Buying a Home - Moving Tips
If you have ever moved, you already know it can be a pain. Finding important things after belonging are relocated to the new home, to heavy lifting and which boxes to unpack first, there are several things you can do in planning your moving strategy for a smoother outcome with less headaches.
Having moved a few times in my life I speak from experience.
Make a Master List and Command Center:
Okay, so you are you going to do the norm and write "kitchen" on all your kitchen boxes? Good luck with that, I'll be done unpacking the kitchen while you're figuring what's in each box. Instead, try "Pots and Pans", "Silverware and Utensils", "Spices", "Condiments" etc... be specific and you'll know what's in each box and what to put away first. I suggest making a master list, try a simple notebook, and number your boxes and group by category. For instance "Kitchen Boxes 1-8" and make a two or three word note for each number and contents, "Kitchen 1 Pots and Pans", and if you need two boxes, then "Kitchen 2 Pots and Pans".
Keep the notebook at your "command center", a place where all the tape, post it notes, labels, boxes, markers and packing supplies can be found. Keep the notebook handy and don't loose it. I also suggest marking the box on top and four sides. Don't make boxes too heavy to lift, and your move will go smoother.
Gather Plentiful Moving Supplies Early:
I can't stress enough to start gathering boxes and newspapers/bubble wrap early on. Home buyers will typically need more boxes than they think. Grocery stores, even department stores are a good bet, and start gathering boxes a couple months ahead of time. You may want to buy some large cheap white sticky labels for the boxes so helpers, movers and you can see what's in the box more clearly, again, label four sides and the top, don't forget to designate "fragile" in large letters along with number and specific contents. Be sure to get a wide variety of size and shape boxes as well. Be thoughtful about what you wrap in newspaper as staining can occur, best used for glass or non-staining items.
Tall boxes and wardrobe boxes are perfect for lighter items like bedding and clothes you prefer to remain hanging and unspoiled. If you're enlisting the help of a mover, ask about the dimensions of their wardrobe boxes and measure your closets. Do this well in advance and you'll be pleased with the result. If you save on plastic grocery sacks and use sturdier shopping bags with handles, fill them with bulky items like sweaters, leaving them at each closet. Upon the day of actual packing, place the shopping bags in your wardrobe boxes and pack hanged items firmly to keep them on their hangers.
Duffel bags and personal luggage are a great way to move clothing as well.
Color Coordinating for Designation
Have some assorted easy to remove color stickers or labels. You may want to choose blue for your bedroom and bath or orange for your kitchen. Likewise, place the matching colored sticker on the door to each room at the new residence. Movers will easily know which boxes go in what rooms. You could also put up a sign in each room at your new home telling movers where to stack boxes, keeping them out of the way of traffic, helping you get settled faster. It's also a good idea for each family member to have a personal box, obviously noted, with those items they're going to want on hand immediately upon moving from grooming or beauty items, extension cords or whatever they deem they'll want immediate access too.
Consolidate and Minimize as Much as Possible
Condiments to cleaning supplies, consolidate every thing that you can. In the process of doing so, you might want to get a box handy for clothes or food to give away to Goodwill, your church or a friend in need. You may find it surprising how much the number of items to be packed in this category shrink in doing so. I've actually used empty dog food bags to hold recyclables, and hung plastic grocery sacks on doorknobs throughout the house for bits of trash, another time-saver.
I also have kept one open box, for minimal general cleaning supplies for use in the property I'm vacating, and then for cleaning items as I put them away at the new place.
In the bathrooms, pack up all extra and back-up supplies (label as such), in the kitchen, define what you really need for the last few days prior to moving and box up everything else. Summer or Winter, pack up the opposite season's clothing.
Keep Like Items Together
Keeping like items together will spare you combined hours looking for little missing things. Pack all the bulbs in the living room with newspaper, color designated and number / label the box and keep with the lamps. The same with hangers, and for all those cords and miscellaneous items try using ziplock bags and tape it to the larger item, you can also use the label on the bag and write what the item is for in case it detaches in the move. You may also want a "general box" for each room or whole house depending on the scale of your move, and using ziplocs gather up all the little nails, hook screws, cabinet hardware, etc.. If the box is for the whole house, place stickers of all colors on it, you'll find it easy to locate.
Precious Personal Items
Now, that could mean anywhere from jewelry to a family heirloom or fine silverware, but try to keep them with you. Personally, I've bagged jewelry and rare coins in a ziploc and buried them in a clothing or kitchen box. Check with mover about losses and claims before choosing one and what their policies are. You'll want to know what they require, like warranties, photos, receipts, etc.
During the process of moving, it's crucial that you keep your important papers together. Family members can make a file folder of their own for important things, and have a file with you (not with the movers) and include the all the mover's information, everything from your Realtor, utility contact information for both residences, current bills, and if needed copies of your birth certificate, new job and school information. Make sure the folder is with you at all times and keep handy for immediate access.