5 Tips for a Stress Free Move to Your New Home
Buying a new home is one of the most exciting adventures of your life. But packing up all your stuff and moving it is one of the most grueling.
Here are some moving tips to help the process run more smoothly:
1. Prioritize and divide.
Mentally divide up your possessions into three categories: A, B and C.
The A category is the stuff you need every day and cannot function without, like your contact solution, toilet paper, toothbrush, wallet, underwear, a towel, cups and plates. Imagine you are going camping. What would you need to pack, if weight and space was not an issue? These are the things you need.
The B category is the stuff that is important, but you can survive without for a week or so, such as extra clothes, your appliances and TV, DVDs, books, lamps, rugs, decor. These are the the things that bring you comfort. The things you want.
The C category is the stuff that you only need occasionally and is not essential to a functioning household. Most likely, this is the stuff in your garage or basement: costumes, gift wrapping materials, old photo albums, sentimental things that you don’t need but feel the desire to keep.
2. Pack by category. And then unpack by category, reversed.
Start by packing up your C category — as early as you have a contract signed, or even earlier, if you are pre-approved for a mortgage and you know you are going to move. Use different colored markers or stickers to mark each box with its appropriate category. This will help you when you arrive in your new place.
A few weeks before the move, begin packing the B stuff. And a few days before you move, pack the A stuff, leaving a “carry-on” style bag of must-haves that you can easily access the day before you move, when everything else should, in theory, be in boxes.
When you arrive, unpack the A boxes first, then B. When everything from the B category is in its new place, attack the C category. This will help the process seem less overwhelming — and keep you from digging around in boxes for something you need.
3. Use what you already have to help pad your breakables.
Yes, bubble wrap is useful and maybe even crucial for some extremely fragile items, but most breakables can be safely protected in blankets, clothes and socks.
4. Label, label, label.
Don’t just write one word on the side of the box: “Bath.” That won’t help you when you’re looking for your razors. List everything in the box as specifically as you can, and group items logically. Keep all bathtub items together, and wrap the breakables in towels. Minimize extra work on the unpacking end, when you will be so excited and not want to waste time hunting for the wash clothes.
5. Prevent messes.
Take the lids off your toiletries, put a plastic baggie or wrap over the opening and screw the top back on. This will help prevent spills.
Buy a bunch of Press ‘n Seal plastic wrap to keep other items in place, such as jewelry and clothes. Don’t forget to defrost your appliances before you move them, too.