moving without the movers

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By no means was I the most organized mover. I have moved out of many apartments, college housing and short term living situations but the amount of stuff we had accumulated over our five year stint in our last house was truly amazing. I thought I had boxed, labeled and organized a very tidy move weeks in advance. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. When it came to crunch time things were flying around, family was tossing in every grocery sack and reusable tote they had to help and my new garage was bulging with items I needed to sort though before finding it a new home. Needless to say, I learned a few things and plan to attack any future moves very differently.

1. Start early

Lesson learned. Packing takes about 10x longer then you plan for. Every single.tiny.thing in your house has to make it out somehow. Either that’s into a moving truck, trash bin or finding it a new home. No matter where it’s going, plan for somewhere around three solid days of packing per room in your house. I wish I had followed this rule. After getting the ‘big stuff’ squared away, I laid off the packing and when it came down to it, I was throwing small items in boxes and bags hours before closing.

2. Purge and declutter 

New space means you need new things. Sorry guys. I know the men in your life don’t want to hear this. You’ll need to measure and plan out your new space before deciding what to get rid of. It might be through a garage sale, Craigslist listings (we did A LOT of this), GoodWill donations or gifting to your neighbors. Either way, if it doesn’t work for your new home, just don’t bring it. Have a plan as far in advance as you can and rid yourself of the rest. Decision making, sorting and selling take time.

3. Hire a sitter 

Sorry kids!

4. Box it up

I totally underestimated the number of boxes we would need to pack up our home. Boxes can add up if you buy them new but you’ll be surprised how many you can find if you ask around. I have seen friends receive an entire move worth of boxes just by asking on Facebook. Again, this is a lesson I learned. I had boxed everything that I thought needed a box and at the last minute was staring down a mound of miscellaneous items. (see Start Early)  They ended up tossed in tote bags and paper sacks. Now, my garage is full of these bags. If I had purchased more boxes, I could have properly labeled these and sorted better. My garage would thank me.

5. Enlist a crew 

I felt bad asking for any help from friends or family as obviously there is a whole industry of folks dedicated to making moving easier. But before I knew it, our family had descended on us like moving angels. They helped Kyle carry the heavy items, worked the Tetris game of truck loading like pros and hauled car loads of our junk around. Without them, I am positive we would still be moving. I know the point of choosing a DIY move over movers is to save money but compensate any help as well as you can. It would be fun to host them all for a dinner in your new home once everything is put away or take them out to a ‘thank goodness it’s over’ drink.

 

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