I definitely don't consider myself a moving expert because I'm sure there are people out there with way better ideas than mine. But since this is our third move in three years, I've found some things that work great for me at keeping our moves as organized and stress-free as possible.
So as requested, here are my moving tips:
Packing sucks. But what sucks even more is packing stuff I don't even want or need. So before assembling a single box I go through every inch of the house and get rid of everything we're no longer loving or using. I do this every time we move, no matter how recently our last move (and therefore last stuff-purge) was. Even if it's been less than a year since clearing out the unwanted clutter, I am guaranteed to find more to get rid of. And that means less crap I have to pack and unpack, and it also means that I won't be searching around the new house for the perfect spot for things I don't even want.
Next, clean everything.
Once I've established what items get the privilege of moving along with us, everything gets cleaned before it get's packed. I actually do it as I'm packing- before going in a box everything get's at least a quick wipe-down unless it needs something more serious. That way I'm not unpacking dusty items and feeling like I have to clean before I can put things away in the new place.
Don't be a lazy packer.
This one actually has two tips within one big tip:
The first is to pack like your boxes are about to be strapped onto a roller coaster. I actually like to picture mine being dropped off of a building. Sure, I make sure to write "Fragile" and "VERY Fragile" and "Do Not Stack" and stuff like that. But I always assume that no one is going to pay the slightest attention to all the text on my boxes and that there's a good chance that my great-grandmother's dessert dishes are going to be used to brace the leg of the couch. So I make sure the insides of the boxes are padded up like a psych ward and that there's no possible chance of things inside them shifting and damaging each other.
Which leads to my next tip in this category:
Have the right tools.
I like to have small bubble wrap for wrapping fragile decor items,
large bubble wrap for wrapping art and tv's,
thick packing paper for dishes,
thick plastic wrap (like the kind you can get to use as a drop cloth for painting) for rugs and furniture,
and tons and tons of newspaper for lining the bottoms of boxes and stuffing into every empty crevice so that nothing in the box can move.
I also love this stuff:
Clear plastic wrap. I use it on art and tv's. After they've been bubble wrapped I wrap them up really good in this stuff and it keeps the layers of bubble wrap from being able to shift and potentially leave part of the item unprotected.
I even use it on small furniture to protect the paint.
I said above all the different packing tools I like using, but I also like finding ways to use things I already have to pack like blankets, towels, pillows, etc, and using them as cushioning for dishes and other delicate stuff. That way not only do I feel like I'm getting ahead with my packing by "sneaking in" extra items, but it also helps me save money on packing supplies.
Label boxes really well.
I write a general description of the type of items that are in each box, like "Books", "Kitchen", "Office" etc, and that one-word description gets written on all 4 sides and the top of the box. That way no matter which direction it's facing I know what's in it. But then, so that I can know exactly what's in it, I make a list on top of the box of each item that's going into it. This has come in handy when we've moved into a place that was too small to fit all of our things. When I know I'm not going to be able to unpack every single box and put everything away, if the boxes have a list of their contents I can easily pick out the things I want to use and leave the rest packed instead of having to unpack everything just to find things and then repack all the stuff I won't actually be using in that house.
That's my last and probably favorite tip.
The longer you live surrounded by moving boxes the quicker you'll get used to it. Then it'll just keep getting harder to be motivated to open them up and put everything away.
So I like to get started right away while the excitement of a new place has my adrenaline going and my energy up. And I like to try to get everything completely unpacked in about a week. That way life get's back to normal as fast as possible. That time-table isn't always possible, but I like to try to be as close to that as we can.
And those are my tips! Let me know if you guys have any more for me- I'd love to make this move as easy as possible!
Don't forget I have a giveaway going on! It's your last chance to enter- tomorrow I'll be announcing the winner of a piece of art. Go HERE to enter!