Tips and Tricks to Make Your Move More Manageable
I’ve moved a lot. I wasn’t an “army brat” or the child of charmingly bohemian artists who traveled from one picturesque locale to another. But between college, apartments, and job changes I’ve done more than my share of packing and unpacking. These days the moves involve a husband, two children, two dogs, a cat, and assorted betta fish and all of the Stuff that goes along with all of us.
After each of those moves, I’ve been baffled by people who ask, sometimes months or even years later, “Are you all settled in? Still unpacking boxes?” Like, really? Is that what people do? Because we have everything unpacked, boxes hauled away, pictures hung in two, three days MAX. We just never let the grass grow under our feet until our new home is completely back to normal.
If you’re planning an upcoming move, or putting off moving because you’re afraid of living in chaos–Relax. I’m going to share with you a few of my best tips to help make your move easier and more hassle-free than you ever thought possible.
1. Downsize, Downsize, Downsize: I can’t say this enough. If you’ve lived in your current home for any length of time, you’ve accumulated some junk. Even if you’re a very neat, clean person, you’re bound to have brought in paperwork, impulse buys, clothes and shoes you never wear, or gifts that missed the mark.
If you have a little lead time, you’ll maybe want to monetize your excess with garage sales or Craigslist. If not, find a local charity that will be appreciative. Either way, get serious about getting rid of your excess since every extra item equals boxes, packing supplies, and room on the truck, not to mention time spent once you arrive unpacking and trying to find space for something you never use and don’t want.
2. Label Everything: You know how you fill a box, tape it, then write Kitchen or Dishes on top? Yeah, don’t do that. Write Kitchen: White Casserole Dishes, Lids, Wooden Salad Bowl, Hot Pads, Trivet.
By labeling the boxes with a detailed inventory, you’ll not only ensure that they end up in the right room, but in the right section of the room. You’ll control the order in which things are unpacked. You’ll make sure that you get functional before you start worrying about things that can wait.
For example, what are the first things you’ll want to unpack in a kitchen? Why open ten boxes to find your coffee mugs and coffeepot (or wine glasses and corkscrew depending on your priorities) when you can have everything clearly marked so that the first things you’ll need can be unpacked first? This will help you plan ahead and stay organized throughout the process.
3. Pack a First Night Bin: Each person in your family should have a box or plastic bin with everything they need to feel right at home on their first night. Each one should have:
- linens for their bed,
- a pillow,
- a nightgown or pajamas,
- a change of clothes for the next day,
- a towel, washcloth, and hand towel, and
- whatever toiletries, medications, etc. are needed the first night or the next morning.
Children’s bins might also include a book for a bedtime story and a favorite stuffed animal. If you have pets, they’ll need a bin with food, bowls, bottles of water, leashes, and whatever else they’ll need to get settled.
This way, no matter how well (or badly) moving day goes, no matter how stressful or exhausting, everyone is assured of a shower or bath, a clean bed, clean jammies, and clean clothes the next day without having to dig for them in stacks of boxes.
You may want to do an Essentials bin for each room. The kitchen might include coffee mugs, coffee maker, coffee, a roll of paper towels, dish soap, snacks, and breakfast bars. The living room might include a favorite throw, favorite photos, a media streamer (if your WiFi will be set up already), and some favorite books. Anything that you’d love to see, anything that says “home” to you and your family, can be packed in a dedicated box so that everyone feels a bit more settled the first night.
While a new apartment or home is exciting, the moving process can definitely be difficult. But if you spend some time thinking through moving day before moving day, you can plan ahead and avoid some of the pitfalls. By starting your Boston apartment search with Boston Pads you’ll gain access to Boston’s largest real time apartment database and also second-to-none relocation services!