My family has been in Texas just over three months (I just voted in my first Texas election!) I’ll always be a Jersey Girl at heart but right now it’s the start of November and it was 86 degrees outside today. YAS!
I put together a VERY quick list of moving tips off the top of my head because a friend of mine is moving from PA to CA! That’s an even longer move that I did, but in the end, the tips work just as well.
Here are my random tips about moving long distance in no particular order:
- Get rid of half of what you have
- Get rid of half of what you have left after that
- Pick a room a week to purge. Don’t pack immediately after purging, go through ALL the rooms first (then you can take great staging photos for your real estate listing if needed) and after that is done THEN start packing.
- Start packing in rooms/areas that get the least use: outdoors, garage, basement, laundry, den/living room, office, kitchen, bedroom, bathrooms
- Host a garage/yard sale or give stuff away to friends… but just know most people don’t want your stuff either.
- Dumpsters are your BEST friend. Try to get one for two weeks on flat rate (not by weight) best to get one larger than you think you will need, it’s more expensive to have it emptied/re-delivered than to pay a slightly higher price for a larger container
- Use the opportunity to let your kids “let go” of alllll the toys they don’t play with any longer. Ditto for their clothes
- Pack by item, not room – meaning all towels/sheets/shoes/books go together regardless of where they are in the house etc.
- Line boxes with big trash bags before putting clothes in
- All clothes off hangers, pack them in separate boxes
- Pack clothes by season so you can leave some packed/in storage if needed
- Each room gets a color-coded label and then number the box
- Keep a master binder with each room/box number, create tabs for each room and then a written description of what is in the box – I don’t put what is IN the box ON the box for security reasons
- In that binder, make a colum for unpacked/storage and when you unpack a box mark it. When you move a box to storage, mark that too.
- Think about where stuff will go in your new house and label it accordingly – example, I have NO basement here but I did in NJ so those boxes are labeled “storage” for the storage unit
- PAY someone to pack your kitchen – seriously (I AM VERY SERIOUS HERE)
- Know that stuff WILL break so do NOT put anything you can’t replace in the truck
- Mark the boxes you need to unpack with big stars on all sides of the box and request they be packed last on the truck (making them first off the truck)
- Pack the “parts box” yourself or at least supervise and photograph the box as well as making sure it is packed last on the truck (our parts box contained the proprietary electrical plug to our Temprapedic motorized bed base and it is not easy to replace. Now our bed base doesn’t function and essentially useless.)
- Pick a room a week to pack. Some rooms go faster (bathrooms) and some go slower (office, bedrooms)
- Throw out (or donate) most everything in your kitchen pantry, keep food storage containers, pack spices in big plastic sealable bags
- Photograph how your home entertainment center is wired. Trust me, you / your spouse will NOT remember how all the wires went back together
- Invest in a small fireproof box for your most important paperwork, do NOT pack it (carry it with you)
- When the movers deliver the boxes, MAKE 100% sure they put the right boxes in the right rooms. Tape color-coded signs to each room (or the area the boxes need to be left – our storage boxes got put in the front dining room so we could easily move them to a storage unit) TRUST ME when I say if the movers put boxes ‘wherever’ you will think stuff is lost but really the kitchen pots are in the guest bathroom
- Look over your moving contract and see if you are sharing truck space with another move (we filled the whole dang truck!) and see what method they will be shipping. The shipping container our stuff was in got moved from a truck to a TRAIN and I seriously think they dropped it – the entire contents were shifted around and a lot of stuff was broke)
- Remember to itemize out ‘high value’ items, we missed a few and they were broken in transit
- Clean your new home/apartment/condo if possible before the movers drop off your things. Usually, all you will have to re-clean is the floors (they will put cardboard/plastic down first but it’s a lot of men carrying a lot of stuff…)
As I remember more tips I’ll add them.