Jeff and I have moved 8 times in the last 12 years. And I don’t know if that makes us completely crazy, spontaneous, or a little of both? But I’m pretty sure all those moves have made us some kind of experts on the subject.
AND since we just moved into our new place over the weekend, it’s still fresh in my mind. So I put together a checklist of things I’ve learned along the way. Tales from beyond the (moving) boxes…and land of incessant packing, driving carfuls of stuff from A to B, and unpacking at a new place without losing your shit. 🙂
Here are my top 7 tips for packing, moving, and unpacking again without losing your mind…
1. Get help. The number one thing I could recommend for moving is to hire help, if you can swing it. This will cut down on your stress tenfold and often times is a lot cheaper than you may think. Not to mention, movers offer insurance (always get the insurance), so if they damaged anything you’re covered. Which takes away A LOT of stress! Unlike the very last time Jeff and I moved all of our stuff completely on our own. Which involved some less than stellar packing up of the truck, which led to damage to a couple of our favorite furniture pieces. Papa bear chair, I’m talking to you. 🙁
If you can’t afford to hire movers, you can do the next best thing…look for free help (aka friends that are happy to be paid in pizza).OR do what we did for this most recent move – move everything you can yourself (I think we did like 12 carloads on our own?) and save the big furniture pieces for the professionals. If they’re paid by the hour you’ll save A LOT of money this way. Kind of the best of both worlds.
2. Don’t wait. This one is tricky because almost everyone I know waits until the last minute to pack. BUT it will really cut down on the stress of packing, moving, and unpacking to do a little bit each night, starting in the least crucial rooms in your house (guest bedroom, guest bathroom, any other rooms you don’t use very much, etc) and working your way through the rest of the house.
3. Boxed in. This time around Jeff and I rented reusable containers instead of cardboard boxes, to pack all of our smaller items up in, and it was the fastest we’ve ever packed AND unpacked. They’re super durable and can be stacked on a dolly and rolled all at once to save time when moving them from the car to the house, etc. Ours are from Taggabox if you’re in Atlanta and need a good rec. Just make sure you spring for a couple of dollies.
If reusable containers aren’t your thing, cardboard boxes work too. And store broken down boxes at the end of each move, for the next time to save money and cut down on waste if you can. Jeff and I have always done that (before we tried the reusable containers) and it’s always been really helpful. I like to store extra packing blankets, packing paper, and tape in the same spot too, so it’s all in one place when you need it.
4. Label it. Either way, add labels to each bin or box, as you are packing, to specify what room it goes into (meaning the room it will be going into at the new place).
5. So fresh and so clean, clean. If possible, clean the new place prior to moving everything in (bathrooms, kitchen, drawers, flooring, etc), if necessary. That way, when you do unpack, everything is clean and ready to be used. If it’s not possible to clean ahead of moving items in, just be sure to clean down surfaces, etc before taking everything out of boxes and bins.
6. Get a room. When you get to your new place, take the boxes or bins directly to the room they are labeled for when you arrive. This one almost sounds too easy to mention, but it really does help cut down on time when you can unpack things and put them away without having to leave a room.
7. Have a quickie. The final piece to this puzzle is unpacking everything again as quickly as possible when you get to your new place. There’s nothing more annoying than still searching for XYZ that you’re pretty sure is in the box at the very bottom of the pile two weeks after you’ve moved in.
Those are my tips! What did I miss? Let me know what moving tips you have in the comments below.