This week, we’re preparing for our sixth move in 11 years. We’re not quite as adept at this as some of you military families who move like 10 times every two years or something (!), but prepping for this move has gone so smoothly and I really think a lot of it has to do with tips and tricks I’ve learned from multiple moves.
For those who may be in the midst of a move or may be planning a move later on this year, I wanted to share five ways we’re staying sane while moving:
1. Start Early
As with most things in life, starting early can be the key to your organization and success. Back in November, when I found out we were moving, I started to mentally think of everything we’d need to do to prepare for this move.
In the past, I’ve made a notebook with sections for three months before, two months before, one month before, three weeks before, two weeks before, and then each day of the week of the move. This time around, I’ve relied more on Google Calendar to keep track of all the big and little tasks.
As I think of tasks that need to be done, I’ve added it to my Google Calendar and assigned each task a due date. I haven’t always gotten everything done on the specific day a task was assigned to, but the beauty of Google Calendar is that I can easily move things to a different day, if need be.
Figure out whether paper or paperless system will work best for you. Then, start brain dumping all of the tasks into your system. Getting them out of your head and assigned to a date will take a load off your shoulders and will help you stay on track.
Read my guest post on Living Well Spending Less on 7 Ways That Google Calendar Simplifies My Life.
2. Clear the Clutter
Before you begin packing, one of the best things you can do is get rid of as much excess clutter that you can. For the past four months, I’ve been slowly going through our home from top to bottom evaluating everything in our home and deciding what to keep and what to pass on, sell, or get rid of.
This time around, knowing we were moving cross country, I was highly motivated to let go of anything I wasn’t absolutely sure we loved and would use after we moved. Truly, it’s been really freeing for me!
And best of all, I’ve been surprised and encouraged with how simple packing has been. The effort to pare down and keep things pared down has paid off in big dividends.
Struggling to know what to keep and what to get rid of? Here are 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Clutter.
3. Break Tasks Down
Instead of approaching tasks in big chunks, break them down into bite-sized pieces. Think of the steps you need to take to get to the finished task and then assign a few pieces of those steps to each day.
This is one of the benefits of starting early — you don’t have to cram a bunch of projects in at the last minute. You can just do a few bite-sized pieces of tasks and within a few weeks, you’ve accomplished a LOT.
I’ve been breaking up the packing by room and area. So for instance, instead of tackling a whole room, I’ll just tackle a closet, a few cupboard, or a section of the room at a time. By doing a few of these areas every day, we’ve made quick progress on packing — and it’s not felt overwhelming or exhausting!
4. Accept Help
If someone offers and you can use the help, take it! We’ve been blessed to have family members and friends help us with packing, getting our yard ready, hauling off large items, watching our kids, having us over for dinner so we didn’t have to mess with cooking, cooking dinner for us, encouraging us, and praying for us.
We feel so blessed to have such a great support system around us here… and it didn’t just happen; it’s because we’ve intentionally sought to foster community here and to be available as we were able to help and bless others, too. Relationships are about give and take and it’s such a gift when you have these kinds of friendships!
We are looking forward to planting roots and plugging into a new community where we’re moving to so that we can hopefully develop deep friendships and relationships there, too.
5. Pack With Unloading in Mind
When packing, think strategically about unloading and unpacking, too. For instance, we’ve not seen the house that we’re moving to, but I’ve taken time to study all of the pictures and videos we have so I can get a very good grasp of where we’ll put most of our furniture items, which rooms we’ll need to switch around, and what is going to go where. This makes unpacking so much more efficient and organized.
In addition, I cannot stress the importance of labeling your boxes well. We’ve been labeling boxes not only with details on what room they are from, but also with specifics on what’s in them.
I mentally know which rooms are getting transferred where in our house so I’ll be able to make sure the correct boxes (mostly!) end up in the correct rooms. This alone saves a lot of time. Plus, if the contents of the boxes are clearly labeled, it makes it much easier to find what you need quickly after you have the correct boxes in the correct rooms.
Finally, I try to think ahead to what we’re going to need as soon as the moving truck pulls up. We always pack a few boxes that have cleaning supplies, toilet paper, rags, and other essentials and put that box on the truck last. That way, it’s the first box unloaded when we arrive.
This solves so much frustration and guarantees that you’ll have at least some basics on hand right away. Life is always better when there’s toilet paper and cleaning supplies handy!
What are your best tips and tricks for staying sane while moving? I’d love to hear them!