Two moves in seven months! That’s insane, isn’t it? Today’s guest author, Theresa Finnigin, did just that. And she’s still sane. Read more to find out how she did it.
Wow, I did it! I survived two moves in seven months. To make a long story short, in July we moved from Maryland to Illinois. Then in February we moved from Illinois to San Diego, California. It’s been a hectic seven months but we’re getting settled…slowly. With each move I learned more about the moving process and our things.
Here are five rules to staying organized when moving…
1. Assume Nothing! Don’t assume that the crew who might be packing your house cares as much about your things as you do. Don’t assume that a mover knows what an object is or the function of a piece of furniture. You know what they say when you assume!
2. Pack items that are irreplaceable in your car, not the moving truck. I let the movers move my fine china and crystal glasses because at the end of the day if they all shatter, I can go to Macy’s and pick another pattern that I love. Yes, I’d be sad. It wouldn’t be as special as the set I got when my husband and I got married. But I’d be able to move on after a few tears and curse words!
Truly think of items that are irreplaceable. Since my first Christmas, my mom has given me a Christmas ornament each year. My husband’s mom did the same for him growing up. These ornaments, simply put, are a timeline of our lives. These ornaments and the memories associated with them are irreplaceable so they were packed carefully in the back of my Camry. Sometimes it’s a tough call but the space in your car is limited so only take what truly can’t be replaced. Then cross your fingers and say a prayer that the moving truck arrives safely!
3. Over communicate. Recount the fine details and next steps at the end of each conversation you have with the moving company before and during the move. Take notes or photos, if necessary. Make sure all involved parties are on the same page. Call to confirm dates and appointments. Hold yourself and the moving company accountable for promises made.
4. Label, label, label. Labeling rooms and boxes saves you an immense amount of time packing and unpacking. Itminimizes questions you have to answer and ask. Labeling the boxes as to the room they came from (and will go to) and the contents of the box is critical to a smooth move. It’s also helpful to label each room (i.e. Master Bedroom, Bedroom 1, Living Room, etc.) in the house you’re moving from and the house you’re moving to.
These labels should match the labels on the boxes. This will make things easier for the movers when they are unloading the truck. They will immediately know what box goes where without having to ask you. Things happen quickly when the truck is being loaded and unloaded. Use labels for rooms, boxes, parts, etc. as this will save you time and energy.
5. Have a plan B. There is no such thing as a smooth move so having a backup plan is essential. When we were moving from Maryland to Illinois, our rental house wasn’t ready when we needed to move in so we had to find temporary housing for 30 days and our things had to go in storage.
On our most recent move, the “storm of the century” was moving across the country dumping three inches of ice and two feet of snow in various parts of Illinois and surrounding states. Our move was delayed one day and we had to drive on some treacherous roads. Because we had a backup plan we were able to easily shift the schedule and adapt. We were also prepared with flashlights, blankets and non-perishable food in case the power went out during the ice storm.
Moving isn’t easy! But it can be easier when you’re organized. So far we are enjoying the sun of southern California. Our plan is to stay here…at least for a few years!
About the Author
Theresa Finnigin is a professional organizer and owner of Ready Aim Organize. Ready Aim Organize works to rid homes and offices of clutter and chaos to ensure time is not wasted and each day is more productive and peaceful than the one before!
When not working to restore organization, Theresa is a guest speaker for various local organizations and a contributor to the Ready Aim Organize blog and other organizing websites. Ready Aim Organize is currently serving clients in N. San Diego County and across the country through virtual organizing services. Contact Theresa at 707.RAO.2DAY (707.726.2329).