We just moved out of our apartment and into our new home! These are things that helped make it smoother and less stressful for me. I also have an article specifically about how we moved with our toddler while I was pregnant.
- Join your local Buy Nothing facebook group to get rid of stuff and to gather boxes (I wrote about how the wonders of this group here). It will help you save money, and as you are packing keep your eye out for things you no longer need or use (ahem…that towel set that’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for five years?). When you find something, snap a picture, post it on your Buy Nothing group, and set it aside to be picked up later. If you get rid of stuff as you pack, there’s less to move and less to unpack later! I am not a minimalist by any means, but it always feels good to get rid of clutter! Also ask your friends and neighbors for boxes and packing supplies (large amazon boxes, junk mail, newspapers, bubble wrap from amazon boxes, etc). You can also check Craigslist or Freecycle for moving boxes.
- Make a list of first things to pack to last things to pack. Prioritize what you need on a daily basis and what you don’t need. The things you need immediately upon moving in you can pack morning-of in suitcases (pajamas, toilet paper, paper towels, hand towels, hand soap, diapers, toothbrushes, underwear, shampoo, daily medications, etc)
- Gather/buy your supplies – tape, marker, boxes, packing paper/bubble wrap
- Label your boxes to save you a headache later; each box should be labeled with the room it belongs in and with its contents. I put the room name on the top and two or three sides. I put the contents on the top. That way, the movers can put the boxes in the appropriate room instead of stacking your living room full, and you can prioritize what to unpack. For instance, you probably won’t need to unpack your blender or crockpot for a few days, but you definitely need your silverware and everyday dishes. If you can see which box they’re in, it will save you a lot of clutter and headache.
- Can you start taking things over a few days before the big move? If you’re not moving too far away, you can take over some items that are hard to pack, such as house plants, blankets, large toys, or any delicate items that you don’t want tossed around in a moving truck. We brought over our stash of blankets and my daughter’s cars/strollers/playhouse two days before we moved because it was easier than trying to figure out how to pack those items especially when they’re large.
- Clean your new house before you move in/hire someone to clean it. That way, you know that furniture is being placed on a clean floor so you don’t have to clean it later. Clean every cabinet and then you can just begin unpacking right away. Yes, dust will come in with the movers but that should be contained to the walkways and can be cleaned again later.
- Decide if you are going to hire movers or ask friends for trucks and help moving. If you are moving locally, you could save a lot of money by having friends help you move. I personally prefer hiring movers, and wrote about why in my other article about moving with a toddler while pregnant.
- Join your new local Buy Nothing facebook group to get rid of boxes and things you don’t need as you unpack (I found so much stuff that I didn’t want anymore as I unpacked). Several people came to take all of our moving boxes so they didn’t go to recycling nor stack up in my driveway.
- Change your renters/homeowners insurance. This also applies to any umbrella/fire/earthquake insurance you have as well.
- Change your address. I have a separate post here on where you should change your address. You can change it online or by calling them.
- Figure out what to do with your perishable food. Starting a week or two before, you will need to stop buying as much perishable food and start eating whatever is in your freezer/fridge. Our new home came with a refrigerator, so the morning of moving day, while people were loading the truck, I loaded the frozen and refrigerated food into cooler bags and was able to take them right over into our new fridge and freezer. However, I realize this isn’t an option for everyone. If you are taking your fridge with you on your move, you can ensure that it is one of the last things unplugged and packed, and one of the first things installed in your new home. Then, whatever food you have left in it can be kept in cooler bags for an hour or two before you plug it in at your new house and restock it.
- Enjoy and explore your new neighborhood. Go on walks, meet your neighbors, enjoy the orderliness in your clean newly-organized cupboards.
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