Oh boy. Where to begin? Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and (for us) Happy New House! We survived the move… barely. BUT, we are all still alive, Lane and I are still married, and all of our stuff (SO MUCH) made it from the old house to the new one. I call it a win. I can’t wait to catch you guys up on all of the insanity that the last six weeks have been and show you all that we’ve accomplished in the house so far. I’d like to jump right to the pretties (the floorrrr!!!, the fireplaaaaace!!!), but to really appreciate it all, I will start with how we moved an entire 2700 square foot house on a tiny timeframe, with three giant moving trucks, two pick up trucks, a handful of the BEST friends, and one tyrant toddler. It won’t be pretty, but it can be done, so here are my best tips to make moving easier. Get your back brace!
1) START EARLY! When you go under contract, you will think that you have plenty of time to get it all together. You don’t. Start gathering boxes and bubble wrap ASAP. Fortunately for me, I have an endless supply of both at our warehouse. If you don’t have access to these things, you can buy them (but who wants to spend money on cardboard?) or post on Next Door app to solicit them! Some one is always moving and usually more than happy to have their empty boxes cleared out for them.
2) LABEL, LABEL, LABEL. On our boxes I will not only write “LIVING ROOM”, but also, “STUFF THAT WAS IN WHITE CABINET”, or some other description like that. Because let’s face it, isn’t that how we REALLY know what’s in a box? Just saying “LIVING ROOM” could be anything from an antique clock to a dog toy, and when you’re in the heat of the move, you’ll want to know what’s what.
3) CONTRACTOR BAGS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND. These suckers are amazing. I learned this trick three moves ago when I literally had ONE night to pack our entire house. We didn’t have a kid then, and I could drink beer and coffee, so I was actually able to get it done. But I don’t know that I would have been able to without the contractor bag trick… Or the beer or coffee. I learned this trick as an accident and out of desperation. We had been so busy renovating the 90’s Beauty that we ended up with only one night to pack our whole house. We had contractor bags left over from the reno, so to the rescue they came! These are super heavy duty ginormous garbage bags and they are great for packing up your soft stuff. Think pillows, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, curtains… you get the point.
4) PURGE BEFORE PACKING. Anything that would be better in the hands of a new family (or in the landfill) should NOT take your precious moving strength. Put it on the curb, post it on your neighborhood’s Facebook group or Next Door, or take it to your favorite charity. Moving is hard. The last thing you will want to deal with is some half broken decorative item that you will just take up space in your new attic. You should be rewarded with a fresh start at your new casa. Ditch the stuff you don’t need.
5) FOLLOW THE PACKING ORDER. This may be obvious, but don’t pack your toothbrush four weeks before you move. Make a list of your family’s essentials and pack those last! Start with wall décor and decorative items. They’re pretty, but you don’t need them to survive. Next go to “inside drawers and cabinet stuff.” This was our china, DVDs, board games… stuff like that. (No, we do not routinely eat off of our china, please reserve your shock.) Then we started taking down curtains, curtain rods, and TVs. Dismantling these things will take longer than you think, so plan accordingly. As we pack, we try to group the boxes so that they’re all loaded – and can be unloaded – efficiently, room by room.
6) SHRINK WRAP. When it gets down to D-day, we usually pack a suitcase with about 5 days worth of clothes. This is about how long it will take you to wake up from the black out of moving day, and you do not want to be searching through aforementioned boxes of dog toys and antique clocks for a clean pair of underwear. Pack yourself a bag. We usually leave our other clothes in the dresser and shrink wrap that sucker closed. This keeps the drawers from flying all around, and protects your furniture. We also shrink wrap smaller pieces of furniture that aren’t too heavy with the stuff left in them. It’s a big time-saver.
7) HANGING CLOTHES ARE A NIGHTMARE. For some reason this is my very, very least favorite part of moving. Maybe it’s because I have too many hanging clothes (but nothing to wear EVER… hmm. weird.), but this task just stinks. A trick I learned to make it a little easier is to group the clothes up (maybe like 15-ish hangers per group), turn a trash bag upside down, poke a hole in the top middle and push the hangers through. Pull the garbage bag down over the clothes and tie it closed at the bottom. Next, wrap masking tape around the neck (?) of the hangers at the top. This makes the groups manageable to carry, and if stuff annoyingly falls off of the hangers (it will) then it will be contained in the garbage bag instead of landing in a mud puddle on your way in to the new house.
8) MOVING COMPANIES VS. MOVING YOURSELF. We have done both. For this move, we rented THREE of the largest U-Hauls available and
did it ourselves my husband did it. The advantage to this route is that you can spread it out over a few days and it’s a liiiiiitle bit less expensive. We were fortunate to have help from our incredible friends, but if you do not have this luxury, do not attempt to move yourself. You have way more stuff than you think, I promise. If you hire a moving company, my recommendation is to go to www.movinghelp.com and read reviews for movers in your area. We ended up and went this route to recruit some unloading help on day three of the move and the company we got (Prestige Moving if you’re in the Jacksonville / Saint Augustine area!) was amazing.
9) MENTALLY PREPARE. Moving is so hard, both physically and mentally. Prepare yourself for it. There will be delays, there will be things that get broken, you will be overwhelmed when you have been working for 17 hours straight and are still dwarfed by the mountains of boxes surrounding you. Just remember that it WILL come to an end and you will not always be outnumbered by boxes and things on a to-do list. And definitely try not to take your exhaustion/hormones out on your precious husband who has single-handedly moved about 87,000 pounds of stuff over the course of a week.
10) LOAD UP ON GEAR. Years ago, before we knew we’d be moving every thirty seconds, we invested about $200 in plastic bins. This was one of the best decisions we’ve made when it comes to our moving strategy. They’re durable, easy to load, easy to carry, and work as awesome attic and/or garage storage when you’re done moving. I highly recommend this investment if you can swing it. For this move, I ordered all of the essentials from Amazon and it was such a huge help to have all of this stuff delivered right to our door. Plus, bonus that I used the boxes that this stuff came in for more packing gear! The list of things we used with affiliate links is below. These things were a lifesaver for us, so if you’re moving, check them out.
JONES SWEET HOMES ESSENTIAL MOVING GEAR
1 ) Heavy Duty Furniture Dolly – Rock N Roller R6RT Multi-Cart Equipment Cart with R Trac Wheels
2) Furniture Dolly / Handtruck – Cosco Shifter Multi-Position Heavy Duty Folding Hand Truck and Dolly, Green
4) Contractor bags – Husky HK42WC020B 42-Gallon Contractor Clean-Up Bags, 20 Count
7) Sharpies – Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Black, 12 Count
8) Packing Tape – Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 2 x 800 – Clear (3 Tapes)
I hope that this list helps you if you have a move on the horizon! Also, if you do, Godspeed and let me know what tips and tricks you might use!