You’ve likely already spent a good amount of time and energy searching for the perfect place, negotiating with the seller and setting a date to move.
One of the major benefits of a small house is that you have less to pack as moving day approaches, but no matter what size home you’re moving into, knowing these five time-saving tips will save you hours on moving day.
1. Pack a moving day box with easily accessible essentials
Moving is stressful and tiring, and the absolute last thing you’ll want to do on your first night in your new home is to tear open every box in order to find which one has the hand soap in it. Since life doesn’t stop just because you’re moving, it’s helpful to pack a box of essential items that will help you through your first night and morning in your new place.
Before you pack everything up for the move, set aside the things you’ll want to get to first, and put them all in their own separate box. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Toilet paper and hand soap to set up when you first arrive
- Paper towels and cleaning supplies to wipe countertops and floors
- Snacks and plenty of water to fuel the driving and unloading process
- A shower curtain, bath mat and small garbage can
- Your pillows, plus clean sheets for the bed
- Any toiletries and/or prescriptions that you’d bring for an overnight trip
- Clean pajamas and a change of clothes for the morning
By separating your essentials ahead of time, you won’t lose any sleep searching — or being forced to go out to the store — for toilet paper on the first night in your new home.
2. Don’t bring what you don’t need
While you might not want to deeply evaluate the impact every single item in your home has had on your life while you’re prepping for a move, the reality is you’ll save time and money if you leave behind anything you won’t need in your new home. Especially if you’re downsizing to something smaller, like a mobile home, you might find it helpful to downsize your possessions ahead of time.
If you have any big pieces of furniture that will not serve your new space or items that frankly might not survive the move, don’t feel bad about letting them go. Instead of packing them up just to get rid of them after the move, see if they might bring joy to your neighbors or if a donation service might be interested in picking them up.
3. Label, label and then label some more
Even if you’re the most organized person on the planet, you still have absolutely no control over how the boxes will move around in the rental truck or get unloaded into the house.
Unfortunately, things will get shuffled around, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait until everything’s unpacked and in its place in order to find what you’re looking for.
- Be sure to clearly mark all sides of every box, so that it doesn’t have to be moved in order to be read
- Use waterproof markers so that you’re not left with smudgy, illegible labels
- Clearly state each box’s contents, and always boldly label if something is fragile and needs to be handled with care
- Color code to help things stay organized upon your arrival. Use colored labels to designate where each box should be placed (pink stickers for the living room, green for the kitchen, etc.).
Keep extra markers and stickers on hand with you throughout the packing process and move. Even if you think you have everything covered, you might still need to put a last-minute box together that you weren’t anticipating.
4. Don’t be afraid to hire a babysitter (or pet sitter)
Moving is not only stressful for parents, but it’s also stressful for kids and pets, as well. As much as you might want to include them in the experience, they’ll likely slow down the process. Especially if you’re pressed for time, don’t hesitate to lean on someone you trust to care for your children and/or your pets before or during the move.
Whether you hire a sitter or call on a friend or family member, it’s helpful to have someone who can ensure your loved ones are cared for while you devote your time to a smooth and successful move.
If you’d like for your children to feel like they’re participating in the process, you can absolutely have them “pack” a few personal items into a backpack that they can bring with them while they spend some time with the sitter.
5. Make a checklist and take inventory
It might seem silly to create a checklist for your move, but it’ll definitely come in handy when your new home is filled to the brim with packing paper and wadded up balls of tape.
Start the checklist early on in the process when your head is the clearest, and make sure you’re as detailed as possible.
- Make note of any heirloom items or pieces that have sentimental value, so you know to check for these first
- Take inventory at every major moving checkpoint (old home, moving van, new home, unpacked) so that you can ensure you have everything with you at all times
- Organize by destination (living room, kitchen, etc.) or whatever way is most intuitive to you, so that you can get through the checks as seamlessly as possible
Taking the time to prepare your list in advance will help save you the headache of scrambling to find things — or worse, not realizing something is lost until it’s too late.
Home, sweet home
You’ve nailed the open house, successfully sold your old home, signed for your new one and are ready for the big M-O-V-E. Even though you still have a long road ahead of you, these five tips will save you hours on moving day so that you can enjoy your home, sweet home in no time.