Moving Season: Getting Started

May signals a transition from spring to summer.  As the school year is winding down, the moving season is ramping up. In fact, the month of May is designated as “National Moving Month” in the United States. It’s estimated that about 35 million Americans will be making a move this year. Are you one of them?

Anyone who has ever relocated can tell you, it can be stressful. We wanted to offer some helpful tips that might cut down on those frazzled feelings and help your move go more smoothly.

Get Organized and Start Early

As soon as you know you’re going to be moving it’s time to start preparing. Create a calendar for your move and set goals. Checklists can be extremely useful for keeping all of your to-dos on track. An accordion file folder is a great tool for keeping everything together.

There always seem to be more things in our home than we realize; especially if your family has been in the same home for several years. Spring cleaning and the moving season go hand-in-hand. Sort through items one room at a time and de-clutter. Have a garage sale and earn a little extra cash. For items that don’t sell, check group message boards to see if there’s a freecycling group in your area or call a local charity to pick up the remaining items.

Removing clutter can also be helpful while your current home is on the market. Home staging professionals recommend removing personal items like family portraits and knick-knacks. Take the opportunity to pack away these items and you will have already taken the first step on your moving journey.

Make Room Lists and Take an Inventory

It’s not fun to be wondering which box some of your treasured, or even everyday items, are in. Make lists of the items in rooms you’re packing up and another list for the box in which you are packing them. Think of it as a shipping manifest. Then, keep your lists in a handy but safe location, like in the folder with your calendar and checklists. These lists will help you know where your items are. Label the outside of your boxes for the room they’ll be moved into at your new location. Write this on the top and sides of the box to help manage what needs to go where.

Allow Enough Time

You probably have a million things on your mind as your preparing for your move. Even though you may want to multi-task, packing one room at a time can help you stay focused. Packing a room can take longer than you expected, so be sure to give yourself enough time. Also take into consideration the time it takes to do any repairs or repainting of rooms once they’ve been packed. Your kitchen will likely take the longest time to pack and it will probably be in use until just before you move, so save it for last.

Packing Up

Start with things that are non-essential and that you won’t need to use every day. This will help you avoid having to go back and unpack boxes for those items. Formal dining and living are great places to start. Use boxes with dividers in them for glassware. Don’t forget to wrap your fragile items in newspaper or bubble wrap and label the boxes “fragile” or “this side up.”

Pro-Tip: Be sure to use sturdy boxes and tape the bottom of them securely so they don’t give way when being carried.

There are many online resources with tips about how to pack efficiently and techniques for packing. It’s worth a Web search to find the ones which suit you best.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share other moving tips to help you stay organized, on-track and reduce moving headaches. Do you have any tips to add?