Well we are in the first leg of our journey. We are moving!
Renting a home is always a risk that someone else is for the most part in control of certain aspects of your life. We have loved renting the adobe brick home that we have called home for the last 2 years...but the owners have decided to put it on the market for sale. To make a long story short, we made the decision to move as soon as we discovered that they were exploring this option. We have ran into a couple issues and just plain bad luck with some homes that fit our needs!
So...we have decided rather than rush into a home that would be a temporary situation...we are moving our belongings into a storage unit. Not only do we have a 3 bedroom home to move, but also my inventory of furniture (which fills our 1 car garage currently and a work shop full of my tools & supplies). The "His" of H&H Restoration has been working 60+ hours a week...so I am doing most of the packing. We have moved quite a bit in our marriage, so this is nothing new to us.
This time, I am being completely organized and have been purging our "stuff" for the last couple months and am continuing to do so.
Here are a few tips that I am finding helpful that I thought might come in use for you:
WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER!
1. Choose a color coded system for your boxes, bags, and furniture. Not only does this help when unpacking, it also helps you and your "help" or movers to know where to put the boxes and such when you are moving into your new home. I have made a color coded key, so that when we take everything out of storage in a month or so...we can put each item/box into the right location. I will have the "key" taped to the truck, the front door, the garage, and each bedroom will have a piece of paper (appropriate color) taped to the door jam.
2. List a few of the key items on your color coded tag to help when unpacking or searching for something when you move to your new home...or in a worst case scenario if you need something before you are moved into your home (while everything is in storage) you will have an idea of where it might be. They aren't anything extravagant or technical. Just simple and helpful!
3. Buy boxes from Uhaul. I chose to buy Xtra Large boxes, they are 6 cubic feet. Here's why I chose to spend the $ on these instead of just using banana boxes or whatever I can find. It is much easier to pack a huge box that will fit on a dolly (2 high) and just roll them in and out of the truck and home! Rather than making a ton of small trips. Additionally, for us since we are moving our items into Storage, they stack neatly and more evenly. I am somewhat (*read as Extremely) OCD when it comes to packing neat and efficiently.
4. Clean as you go. I clean, sweep, & mop as I go. I use the only touch it 1 time method.
5. Pack 1 room/area at a time and then move on to the next. This saves time and sanity in my opinion. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment to see the progress I have made and motivates me to push forward (even with an aching back).
6. Have a moving supply hub. Keep all your labels, markers, pens, tape ect. in one area so that everyone knows where it is and nothing gets packed or lost on accident. I have a basket with everything in a central location in our home.
7. Get all your laundry done asap. The last thing you want to be doing right before you are unhooking your washer and dryer is packing up dirty clothes!
8. Keep out some simple dishes to use to eliminate the need to buy extra paper supplies and/or eat out on the couple days your are packing and unpacking. This saves $$ and keeps your family eating healthy during this process. I kept out coffee mugs, silverware, a couple pots (for boiling pasta and rice), a spatula, serving spoon, ect. You get the idea...keep those items in a separate box and pack last...then mark it open first! Be sure to include your coffee pot in there! You'll want that the first morning you wake up in your new home and realize how much UNPACKING is in your near future.
9. Look for coupons on line for Rental Trucks &/or Storage Units. There's no reason to pay full price for these items...there are always coupons out. We are getting our storage unit 1/2 off due to a coupon I found on the net. This facility actually has a moving truck that they let there customers use as well! Double bonus!
...and lastly tip #10. Stay calm and try to relax! I know...easier said than done. This is a very stressful time, but it will pass. I choose to believe that everything happens for a reason. While this is a stressful time that I wish we weren't going through right now, I know that it will pass and seem like a small hiccup in our lives. The most important thing is that our family is together, happy, and healthy!
I hope one of these tips helps just one of you with an upcoming move you may have. As you can imaging my furniture painting/make overs will be a little behind in the next month...but I will still squeeze a few in here once in a while.
Keep us in your thoughts, as we are living with family for the next few weeks...and as you can imagine, although we are extremely grateful, moving a family of our size in to live with family is definitely going to pose some challenges. I am looking at this experience as an adventure and going to make the most of it, change is good and sometimes it leads to really amazing realizations and life changes! I can't help but think of the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation movie...where the cousin brings his RV and entire family to visit/move in!! haha... Thank goodness I have a sense of humor!