Learn how to organize for a move to a new home. Moving is a stressful endeavor. Read these tips and they will reduce some of the anxiety and thus relieve your stress.
Whether you are selling your home and then moving down the road, moving from apartment to apartment, or preparing to move across the country into your first home there are some simple steps to follow so that your move can be as stress-free as possible.
Create a realistic timeline for yourself. If you are single this is a fairly simple process. Answer these questions for yourself. If you are not, sit down with your partner to answer these questions:
- When do you have access to the new home?
- How far are you traveling?
- Are you hiring a moving company or renting a truck?
- When do you want to have everything packed up and ready to go?
Packing Up Process
Now that you know when you want to have everything packed up and organized for your move to a new home you can plan the packing up process.
Even if you are hiring a company to pack your belongings, you will want to go through every zone to make sure the packers will only be packing things you want to have with you.
There are several distinct zones in almost everyone’s home: kitchen, bedroom, desk (or home office), dining area, and living area.
Some homes also have a shed, garage, or tools zone.
Think about the different zones in your home.
Use a Calendar
An important step to organize for a move to a new home is to use a calendar. I’m a paper and pen person and always do my planning on a paper calendar. I recommend everyone, even those who generally use an electronic calendar, use a paper calendar for something as involved a planning a move. You can print a monthly calendar view as well as a weekly view with plenty of space to write in.
When you use a paper calendar it is easy to see at a glance when you have scheduled things to do.
Since life goes on, even when you are beginning to organize a move to a new home, it’s important to be able to see what you have to do to prepare to move as well as the other commitments you may have.
Schedule packing up one zone at a time in your calendar. If you have the luxury of time, allow a week for each zone.
Buy your supplies one zone at a time.
I know you can return unused boxes to the supply company but it’s best if you can buy what you need a little at a time. This way you’re not cluttering up your space with random supplies.
You will need:
- Boxes (book boxes are the easiest to carry – get more of these and less of the bigger boxes)
- Permanent markers
- Small note pad and pens (to inventory each box)
How to pack each zone
As you go about packing up each zone in your home do yourself a favor and only pack the things that you use, think are beautiful, and that you love.
Things that are broken need to be fixed before they are packed or removed (toss or recycle).
If you don’t use something, let it go. You know I’m talking about that piece of kitchen equipment that looked so fabulous in the store or online but that you have only used once since you brought home.
Clothes you don’t wear need to leave so that someone else can wear them.
If you have children, go through their toys and remove the ones they have outgrown or no longer play with. Consider inviting your friends with younger children to come over and let them take any toys that you are letting go.
Trash is simply that, trash and can be tossed.
If you no longer want something you have options. You can sell it yourself, take it to a consignment store, or donate it.
No matter what, I can not stress this enough, do not pack things that you don’t want.
Let’s say you come across something that great-aunt Suzie gave you when you graduated from college. You don’t like this thing, you don’t use this thing, you really don’t want this thing, but you are hanging on to it because it was given to you by someone you love.
Give yourself permission to remove it from your possessions. Take a picture of it so that you will remember the gift. Let someone else have the benefit of owning it. Acknowledge that it is taking up valuable real estate in your current home. Since you are getting organized to move to a new home, let this thing move on to someone else.
1. Make a list of the contents of each box you pack
2. Number your list (box #1 has these items)
3. Put the number on the outside of the box – write really large – put the number on multiple sides.
4. In addition to the number, write the name of the room in which the box will go at the new home. This is important. You may pack a box in your current home in the family room and the contents of the box may go to the office in your new home.
5. Also, make an inventory of all the furnishings you are bringing with you. This can be a photo inventory. HomeZada has a fabulous, easy to use home inventory app which you can download.
One of the details to attend to as you organize to move to a new home is to go to the Post office (you can also do this online) and fill out the form to change your address. Here is a link to the information.
Pack your vital documents into a box (or boxes) that will go with you in your car. You want to have immediate access to these important papers, just in case. Also, it’s a good idea to keep them in your possession.
Pack your jewelry to take with you in your car.
Consider also packing a small box of handy cleaning supplies. You may want to dust a cupboard or wipe down the bathrooms and kitchen counters with a Clorox or Lysol wipe.
If you are selling your current home
If you are selling your home to move to a new home, check out this article. There are fabulous tips on what to do to make your current home more attractive to home buyers.
Remember to breathe. Selling your home, organizing your home to move to a new home, and moving in general are stressful life events. Go through the contents of every area of your home, one area at a time. Tune into yourself, your partner and your children. Take mini breaks and do as much as you can in advance. Please reach out to me for more information on how to organize for a move to a new home.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.