Movin' On Up: Tips & Tricks for Moving

Hey all! This week has been an absolute whirlwind of chaos. Packing up boxes, the kitties had their surgeries (spay/neuter), car troubles, applying for the house....

I am more than a little happy that it is (almost) over with!! I've gotten most of my stuff packed up; I'm working on the kitchen when I get home tonight. The kitchen is easily the biggest hassle to pack up. I have so many dishes and mugs and bakeware, etc. that I could probably feed a small army and everyone would have a clean dish (or two).

It's kind of my weakness... Between Target and kitchen stuff, I have an obsession. And then if you put them together?? Oh god, don't even get me started... especially with the clearance (in fact I just bought these adorable retro mugs on clearance for $0.98 a piece... I got 2 full sets of 6 for under $12.00!! Crazy awesome deal).

Anyways, after moving recently, I learned a few things along the way. So here's some of these little pathetic nuggets of wisdom (with some links to extra helpful products) I've picked up recently.

1. Protect your stuff!
I have some of this awesome foam sheeting that tears really easy but is fabulous for packing dishes and all my chotchkies. Seriously some of the best free goodies I've ever gotten, it's making packing all of my fragile stuff so much easier. After packing this way, I can't imagine doing it any other way. I feel like everything is protected from scratches, chips, dings, and jingling around in the boxes. It's great!
Last time I moved I had used plastic bags (mostly Target, of course), and while they did the job, I had to use a lot of them. Very time consuming to stuff them all in there and make sure there's no wiggle room.
2. Get as much free packing material as possible.
I am lucky enough that Aaron works at a high school that throws away a lot of boxes from groceries, supplies, just about anything. And the best part is that they're free! If you don't have immediate access to  a school supply, ask friends or find a free give-away page on Facebook that's in your area. You'll be surprised at how many people still have boxes broken down and stashed in their garages/basements from when they last moved. Or you could ask your local grocery store, they usually have a ton of boxes they need to get rid of as well. This Apartment Therapy article has some great suggestions on finding free boxes.

This will cut down on your cost a great deal, and who doesn't love free stuff?

3. Don't procrastinate.
This is huge. Get this done and over with. I know it's one of the least fun things to do (right after laundry and dishes and cleaning the bathroom), but packing takes time. If you're rushed, you're going to pack things in weird places and not be able to find them when you need them in your new place (speaking from experience here... I had a crisis when we first moved in because I couldn't find my razor, and disposable razors are the bane of my existence; I believe I told Chelsea that we had made a terrible mistake and that moving out was "the worst decision we had ever made" because of the Razor Crisis of 2014).

4. Don't do it alone.
Okay, so "packing parties" are the most absurd thing I've ever heard of, but if you do have that one really good friend in your life that knows exactly how you would pack things, and where you would pack them, how you would label them etc. that is the most valuable person in this time of misery and monotony. Break up the boring routine and chit chat while you pack. You might even find things to laugh about, as in "why in the world do you own this?" I've had many of those conversations with Allie over the years while we sifted through my crap in my grandma's basement, and sometimes having someone else see the sentimental items useless crap you own will help you downsize.

And even if you don't have one of those fabulous people in your life that you trust to make "keep-donate-curb" judgement calls, Netflix is always waiting to keep you company. My choice tonight will be Grey's Anatomy. I mean, c'mon now, you can't tell me that packing dishes while looking at Eric Dane sounds nearly as bad as packing dishes while looking at...well...dishes.

5. Use colored duct-tape to help identify contents or rooms.
When we moved into the apartment, it was a disaster. There was the constant confusion of "where do you want this? where do you want that?" I am avoiding that this time around. You can either use a different color for every room, or use certain colors to identify the type of contents in the boxes. The latter is the route I'm going this time.

Yellow/Orange duct tape means fragile items, anything else is "be careful because it's my stuff, but probably won't break." Makes it easier to know how to handle the boxes. Plus, I can write the details/room on the duct tape itself so it will serve double duty and reduce placement confusion.

6. Hire help.
For me, this means begging asking my friends with trucks to help me move with the promise of tacos, pizza, and high fives. For you this may mean a U-Haul, a couple of beefy dudes, or a full on moving company. Having help makes everything go by quicker, smoother, and much cleaner than if you had to drag your couches, dressers, mattresses, and appliances around on your own.

7. Check with your utilities, billing companies, etc about transferring your service to your new address.
I am so glad my move will be nice and easy. ComEd and NiCor both allow me to pick a future date for a service transfer, so the service at the apartment will stop and the service at the new place will start the very same day. Pretty seamless transition, if you ask me. The links above will bring you directly to their start/stop/transfer service pages.

I would also suggest setting up mail forwarding with the USPS for free. This way you won't miss out on any of that precious junk mail, and keep up with the bills. The envelopes with the yellow sticker on the front will remind you to notify the sender of your address change, and then you'll be better able to tell what all you've taken care of.

8. Relax.
Don't stress yourself out too much. I know that this is coming from the craziest one of us all (I tend to turn in to Godzilla when we're moving, really demanding, frustrated, and angry), but for real. Give yourself a minute to stop, assess, and chill out. Maybe you need someone to show up with some Starbucks or lunch. Maybe you need a friend that's willing to take the whip for a minute while you sip on your Strawberries and Creme Frappachino and munch on your cake pop. Sometimes you just need a 10 minute break to just breathe. No shame.

9. Take a video/picture tour before you move in.
Taking pictures/video of the condition of the new place will help when it comes time to move out. You'll have everything documented (make sure you have a time stamp on everything somehow!!) when you are trying to get your security deposit back, and you'll be able to see what you'd like to change about how you did things for when you move into your new digs (for me, I'd really like to not put so many holes in the walls until I'm totally happy with the layout of my wall stuff... wrapping paper with tape on the walls will help tremendously).


That's all I've got for now, folks. If you've got any simple extra tips or tricks up your sleeves, please feel free to comment below! I'm sure I'll appreciate your wisdom!

Happy Saturday, all!




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