I’ve moved several times and every time I feel like I learned something new. I’ve done something different every time so it’s been a different experience. Whether it was moving from the dorms at university into my first apartment or moving in with my boyfriend, it was quite the adventure. I’m going to share with you some things that I learned from the process and tell you what I think you should and shouldn’t do when moving.
If you are in a position, financially, to hire movers, hire movers. I’ve moved more times than I can count on one hand and aside from moving into my current apartment, I’ve always had family help me move. While this can be great, it can also be incredibly stressful, especially for a couple.
Another option, if you can’t afford movers could be to rent a truck for the day of. Obviously borrowing is ok too but renting can be a good option if you don’t know anyone with a truck.
Buy boxes from your moving company or from a postal service. While it’s more expensive, it beats having to throw your belongings into garbage bags. Having nice uniform boxes helps when you’re loading cars or trucks and everything just fits nicely. Our moving company had a policy that they gave us back half of what we paid for the boxes as well.
Start packing early. I would recommend giving yourself at least a month to pack. You’ll start packing and then leave it for a while and next thing you know, you’re moving in two days and 90% of your house is still unpacked. Giving yourself a month allows you to pack properly and purge items that you no longer need. Not to mention the fact that you need to clean your place top to bottom before you leave.
This doesn’t only apply to packing but to the day you move. If you schedule your movers for early in the morning, you will get the moving process over with early in the day so you’ll have lots of time to settle in to your new home.
Hire A Cleaning Service
Get someone to clean your place. If you live in an apartment and you are trying to get your deposit back, it can be beneficial to hire professional cleaners to come in and whip everything into shape. Cleaning services are actually very affordable and it could actually end up saving you money because you could get a lot more of your deposit back than you would have if you had done the cleaning.
Label your Boxes
The two most essential things when packing are duct tape and sharpies. Use a sharpie to label the box with the room and a box number. You can number your boxes in accordance to how many you’re putting in a certain room or you can keep a running tally for the whole house. If you are a real perfectionist, you can write lists to stick on the boxes of what is in each box. If you’re really organized, you can even write lists of what is in the boxes and paste them on to the boxes.
Make an ‘Essential’ Box for Each Room
Make box #1 in each room a box full of essentials that you will likely want on the first day. Your living room essentials box could have the TV remote, cords for gaming systems, the TV, etc. Your kitchen one could be filled with dish soap, some basic dishware and cutlery to eat off of until you unpack the rest, and a couple tea towels and dish cloths. My kitchen essentials would also include the coffee maker for the morning after moving.
Keep an Outfit out for Moving Day
When you pack your clothes, think about what you want to wear when you move. Grab a comfy pair of sweatpants and a hoodie if it’s chilly or something cooler if you are moving on a day when it’s warm. Think about the possibility of inclement weather as well. Last time I moved, on March 30th, it snowed and rained the entire day and there were 50Km winds. That was fun for us.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
This should be pretty obvious but don’t wear uncomfortable shoes. You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day, even if you hire movers. My back was so sore the day after that I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Get some good runners out that you can wear for the entire day and save your knees and back.
Throw Things out that Could Make a Mess or Spill
That shower gel that has a quarter of it left in the bottle? Either pack it in a ziploc or toss it out and buy a new one. Same with toothpaste, cleaning supplies, etc.
Unload Furniture First
Unload your furniture before anything else and get it in the place that you want it. You don’t want to be maneuvering around boxes when you’re bringing your furniture in. Plus, you may want to move furniture around to see where it looks best and that is the easiest if the room is completely empty.
Put Boxes in their Respective Rooms
You labelled all of your boxes when you packed right? And all of your furniture is unloaded and in your new place? Great, now you can unload your boxes and put them in the rooms that you have written on them. This will make unpacking go a lot smoother. If a certain room is small, consider leaving the boxes outside in the hallway while you unpack.
Put up your Shower Curtains Right Away
Don’t forget to buy new shower curtains when you move. I’ve learned this from experience. If you go to take a shower after you get all sweaty moving but you get in the bathroom and realise you don’t have a shower curtain, you’re going to be in for a messy shower.
Make your Bed as Soon as your Bed is Assembled
Once you set up your bed, don’t delay unpacking your sheets and blankets and making the bed. If you can, pack your bedding in a box all by itself and label it so that you know exactly where it is. If you have to wash it before you make your bed, start the washing machine as soon as you get to your new place because washing bedding can sometimes take a really long time.
Cook on the first day in your new Place
Unless this is your thing then go right ahead. But we were so exhausted after moving all we wanted was some greasy takeout. If that isn’t for you, go to the grocery store and get some prepackaged meals like wraps, sandwiches, or some microwaveable meals. The deli at my grocer has an awesome selection of pre prepared meals for when you’re in a rush. It’s homemade food so you feel a lot better about eating it than something frozen. Trust me though, order in.
Start Packing the Night Before
This will end in disaster. Don’t do it. You need to give yourself sufficient time to pack because if you don’t, everything will be unorganized and the packing will not only be a bad experience but so will the unpacking.
Feel Pressure to Unpack Everything all at Once
You can tackle this however you see fit but it can be beneficial to do it one room at a time
Feel Guilty about Splurging
We splurged on some items when we moved and, honestly, I don’t regret it at all. Moving is expensive anyways so I felt that buying a few nice things for the apartment wouldn’t break the bank.
Have a Ton of People Help you Move
Having a bunch of people around when you move can be really stressful. People have a lot of opinions on everything and, if you’re hiring movers, you should need to call up your entire family to help you move. Last time my boyfriend and I moved, it was just the two of us and the movers and it went very smoothly. No arguing about the way things were packed or where things should be put away in the new house. Plus, we were free to spend the remaining part of the day doing what we wanted. We weren’t obligated to entertain or feed people the second we moved into our new home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for all of the times my family helped me move but if you can make it a solo mission, it becomes a lot more stress free. Just think twice about the people you have around when you move.
Forget to Enjoy your Move
As stressful as moving can be, don’t forget to enjoy the process! Moving is supposed to be exciting and lead you to new things so try not to get overwhelmed by how much work it is. Take breaks, eat snacks, take pictures, and get excited about your new place!
These are the moving tips that I have from moving several times in my life. If there are things that you think are important for other readers to know please leave a comment below! Let me know what kinds of things helped you during a move!