Spring, with its lush green grass and blooming trees and flowers, is when homes tend to put on their best faces. Unsurprisingly, spring also tends to kick off home-buying, and consequently moving season. If this season of rebirth and renewal has inspired you to take the leap into home-buying or relocating, follow along for my top 10 sanity saving moving tips.
- Declutter Before, Not After you Move. Preparing to show and sell a home, or simply packing up for greener pastures? There is no better time to really take stock of your belongings. Rather than throwing your household goods, especially those that don’t pass the “home staging cut” into boxes or storage, take this opportunity to purge anything you don’t need or love. Based on the value and conditions of your items, donate (lots of charities will come pick up your goods), toss, or sell. Are items in need of repair, outdated, or worn? Give yourself a timeline to refurbish these goods before you pack, otherwise it’s time to say goodbye.
- Sell Everything. Okay maybe not everything, but I’ve learned from experience that your furnishings will quite likely be the wrong scale and style for your new space. Rather than deal with the hassle of packing and moving your home goods, sell them! If your move is the result of a home sale, a great start is to offer to sell the buyer any furnishings you’re willing to part with, as smart buyers will often happily purchase furniture, artwork, or rugs that are a perfect fit for the space. Remaining items call be sold at estate or garage sales, or by placing items on online market places such as Craigslist or eBay. Once you’ve moved you can use the cash to buy some fresh pieces that are a perfect fit for your new place.
- Assure your New Home is Professionally Cleaned before Move-in. We learned this one the hard way. When moving to our current home we allowed the sellers to stay in the house for a month before we took physical possession. We forgot to make one VERY important demand in the lease agreement (called a rent-back); requiring the home be professionally cleaned upon move-out. When we finally made it into our new home, I found myself with not only a screaming toddler, manic puppy, and moving van full of stuff, I also had a dirty house to clean. Moving into a rental? The landlord should absolutely handle this, but you definitely want to make sure it’s in writing and not overlooked.
- Have Hard-Copy Plans of Where Furniture Goes. Once you’ve landed on your new home, either take measurements of the new space or have your realtor send these along. I like to upload measurements on digital layout programs like this one, then plan out where all furnishings will go upon move in. Make plenty of copies for moving day to help movers place items in the appropriate spot.
- Pack Suitcases with a Week’s Worth of Essentials. Even the most organized packers will be at a loss for certain key items upon move in. Rather than chaotically tearing through stacks of boxes, use your suitcases to pack a week’s worth of essentials for everyone in your family. This typically includes clothing and toiletries, but also essentials like toilet paper, bed sheets, and important electronics.
- Arrange for Grocery Delivery on Move-in Day. No one feels like grocery shopping on moving day. Save yourself the stress of an empty fridge, (or worse a coffee-less morning!) and arrange for a grocery delivery with all your essentials the day of move-in. Live in a place without delivery service? Make a list ahead of time and send a helpful friend or family member off with some cash and a shopping list.
- Use What you Have before Buying Moving Materials. Rather than buying bubble wrap or paper, look to your everyday fabrics such as clothing, towels, sheets, and pillows to protect fragile items. Next, pack up empty vessels such as storage bins, suitcases, laundry or picnic baskets and the like. When these bins are full and it’s time to source moving boxes, hit up the local liquor store—which has the best heavy-duty boxes for books and other hefty items, and your local grocer or gift shop for moving boxes before shelling out cash for new ones.
- Take Photos! Don’t forget to snap a pic on the porch or somewhere memorable in the home you’re leaving, as well as upon arriving at your new place. This is going to be the last thing you’ll want to do amid the chaos of relocation, but our homes are our life centers, full of comfort and memories, which is what makes moving so monumental. It’s important to capture the memories, both new and old. You’ll appreciate it someday.
- Show your Moving Helpers Gratitude. We have all gotten the dreaded call to help our friends and family move, and we have all likely been on the asking side of this as well. Whether hiring movers (don’t forget to tip!!!), asking for help, or both, be respectful of their time by being fully packed and ready at go-time. No one will expect you to cook, but plenty of snacks, food, and drinks should be provided. Pizzas and a cooler of cold drinks always hits the spot.
- Make it Feel Like Home. New homes typically feel like foreign territory. Upon arrival, try a few things to quickly make your new place feel like home. Open the windows and let fresh air in your space, burn a little sage to clear the energy or light your favorite candles, or simply mark your children’s height on a door jam. I also like to prioritize setting up bedrooms, so no one is scrambling for a place to sleep after a long day of moving.
Finally, order some take out and celebrate with some bubbly. You’re at the end of what is likely a very long process. You did it!
Feature photo by didesign / Adobe