4 Tips for Organizing a Household Move
Getting organized is an uphill battle even under normal circumstances. During a household move, it can be downright chaotic.
Luckily, we have channeled our expertise from 50,000 household moves per year into four of the most important steps to saving yourself some stress by getting organized before move day.
1. Channel your inner Marie Kondo
Hold an item before packing it into a box. Does it give you joy? No? Get rid of it then.
Now before you go throwing away every dishrag, mop and sponge in your house, and your kids start chucking their textbooks, let me explain. Move cost is calculated to factor in the weight of your shipment.
But take the essence of what Marie Kondo preaches in her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and apply it to your move. Those clothes you’ve been wanting to donate for months? Get rid of them. The pantry full of non-perishable goods you haven’t touched? Donate them. Suddath® for example, as a household moving company, has a partnership with Move For Hunger, a non-profit that works with the moving industry to get food to other local charities who need it.
Don’t forget about those spaces that always come last during your typical cleaning and decluttering sessions – go through your garage, closets and even small spaces like under the bathroom sink. Check with your local municipality for the next collection of hazardous and electronic waste.
Just remember that all the things that are weighing you down in life will be literally weighing you down during your home moving process and add to the overall price tag.
2. Tackle one room at a time
This may seem like a simple tip, but when you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of packing up an entire home, it’s an easy one to disobey. Start with a storage area or a room used less often and work your way up to the biggest or most cluttered room in your house.
This is also a step you’ll need to do in phases. Start off by doing an initial pack of the items in each room that you don’t use often, like seasonal clothing. Then, when it’s closer to the move, go back and box up the rest of your items, until you’re most frequently used items are packed up last.
3. Break out the label maker
This is the time to let your inner organizational nerd shine. Break out the label maker, your permanent markers or even gather your kids with their crayons to label your moving boxes.
Labelling your moving boxes is one of those small actions that in the long run, pay off tenfold.
There are box labels made especially for moving, but if you don’t want to use those, it’s as easy as writing directly on the box.
- Just make sure that you:
- Label the top and sides of all boxes so it can be read when stacked
- Use medium to thick black markers and print neatly
- Write which room the box should be placed in
- Use colored tape to quickly identify which box goes in which room
- Describe the contents clearly (e.g., "kitchen utensils" instead of "kitchen stuff")
- For items you’ll need right away after moving, like soap and toilet paper, write "OPEN ME FIRST"
- Take photos of how cables are plugged into electronic equipment before you remove them. Then label all cords and pack them with their electronics.
If you use all these tips, it will not only be easy for you, but for your local movers to know what goes where. A big part of what causes stress on moving day is confusion, and this is a small but significant way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
4. No-go’s for the moving truck
It’s important to keep in mind the little-known fact that not everything can be put into the back of your moving truck. If you’re planning to take the below items with you, make sure you pack them away to travel with you.
Planning to take these items with you instead of packing them away for the moving truck is a good idea to avoid the frustrations of not having them with they’re needed:
- Special items for children, like favorite stuffed animals or blankets
- Legal documents like birth certificates and passports
- Receipts and contact information you’ll need in your new location
Also be aware that movers can’t take "non-allowables" like liquids, flammable items, candles or batteries. All items like propane tanks, gasoline cans, lawnmowers and gas-powered tools must be drained prior to moving day.
There are different types of packing services available if you’re looking for help. Feel free to contact us to talk about full, partial or do-it-yourself packing options for your next move.