I (the female portion of this couple) have moved a LOT in my lifetime. Trent, on the other hand, lived in the same house his entire life….and then he married me. We have moved every 12-18 months in our 10 years of marriage. Between my younger days and these married days filled with moves, I’m going to go ahead and call myself a professional mover. I feel like I could write a book on how to move well, but no one moving has time to read an entire book! So, here are my top 9 moving tips.

**Disclaimer: if you happen to be in the 1% of  lucky people who get to pay someone to pack, load, move, unload and unpack…head on over to another blog. These are not your people.**

1. The moment you know a move is imminent (the For Sale sign is in your yard, your spouse has an interview in another state, etc) start purging! If you haven’t worn those jeans in 12 months, send them to Goodwill. If you received Thanksgiving plates for your wedding (15 years ago) that are still in the box, put them on Ebay. Obviously, there are some sentimental items (that don’t get used or touched often) and those are okay to keep. Did you read that Trent? Stay away from my Cabbage Patch Kids.

2. 5 weeks out from the move date start making sure all holiday items are packed, labeled and ready to go. This should include all entertaining items (serving platters, fine china, whatever)…you aren’t going to be hosting a party in the next month. You probably won’t even be attending a party in the next month.

3. 4 weeks out from the move date you should do a solid “spring cleaning” on your house. This will allow you three good wins. You don’t have to clean as much (or as thoroughly) once moving day arrives, the future owners of your home will be forever grateful, and when family/friends arrive to help you on moving day you won’t be staring at your baseboards that haven’t been touched in three years (and praying they don’t notice).

4. 3 weeks out from the move date: stop shopping! That’s right…don’t go to the grocery store. With the exception of some required things (special food needs, fresh fruits/veggies, steady supply of Pepsi) you probably have enough to survive on in your pantry. Those ingredients you purchased to make a recipe you found on Pinterest…it’s time to give it a shot. The four boxes of Velveeta Shells and Cheese sound like a perfect solution for Meatless Mondays. The goal is simple: move as few food items as humanly possible. And those random bottles of shampoo and conditioner that we all have? It’s time to use those up as well. No shopping.

5. 2 weeks out from the move date is official packing. Start with the rooms and stuff you don’t actually use. Guest rooms are always my starting point (again, no company is coming to visit in the next two weeks…unmake the bed and pack it away). Next up should be all decor and wall hangings. The house feels funny and awkward, but these are not required day to day items. Pack ’em up!

6. 1.5 weeks out from the move date is a dirty little secret we have learned. The utility bills are in either my name or Trent’s (not both…who does that?). So, whatever cable/internet package we are doing we go ahead and set up for moving day morning. We have tried to “transfer” our service…many times. It. Does. Not. Work. Some companies will not allow you to have two services overlapping…which is why I have it on one house and Trent will have it on the next. We toggle back and forth. This means we have NO lapse in our cable/internet and makes for a much happier move.

7. 1 week out from the move date is everything else. The way to remain organized during this time is to pack up yourself and your family for a vacation week. Pull aside everything you would need for a vacation (clothing, hair and make-up, snacks, etc) and live with that for the week. You should go ahead and box up your sunblock and bikini….no one is actually going on vacation this week. Every other item gets packed. Period. My little trick is to place a post-it note on the cabinet/drawer/door when that area is totally cleared out and wiped down (no need to deep clean since you already did that three weeks prior). Another trick is to only touch items once. You pack them…you don’t move them into another room to pack at a later date.

8. Moving day is crazy and never goes exactly as planned. We have had everything happen from the new sofa that couldn’t fit through a single door or window to a hospital stay just days before the move. Know ahead of time that there will be obstacles. Knowing is half the battle…right?

9. The moment everything is in the new house, get comfortable. Start unpacking immediately and get things put away. You and your family will be much more pleasant the sooner you can resume a normal life (living out of a U-Haul box is not a normal life). While I love to think (for several weeks) about where I want to hang certain wall decor, it feels good to put a few things on the wall almost instantly. Oh, you should also probably go to the grocery store in the first couple of days….because you moved zero food!

Comment below if you have some little tricks of your own. Happy Moving!

8 Comments

  • May 29, 2015 Reply

    Dawn Lauerman

    these are great tips! Hopefully I won’t be moving anytime soon! I try to do a once a year pretend move , clean everything from top to bottom, get rid of things as if we were moving,.yes, sometimes I’ve regretted getting rid of something(twice, I think). One of the items was the big mixer on the stand. Now I put in dibs and got my mother in laws when she downsized into an independent living facility. The one problem,is if any of you have a teenager you know what I’m talking about: saving the empty boxes that things came in,because it’s worth more on eBay . Really? Yes, so best laid plans…

  • May 29, 2015 Reply

    Julie Smies

    Are you available for hire?
    One thing you didn’t mention was how/when do you move pets? With the least amount of trauma?

  • May 29, 2015 Reply

    Chris lonz

    Wrap dishes in towels, you don’t have to wash them when they are unpacked. This also cuts down on extra boxes for the towels.

  • May 29, 2015 Reply

    Michelle Kerr

    When do you recommend and how do you keep organized all of the change of address items that need to be completed?

  • May 29, 2015 Reply

    Emily

    Uhaul has multi-color rolls of packing tape that has the room names printed on them. I liked using that tape better than individual labels.

    Their dish and glass boxes are the best, too. Use kitchen towels to wrap and pad.

  • May 31, 2015 Reply

    Anna

    Michelle Kerr … I don’t change any addresses until I’ve moved . Go to post office prior to moving & set a date to begin forwarding your mail to your address . After moving I give every piece of mail I get an address change . I made an alphabetical list on my phone of people I sent my new address ( just in case I had to reference back , and I did 🙂 usually mail gets forwarded for 6 months & that will be plenty time to give everyone your new address !

  • June 23, 2015 Reply

    Marti Thompson

    Loved this list – one thing I would note is that on moving day – you will be very tired so, set up and make the beds first thing. I learned that from my mother. Great advice.

  • December 1, 2015 Reply

    Olga Holland

    Extremely helpful tips! I agree that is good idea while you are moving to clean a lot of unnecessary stuff from home. Last time I moved I through away or donate many things that I never used.

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