Planning, Organizing, Packing: Moving Days Daze---You Can Do It!!!
When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.— Rodney Dangerfuield
Are you getting ready to move? Does the thought of it make you want to tear your hair out?
It is true---moving is a biggie. It takes planning, organization, and f l e x i b i l i t y.
Everyone in your family including your pets will be affected by this move. From the time that packing begins, change will occur for everyone.
- Keep your children in the loop.
- Let them help with packing at some point.
- Reassure them that all is well in their world.
- Take time each day to do some of the usual activities you enjoy as a family.
- This is particularly difficult for middle and high school children who have lived in one place all of their lives.
- Do not underestimate how it will affect your very young children. This can be a very hectic time but do not get so caught up in the moving aspect, the packing, and transitioning that children feel left out. That can happen easily with no intent on your part.
More Tips and Suggestions for Movers
Survive a move
That, however, is NOT what I have done.
Have you ever seen the movie Overboard? If so, do you remember the part where Goldie's character is sitting in the house uttering only....buhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuh? Her eyes were sort of glazed over and she seemed totally out of it. I have felt that way although for a different reason than she did.
I admit, even having moved as many times as I have, the last time I moved, I had that same feeling at the initial thought of the move. But it passed and I decided it was time to share with others how to survive a move.
Moving was a part of how we lived.
Fear not. I am the queen of moving. I have moved so much that Bekins Moving & Storage has offered me several jobs. I still receive get well cards from them if they find out I have lived in the same place for longer than three years---I guess they think I am too sick to move.
As the wife of an Air Force sergeant, I learned that moving was part of the life. It became a part of my lifestyle. After not too many years of living in one place, I felt the stirrings within me to find a new place to live, another town, another state even after I was no longer married to him.
I had come to believe that I was akin to the Bedouins destined to wander the deserts of the world, settling temporarily on shifting sands, each home being a tentative dwelling.
Later, my daughter, grandson, and I were stalked across the U.S. and as a result we moved often and were homeless sometimes.
Before the stalking occurred, I had begun to think that I should sell, give away, or abandon all of my material possessions except those that would fit in whatever vehicle I had at the time. :Lock the door and walk away, never looking back.
Great Tips...That Might Work for Some....
There is always a sadness about packing. I guess you wonder if where you're going is as good as where you've been.— Richard Proenneke
the Good News
Not only can you survive, but also every member of the family will still be speaking to each other.
- Keep your sense of humor.
- Be willing to laugh when you pack your skillet too soon and you forgot to label the box is has been stashed in ever so carefully.
This move for me has been far different from other moves as I have known for six weeks that I was going to move. I was buying a new house and had to find the right one, the one my budget could afford, so it has been an ongoing process.
The good part about this has been I have had much time to organize, sort through, get rid of, stash into yard sale pile, and finally pack items.
The downside is that I packed some things too early.
Utilities and Post Office
If at all possible, set up utilities two weeks or more before the move.
Contact electric, gas (if needed), phone (if needed), cable provider two weeks or more before you move. You may be fortunate enough to move into the same providers when you are moving which makes the transition easier.
Set up turn on and turn off dates with them at that time.
Do remember to inform the Post Office of your move and complete online or in person any documents requested.
- Begin planning one to two months in advance of your move. Longer if possible. If there are things you can pack that will not be missed, pack them and set aside as soon as possible.
- Decide what room will be a storage room for most of the packed boxes.
- Clear that room so that you have floor space to house boxes and perhaps some items that will not be packed in a box---an ironing board for instance.
- Begin to plan what you will do about meals during this time of transition.
- Have children select favorite DVD's and CD's several weeks out so that when it is time to begin actual packing, there will not be time lost agonizing over which ones to pack. It will help also help to avoid one of the favorites being accidentally packed early.
- The same thing applies to toys---have some special ones chosen to keep out until the very last few days. For very young children, there should be a few kept out even as you move especially if you are traveling a long distance by car.
- Happy children will make your move much more of an easy transition.
Poor Woody has a Nervous Breakdown Anticipating Our Last Move!!!
Recently I moved again after three years and hopefully for the last time. Even if Publisher's Clearninghouse comes knocking I will not move. I will make some improvements and additions but not move.
When I moved this time, I moved next door to the house I had lived in for 36 months. And I broke almost every rule that I set forth in this article when I published it months ago.
It was a difficult move because I chose to ignore what I knew was the best way to move. I was financially not able to spend the money to rent a truck and load everything into it and move in one fell swoop. My family was able to help me a lot but I did not wait for them to help as much as I should have.
My things were moved in my car primarily except for the large furnishings and it took many, many trips. Most everything was not in a box or a container. Things were gingerly placed in my car, transported next door, and another trips was made.
It was exhausting to put it mildly. My grandson helped me so much during the daylight hours but I also moved at night when it was cooler.
I did save money. However if I had to do this again, I would definitely scrimp and save and rent a truck so that it is not such a monumental move. You never realize how much 'stuff' you have till you move.
Decide what essentails you will not pack.
You will of course keep basic grooming items out and your medicine. Next choose what you cannot live without for these last two weeks before the move.
My essentials are: my toaster oven, microwave,, and my laptop. These are pretty much the bare minimum of essentials so I have had to purchase a few things that I packed. Small things. Inconsequential things but things I needed enough to purchase.
How could that happen to the queen of moving?? How could the queen of moving have packed something she need. It just did. I broke my golden rule...have a plan and a checklist. I had a plan, no checklist. Lessons learned.
That is why I passed that along to you. Actually I did have a checklist. I packed it and had not gotten around to making a new one!!
Before packing #1
Moving is hectic enough without adding to the upheaval that it means. To ease some of the stress consider this.
- Use paper plates, bowls, and disposable utensils as much as possible for the week of the move.
- Option #1---Serve simple, easy to prepare meals. Cereal for breakfast; soup and sandwiches for lunch and supper work nicely. Serve salads and fruit along with the soup and sandwiches. Purchase bagged salads for this week.
- The night before the actual moving day, a pizza would be a nice treat.
- Option #2-- in the weeks leading up to the move, prepare and freeze meals in disposable containers. Heat and serve.
- Have fruit available for snacking.
- Avoid sugary, fatty foods.
- Take time to sit down to eat together especially if you have children. Make it a picnic time sitting around on the floor if possible at least one or two nights.
Before packing #2
My mantra for this move has been: if it is broken, ripped or torn, has not been worn or used in a year, has been collecting dust for years, or is still in the box it was in when purchased, it is not coming with me on this move.
Before you begin packing, locate or purchase plastic containers or boxes.
Separate items into the following categories---
- Yard sale
- Give away to family/friends
- Give to Salvation Army or Goodwill/or your church
- Throw away--anything broken, beyond repair
- Keep...these of course are what you will be packing.---it is suggested if these are things you just could not part with but know you will not need or use right away that you put those items in plastic containers.
moving day...boxes ready to move O U T...
You have settled on what is making this move with you. Now, if you are able to find boxes from local stores that are sturdy and the size to meet your needs, visit those stores and ask for them. Many stores keep boxes outside but some do so only temporarily until they can be shuttled off to recycling. Always ask before rummaging through their carefully stacked boxes. Some stores just throw boxes out back, not too many these days but a few. Those are up for grabs usually. If in doubt, ask.
You can purchase boxes in various sizes from UHaul and some of the big box stores. They are reasonably priced and sturdy. But do your homework---price check by looking on line before you go out to buy them.
I do use some of those as I am able to pack towels, blankets, and curtains together. It helps when I am ready to unpack as they are in a box together. It eliminates endless hunting for the box that has them. I also find them helpful for odds and ends like baskets that I do not want to be smashed or crushed.
You may choose to pack alone unless you have a bit of a hoarder hiding inside you. If however you feel comfortable with having help and know you can trust the judgment of your helpers, it will make this task go quicker.
Do allow children to select toys to give away, sell, or bring along. Do allow them to also pack some of their things.
A word of caution...on the day of the yard sale, avoid shopping for things that are put out that you suddenly decide you cannot live without. Remember, they wound up in the yard sale because they were in the never been seen, used or wanted pile. Resist the temptation to drag them back in to your house again.
Be aware of weight of your boxes or crates.
As you pack, be sure the box or crate is not so heavy that Hercules cannot lift it. You and your family may be the ones packing the truck or other vehicle to transport your goods and no one wants a hernia as a result of the move.
If a professional is moving your things then you can watch. But do watch. I suggest that if you have really precious irreplaceable items that you be sure they are wrapped carefully and packed carefully. The other option is you take them with you rather than have them go on the truck.
Label, Label, Label
After a box is filled, tape it closed, and label it at that moment. You can make fancy labels or you can use a broad tip marker to write on each box. Just be sure to label as the box is taped. No matter how good your memory is if the boxes are shuffled around, you will forget what is inside especially if the boxes are all identical.
This simple step saves endless searching for whatever you are in need of after the move.
One of the most important packing suggestions
As was mentioned above, you will have among your belongings some things that are too precious to risk being broken.
- · Pack those first because packing them can be tedious
- · Wrap each item in bubble wrap or thick paper to cushion any blow to the box.
- · After wrapping each item, put towels or a blanket in the bottom of the box in which it will be placed.
- It is also a good idea to put small, fragile items inside of a small box that is carefully cushioned. Then place that box in a larger box that is cushioned. This prevents damage from any unexpected blows to the box.
· It is worth the time and effort.
Even if you are moving 5 miles away, it is still wise to pack carefully. Once your precious things are broken, it is too late to second guess what you should have done. It is too late to say I shoulda', coulda', woulda' have done whatever....
Pets are moving too...
Moving time can be stressful for your pet. My Honeybee Kitty noticed when the boxes came in and she was not comfortable with them in her space until the last week or so. I have petted her more and reassured her that all is well in her world.
- Your pet sees the change and senses that something is not quite right in their world.
- Reassure and comfort so that your pet, too, can survive the move.
- Make an effort to keep up your normal routine with your pet.
- Take some time to play with and pet your pup or kitty. Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle.
Have you moved often?
Time for you and your significant..
- Take time for you and your significant other during this time. If it is just you, then take time for YOU.
- When the kids are in bed, take some time to just visit...not talk about the move.
- Pamper yourself a little...a longer shower than usual or a soak in the tub.
- Go for a walk, go for a swim....get some kind of exercise even if you do not usually exercise.
- Get plenty of sleep. Even if you have no time to stop and recharge by napping during the day, get your normal sleep as much as possible.
- Try these tips ---they will help you with your next move.
- Just a reminder...keep your sense of humor. There will be confusion and things may be in disarray but it is only temporary.