Everything runs smoother when you follow a plan. There are less surprises to be had and less mistakes to be made. Whether you think packing up one entire room at a time works best, or packing up similar items throughout the house makes more sense, pick a plan and stick to it! Either way, you will want to start packing items that are less important or less frequently used first. I decided to pack similar items together that I gathered throughout the house. To me, this process will make setting up my new home easier with like items being together.
2. Make a timeline
Under our circumstances, Phillip and I had to be completely out of our house within 30 days. With that being said, we knew we needed to set a timeline to ensure that we would not begin to feel overwhelmed. We set goals for ourselves every week to make sure we were on track and could get the job done. It is important to factor in a few extra free days in the event of bad weather or emergencies. If nothing else, a timeline helps to create organization and expectations.
3. Designate a "ready to go" area
To cut down on confusion, designate an area of the house where you can begin to stack boxes and tubs that are completely packed, taped up and ready to go! This will especially help you if you are able to move things out gradually.
4. Gathering boxes and paper
I am lucky enough to work somewhere that receives deliveries on a regular basis, which means an endless supply of boxes and packing supplies! If you don't have supplies like this at your disposal, you will want to do a little leg work to line up gathering these supplies for free! Contact your local retail stores and ask if they would be willing to let you take empty boxes off their hands. I would recommend doing this in person, to show that you are serious and appreciative of their help. Most companies throw away these precious cardboard containers and would be more than happy to let you have them!
5. Clean it up
Clean as you go. Before packing any clothing, linens, kitchenware or décor item , make sure it is clean! If you even think it might be dirty, wash it! You will feel so good to know that when you are unpacking things in your new home there will be no need to worry about its cleanliness. (I would still recommend running glassware and dishes through the dishwasher when unpacking!)
6. Throw it out/Give it away
If you're like me and you have time to think about what you're packing as you pack it, ask yourself a few questions in the process. This will help you eliminate the mess and avoid moving unwanted, unneeded or expired items. Why start out in a new home with things you don't want or need?
When it comes to medicine and food, is it expired?
When it comes to clothes, have you worn it in the past year? Does it still fit? Do you like wearing it? Is it still "your style"?
When it comes to home goods, do you have more than one? Do you need it? Do you use it? Does it fit your personal taste?
7. Choosing the right box for the job
When you begin the packing process, keep in mind that these boxes will be picked up quite a few times--meaning, make a good choice when choosing each box! When packing books or any other dense item, make sure that you choose a box that will be sturdy enough and not too big for the job. Remember, you want to be able to pick up the boxes--so don't pack them too heavy! When packing breakables, make sure the box is sturdy and not too roomy.
8. Label everything
Once a box or tub is packed, make sure that you have labeled it in such a way that it is easy to read and recognize. If you don't want to write on your tubs (like me), just tape a piece of paper to the outside claiming its contents.
9. Organize the new space
Whether you are storing your belongings in a storage unit or in your new home, it is always a good idea to try to organize your boxes in the new space. I definitely put all of the boxes with the word KITCHEN on them together in storage! This will make it easier when the day comes that you begin digging into the cardboard jungle!
10. Feed your help
One thing that us Southerners like to do is feed people. So, don't let the madness of moving make you lose your touch! Make sure that you have drinks and snacks available for all of your trustee volunteers--or just take them out for pizza! Either way, keep them in mind and show them how much you appreciate all of their hard work.
I hope these simple tips come in handy someday. They have proven to help us make a smooth move and I hope they do the same for you! I can't wait to share more of our home with you, but for now, here's a sneak peek at our front door!