Throughout my life, I’ve had to move house quite a few times (I hope I don’t have to do it anymore!)
And as they say that practice makes the teacher, as I have already done several times, I have one that other tip, to make your next move easier and more bearable.
1. First remember that it is better to do things little by little and in time, and not overnight. So, try to start packing with enough time.
2. Take this opportunity to get rid of everything you don’t need! If you don’t love something, if it doesn’t make you happy, if you don’t use it, DON’T PACK it! Leave it behind, free yourself and start a life without old money in your new home.
3. Gather everything you’ll need:
- Garbage bags: Get from the extra-strong type, and buy two different colors. Book one of the colors exclusively for garbage. Or better yet, buy some colored ones, and some transparent ones, so that the trash throws it in the opaque bags, and the transparent ones you use them for the things you should take to your new home.
- Cardboard boxes: Try to pack as much as you can in boxes, but if you don’t get enough, use them for delicate things. Don’t pick them too big, because they’ll become too heavy once they’re full.
- Periodic paper: Wrap your stuff, Pyrex, knives, and other delicate things with enough newspaper. Then put everything in boxes.
- Adhesive tape: buy enough tape, and if you can, also buy a dispenser. If someone else will help you pack, buy another tape dispenser. Also buy masking tape, to create a visible space to label boxes and bags.
- Scissors and thick markers: You can buy markers of various colors, and identify each room with a different color and the boxes/bags that go in each one. Or you can buy them in one color, and label them “kitchen”, “office”, “main bathroom”, etc.
4. Decide how you are going to code your boxes and bags. Apart from indicating whether they go in the “kitchen”, “bathroom”, etc. you can use the code 1-2-3, in which:
1- indicates the boxes and bags to be unpacked as soon as possible. Examples: school uniforms, basic kitchen equipment.
2- indicates that the content can wait a bit. Examples: clothing and shoes for regular use.
3- points out that those boxes and bags may be the last to be unpacked. Examples: photo albums, bed linen and extra pillows.
5. Do not vaguely label any bags or boxes, for example using the word “several” or something undefined. Be clear about what’s in the box or bag, for example: “large Pyrex and serving trays”. And remember to label the boxes on their 4 sides and the top.
As the big day approaches…
1. Pack apart from all other things, a set of sheets and 1 blanket for each bed, 1 cloth or towel for each family member, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other things you will need in the morning immediately after move-in day. Also pack a change of clothes for each member, two if you have young children or babies, diapers, and 1 pajama for each person.
2. Give a good clean to your new little house, including windows, walls, bathrooms and sanitary services. This will be the only time you can get too all-and-every-corner easily, so take advantage! And while you’re there, make sure all the lights work, and the hot water is connected and working.
3. Also, pack some disposable dishes, glasses, forks and spoons separately, and what you will need for breakfast the next day: coffee maker, coffee, filters, a frying pan, etc.
4. Try to spend all the food you have frozen or refrigerated, so that it will not spoil with the move. Remember that the cool should be left running for 24 hours after it has been moved, so that the gas you have in the cooling system has time to stabilize and work properly.
5. Wash any clothing that gets dirty, and keep your dirty laundry to a minimum.
6. Coordinate with someone who can come clean your old home after you’ve moved. After you move, you’ll need to focus your energies on organizing your new home, so it’s best to leave the work of the old house to someone else.
7. Make a list of super-fast meals, which you can make without thinking, without using many utensils or many pots (hopefully things you can prepare in the slow cooker or electric pan). List also the ingredients you will need for each meal, even if they are very obvious, because when there is tiredness, we do not think well. For example, if one of the meals is “burgers”, and you know that your husband and eldest son eat 2 each, and you and your two youngest daughters eat 1 burger each, then write on your list: 7 burger buns, 7 frozen cakes, 7 slices of cheese, 2 medium tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise, butter… etc. depends on what you put in your burgers, you understand me.
8. Manage with the cable, internet and telephony company, to coordinate the installation visit of the services, obviously after you have moved into your new home. If necessary, make calls to your current companies to suspend services at your “old” home after they’ve moved in.
The day of moving in itself…
Keep cookies or fruits like bananas or peaches, easy to eat, cans of tuna, square bread (mold), cereal, and those things that serve to fill hungry stomachs quickly and don’t need refrigeration.
Make sure you have easy access to your cleaning products and equipment. Even if you’ve cleaned the house before moving in, the continuum in-out of everyone is going to mess it up, so you’d better have what you need on hand to give it a quick wipe.
And super important: cell phone chargers (mobiles). I don’t even have to explain why.
When unpacking the moving truck…
1. Assemble the beds first and put the mattress on them at once. Don’t put things on them as you unload the truck. At the end of the day everyone you’ll be tired, and what you least want to do is have to remove lots of bags and heavy things to be able to sleep.
2. Install the washer and dryer as soon as possible.
3. Check your list of super-fast meals, decide what you’re cooking that day (or the next day, depending on the time you finish moving things), and go to the super to buy what you need.
The day after the move
1. Get up early to make the most of the day. Bath, put on comfortable clothes (don’t stay in your pajamas) and eat a simple but nutritious breakfast that keeps you full for several hours.
2. Start in the most used room, or make it more urgent to unpack. It can be the kitchen, or if you work from home, maybe the office is the room you need to install first. Open all the boxes or bags marked with the #1 (following the system we talked about earlier), or the ones you know contain the most necessary things.
3. Put everything in place as you pull it out of boxes and bags, and go out of the empty boxes and bags in the room as soon as you empty them.
4. As soon as you’re done with the most urgent thing in that room, resist the desire to continue with the other boxes. Rather move to the other rooms, and go doing the same with the most urgent boxes and bags.
5. After you have unpacked the #1boxes, continue with the #2, or less urgent.
6. Mainly, don’t try to unpack everything in a single day. Don’t forget to eat at your times, stop from time to time to drink water, rest your legs, etc.
Moving is always strenuous and multi-day and up to weeks, but I hope with these bunnies, at least it’s not very traumatic.