You’d think after so many moves that there would come a point where you just had it down perfectly and you could make the process go smoothly every time. While I wish I could say that was the case, the truth is no matter how much moving experience you have, things can get hectic and go badly very quickly if you fall back to “trying to wing it” because you think you have enough experience to pull it off.
Trust me, no matter how many times you’ve gone through moving, you don’t want to go through another one without plenty of planning. Read on for my best tips on how to plan like a pro and avoid the headaches that you’ll otherwise endure.
Tip 1: Take an entire day off – and do it early!
Take an entire day off to plan – simply accept that an entire day needs to be set aside and you want to do this well before it’s time to start packing up, if possible. I advise at least a month in advance, or even two if possible. Most people plan a move about a week ahead of time – and that just doesn’t leave you enough time. Trust me, a week always flies by too fast when you’re actually emptying out your apartment.
You want to take an entire day a month or two ahead and just plan out. What are you going to mail or ship? What needs to go to storage? What should you get rid of whether selling, donating, or giving away? What size truck do you need for whatever’s left? These are important questions to ask, and easier to answer if you’re looking at details and the big picture at the same time.
Tip 2: It’s not a plan until you put it down on paper
I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining this one because it’s pretty self-explanatory when you put a little thought into it. No matter how much you try to keep things in your head, you need to write down every detail to see things, organize them, and make the move smooth – or your brain will end up like the young lady in the picture. Get the plan down so you won’t feel stressed and in chaos.
Tip 3: If you’re overwhelmed, compartmentalize
Looking at a full move can be overwhelming even for a veteran mover. Tackle the job by sections. Look at major pieces of furniture and decide which stay and which go. What goes into storage versus what goes with you. Take a look at your books and decide if they’re worth boxes that take up space, or is media mail a better option to save you space?
Take it room by room and just write down notes. Once you have everything from each room written down you can always place all the sheets of paper down and re-organize and re-write in a way that helps you more fully visualize what you are dealing with. Don’t get overwhelmed early – part of the reason you plan so early and take an entire day to do so is to allow you to tackle this project.
Even if you follow these tips, you’ll be amazed how quickly the time flies by. However there’s no question that the better you plan up front, the happier you will be with the final results!