Friday, January 13, 2012

How to Make Moving Easier

Two of my cousins are moving soon and I told them I’d post some info about how I organized when I moved. I’m about 2/3 done with a really long, detailed, boring post, but realized they didn’t need that much info. So Aubrey and Heidi, here’s a shortened version…
I’m slightly obsessed with organizing. I researched moving tips before I started and I came up with a pretty good plan. We moved the second week in December yet I didn’t feel stressed out. The move went really smoothly (except for ordering too small of a truck) and everyone who helped out said it was the best moving experience they’ve ever seen. I was even able to be fully unpacked in 6 days. These are some tips to help out:
  • First, get tons and tons of boxes (try to find free or cheap on ksl). It’s easier to have too many than to run out in the middle of packing. And don’t shun the small boxes. They’re good for books and canned food. Packing paper will make your life easier too. Same with good packing tape. Get lots of it. And one of those packing tape dispensers (ask around to see if someone will lend you theirs if you don’t want to buy one).
  • Next, you need a good labeling system. This was the key to my smooth move. I have a sticker maker (which you’re more than welcome to borrow), so I made my own. Assign each room/section of the place you’re moving into a color and a name. You can use any stickers you can find that have enough colors and are big enough to have numbers written on them (that you can see from across a room).
  • When you pack up a box put the proper colored sticker at the top left corner of every side and one on a top corner of the box. You’ll need 5 per box. Rather than writing the contents of the box all over it, you’ll be writing a number on each of those stickers (do this before putting the stickers on) and then writing the corresponding number on a *paper.
  • As far as the *papers go that you write the box contents on, here’s how I did it. Use one paper per room. Write the room name at the top and put the colored sticker at the top. Then write down the box number and its contents. If you ever need to find something in the middle of packing, you just have to look on your sheet, find the number and locate that box. So easy. If you fill up one paper for a room, label the next one the same way, but with a “2” after the title. Keep these all together on a clipboard. It will be handy and easy to write on.
  • Prepare “keys” for moving day. Have a colored paper with the room name ready to hang outside each room. Also, prepare a map to hang up that people can quickly glance at while they get to know the layout/colors.
That’s the basics. Having all of the rooms labeled by color (rather than just written on top) made it SO much easier for those helping to know where to put things. I also labeled furniture and bags with colored stickers. I don’t recommend just trying to tape colored paper to the boxes. It will take way longer to pack that way. And don’t skimp and try to only put a sticker with the number on one side. You don’t want the people helping you move to have to search the box to find out where to take it.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
  • Keep a box out that will contain all of your “moving day supplies.” Label it as such. Put items in it that you might need: tools, cleaning supplies (for both the place you’re moving out of and the new place), towels to protect your carpet, soap, hand towels, toilet paper (ideally, you’ll be able to set those things up the day before the actual move in, but that’s not always able to happen), box cutter, etc. Carry that in your car with you (or pack it very last and make sure you’re the one to get it out, so you know where it is).
  • Have food/drinks for those helping with the move. Both at the place you move out of and where you move into. Make assignments to other people if you need (ie have someone pick up some pizza). Have the paper goods you’ll need for the food/drinks ready. If it’s not around meal time that people are helping move, snacks and drinks are fine.
  • In the days following the move, utilize your crockpot. Make meatless taco soup. Nothing has to be refrigerated and you can just dump it in and turn it on (don’t forget a can opener in your moving day supplies!). Use one of those plastic crockpot bags and paper bowls, so you don’t have to bother cleaning anything. You could even do this on moving day instead of getting pizza if you want to save money.
  • Don’t feel bad about giving people assignments. If people are already offering to help with the move, they don’t have to be doing the actual moving of boxes. They could help with kids, food, cleaning, etc. Think through everything you might need and ask people to specifically help with those things.
I think that’s it. Sad that this is the shortened version, huh? Anyone who knows me, knows that if you ask me a question you better expect a long answer because that’s all I know how to give Winking smile
Anyway, hope that helps someone! Let me know if I need to clarify anything.