Moving is not an easy task. There’s a ton that needs to be done, and often, you’ll find yourself with a list of ‘to-dos’ that keeps getting more and more added on to it because of the new things you’ve just thought of. You can make it a little easier, however, with these simple tips.
Create a list.
Before you do anything else, create a list. This list should detail what’s going to go where, and how and when it will get there. There should be a schedule for when you’ll be packing each room, your organizational system (Colored dots? Numbers?), when the house will be cleaned and when the movers are coming, if you are using movers. The more details you can put on this list, the better organized and on top of things you’ll feel.
Declutter the house as you pack.
Whether the house you’re moving into is bigger, smaller or the same size as your current residence, decluttering as you pack will save you time when you unpack later. It also saves space in the new home, and stress from looking at things you never use but don’t part with. If there’s something you’re really not sure about whether to keep or get rid of, bring it with you. For the most part, you should try to be ruthless, though. If you haven’t used something in six months or more, you can probably safely get rid of it.
Re-key the locks.
Previous owners may have given keys to family, friends, dog walkers, housekeepers and who knows who else. Even a new construction home may have had keys provided to various contractors so they could come and go to complete the job. Changing the locks gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the only people who have keys are the ones you give them to.
Do repairs and painting first.
If you bought the home thinking that you needed to make a few repairs and you wanted to repaint the living room, do it now before you move in. You won’t need to move furniture or cover it, so you can get the job done more quickly and easily. Any flooring changes, or big projects that might make the house unliveable or even just very unpleasant, should be undertaken before you move in unless you’re too crunched for time.
Keep important documents with you.
Birth certificates, marriage licenses, home ownership paperwork, and any other important paperwork should be kept with you, in an easy to access and remember location. Even if you’re doing the move yourself, keep track of your important documents so you’re not having to hunt in a chaotic panic for them when you need them.
Pack a “first night/first week” box.
Whatever you call it (first night box, first week box, self care box), pack boxes for each family member that provide them with some of their favorite comforts of home. Clothing, cleaning supplies and other essentials should obviously be included in this box, but include other luxury-style items. Bubble bath, favorite books, soothing essential oils or other things that will relax and soothe stressed-out souls will make the move easier on everyone.
Find the circuit breaker box and main water valve.
It may seem like something that can wait, but it’s best to become familiar with the layout and location of these items sooner rather than later. Severe weather, a sudden plumbing leak, or an electrical fire can spring up out of nowhere even on your first day in your new home. Knowing how to find the breaker box to flip the breakers on or off in an emergency, or the water valve to stop the flood of a plumbing leak, will make it a little less stressful.
Moving can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. A little preparation, forethought, and knowledge can help make it a little easier. That way, you’ll have nothing but good memories associated with your new home.