As the owner of a Professional Organizing company, I help hundreds of families get organized in many situations, including getting ready to move to a new home. But lately, I've had to put all of my wisdom to the biggest test of all – moving myself! Time to “walk the walk”, right?
Of course everyone’s moving story will feature some sort of mild calamity, funny incidents, crazy confusions and the like. After all, we wouldn't want it to be a boring chapter of our life!
So understand that the unexpected will happen and something, big or small, will not go exactly as planned. Now that you've taken a deep breath and resolved to give yourself a break from being perfect, here are two major tips that can help you put everything in proper perspective.
Before you ever grab a moving box, pull together a Command Central for the move. Go to the office supply store and get something that will enable you to write down notes of conversations with your realtor, moving company, interior designer, contractor, and repair people. You’ll want to capture photos and swatches and paint samples. You’ll want to store receipts and calendar appointments. Most importantly, always have it with you. While you may be tempted in today’s environment to use just your mobile device and store all the info in the internet, you’ll be very grateful if you keep to your good ol’ paper binder with folders and pockets. Just holding that thing will give you a calming sense of security!
My second tip is to go beyond packing everything up from each room into boxes and labeling each one. You know how when you’re getting ready for a flight, you ensure that your glasses and prescription meds are going to be carried on board with you, in case your checked bags get misdirected? And when you’re flying to an island vacation, I’ll bet you pack your swimsuit in your purse so baggage mishaps won’t keep you from the beach. Well let’s carry over this same concept here.
Create a “Personal Must Have” box for each member of the family. Now let’s not go crazy and make this box huge – it should be able to fit in a car with no problem. In there goes the things each person simply won’t be able to live without, even for just the first night, in case you can’t get to your bigger load. What can’t your family members survive without? A teddy bear, beloved doll, pillow, video games, favorite PJ's and a couple of go-to outfits, etc.
Another type of “Must Have” box is for the new house itself. Remember, it’s pretty naked on the first day! You’ll want to pack an all-purpose cleaner and rag, a small vacuum, a portable set of tools, even some light bulbs. Don’t forget the bathroom tissue and perhaps some paper plates and cups. Think of it as a New House Starter Kit.
After packing the Must Have boxes, you don’t want them to get lost in the cardboard crowd, so let your family decorate their Personal Must Have box however they want. Stickers, crayons, bows, whatever makes it personal! And ensure those boxes go into the moving van last, so you can get at them first. Better yet, see if they can fit into your car.