Are You Prepared For Your Move?
No matter how long you've lived in a place, or why you're leaving it, moving is bittersweet. You may have to move for work, or to be closer to family, or because the nest is now empty. No matter what the reason is, there's nostalgia. Then, when the tears are dried and you get to the new place, it's going to feel foreign for a while. The good news is there are some steps you can take to make both the moving out and the moving in easier on your family. We offer some easy, sensible tips. Here are a few of our favorites, with some of our own pointers added in.
Moving Out Take photos. You'll probably do this anyway, and as much as you probably like the professional, pristine gloss of the photos the Realtor used for your listing, we suggest taking a series of "messy" shots that show your home in its true family state (this may need to be done prior to listing, depending on how quickly you plan to move after its sold). Be sure to get your favorite features.
Time Capsule There are lots of ways to leave your mark on a home, but how about putting together a time capsule and stashing it in the attic? Have each member of the family leave something behind, and let the people moving in after you know who you were and what you loved about the home.
Party Time Invite all the people who have enjoyed your home with you. If it doesn't feel like there's time, make time. And while we - and likely your Realtor - wouldn't recommend a rager, do plan on toasting the good times had there. As for your guests, instead of having them bring food or a gift, have them help you pack or move some boxes. If you provide the bubbly, they won't mind a bit.
Now, it's time to make a new place a home just as beloved as the last one. But some move-in homes are stuffy, either because they're new or have been closed up for a while. And they certainly don't have the same look or smell. Here are some things you can do:
Fresh and Clean Open windows. Run fans. Liberally apply all of your favorite cleaning products. Do this before a box has been opened.
Treat Yourself You might not often buy yourself fresh baked goods or cut wildflowers, but keeping some indulgences around while the rest of the place is in move-in chaos can be cathartic. Light candles. Buy the fancy soap. You deserve it.
Kids and Dogs First When prioritizing the unpacking, focus first on the smallest members of your family (it may be fun for mom and dad to spend a night on an air mattress anyway, we think). Let the kids unpack a couple of pre-selected boxes with favorite decorations and toys. Have the cable or satellite set up (if possible), or at least the wireless Internet, so TV becomes an option for kids too young to help. As for the dog and cat, we suggest boarding them or finding a sitter during the heaviest moving times. If that's not possible, though, be sure they have a space to themselves, get frequent walks, and have food and water available. Soon they can have free run of the place - and it will feel more like home because of them.
First Day Box (Things you will need right away)
- Clean Sheets for each persons bed
- Hygiene items
- Lysol Wipes
- Toilet Paper
- Laundry soap
- Paper Plates
- Plastic Cups and Silverware
- Leap pad and Nintendo DS
- Bathroom Cleaner
- Organizing binder, with moving lists etc- this includes names and numbers of all utilities etc with confirmation numbers
- School items
- Tool kit
- Trash bags
- Small First Aid Kit
Here is Another List of Helpful and Sensible Ideas
- Make DIY Box Handles (cut out handles for your larger boxes, easier to carry)
- Use pillows, stuffed animals and other soft items as fillers for fragile items
- Defrost your refrigerator
- Put a large X on mirrors with masking tape (if it gets jarred on the move, it keeps everything intact)
- Take a photo of your cords on the back of your TV and other electronics, before packing them away
- Use rolling luggage to pack heavy items such as books
- Put hanging clothes in garbage bags while still on the hangers
- Use foam plates to pack your real plates, put one foam plate in between each real plate
- Use plastic wrap to keep drawers and bins intact
- Use bags instead of newspapers to pack your glassware
- Wine boxes come in handy to pack glassware as well
- Keep bolts and screws organized by putting them in zipper bags and labeling them
- Store all seasonal items in plastic totes and label them (they can go in attic or garage)
- Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment
- Print out bright colored labels for each room (kitchen, bedroom, library) to put on boxes
- Leave lightweight items in drawers
- Lay out everything before packing the truck
- Pack the truck tight, less room for movement and breakage
- Have a sense of humor and patience
- Once done celebrate with a dessert or drink