Manage the Move

This is the day you’ve been waiting for! Why aren’t you jumping for joy?? Is it because physically moving your possessions from one place to another is generally considered a nightmare that blows Friday the Thirteen out of the water? (Get it? Jason comes out of the water?)

Hopefully, the only water involved in your move day is the kind that people drink because they are staying hydrated (banish the thought of rain, really, don’t go there). 

It is a big day, filled with work, emotions and probably some chaos. Depending on your circumstances, you will probably feel a variety of emotions. If you are leaving the house you raised children in, or grew up in, you may feel somewhat sad and nostalgic. Add in excitement and happiness about your new place and you have boarded an emotional roller coaster. On top of your feelings, other family members, especially children, might need your support to deal with their feelings.

Then there is the actual moving process. Yuck. Never fear! There are tips to mitigate the misery (that’s mitigate, not abolish).

  • If using professional builders, do not choose the “free” option on the agreement. This reimbursement method gives pennies per pound and you will probably not get paid what your possession is worth.
  • Call utility companies and get set up before moving day. If you don’t have power, water or the internet, the overall mood of the move will definitely decline. This is NOT the time to test your survival skills for “Naked and Afraid” auditions.
  • Purge, purge, purge and purge some more. It’s simple—the more you get rid of, the less you have to move and unpack.
  • Use color-coded paper to label boxes. Pink for dining room, green for living room etc.
  • What about those pesky clothes on hangers?! Poke holes at the bottom of trash bags, put hangers with clothes on them through the holes and pull the bag over the clothes. Tie a knot at the bottom, so nothing will fall out.
  • Use paper plates between dishes to prevent them from breaking or chipping.
  • Put charcoal (regular grill kind) in a sock in the refrigerator and washing machine to prevent mold.
  • Wrap knick knacks on dressers in dresser clothes and pack in dresser drawers. 
  • Tape the bottom of boxes well.
  • Pack linens last, so it will be easy to make beds and sleep in them the first night.
  • Pack a suitcase with everything you will need in the first few days after the move. Clothes, toiletries, medication, chargers, etc.
  • Pack an accessible cooler with snacks (preferably non-messy snacks).
  • Pack a clear bin with toilet paper, paper towels, a pen, planner or notepad, dish soap and hand towels.
  • Pack anything you don’t want little eyes, relative eyes or mover eyes to see—lingerie, medication, etc., in an identifiable box BEFORE movers arrive. The same goes for valuables like jewelry, passwords and any other personal information. Keep these items in luggage or a box that stays with you throughout the move.
  • Label boxes with the rooms you want them to go in. Then write the name of each room on a sign and hang above the entrance to the corresponding room.
  • If boxes are going to storage, label them appropriately and make a pathway that allows you to get to them if needed.
  • Have a plan for pets in advance, whether you are boarding them, a friend is keeping them or even if they will be present during the move.

  • Plan for a friend or relative to supervise young children during the move. (Boarding children like dogs is frowned upon apparently).
  • Leave a vacuum cleaner out for easy cleanup at the end of the move.
  • Tip your movers. Feed your movers. Give water to your movers. Treat them well and they are more likely to go the extra mile for you.

Moving is hard no matter how many brilliant tips you have. So, remember, “This too shall pass.”

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