By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
The moving trucks have pulled away, leaving you exhausted and wondering which box has the power cord to the TV and where on earth are your pajamas. In all the planning and logistics to ensure the perfect professional move, the one thing you forgot to do is plan out the actual living—how do you put it all back together again? How do you begin to sort through and find what you need for the first night in your new house, not to mention the whereabouts of the cat food?
Hopefully you're reading this before you move, and aren't perched on a stack of boxes, whimpering with fatigue and total moving burnout, and you'll take these steps for a calm and collected post-move before the professional movers come. This way, once everything's unloaded into the house you'll be able to spring into action and start getting organized—or more likely, summon your last reserves of strength and stagger to the boxes where you've packed your sheets and pillows.
First, organize your bed linens. If you're super on-the-ball you can do this the morning of the move, but let's assume you're packing them up beforehand. Put sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and whatever else you need for a good night's sleep and label the box so that it stands out from the pack. Larger boxes or plastic bins are good for these; the linens are bulky but lightweight, so you can fill it right up. Do this with all the beds you'll be using that first night.
Pack your pillows the day of the move unless you have extras. If you're like most adults your pillow is a must for a good night's sleep and you don't want to use a spare. Stuff those in large trash bags when you get up, and color code the bags with the boxes.
The best thing for marking these boxes is colorful themed duct tape. If you've got kids of a certain age you probably have a drawer full of it, if not you can get some at a craft, big box or drug store. Just run a length along the sides so you can spot those boxes at twenty paces. A giant, brightly colored marker works too—just make sure you mark all sides of the box (that's six). Color code each bedroom separately and direct the box to the right room while you are air traffic controlling the movers to really make it easy.
At this point all you have to do is make the beds and fall in. One of the joys of professional movers is that setting the beds up is considered part of the service, so that's one less thing on your to-do list.
Chances are pretty good you'll want a shower before you drop, so pack a few towels and essential toiletries with the same distinctive tape. Keep in mind the shower configuration of the new house so you have a shower curtain (or at least a liner) AND THE HOOKS ---and a rod to hang it all on--unless you're okay without a curtain and having water flying all over the bathroom. Although in truth you might not really care at first, mopping the floor with one of the four towels you can find could be a real mood kill.
Pack each family member an overnight bag with clothes, shoes, and toiletries for a couple of days. Living out of an organized bag is a lot better than rummaging through boxes when you can't find the toothpaste or the favorite stuffed animal. These are essentials—mud masks for teenage girls are not.
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Soap or body wash
- Prescriptions in a travel sized pill case
- Nail clippers—packing tape is hard on nails and somebody's will tear or have a hangnail
- Razors, lotion, tissue, hairbrushes and hair ties
- Rolls of toilet paper
If there's a baby in the family, double up on the supplies in the diaper bag. Yes, you can always buy diapers. No, 5:00am is not the optimal time to go do it.
Do the same thing for the pets—put a couple of days of food and meds in large zip-locs and store them in a duffle bag with leashes and toys. Getting used to a new house is stressful for pets, too, so keep their familiar things easily accessible.
When you move so much attention goes to the pre-move process; what's the best strategy to turn all those boxes back into a home? Start with beds—you need a place to crash. (See above!) And have snacks and drinks in the fridge. Chances are it's take-out night for dinner but come the morn you'll want your coffee pot loaded and ready. Here's how to avoid post-moving trauma.
The Boy Scouts have it right---be prepared. It is a common yet unacknowledged fact that no matter how well-prepared you are, something will go awry, and you'll be waving your new best friend moving crew good-bye well after the sun sets. Trucks have flat tires, weather doesn't cooperate, other drivers are inconsiderate enough to cause traffic to come to a standstill a hundred yards from your exit.
Feeding and Watering
Pretend you're going on a big picnic and pack a cooler or two with the drinks and snacks you'll need to get you through unloading day, and into the night. These are the things that are key to a good trip and first night.
- Water bottles—whether you get cases of single use bottles or a five-gallon jug and use refillables, staying hydrated is a must.
- Individually wrapped snacks—splurge on the single serving packs of fruit, chips and cookies. This is the day to throw the diet out the window, so go for the refined flour and sugar.
- Trash bags—try to keep your car as tidy as possible, bring a few bags so you can toss the trash when you make pit stops.
- Wet wipes—a large pack of wet wipes for spills and sticky, dirty hands can give you the will to keep living after a long day on the road and among the boxes.
- Band aids--somebody's going to cut something or get a blister.
- Electronics charging components—put out an all-points bulletin for all your devices' charging pieces—power cords, wall blocks, car adapters, and whatever else you need to ensure you're never off the grid.
- Water bowls for pets—your animals need to stay hydrated, just like you. If you've got a travel bowl, great. If not, animals aren't too picky—anything that Fido can fit his snout into is just fine.
Plan for takeout that first night—assuming you can find the fridge and get to the range, do you really want to whip up dinner (or more realistically, a midnight snack)?
Pack your coffee, coffeepot, mugs, bean grinder, and other morning must-haves like you did your linens—color code the box so you can get to it first thing. There's nothing better than that first cup of coffee in your new house, and nothing worse than not being able to find the coffee pot.
All those electronics and devices you so carefully shepherded through the wilderness won't do you any good if you don't have WiFi or internet service installed when you get to your new home. If possible, have all that set up prior to move in day so you don't have any downtime. If your internet provider remains the same ask about transferring your account, which means you may be able to keep your cable box and modem. If not, you can create a hotspot to get online with your fully charged phones or tablets.
When you're packing your tools, take out a couple of small screwdrivers, a small wrench, and some pliers and put them with the power cords and modems. Having tools handy will make the task go a lot faster and make you a hero to your kids.
The good news is that when the cable guy says he'll be there between 8 and 5, you know you'll be home--because no matter how faithfully you've followed the above tips, you still can't find your shoes.
Ready to start planning your next move? Contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group today!
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