I have moved many times throughout college and post academia. Throughout all my moves I have found certain techniques that have saved me much time and many headaches. As we head into summer with many students and families planning to move soon, I am pleased to share a few tips on what I have found to be most helpful in moving efficiently and headache free.
A Fresh home calls for a fresh start
We all have emotional baggage and just as it’s beneficial to lighten your load before getting into a new relationship, it’s best to lighten your physical baggage before getting into a new home. Downsizing and/or minimizing your possesions before moving is the best way to ensure that you are able to begin life in your new home with a clean slate and fresh environment.
Start by packing one drawer, area or room at a time. Sort through items as you pack them and decide if they currently add value to your life and how they will serve you in your new space. I suggest sorting items into the following groups: trash/recycle, donation/giveaway, keepers and might not need. Pack the keepers and might not’s in seperate boxes labeled by room to be unpacked into. Once you arrive to your final destination only unpack the keepers. Leave the might not needs boxed for a month or two to see if you actually miss or need any specific items included in them. If not, donate or toss them. I recommend setting a reminder on your phone for a date a couple of months after your move in date to make a decision on the might not need boxes.
Makes unpacking easy & quick
Labels , Labels, Labels! Once your belongings are organized and packed it’s important to label boxes according to which room they should be unloaded into and what the contents are. For example, Kitchen: dishes & silverware, Office: papers & desk supplies, Bathroom: under the sink or shower supplies, etc. This will allow helpers to actually be helpful by placing boxes in the correct location instead of offloading everything from the moving truck into the living room or garage to be sorted later. Having each box in it’s appropriate room will then allow you to easily place items into their new place instead of moving boxes that have already been moved for you from room to room.
Makes it easy for movers or helpers to actually be helpful
I wish I had a dollar for everytime someone had friends, family or hired movers lend a helping hand only to find that once they are alone in their home they have absolutely no idea where anything is or which boxes contain what items. People often spend hours searching for individual items as they need them and pulling things out of boxes one thing at a time. This can be very annoying in the moment and can easily be avoided by taking a few extra moments before the move to organize as you go. I personally hate moving so I completely understand the feeling of not wanting to deal with it. However, when we do a rush job we end up creating more work for ourselves on the back end.
You won’t end up finding unpacked boxes a year from now
Nearly everyone I know who has lived in their home for multiple years still has at least one box tucked away somewhere that was never unpacked and probably won’t be touched again until the next time they move. Setting that reminder on your phone to go through your might not need boxes will make a huge difference. One can often misplace valuable items in boxes that weren’t organized properly or unpacked. I personally missed out on wearing my mother’s wedding headpiece in my wedding because it was hidden in one of these mystery boxes, don’t let that happen to you! Following my tips for packing and unpacking will allow you to avoid this.
You’ll thank yourself later!
While I have moved many times, I have not always heeded my own advice. The first time I actually packed and moved according to the above recommendations, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy moving day was. By minimizing and organizing everything before we moved, we were miraculously able to move and completely unpack all of our boxes in ONE DAY! Yes- one day! By the end of the night on moving day we were sitting back relaxing and enjoying our new space together.