All the things about moving and packing! - moving & packing tips - personal post
Here are all my thoughts, tips, suggestions on packing and moving! We lived in the same place for 6 years and we finally bought a house!!! I like to be uber organized and prepared and I think I did a pretty damn good job on prepping our hose for moving day, so I wanted to share about what I did here:
Be ready to pack:
By this I mean go through and get rid of everything that is not suitable/usable for your new home, or things you have not used, or things you do not want anymore. Be open minded and up front with yourself during this process, and prepare your spouse and kids too, encourage them to get rid of the things they no longer want, or as Marie Kondo would say, that no longer sparks joy.
Clothing: does it still fit? Did you wear it in the last year? Are you really going to have a super special occasion that you will wear that dress again? Items: hands down, do you use it? this goes a long way in the kitchen, there were many things I do not use or had never even used. yikes.
The order I highly suggest to go through when starting this purging process:
The closets - start with storage closets, linen closets and work your way to clothing closets. Buy storage totes for things that can be stored away, Or other types of storage containers for what you need - you most likely will end up wanting to organize all of these things after you move, (and it will be the last thing you get to, but always on your mind), so save yourself the time and sanity and get it stored and organized beforehand!
Think about furniture - Will your furniture work with your new house? For us, we got rid of our dining table because it was going to be way to big and “clunky” for the space we had in our new house. We also have ended up purchasing a lot of new furniture as well because we needed something different for that space. I highly suggest to get rid of the furniture that won’t fit/work in your new home and wait until you are moved in to purchase any new furniture. 1. you don’t need to move more furniture if its not going to go anywhere until you move anyway, and 2. you don’t really know what you want/need until the furniture you do have is in place in your new house!
The garage - You may think that this should go at the end, but I disagree. We went through our garage early on, and I am so thankful we did. 1. we eliminated a lot of clutter from the garage, which led to more space to put packed boxes and such. 2. we were able to get everything together for the moving sale we were planning to have.
The kitchen - This takes some time, I remember helping my friend Kandace move years ago and when she unpacked she ended up getting rid of SO much. Do this BEFORE you move! I went through each and every cupboard, drawer (yes even the junk drawer) and once again was up front with myself…. I for one have no problem getting rid of things, but there were a few things that I hesitated on but in the end knew we did not need it. Like our blender - we never used, not once I don’t think and we have a nutri bullet, so why do we also need a blender. We didn’t. Out it went. Think about each and every item, do you use it, or when was the last time you used it? Do you need 7 baking sheets? do you have 7 racks in your oven? probably not.
Kids rooms: If they are old enough, make sure they help you with this purging process. Emmy is 9 and we have got a pretty good routine already for getting rid of stuff (after Christmas we go through all her toys, get rid of what she doesn’t want or use anymore, so she has room from the new stuff she got from Christmas) We also go through her closet multiple times a year and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit anymore.) But, what I would say for kids rooms, remind them about their new room, ask them if they think it will have a place or be useful in the NEW house. If they want to keep it, let them, but remind them - they have to find a place for it in their new room. For younger kids, I say get rid of the broken or not used toys and call it a day. :)
Living spaces: living room shelves, bedroom shelves, side tables, drawers, all of it, go through and look at all of the things, ask yourself the same questions above
Packing tips and do nots:
Clothes: the best tip I found on Pinterest was how to pack hanging clothes….. use garbage bags, put the clothes inside the garbage bag, from the bottom and then wrap the garbage bag drawstrings around the hangers, when you unpack the clothes, undo the drawstrings, pull the garbage bag off and then you can reuse the garbage bag!! so resourceful, am i right?
Make a “Designated and Accessible” box: This box was not intentional on moving day but I was thankful it happened the way it did. We had a box that had the lid part cut off, and that ended up being the place where we tossed some things we thought we would need on moving day and the following days after. ( things like: packing tape, scissors, garbage bags, ziplocks and see below for other suggestions).
Dishes and glassware: keep your pillow cases, and small blankets and such out and ready to use to wrap and cushion your dishes and glassware. We used less packing supplies and packed two things at once!
Disposable dishes: Have a “designated and accessible” spot for disposable plates, cups, and utensils. After a very full moving day, there was no way I was unpacking my kitchen to get out plates and such. Have disposables handy for the first few days after moving!
Buy cabinet liners: We did not do this, and I wish I did. All I wanted to do was unpack the kitchen first thing (you realize how much you need your coffee mugs asap the morning after moving day.) But I didn’t want to unpack and put anything away until we lined all the cabinets with good liners. Go buy them ahead of time and put them in your “designated and accessible” box.
Ziplocks and labels: Any cords, wires, hardware etc. put in a ziplock and LABEL it. I also used masking tape to put around wires to label specific power cords for specific electronics.
What I bought:
Small and Medium size boxes, packing tape, packing paper, large black garbage bags(for bedding & couch pillows, and post moving garbage) all from Home Depot. Packing tape, a plastic bin to designate packing supplies, bubble wrap & garage sale signs from Dollar Store.
Don’t get different colors of tape and try and color code your boxes to the room. It’s pointless, you end up writing what room and what is in each box anyway. Also if you have help from people during moving - they can read which room it goes and it put it there. This idea was a Pinterest idea and was not helpful.
Don’t pack a separate clothing bag. I read a lot about packing a bag like you’re going out of town for the weekend. But quite honestly, your clothes are the main thing you have most access to after moving (if you use my hanging clothes tip) and keep clothes in drawers and just move the drawers out. No need to pack an extra bag. I did make sure our main bathroom stuff (toothbrush, toothpaste etc.) was accessible.
Pack it up:
I started packing pretty much right after we got our inspection and knew things were moving forward. We had gone through everything and purged, planned a moving sale and so it was time to start packing.
I packed up everything that was not going to be used between then and unpacking - I took down all the wall art, framed photos and packed/or stacked it together, all home decor items, everything from our storage closets, or shelving in other rooms/in closets.
We removed anything we were taking with us and filled in holes, touched up paint etc. (like shelving we hung & our surround sound speakers and our mounted tv).
We took apart all of our beds and moved everything we could that was packed or not being used (mattresses and clothing) downstairs to make moving day quicker. (Our whole dining room area was full of boxes and furniture).
Packed Emmy’s room - everything she said she would not play with or use about a week or two before moving.
I “garbage bagged” any clothing that we would not be using until after we moved, packed any shoes we would not be using.
I packed up any and all electronics that I could.
When moving day was a lot closer, like a few days, thats when I packed our kitchen. Then I had a few boxes set aside to put all of our food in ( we did this last minute on moving day).. or should I say, my mom and Emmy did.
I read a lot of posts saying try to get all the same size boxes, and I do agree with that. We bought some small and medium size boxes from Home Depot, and we were also able to get some boxes from my moms work (all the same size) from inventory that was shipped there. Although it was nice to have a few random ones to fit into places we couldn’t fit anything else, I do suggest for the most part, same size boxes. They stack and fit so much better in a moving truck. Scope out the FB marketplace, craigslist, etc. for free boxes. Or if you know anyone that works in a place that receives a lot of inventory in boxes, ask them if you can pick up a stack from them one day. Or, if you want to plan for all the same size/type, buy some boxes at Home Depot. I actually thought they would cost more than they did. I think they are around $1 a piece or so.
Let’s talk moving trucks:
We ended up with a somewhat ghetto set up because of what Uhaul said they could only give us. Before I tell you our set up, I will just say one thing, get a bigger truck then you think you need (or bigger then they say you need; one bedroom apartment, 2 to 3 bedroom house, etc.). Just get a bigger one…. Unless you have the time and energy to make multiple trips, do it for the sake of time and energy. We were able to get basically everything in one trip (thank goodness since we had a ferry ride in our moving trip).
We reserved online and then the day before pick up they called and changed it on us. We got a truck and then a trailer to pull behind it because they didn’t have the big truck we wanted. In the end, it all worked out pretty well, we actually fit almost all of the boxes in the trailer (which you need nice square things for those anyway), my mom put all of the clothes and extra misc. items into my SUV, we loaded the back of our truck with our wood, Alexs Honda Ruckus and all of the random things from the garage, and we put all of our TV’s and alex’s fragile fishing poles in the back seat of the truck. That left a whole lot of furniture and larger items for the moving truck… which leads me to my next point.
The most serious game of Tetris you will ever play:
When it comes to moving day, you do not want to make two trips…. we had a ferry ride in our move so we FOR SURE did not want to leave anything too big behind. (I ended up going back a different day to get some yard tools that fit in our car.) Which mean’t some Tetris playing in the moving truck. Especially when you get down to the last 5 feet or so. No tips here, just warning you, it will happen. :)
Commit to it, ask for help and a few last words:
Commit to a full day of moving. It took way longer to load then we thought, and thank God for friends and my mom who came to help. My mom was with us ALL DAY and rode the ferry home way later that night, on a Sunday….she wins the MVP award for our moving day. I didn’t want to ask for help moving (its always that daunting ask) but i put it out there to a few friends of mine, Tali and Kam and they stopped by (even with only the hour they had) and it seriously helped SO much. And my aunt Debbie who lives near our new house came by and helped move boxes into the house (and she’s almost 70)! If you have a friend that you can help move, even an hour makes a difference, even dropping by with coffee makes a difference! Anyway, Alex and I moved all of the large items mostly, and with a sheen of sweat on our bodies from 10am-8pm, I will say it was a testament to our fitness. Our move would not be the same if we were not as physically fit as we are and I am so thankful for that.
One last thought, don’t forget the pizza and wine:
Thats all, I don’t have anything to add to this point. Just don’t forget it. :)
Thanks for reading!