Saturday, August 7, 2010

moving tips from my OCD brain to your, most likely, pretty normal brain

A few months ago, one of my childhood best friends emailed me asking for moving tips before moving into a new home. I do joke that we move almost as much as our anniversary rolls around each year, but I never considered myself a "go to" person for this. Mostly, because B and I joke that hell is a place where all you do is move....and then once you get everything settled, you move again. It's a the most stressful, uncomfortable, exhausting, and disorganized (no matter HOW organized you try to be!) event I've ever been a part of of. And that includes having a child.

I'm just sayin.'

The great thing about moving, and one that keeps me going through it all is the chance to call another, better place home. I try my best to keep us organized since we have moved ourselves each time to keep that positive outlook, and I thought I'd share my OCD ways with you....

--As you pack, write brief summaries of what's in the box, but above all, put a color-coded sticker on the box that is assigned to that room. You know the garage-sale stickers that are blank but are all different colors? Draw a diagram of your new house and assign a color for each room (yellow for kitchen, blue for bathroom, etc.). As the boxes get packed in the truck, they'll get moved everywhere, but when you're moving into your new house, you can simply post the sign on the front door and all of your helpers and/or professional movers will know exactly where to put each box.

The main reason I love this idea is that you won't wind up with the pots and pans in your bedroom or have to go looking for an item later that you'll won't find for weeks. I've done this method for each move, and it's worked wonderfully. Sometimes, when it's getting close to the wire and we're just dumping stuff into the box, I can just slap a sticker on it and know that at least the box will get in the right room (even if I don't know what's in it:). One move got a little out of hand and we had lots of random boxes with random things in them and no stickers--which wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't been able to find the iron the night before B was to be introduced to a new church. (It was in with the Christmas stuff. Of course!)

--Ask Walmart/any other big box store about their box situation. Where do they put their unused boxes? Can they set some aside for you? Other good stores to ask for boxes are liquor stores (really sturdy boxes) and bread stores. If you're moving within days--don't spend money on wardrobe boxes. Consider the box like a suitcase. Your stuff, if packed properly, won't get too wrinkled. Also, I've moved lots of times, and rarely, rarely had to buy boxes.

--go to where the newspaper is printed and ask for one of their end rolls. Use this to pack breakables. Not as great as bubble wrap, but so much cheaper ( I think my local paper charged me a $1 back in 2003.)

--use towels and out-of-season clothes to pack other breakables.

--pack suitcases for yourselves for the span of several days. That way, you'll have all your needed clothes, shampoo, etc. and won't feel a rush to unpack all of your clothes OR go several days without changing. I mean, you know, if that were to happen. Allegedly.

--Pack your car with these items ( that will stay with you on the moving day)

-bedding for everyone
-shower curtain and rings
-toilet paper
-paper towels
-cleaning items (Clorox wipes, etc.)
-water bottles
-juice boxes
-snacks, plus breakfast foods
-scissors to open boxes
-some tools, like a hammer and screwdriver
-pad and pen to make lists of what you need for later Walmart runs
-nails and hardware in a plastic bag that you took down from your curtain rods and any other hanging items
-*any special screws, etc. for a baby crib* You DO NOT want to misplace these.

-Make a folder that has all your moving receipts (which you can use for taxes later), as well as all the numbers for the utility companies. Call before you move to get everything scheduled to be turned off at the old house the day after you move and turned at the new house on the day before you move. It can take weeks to get someone like AT&T out to hook up your phone or internet (insert eye roll here). Know that you can negotiate with them now, too. You could possibly move companies, and I've gotten lots of perks because I've acted like I'm not sure if I want to stay as their customer (like Direct TV--three free months of HBO when we weren't eligible for that moving perk last time).

--If you're moving locally, ask a friend to store your freezer items and bring them to you later. Use your cooler to store everything in your fridge that you want to keep.

--Get a babysitter or family to entertain for the moving day.

--Resolve to set up everyone's bed first.

--After the beds, next in unpacking priority (in my opinion) are these rooms"

1. kids' rooms (I've found if they have all their toys in a new place, they almost become like new toys. A crazy and wonderful phenomenon!)
2. kitchen
3. bathrooms
4. everything else

--Plan to be finished with packing the day before you actually need to be done. It takes MUCH longer than you think.

--It is possible to have too much help on the moving day. If someone really wants to help and you don't need them (or want them;) , ask them to go to the grocery store for you, bring dinner, etc. Also, be prepared to feed whoever helps you move in.

I think that's it! Hope this is helpful to someone!

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