House For Six

"31 Days Of Moving" Day 28: 12 Prep Tips For Moving Day

Deme Crinion2 Comments
Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a good weekend!  I had planned to fit the last few posts of the 31 Day Moving Series into a couple double-post days (since I got behind during our house hunting trip).  But these final posts are pretty beefy and would be a lot to cram into two days.  So, we'll use the rest of this week to finish up the series.  Then can you believe its already November and we sort of have permission to start thinking about Christmas?!? Yikes!

Let's not get ahead of ourselves though...back to moving!  We're getting closer and closer to moving and today we're talking about some simple things you can do to minimize the stress on your moving day. 

These are mostly from my long-distance moving perspective as a home buyer, but they easily apply to rentals and local DIY moves too!

1.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...purge, purge, purge!  Seriously.  Purge.  You can do it.  Start early so you don't get so overwhelmed you end up packing up stuff you don't know what do with.  If you haven't used it, worn it, or loved it in the past year (or better yet, 6 months) then either donate, sell, recycle, or trash it. If you know that you don't have a place for it in the new place, then part ways.  You will be glad you did on the other.  Just continue to do it as you go through rooms, pack things up, and unpack them.  Purge at every step.

2.  If you have some major dump worthy items to rid yourself of but can't afford a costly dumpster to be delivered and hauled away, consider renting a Uhaul for the day instead.  It can carry a large load, you don't have to worry about scratching the inside like you would borrowing a friend's vehicle (or your own), and it can usually cut several small trips into one.
 U-Haul moving truck

Most of these vehicles pictured above start at just $19.99 plus mileage.  We rented the cargo van, packed it to capacity, and made just one single trip to the dump with items that wouldn't have fit into the back of a regular sized truck.

3.  Pick up a box of large zip lock bags. These babies make packing and unpacking so much easier.  We use them to corral all those smaller items that usually reside in drawers.  Hair clips and rubber bands, small toys, cookie cutters, junk drawer contents, small office items, even silverware.....all of them stay contained (i.e. not all over the box) in a zip lock bag.
Ziplocยฎ brand Slider Storage and Freezer Bags with the Smart Zipยฎ Seal 

When you get to your destination, it makes unpacking much less of a hassle and less of a mess! 

4.  Get anything out of the house that will not be packed/moved before moving day.  If you plan to sell any items locally, either plan for a garage sale or get those items listed on Craigslist or Ebay well in advance of your moving day.  The garage and closets are the biggest culprits when it comes to housing unnecessary items.  Leave yourself plenty of time to go through these areas.  As much as possible, you want to avoid moving things that you don't want or need.  If you have a large amount of donations, there are many local charities that will come pick up your items from your home.  St. Vincent De Paul is one we've used regularly.

5.  Avoid bulk food purchases, about a month from your moving day.  If you're moving long distance, confirm what foods movers will not transport (typically anything fresh, frozen, opened, or perishable), and start working your way through your fridge and freezer.  Get creative with meals and arrange to drop off any remaining items with friends or family the day before you move.

6. Move things to the appropriate room before packing.  We were storing some office supplies in the garage while we worked on storage for them, but we just moved them back to the office.  It may seem counter-intuitive to bring things back into the house, but the goal is to have everything packed up by room.  So, if you've left things out or moved things around, get everything in the correct room before you start packing boxes.  If your new place will have a new setup, think about where items will go in the new house and pack them up according to those new rooms.

7.  Clean your area rugs and roll them up before moving day.  You'll be getting a lot of foot traffic on those babies if they are down on the day you move. 
It will be nice to move into the new place and unroll a nice clean rug.

8. If you are doing the packing yourself, try checking craigslist for boxes.  Often times, people who have just moved will be selling a lot of boxes and packing supplies for $20-$40 and sometimes even giving them away for free.  This is way less than having to buy all those supplies brand new.

9.  Assemble a binder or folder for the new homeowners.  We've gathered the manuals/warranties for the appliances that are staying with the house, contact numbers for all the local utilities, home owners association information, and the watering schedule for our neighborhood (we have strict conservation guidelines here).  It's not a bad idea to write down any special instructions you can think of for the house, like how to clean the chalkboard wall or the time the mailman usually comes.  The new owners may end up painting over the whole house, but if not, having a list of the paint colors used in each room and any leftover paint clearly marked in the garage is helpful.   And a simple note welcoming them to their new home is always a thoughtful touch.

10.  Arrange childcare or a play date for kids on moving day.  Think stereotypical muscly men moving heavy boxes with toddlers underfoot.  Not a good mix.  You'll want to be available to manage, assist, and answer any questions on moving day.  Having one eye on the move and the other on the kids will be stressful for you and is an unsafe situation.  If you can't arrange to have the kiddos out of the house for a few hours, then set them up with an activity that will keep them busy and out of the way.  If you and your partner in crime are both there, designate one to cover the move and the other to the kids.

11. Gather all of your "do no pack" items the day prior.  Either set them aside in a clearly marked spot or put them in the car out of the way before movers arrive.  You can check out our list of "do not pack" items here.

12.  Clean as much as you can before the movers arrive.  As the movers empty a room, do a quick vacuum or wipe down of the floors behind them and pack the vacuum last on the truck.  Or arrange to borrow some cleaning supplies or have a cleaning service come by once the movers have gone.  Either way, what ever you can clean, patch, and paint before moving day will save you time and stress in the end.

And that is the common theme here.  Any efforts you can make before moving day, even if it's not everything you had hoped to get done, will save you time and stress on the big day!

*This post is part of a 31 day series on moving - you can catch all the posts right here!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!