I moved so many times that I wrote up some moving tips on the web in 1996. You can read the old version there. This is an update version, ready for our next moving to the suburbs:
According to some studies, moving is the second most stressful thing in life. Here are some tips for moving:
- Throw out all the stuff that you don’t need months before you even found the new house. Most of our time is actually spent on this part. It is hard, but do it. (Optional) Watch any of thehoarders TV shows for inspiration.
- Buy more boxes then you think you need. You can always freecycle them afterwards. U-Haul has an “unused box return deal”, but I have never managed to figure out how it actually works.
- Buy large clear plastic boxes for packing heavier items or for items that you want to keep dry. You can end up using these for putting items in storage as well. We buy the large ones from Costco.
- Pack to unpack. If you are to take away one tip, this is it. Come up with a numbering system for each room and area in the new house. Pack items so that each complete box contains items that are destine for one room. Label that box with the number. Your movers will love you, and you just cut unpacking time in half. I put blue or white masking tape on the boxes, and write “(1) Kitchen”, or “(6) Bedroom” etc on them.
- Label and/or map all your computer and audio/video cables so that you can quickly plug everything back together.
- Plan furniture placement before the move. Asking the movers to rearrange furniture over and over waste time and money. I (being a amateur architect of sort) create a site plan of the new home and lay it out on floor planning software before the move.
- Give the movers clear instruction, and let them do their work. Do not have unnecessary family members around to give contradicting directions.
- Make sure the showers are working great in the new house before the move. Bring a personal care kit with you. It is nothing more annoying then not being able to at least relax and clean up while unpacking.