Moving to a new home can be a challenge at the best of times. From packing to searching for the coffee pot on the first morning, there are many moving parts involved (pun intended). Add a global pandemic to the mix, and the whole process can become very overwhelming. Since we’ve been helping clients with packing and unpacking right now, we decided to put together some helpful tips to make this a smoother experience.
Purge Before You Pack
Here’s a familiar scenario that nearly all of us have experienced: You realize that you don’t have time to declutter before moving day. You pay to have those items that you don’t want to be packed up and moved, or hustle to do it yourself. When you unpack them, you realize how many items are duplicates or simply things you just don’t want.
Creating the time to declutter BEFORE you move will save you time, money and stress. It’s especially important to give extra time for this during COVID, as many donation centers are running on a limited capacity. Plan ahead about where things should go. If you are uncertain, get in touch and we can help you figure out how to pass along your unwanted stuff.
When planning your move, grab a calendar that spans the dates of the move. Start by planning backward, circling the final move date. Then think about how much time you need for packing and decluttering, what needs to be fixed in your new home before you move in, etc. Planning backward allows you to anticipate how long things really take so you avoid running out of time – the #1 stressor when it comes to moving. Since things can be extra slow with coronavirus, it is extra important to factor in extra time for each piece of the puzzle.
When you pack in an organized way, it makes it ten times easier to unpack in an organized way too! As you pack, visualize your new space and try to put “like” items together rather than packing by room, since they may end up in a different location in your new home.
Remember that if you have movers pack for you, they will pack absolutely everything as they find – even the trash in the trash can. You can pre-pack before movers come in by staging things that you want packed together in one place. Get rid of trash, recycling and donations. Again, if you have decluttered thoroughly first, it will make this process so much easier.
As you pack, label boxes thoroughly. Include the contents, room they should go to, and priority level for unpacking. Use neon colored index cards to communicate this clearly so that movers can be quick and efficient, limiting the amount of time they spend in your home.
Unpack First Box
An “unpack first” box is a great idea when moving. Put all of the essentials you will need for the first few days as you are unpacking, including the coffee maker, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, granola bars, clean sheets for mattresses, shampoo and basic toiletries. Include regular or paper plates and cutlery to avoid going to the grocery store and also purchasing plastic. Load it up last so that it comes out of the truck first.
Clear Directives for Movers
Making things easy for movers is an important new step in the era of COVID. Label doors to rooms with name/purpose so they know where things go. Set up your downstairs bathroom with soap and paper towels for them as well. Have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer handy. Eliminating the number of time movers need to be in your home will benefit everyone.
Unpack with Purpose
When unpacking, keep in mind that your new home is a blank slate for organization! You will never get a better opportunity to start fresh. Add shelf liners, purchase organizing products and put things away thoughtfully. After all, if you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?