One of the forgotten steps in moving is the fact that physically moving your belongings from one spot to another is only part of the deal. Once you get your boxes and your mattress and your desk to its final destination, you still have to be able to find everything and put everything where it belongs. A rule of thumb when surveying your house is that no matter how many box-fulls you think you have, a good idea is to at least increase your most generous estimate by at least 50 percent. And remember, for every box you pack, that’s a box you have to unpack.
According to data from the US Census, 14 percent of all American households last year moved. That translates to somewhere around 40 million people switching addresses.
Most of us take weeks, sometimes months to slowly and painstakingly categorize, wrap and pack all of our belongings. We spend months looking at prospective houses, arguing with our real estate agent and we spend days with our fingers crossed hoping we got the property we wanted.
But once you do get your dream house, then what? You took all this time to get everything ready and then you leave yourself….
…..to move everything. Yup, it’s just about as crazy as it sounds. But fear not, there are some common sense tips to keep your head from exploding. If you have the money, there are several companies out there that will help you pack up everything, and then once the movers do their thing, they will unpack pretty much everything. They will even take the boxes with them when they go. They will hang pictures, put your toothbrush in the bathroom and put the sheets on the bed. They will even get the computer up and running.
But, as you can imagine, these types of services aren’t cheap. If they aren’t in your budget, here are some good tips for do-it-yourselfers.
See-through is your friend. Stay away from opaque brown cardboard boxes and try to use as much clear packing material as you can. Clear plastic bins, Ziploc bags for small things, anything that you can think of that is clear and can hold large amounts of stuff.
Lists Lists Lists. Write down what goes in every single box, so when you wake up that first morning in your beautiful new home and you want that first cup of coffee, all you have to do is grab that list and see that it’s in box 91.
Have the utilities turned on before you move in. This is especially important if you have kids. Moves are traumatic enough for adults, but when little Johnny is having his universe ripped apart, it helps to be able to plop the kids in front of Dora the Explorer for a bit while you try to recover from exhaustion.
While nothing can really prepare you for the mental and physical stress of moving day, being prepared and taking a few common sense steps can help keep things from getting too out of hand.