Friday, April 4, 2014

Essential Steps to Preparing for Your Move

With our big news that we are moving, I now get the joys of preparing for the actual move! Yeah, me! Uh, not. Moving is my least favorite experience but having moved 4 times in 7 years I have become quite the pro.

We don't actually close on our new house until next month. You may be thinking there is nothing we can do until then. That's far from the truth! There are actually many things I am doing to prepare for this move! Here are some things you can do before the big moving day:

1. Eat!

You read right! When it comes to moving, you do NOT want to move a fully stocked kitchen! The less food you have to move, the faster this process will take. 

In fact, cold items will require special considerations when moving (like wrapped in paper or coolers and should be last item moved out, but first moved in). Non perishables (canned food) may look easy to move but they get heavy very quickly!

With 30 days of planning, the goal is to make as few trips to the grocery store as possible. No need to add more food that may need to be moved. The focus is on using the items currently in our house for meals so there will be less food to move.

2. Plan meals

Since we are already talking food, I also use this month to preplan meals for moving day (and for the days you will be unpacking). Moving is exhausting, takes forever, and leaves you with zero energy to cook. If you have help moving, you will most likely have extra mouths to feed, too so keep that in mind.

Eating at home is almost always cheaper than picking up fast food or eating at a restaurant. During the move, you will want to focus on quick, easy to prepare meals. I will be planning to have frozen pizzas, sandwich supplies, and a few freezer meals (beef & corn enchiladas, for example) ready to go prior to the whirlwind of moving!

3. Declutter

Now is really the time to do some major sorting. Anything you see that you can part with? Those items need to go, pronto! 

Start with the areas full of items you rarely use and you tend to just shove stuff in. You know what I am talking about! For us, those areas would be bedroom closets and a miscellaneous shelf in the guest bedroom. 

When we are just cleaning and sorting, I will generally keep the stuff. Hey, I may need it one day! With packing for a move you really have to ask yourself, "Do I really use this? If not, is it really worth the extra box to pack, load, unload, and unpack." You may find many items not worth coming on your next venture.

I have already cleaned a storage shelf and closet out. I think I packed 3 boxes, but am getting rid of at least 3 boxes, too! Dang, it feels good to lose some baggage!

4. Pack!

So, if you are working on #3, you may as well pack as you sort. This is the best time to pack because you can take your time. When it's moving day, packing is more like a rat race to the finish line, but packing prior is a slow walk through the park.

Again, focus on packing items you don't need daily. This includes storage items, photo albums, crafting items, hunting supplies, tools, jewelry, shoes, camping supplies, off season clothing, and miscellaneous kitchen items. My personal goal is 1 box per day. Within the month prior to moving, that will give me at least 30 boxes all ready to go on moving day. Don't forget to label each box with what's inside and where it goes!

5. Plan the move

No matter what, moving days are crazy, hectic, and exhausting. A little preplanning can go a long ways though! Create a plan of what you think moving day will look like. This will help you to know what to expect.

For us, we will most likely rent a trailer. The first load to move will be furniture. Our next load will then be boxes. We are still deciding if we will enlist in the help of friends and family or hire movers. These decisions, of course, must be finalized before moving day.

What do you do the month before a big move?

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