I thought about posting this before we moved, but I wanted to see if my "system" really did work before sharing it with you.
We DIYed our move. We rented a truck and had a bunch of friends help with the boxes and furniture. Here are a few of the strategies we used to help things run smoothly.
*Get the biggest truck and reserve it early. I know, I know, you don't have that much stuff. That's what I thought. Get the big truck just in case. We almost ran out of room in the big one!
*Don't be afraid to ask for help. I know this is easier said than done. We don't have family in town, so we've had to learn to lean on friends a lot. They have been such a blessing to us, offering to take the kids, helping with the move itself and helping me with unpacking/organizing. Also, we originally had commitments from about 12 people to help with the move and 8 showed up. Life happens and other things come up for people, so be sure you plan to have enough hands! Also, be sure to provide food and drinks for the people helping you.
*Don't move junk with you. I've heard so many people say, we'll handle it when we get there. We might need this. If you haven't used it in your old house, chances are you won't need it in the new house. Do yourself a favor and get rid of it. If you need some help with decluttering, here is a great article from Becoming Minimalist.
The following are a few items you are allowed to collect/hoard:
*Hoard organizing tools and look for deals. I've found shelving for the garage, bins and baskets at Goodwill or on clearance at stores.
Need window treatments for the new house?
*Hoard supplies for window treatments so you aren't overwhelmed by the expense all at once.
Here are a few of the deals I found in the month before we moved:
$5 rods (gorgeous!) with hardware from IKEA
$1.50 per yard fabric from WalMart
*Start hoarding boxes. Ask friends who have recently moved. Post something on Facebook about looking for boxes. Or check freecycle. Don't forget the packing tape and paper. When we ran out of boxes, we found more at a great price at Home Depot. They were between $1 and $2 each! They had good prices on packing paper too.
*Label boxes clearly. Our boxes have been through a few moves already so we had to find a way to distinguish our labeled information from all the previous moves. I used yellow construction paper and wrote the level of the house, room, and contents on each label. My husband laughed at me and said, "our friends who are helping us aren't idiots; most of them have advanced degrees and don't need it spelled out like that." I say you can never be too specific!
*Label furniture. I just used a piece of blue tape and a piece of paper on an area of the piece where I can be sure it won't damage the finish. You don't want the people moving the stuff to have to ask you everytime they bring a piece of furniture in, "where does this go?"
*Label the rooms in the new house. Again, you don't want to have to direct people every time someone brings an item into the house. I just used a big piece of paper taped to the doorway of each room
*Avoid shoving everything in the garage of the new house. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get the boxes into the rooms where they will be unpacked. It will save you a lot of digging through piles of boxes later on.
*Have everything packed in boxes before the move starts. Yes, everything! I know what you're thinking: we'll come back and get it later with the minivan, truck, whatever large vehicle you have. Trust me, avoid this temptation. Once you are in the new house, you are going to want to be working on/in the new house. I don't care how many odds and ends you have shoved into boxes marked "miscellaneous". We found it best to get it into a box or get rid of it.
*Give yourself some grace. This is a stressful process. The house we were moving from didn't have a garage; we had boxes stacked to the ceiling in our master bedroom and kitchen for weeks. I needed to calm myself down every morning since those boxes were the first thing I looked at each morning. I just told myself it was temporary and we needed to make a few sacrifices to get to a better place.
Hope your move goes well!
Hope your move goes well!