By Kelsey Trumbull

Dec 19, 2017

Moving day can be bittersweet. While it means the start of a new chapter in a new home, it can also be one of the most stressful parts of the homebuying experience. Whether you have moved into a new home before or are a first-time homebuyer, use these packing and moving tips to keep organized on moving day.

Be Organized and Specific: Come up with a labeling system that will work best for you. You could number boxes and have a corresponding list with what each numbered box contains. This method can help when it comes to making sure you aren’t missing anything once you get to your new home. You can also write the contents directly on the box, but for this method you need to be specific. Avoid having to open every box to figure out what exactly is inside by writing detailed descriptions, such as “Polka Dot Dishes” rather than just “Dishes” or “January – July Bank Statements” rather than just “Files”. Another great method is color coordination, which will help keep your boxes organized by room. For example, have all your living room boxes blue, kitchen boxes yellow, and dining room boxes green. Anyone helping you move will be able to pick up a box and know where it goes without having to ask. Regardless of what method you choose, having a labeling system picked out before touching a single box will make your life easier when unpacking.

Keep Similar Items Together: Along with having an organized labeling system, have an organized method of packing. Keep similar items together to make unpacking less of a hassle. Create categories to help you. For example, your categories might be: electronics, board games, bedding, toiletries, cleaning supplies, books, pet supplies, etc. While you should keep items from the same room together, don’t just throw everything in one box. Having boxes of mixed matched items will make labeling harder and unpacking a nightmare. Spend the time putting similar items together when packing to save time later.

Protect Your Valuables: Keep anything of value with you during the move, especially if you are moving a sizable distance. You’ll reduce stress of worrying if you packed important documents or if they made it onto the moving truck by knowing they are with you. Be sure to give as much protection to your irreplaceable items as possible. Add extra sheets between your pictures and artwork and more bubble wrap to your china. Take as much precaution as possible to reduce any chance of breaking or harming your valuables.

**Note: To save money on bubble wrap, consider using clothes as a substitute!

Prepare for the First Day/Night: Nothing could be more essential to moving than having a box of necessities readily available. This box will be your saving grace for the initial day of unpacking. Include the most important items you might need, such as: trash bags, paper towels, plastic utensils and paper plates, phone chargers, a power strip, box cutters, and most importantly, toilet paper. Consider using a clear or different kind of box to make it stand out from all the rest. The first day of moving into a new home can be utter chaos, so it is best to think ahead and have this box available to unpack first.

Don’t Procrastinate: Let’s say it again- don’t procrastinate. This goes for every aspect of moving, because each step involves adequate time to plan. If you want to use a moving company, hire one well in advance so you have time to read through their guidelines. Some moving companies have strict policies regarding how the items they move need to be packed. If you plan on asking friends or family to help, give plenty of notice so they can make sure they are available. Waiting until the last minute might leave you without any help. Donating unwanted items to a local charity is a great idea, but to avoid the stress of having to move the items yourself at the last minute, giving notice will most likely allow them to pick up the items on their own. Do not wait until the last minute to unplug your refrigerator. Not only do you need to make sure it is empty, you also need to give it time to defrost. If you skip this step, you’ll have a fridge full of water, which could also result in a fridge full of mold. Most importantly, do not wait to start packing until the day or two before you move. Go room by room starting by packing your least used items at least a few weeks prior, aiming for a few boxes every day. You’ll have plenty of time to pack with little to nothing to do the actual moving day.

Don’t let the stress of moving take away from the excitement of a new home. Give yourself plenty of time to get organized and figure out what methods of labeling and packing work best for you. Using these tips will help you have a great moving experience and let you easily transition into your new home.

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