organizer in Buffalo, NY. I focus on helping people who are overwhelmed with all the Stuff they have in their lives. My specialties are: Decluttering, Downsizing, Clearing out a Home after a Death, Moving, and Hoarding. Visit my site at http://www.IHaveTooMuchStuff.com or contact me at beth@IHaveTooMuchStuff.com or (716)791-7293.

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