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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Murton

Tips for Moving

We moved over the summer and I thought it would be a good time to share our top tips for moving and packing that we find make our moves go smoother.

moving and packing tips and tricks
Declutter as you Go

We started weeks before we moved and decluttered small spaces when we had time. We would start with one closet or kitchen cabinet at a time. Things like our linen closet ended up being a storage space for things we weren't ready to get rid of at the time, but after having it in the closet for a while, we were able to part with things we didn't have a sentimental attachment to. This is a great time to sell things on local resell pages and make donations to thrift stores.

Save Money by Packing Yourself

If you can, pack as much as you can in the weeks before your moving day. We spent many nights and weekends packing up things we had in our house that we didn't "use" every day. Books, decor, linen closet, 80% of the kid's toys, unique kitchen items, seasonal decor, we packed it all. All the movers we called charge by the hour and that can add up quickly when they are packing everything. Also, you can take the time to purge anything you don't want and trash doesn't get packed with your belongings. I'm not even kidding, we've had trash get packed with our bathroom items in a previous move. It's not fun.

Get Boxes from Your Local Community.

If you really want to buy boxes, I suggest getting the same size boxes to make packing easier. Medium boxes with handles were what we used the most because we could move them easily after they were packed. But, we saved a lot of money by posting in local Facebook groups asking if anyone had boxes we could use. After our move, we posted "free moving boxes" in our neighborhood group and they were gone within an hour.

Pack a First-night Box

This is going to be the box you unpack first, but one that you pack last. Pack this box with things you will need to spend the first night in your new home. Pack things like bedding, pillows, air mattresses (if you won't have furniture right away), toiletries, basic tools (hammer, screwdrivers, scissors, or box cutter), first aid kit, flashlight, phone chargers, and important medication. Don't forget things like comfort items for kids. We let our kids pick two snuggle toys each a book and a nightlight to have that first night so that transition goes a little bit easier.

Label Everything

In the moment, it's easy to think you'll remember what you packed where, but honestly, once you get a stack of boxes, you start wondering, which box that item was packed in. Labeling helps so much when you go to unpack. And don't just put "kitchen", take it another step and put "plates and mugs" etc. so you will know what you are unpacking on the other end. When we moved we didn't have the same storage space in our kitchen and had to figure out what we wanted unpacked first and what could stay packed up a little longer until we could figure out what the new spot was going to be.

Make a Master List

Write down anything and everything you think of as you prepare to move. This could include things like calling the movers to confirm a moving date, setting up new internet, finding a cleaner, and starting water service. This list can be used by the entire family so everyone knows what has already been done and what can be done by them.

Take it from us, call to set up as much as you can. We filled out an online water start service but when we signed the papers for our house, the next day the water was shut off and wasn't switched to our name like it was supposed to be. I had to call the company and found out their online forms were backed up. However, since I called she was able to schedule service to be turned back on that Monday. Luckily, we were still staying in our old house for a few days, but it was still a hassle.

Schedule a Cleaner

Whether it's cleaning the old house or cleaning the new house, moving is a lot of work and while we only booked a cleaner for our old house and cleaned the new house ourselves, it saved us a lot of time. We did general cleaning, but let our cleaning service do all the nitty gritty work and we had a receipt for our landlords as well.

Take Photographs

Not only because it may be your kids' "first room" or maybe it's your first home together. But, also take pictures of random things like how that gallery wall is organized or how you organized the shelves in the garage to hold all our holiday decorations.

Create an Important Folder.

Keep receipts related to the move in the folder and any personal and financial paperwork you want to keep safe. We got a zippable folder and kept pest control, lawn care, and our cleaner receipts, and copies of our recent bills so we had account numbers easily accessible, passports, birth certificates, things like that. This stayed with us and made it easy to know where important things were at any given time.

Plan Meals to Use up Food

Take the time to go through and see what things you can use up from your freezer, fridge, and pantry before you move. While you're at it, go through those spices and get rid of the outdated ones. We don't need to move things unless we have to.

Make Time for Self-care

Moving is hard and stressful and takes so much time. Make sure you make time to do something for yourself too. Go see a movie, have a dinner date, go for a hike, schedule a massage, plan an outing with friends. Whatever it is that feeds your soul and creates joy for you, make sure you schedule some time to do that. Yes, schedule it. Even if it's planning a day to put on pajamas early and watch a movie with snacks, make yourself a priority too.

Best Moving Supplies:

moving and packing tips

Tips for moving with pets and kids

Moving with Kids

Make sure you honor their feelings. Kids can get pretty attached to their rooms, neighborhood parks, friends, school, etc. If you're making a big move, it can be especially overwhelming for them. Allow them to express those big feelings and understand that they might be sad and excited at the same time, and that's okay.

- Offer times to talk about those big feelings.

- Get them excited to decorate their new room. New paint, new wall decor, new bedding, whatever it is, sometimes shopping and buying something new for their room can help get them to feel excited about their new space.

- Let them help pack. This applies mostly to older kids, but let them get involved. They can pack their own toys in boxes and choose what they want to go in their first night box.

- Do something fun once you move. We hit up our neighborhood pool pretty quickly after we moved. It was a good chance for all of us to destress and do something fun together.

Moving with Pets

First and foremost, know your pets. If your pet is laid back, it might be less stressful for them, but some pets don't like moving and learning a new place at all.

- Make them a safe space whether it's a kennel or a room, with hiding space, while there are so many moving people and so much noise in their space.

- Book them into a doggy daycare or kennel if you feel you need to. Maybe it's overwhelming to think about managing them while you pack and move.

- Make sure you have enough food and pack their beds and bowls in the first night box.

- If you're moving to a new town, make sure to find a new vet and get records sent over, especially if they are on medication or a special diet.

- For our cats, we set them up immediately in the office room with a litter box and water. They had a desk they could hide under and on top of while they got used to the new smells and sounds of the new house.

Moving is a lot, but you can do it, and it's always fun to decorate a new home!


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