Moving & Packing Tips - Moving Pt 3

Moving/Packing Tips

See parts one and two of our moving series here!

Declutter First & Then Again as You Go
Moving is the best possible time to declutter. May as well get it out now instead of moving it across town (or farther!) and then getting rid of it later. I'd recommend going through your home once while you're still in the "hoping to move" category--especially with things like clothing, books, movies, etc. Furniture and decor are sometimes better in one space than another so it's okay to wait on these until you know where you're moving to. Think about what will and won't work in your new space--if you're going to need to replace it immediately, consider donating or trashing it instead of hauling it with you. For us, this meant thinking about a new dining table (we actually contacted the seller and purchased theirs from them as it fit really well in the space!) and getting rid of our old table and chairs. The house came with a microwave too-- the same story, we didn't haul ours across town to not use it.

2-Step Labeling 
Label boxes both with a number & a color. The color will correspond to the room in which it will go in your new home, and the number will correspond with a list you'll keep of the type of items. Trust me, when you've been in your new place 2 days and you think chocolate chip cookies would be a nice homey touch to distract your kids (or yourself!) from the chaos, you won't want to be digging through 9 different totes labeled "kitchen" for a cookie sheet. You'll appreciate that the box labeled #24 is "bakeware" on your list. We used these label stickers as the color portion--they give the added bonus that they actually say the room name. For our last move, I used rolls of colored duct tape and then put a key on the door of the new place so our friends helping us would know which color went to which room.

Box Collecting
Last time we moved, I had plenty of totes and boxes from moving in college that I had kept in my very accommodating parents' basement that we could use. By now, however, those are mostly full of holiday decor and baby items that we're saving for when we have another child, so we needed to find some without breaking the bank. I definitely advocate asking around for boxes--many workplaces have supply boxes that they would otherwise recycle and for the rest, make sure to shop around. Don't fall victim to just buying a bunch that you walk by at Target because you know you have a move coming up. I found better deals, for example, by buying Sterilite 18-gallon totes through Walmart's grocery pick up, while banker's boxes and these Iris totes were less expensive as a pack on Amazon.

De-Pest Your Storage
I'm all about natural cleaning products, and we have made huge strides in our home in the last couple of years in that area. However, when it comes to moving things that have been in our garage stall  (which we use only for storage) for the last 3 years into our new basement or the some-day nursery, I am not messing around with Nebraska wolf spiders-or really any spiders-when moving or unpacking these boxes in the house. Therefore--the garage will be getting bug bombed a few days before the move! Everything in there will likely be dusty or dirty, so I'll be cleaning or laundering them as I unpack, which makes me feel better about the chemicals they'll be exposed to, and I won't have to have a massive heart attack in the process.

Schedule Utility Transfers & Forwarding Address
Yes, it's time to talk about the most fun part of moving--transferring your utility bills and mail service! For us, this meant transferring some and setting others up new, since we were moving from being renters to homeowners. We set up trash service, gas, electric, water & sewage, internet, and a home security system. Other possible utilities you may need to consider would be cable or a landline phone service. I'd recommend calling 2-3 weeks in advance to let your providers know--some of these services require a tech to come to the property and scheduling can be a hassle if you cut it too close with your call. For trash/recycling, it's best to use the same service as your neighbors if you live in a city with lots of providers; this cuts down on the number of huge noisy trucks going through your neighborhood and the cost is usually pretty comparable between companies. For all utilities, make sure that if you have some time overlapping between the two homes that you don't just give your closing date! For us, we needed service at our apartment to last until the 30th, even though we wanted service to start at the house on the 20th, so it was important to clarify that with the providers. Since we were using the same equipment for our internet, we could only have that in one place at a time (whomp, whomp), so while we were working at the house before we moved it over, we set up our phones as a hot spot to get us through. I also made sure I had some music and things downloaded so that I wouldn't have to use data to access it during that time. You'll also want to let the post office know that you're moving--they have a spot on their website to set up a forwarding address for about $1. Try to do this about 10 days in advance to ensure that they catch as much mail as possible--you choose your start date for delivery so it won't go to your new place early but it gives them more time to get organized.

Hire Pros When Possible
We were fortunate to have great friends and family members who helped us with the actual move process, but we spent a ton of hours in the week before moving boxes over by ourselves so that we wouldn't be too much of an imposition and our friends could just help primarily with the furniture and larger items. Next time I would really love to hire professional movers--they are quick, efficient, and for me, when I hire someone for a service I feel less self-conscious about the amount of work I'm creating. Next time I will definitely try to plan for movers!
On the flip side, for this move we did prioritize hiring a professional cleaner for the apartment we moved out of afterward and let me tell you--worth every penny! On the day of the move, I felt like all of my emotional energy had transferred over to the new house and the last thing I wanted to do was go back and clean the home we had just moved out of. Ricky did go back and patch all the nail holes from our art, curtains, and baby gate, but having someone come in and professionally clean was a huge relief to us.

Protect Your New Space
We are in a home situated at ground level for the first time in several years--and the first time since having a child. Protecting our space was really important to us, so before we even went under contract we were on the lookout for ways to do that. In July, Amazon's prime deals featured a number of ring products, and we jumped on the ring alarm and ring video doorbell systems. Amazon has sales on these regularly, so if you're interested in the ring system, keep an eye out for the sale prices! We were a bit intimidated by setting up these smart functions, but luckily there are a lot of great YouTube tutorials out there. You just made a huge change by moving - and if you purchased a home, a big investment, so it's smart to make sure it's protected!

What's your best moving tip?



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