Sometimes I feel like a military wife with all of the moving we've done. Yes, I was a military wife at one time just not long enough to have to move. Here are some things I've learned. I'll probably forget to add things and everyone has a different experience so please add your own helpful tips!
It's going to take longer than you think.
Seriously, when you're moving EVERYTHING takes longer! Give yourself extra time to do things. If you get lucky and finish on time, use the extra time for relaxation or whatever else you may want to do.
If you're using a moving company, you need to be aware of some things.
1. Are you the only one on the truck? Better make sure.
2. Is your stuff coming off of the truck before it gets to your destination? Not a good thing. Things are
more likely to get broken or lost.
3. Check the paperwork for the arrival date. Make sure it's a specific date if that's what you need and
not a range of dates. I picked up that tip the hard way.
4. Every moving company we've used has underestimated how much stuff we have. This means that
things don't always fit on the truck and they don't always bring enough boxes. Just be aware of this
possibility and have a plan ready if these things happen to you. I don't know about the cost if they
underestimate so if you're paying for this and not a company, you might want to verify that you
won't get stuck with extra expenses. I have no idea about that part.
5. Drawers (especially kitchen)-Little things get tossed in a big box with dishes and whatever else. It's
a pain to dig through the paper for these items. Get some gallon sized baggies or something else
that will fit everything so your drawer items stay together.
Trash and Clutter and Mess
If you have trash, moving companies will pack it up. They work like robots (so don't be embarrassed about them boxing up your bathroom) and don't pay attention to what's being boxed up. They're focused on how to box it up so it gets to your destination in the same condition it was in when it got boxed up.
If you have clutter and mess, it's going to follow you!! You really, really do not want to have to deal with this when you're busy unpacking. As soon as you know you're going to move, start spring cleaning! Get organized and get rid of clutter! If you need help, I highly recommend FlyLady. Start with "Baby Steps" and "Zones".
It's much easier to figure out where everything goes in a new place when you know what you have and it's where it should be. If you don't organize it ahead of time, all of those brown boxes look the same! Don't assume that because 2 things are next to each other that they're going to end up in the same box. If you want them together, you had better attach them in some way. Don't forget about the stuff in the fridge and freezer.
You are going to need some things as soon as you get to your destination. You'll probably be exhausted by this time so the last thing you want to have to do is dig through boxes to find stuff. Get a tote or a box or something that you can easily spot. Gather together everything you would need if you were going away for a few days and put it in this one place! Make sure they don't put it in a box that looks like everything else. :-) Here's a quick list of things you might need. I'll probably forget something but I'll do my best.
*Clothing for everyone (don't forget the socks, underwear, nighties, swimwear if needed, coats, etc..)
*Toothbrushes and other "condiments" to keep you clean
*Sheets and blankets and pillows (yours at least so you can sleep in your bed!)
*Paper and plastic eating supplies
If using movers, younger kids get in their way. There's just no way to avoid that. If you can have them somewhere else during the move, everyone will be happier. I usually didn't have that option so it's okay if you can't or don't want to. Just something to think about.
If your kids are going to be with you while things are getting packed and moved, they are going to get bored!! Make sure all electronics are charged with all necessary parts. Make sure they don't get packed up. Books, paper, crayons, bubbles, etc.. You're going to want things for them to do while moving and when you reach your destination. Maybe they could help with packing essential items and play items. Hopefully, someone else will have some great ideas for making the move easier with and for kids.
Friends, Family, and Mail
Make sure you have contact info for everyone you want to stay in touch with.
Make sure your mail is being forwarded.
Magazines won't get forwarded; Go online or call them and get your address changed.
Anywhere you shop online or get things automatically shipped, make sure you change your address with them. I always forget to do this and get boxes sent to the old address!
Get pictures of you or the kids with favorite people before you go.
Don't worry if you can't do lunch or say goodbye to everyone. Sometimes it's just not possible.
You'll probably need to do some last minute cleaning after everything is out. You can hire someone to do this or just keep out some paper towels and windex and a broom. If you've already spring cleaned then there shouldn't be too much to worry about. Under the fridge and behind the washers and dryers are usually needing a little extra love.
Okay, I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. What do you know or what do you need to know?