Top Five: Tips for Moving
I’ve moved many times in my life. I am from New York City, lived in Houston, then Switzerland, and now in the San Francisco-Bay Area. In the last 5 years alone, I have moved 10 times – TEN! It’s crazy when I say/type that out loud. I won’t go into details about why and where, but the funny thing is that moving is fun for me. It never felt like a hassle or chore. I’ve got it down to a science for myself. I think this is one of the reasons I realized a career as a Professional Organizer was my destiny. Also, I recently helped a client with an international move. This inspired me to add another installment to my Top Five series. Read more about my tips for moving below.
- Make a packing plan.
Walk through your home and list each room by level of difficulty/anticipated frustration to pack. Number one on your list should be the room your are dreading the most! I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but starting with the most complicated area is the best way to go about it because you have more physical, mental, and emotional energy when you are starting out. And I promise, when you are nearing the end and you have those few simple areas left, you will feel SO RELIEVED that you did the worst first.
- Label by location.
There are 2 ways you can do this, depending on which works better with the way you think. (A) By where the items were in your old home or (B) where the items will go in your new home. In addition to which method just plain makes more sense for your brain, it could also depend on how big of a move you are making. If you are moving from a 1 bed/1 bath apartment to another 1 bed/1 bath apartment, you will most likely keep things in similar places. Therefore, boxes labeled “bathroom” or “bedroom” are pretty self explanatory in your mind map. Moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house is a bit different. It’s a great chance to start from scratch. Therefore, your boxes may be labeled depending on where you want things to go in your new space, like “guest bathroom” or “master bathroom”.
- Create your own inventory.
This is a lesson I’ve learned from first hand experience. Even if you are working with a moving company who will make an inventory for you, it’s so much more helpful to have a digital version for yourself. I reccommend using Google Drive and creating a Google Sheet (just like excel), which saves automatically and can be accessed from anywhere. With your laptop or tablet handy, list the box number, location (depending on if you chose method A or Method B mentioned above), and general description of items inside. This is especially important if you are doing an international move and need to fill out customs or insurance forms.
- Change account addresses in one sitting.
Physically packing your belongings may be the biggest part of the moving process, but there is another aspect that is just as crucial – updating your information. Changing the billing address on all of your credit cards and monthly subscriptions can seem like a daunting task but if you have all of the information organized in one place, you can get it done in one fell swoop, saving you a lot of time and stress. I’ve turned my personal address change organizer into a free, fillable, downloadable form for you! Details are below. Even if you aren’t moving anytime soon, filling it out gives you an opportunity to review your accounts.
- Let it go, let it go!
Moving is EMOTIONAL. It’s the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. Even if you were only living in your home for 6 months, it was still the shelter protecting you. If you are sad, cry! If you are happy, scream yesssss! Say thank you to the home as you finally close the door for taking good care of you while you occupied it. While the home may not be a human being who can respond (or at least I hope not), we are human beings who, at the end of the day, need closure. Crying tears of joy or sadness, saying goodbye and saying thank you are important for your own mental and emotional health.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any helpful tips for moving. Share your happy or horror moving stories, too. We can all learn from each other’s experiences. I’d really love to hear from you!