I might be one of the only people who love moving, but I really do! When I was in college, my roommate and I once moved to the building next door. We didn't even pack, we just put stuff in bins and made a billion trips. We used her office chair to haul the heavy stuff, and we still brag about the fact that we did it in two days. Since then, I have come up with a plan to help me start early and stay organized. I think the trick is to break it up as much as possible. I take the 25 days prior to moving to get a little done each day because moving day is not packing day, especially if you have people helping you move.
Using my Printable Twenty-Five Day Moving Guide can make a move feel much smaller of a task for everyone involved... and it might keep you from using an office chair to carry things! Okay, lets do this!
Gather Supplies - Most of my moving must haves can all be found in your pantry or at a dollar store, and will keep you from wasting money on moving. My favorite moving supplies are: Drawstring garbage bags, Styrofoam plates, shipping tape, permanent markers, and a pack of labels if you want to get fancy and color code your boxes. If you are at a rental, some spackle for holes and cleaning supplies will also help you get more of your deposit back. Depending on if you are moving locally, or out of town, you may want to pick up a few boxes, but you can often get free ones from stores. I also gather supplies that I already have such as suitcases, baskets, tote bags, and grocery store bags. I will explain the various uses as we count down the moving days.
Also take some time to figure out a labeling system. I could go on and on about labeling boxes. A little bit of attention to detail while packing will make a huge difference when unpacking.
Create a Storage Space - Figure out a room that you can live without for a month and make some space. I am using my guest bedroom as a "packed boxes room". Also create a corner of the space for items that you want to donate.
Pack the Books - We want the heaviest boxes on the bottom, so start with books and magazines (yes, I hoard magazines). Use smaller boxes for this so that you can actually move them. Don't forget to clean out as you go, and start adding to the donation pile!
Day Twenty Two
Seasonal Decor - If you don't already have your holiday decor in plastic bins, go ahead and pick up a few so you can consolidate any seasonal decor you have and get those items organized, packed, and labeled. Plastic bins are also really easy to stack so these items can go ahead and go in your space of packed items.
Day Twenty One
Hobby Supplies - Who has time for hobbies when you are moving? I like to paint, sew, etc., so these items will be next. My crafty stuff is in the plastic storage containers with drawers, so this is a great opportunity to get these items organized. I will use plastic wrap around the bins so that the drawers don't come open. Everything else will go in a box.
Kitchen Phase 1 of 3 - Pack any kitchen items that you use on an occasional basis. Try to get at least half of the kitchen cabinets emptied so you can go ahead and clean the shelves. Use the Styrofoam plates to put between the plates, and grocery bags to wrap fragile items.
Assemble a Moving Tool-Kit - I like to have a container of Screw drivers, a hammer, cleaning supplies, etc., ready for when I need them. Once you get packing, you don't want to waste time looking for tools you need to take apart things.
Clean out Storage Closets - Donate what you can and pack the rest. Clean the space as needed.
Pack Tools that you wont need for the move.
Outdoor Items - If possible, move any porch, balcony, deck or patio items to one location. Clean the areas and any furniture that needs it. Clean dirt from pots and throw away any dead plants or items that you don't need.
Pack Entertainment Items - Pack games, DVDs, and any entertainment items. Don't forget to clean them out as you go, and maybe you can even make a little extra cash if you trade in your old movies.
Two Weeks to Go! Clean any empty rooms and catch up on the plan if needed. Don't get behind, that's how moves become overwhelming. This is also a good time to schedule your utilities, cable, and Internet installation for the new home. Also, don't forget to change your address at the post office and with any magazines or mailers that you get.
Pack Office items and organize as you go. Make sure all important documents are in a safe place that you can easily access if needed.
Pack Dining and Kitchen Decor
Pack Bedroom and Bathroom Decor
Pack Living Room Decor
Linens - Wash any linens and Towels. If you are using your current curtains in the new home, wash and iron them so they will be ready for the new house. You also want this stuff ready so you can shower and go to bed once you have gotten all the stuff in the new house. Vacuum and clean out your linen closet or wherever your linens were stored.
Decor on Walls - Take down frames, shelves, curtains, or anything that you have drilled in the walls. If any items have specific hardware, put them in a baggie and tape it to the back. Go ahead and dust pictures so they will be ready to hang when you move, and wash and press curtains if you haven't already.
Coordinate the people who will be helping you move, and give them any needed info.
The Kitchen Phase 2 of 3 - Plan out food for the week. Pull aside the items you will need to cook. Have paper products on hand to eat off of, and pack the rest. (Keep an extra box in the kitchen that you can put the rest of the items in on moving day.) At this point the kitchen should be empty except for the food for the upcoming week. Clean the oven, sink, and the inside of cabinets and drawers. If you are renting, pay special attention to cleaning the kitchen because that is what most people loose their deposit over.
Toiletries - Put any bathroom toiletries that you use daily in a container, and pack the rest in a plastic bin. Try to set everything upright, but at least its in a plastic bin just in case it leaks. If you you have multiple bathrooms, put all the must haves in one so you can go ahead and clean the others. Wash any rugs or hand towels so they will be clean and ready for the new house. Maybe a note on the door that it has been cleaned might help you avoid redoing any cleaning.
Clothes - Plan out any clothes, shoes, or accessories that you will need in the next five days. Go through your clothes and make a donation pile. Today is the day those drawstring garbage bags will come in handy. Leave your clothes hanging and use the garbage bags to tie around the clothes and hangers. You can also use those color labels to color coordinate which clothes belong to which family member. Use your suitcases for shoes, jewelry, and other small accessories.
Clean the New House - If you are local, go to the new house and clean that thing! Don't worry too much with floors since you will track through anyway, but focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Put in drawer liners in the kitchen, and any organizing containers. Also take some sticky notes to plan where you want everything to go. This especially makes it easy if you have people helping you move so they can know where to put everything. If you plan on using products with an abrasive smell, it is definitely a good idea to do this a few days in advance so the smell will be aired out. You may also want to go ahead and spray for bugs since the door will be open during moving. A few air fresheners might be nice too. If you are renting, make a list of any issues that you want your landlord to fix or be aware of. This will avoid damages being blamed on you.
If you have people helping you, go ahead and have some bottled water in the fridge and some snacks at the new house. Also take toilet paper and soap for the bathroom.
Patch Holes and Clean your current home. If your are renting, this is a must for getting your deposit back.Take unwanted items to a donation drop-off while the spackle dries. Touch up paint where needed.
Electronics - Whoever will be setting up the TV and all that good stuff should be the one who packs it. Take pictures of the back of the TV and other electronics so you can remember where everything goes. If you are packing it all in one box.
Kitchen Phase 3 of 3 - Pack any food and kitchen items that you can and have a cooler on hand for packing cold items tomorrow.
Reconfirm the people who will be helping you move. Make it friendly and appreciative, and maybe even tell they you will have some breakfast ready by a certain time. Make sure the air is running at the new home.
Have some breakfast ready for the people helping you. I recommend the frozen cinnamon rolls that come in the tin container that you bake it in to avoid cleaning. Depending on how long it takes, order some lunch for everyone as well. There are also great crock-pot meals that you can make ahead and have it going in the new house so people can take breaks and eat as needed.
Also, depending on how many people you have helping you move, designate one or two people to be unpacking as people bring in boxes. This is why labeling is such a big deal. It is also why it is so important to label where things will go in the house.
After the Move
If you are renting, go back through and clean everything thoroughly. Schedule the carpet cleaner to come, and enjoy getting your deposit back!
Download 25 Day Moving Countdown