Throughout the life Americans move from home to home many times. And as they say that practice makes the teacher, we have one or two tips to make your next move easier and more bearable.
Period of packing & preparing for the move
- First remember that it is better to do things little, and not during the day before moving. So try to start packing in advance.
- Take this opportunity to get rid of everything you do not need! If you do not like something, if it does not make you happy, if you do not use it, DO NOT PACK IT! Leave it behind, free yourself and start a life without old junk in your new home.
- Collect everything you will need:
Garbage bags: Get the extra resistant type, and buy two different colors. Reserve one of the colors exclusively for garbage. Or better yet, buy some of color, and other transparent, so to throw the garbage in the opaque bags, and use the transparent ones for the things that you must take to your new house.
Cardboard boxes: Try to pack everything you can in boxes, but if you did not get enough, use them for delicate things. Do not buy those which are too big, because they will become too heavy once they are full.
Newspaper: Envelop your junk, pyrex, knives, and other delicate things with enough newspaper. Then, put everything in boxes.
Adhesive tape: buy enough tape, and if you can, buy a dispenser too. If someone else will help you pack, buy another tape dispenser. Also buy masking tape which is made of paper to create a visible space to label the boxes and bags.
Scissors and thick markers: You can buy markers of various colors, and identify each room with a different color and the boxes / bags that go in each one. Or you can buy a single color, and label them "kitchen", "office", "master bathroom", etc.
- Decide how you will code your boxes and bags. Apart from indicating if they go in the "kitchen", "bathroom", etc. you can use the code 1-2-3, in which:
1 - indicate the boxes and bags that should be unpacked as soon as possible. Examples: school uniforms, basic kitchen equipment.
2 - indicate that the content can wait a bit. Examples: clothing and shoes for regular use.
3 - point out that these boxes and bags may be the last to be unpacked. Examples: photo albums, bedding and extra pillows.
- Do not vaguely label any bag or box, for example using the word "stuff" or something unclear. Be clear about what the box or bag contains, for example: "large pyrex and serving trays". And remember to label the boxes on their 4 sides and on the top.
As the great day approaches
- Pack, apart from all other things, a set of sheets and 1 blanket for each bed, 1 cloth or towel for each member of the family, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other things that you will need in the morning immediately after the day of the move. Also pack change clothes for each member, diapers for babies, and 1 pajamas for each person.
- Clean your new house properly, including windows, walls, bathrooms and sanitary services. This will be the only time you will be able to reach every corner easily, so take the advantage! And since you're there, make sure all the lights work, and the hot water is connected and working.
- Also, pack some dishes, cups, forks and disposable spoons separately, and what you will need for breakfast the next day: coffee maker, coffee, filters, a frying pan, etc.
- Try to eat/give away all the food that you have frozen or refrigerated, so that it will not spoil during the move. Remember that the refrigerator should be left 24 hours without operation after having moved it, so that the gas in the cooling system has time to stabilize and work properly.
- Wash all clothes that get dirty, and keep dirty clothes to a minimum.
- Coordinate with someone who can come to clean your old house after you have moved. After moving, you must concentrate your energies on organizing your new home, so it is better to leave the work of the previous house to someone else.
- Make a list of super-fast foods, which you can do without thinking, without using many utensils or many pots (hopefully you can prepare some things in the slow cooker or in the electric pan). Also list the ingredients you will need for each meal, even if they are very obvious, because when there is fatigue, we do not think well. For example, if one of the meals is "hamburgers", and you know that your husband and your oldest son eat 2 each, and you and your two younger daughters eat 1 hamburger each, then write on your list: 7 loaves for hamburger, 7 frozen cakes, 7 slices of cheese, 2 medium tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise, butter, etc. It depends on what you put in your hamburgers.
- Manage the cable, internet and telephony company to coordinate the installation visit of the services, obviously after you have moved to your new home. If necessary, make calls to your current companies to suspend services in your "old" house after they have moved.
The moving day
Keep cookies or fruits like bananas or peaches, easy to eat, cans of tuna, square bread, cereal, and those things that serve to fill hungry stomachs quickly and do not need refrigeration.
Make sure you have easy access to your cleaning products and equipment. Even if you have cleaned the house before the move, the continuous enter-and-exit from the whole world is going to get dirty your house, so it is better that you have what you need at hand to give you a quick clean.
And super important: cell phone chargers. There is no need to explain why.
When unpacking the moving truck
- Assemble the beds first and place the mattress at once. Do not put things on them as you unload the truck. At the end of the day everyone will be tired, and what one least wants to do is have to remove lots of bags and heavy things to sleep.
- Install the washer and dryer as soon as possible.
- Check your list of super-fast foods, decide what you're going to cook that day (or the next day, depending on the time you finish moving things), and go to the supermarket to buy what you need.
The day after the move
- Get up early so you can take advantage of the day. Bathe, put on comfortable clothes (do not stay in your pajamas) and eat a simple but nutritious breakfast that will keep you full for several hours.
- Start in the room that is most used, or that is most urgent to unpack. It can be the kitchen, or if you work from home, maybe the office is the room you need to install first. Open all the boxes or bags marked with # 1 (following the system we talked about before), or those that you know contain the most necessary things.
- Go putting everything in place as you get out of boxes and bags, and go taking boxes and empty bags from the room as soon as you empty them.
- As soon as you finish with the most urgent in that room, resist the desire to continue with the other boxes. Rather move to the other rooms, and go doing the same with the most urgent boxes and bags.
- After you have unpacked boxes # 1, continue with # 2, or less urgent.
- Mainly, do not try to unpack everything in a single day. Do not forget to eat at your hours, stop once in a while to drink water, give a rest to your legs, etc.
The move is always a strenuous job for several days and even weeks, but I hope that with these tips, at least it is not very traumatic.