by Kelsey McCracken
It’s said that moving is one of the most stressful things in life, but making it go smoother is all in the way you prepare for the move. If you’ve packed up an entire house before, you know it can get messy living around all of the boxes, not to mention trying to pack strategically for easier unpacking. Facing the same situation, here is how I moved into my new home in one day.
Collect cardboard boxes and sturdy plastic bins for heavy dishes, as well as all of the necessary packing material. My handiest tools were masking tape and a sharpie. Start with the large furniture pieces first—decide now if you want to sell your sofa, bedroom set, or dining table and purchase a new one for the new house. It’s better not to move it twice. If you plan to special-order new furniture, there is generally a wait time, so make sure to order in time for it to be ready for your new home. Assess which items are going to move with you, which are getting sold or donated, and which belong in the trash.
Next, move to the closets — start with one closet in one room — pull everything out and go through it. Throw away any trash and make a “donate” pile. Lastly, tackle the basement, attic and garage. Think about how you’ll be using the new house when you pack. While it may be coming out of the spare bedroom, is it going to be most useful in the office, or is it just taking up space in the spare bedroom and needs to go in the basement of the new house? Pack your boxes according to where it needs to go in the new house. Here’s my secret: When you label your boxes bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc. also write in large letters an “E” or “NE.” These stand for “essential,” and “non-essential.” This was the most helpful thing I did for myself and those who were helping us move. When you’re in your new house and you look around at the sea of boxes labeled bathroom, you’ll know right away that box with the “E” has your toothbrush and shower items.
Loading the Truck
As you load all of these well-labeled boxes into the moving truck, strategically pack them so your “essentials” are at the back, that way they’re the last to come out, and they end up on the top of your box mountains. Keep your main large furniture pieces easy to access when you unload the truck. It’ll be much easier to move around furniture and play with the layout at the new house when there aren’t a ton of boxes in the way.
Once you have your furniture where you’d like it, start bringing the boxes in according to their labeled room. Unfortunately, my timeline didn’t allow for me to paint before move-in day, so we found it helpful to select an out-of-the-way room to store those boxes in that will eventually go into the freshly painted rooms. If you were able to make it your own before move-in day, you’re already a step closer to being unpacked and settled in! Take some time to get shelves and cabinets wiped down before unpacking and definitely take your time unpacking and organizing. The worst thing you can do to your sanity is quickly unpacking things and not think through where you really want them. Eventually, you’ll either be irritated with where you put things and how disorganized they are, or you’ll end up moving it all around again.
Organization is key! At the end of the day, the main thing to remember is to have a method to your moving madness. Every time we move we say to ourselves “never again!” but as long as you plan ahead and take every step you can to help yourself in the future, it should go smoothly.