Hooray! You’re moving…Now what?! (Part 1)

As a woman who has moved at least 21 times in her life, planning and coordinating a move has become a project I enjoy. Seriously. I love the organized chaos of packing, seeing movers haul out our heavy furniture (it saves us time, energy and a lot of fighting to hire movers) and the creative energy of decorating our new home. So where do you start?

I tend to look at the goal date, map out a plan going backwards and pad my dates. For example, let’s say you’re moving into a new place March 1st, a little less than 60 days from today. The first room I pack up is the one that we use the least, usually a guest bedroom and extra closets. The last room I pack tends to be the kitchen. I map out a plan in a paper calendar (I’m old school like that) and designate different areas/rooms to pack up each week.

Quality supplies are essential! The condition and strength of your boxes and packing tape can make or break your move (and your precious valuable!). I’m not one to buy boxes unless absolutely necessary so I’ve hit up Ulta, Gap, Starbucks and Pier One to lighten their cardboard load, always going through the proper channels of calling the store and speaking to the manager for permission. You’re probably going recycle dumpster diving so don’t wear your good clothes for this mission. Usually the recycle bin is pretty clean. Boxes from your office that contain reams of paper are excellent for packing up the kitchen.

An important decision to consider is the act of moving: are you coercing your friends with beer and pizza to do it yourself or are you hiring a professional moving company? You might be fortunate enough that your employer is footing the bill and is not only moving your belongings but they’re packing them, too! That’s hitting the Moving Lottery! When we planned our first move, we were moving from Grand Rapids to Las Vegas. We sold most of our earthly possessions and rented two of those mobile storage units that the company transports for us. That was a terrible experience! We purchased the insurance, had broken and damaged furniture yet after an “investigation” the insurance company said we were to blame. Once we got to Vegas, we used a local moving company for short moves. That was worth the money, in our opinion. It cost us a couple hundred bucks but all we had to do was pack and supervise. No maneuvering big, heavy furniture up and down the stairs, no damaged walls and best, no real reason to argue (we always find a reason but that’s the way we are). If you’re going the manual route, you can bribe (re: beg) your friends with tricks to come help you for the day. You can always rent a moving truck which usually isn’t too expensive, depending on how far you’re going and how much time you’ll need. Just make sure to fill up the gas tank before you return it! It’s highway robbery what they charge you when you don’t fill it up. When my parents helped me move from Medina, Ohio, to Charleston, South Carolina, we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with two trucks packed to the brim with all of my treasured secondhand furniture, books, two dogs and three cats. Yeah. Three cats. I’m a sucker for a furry face. Back on track…and to be continued next week!