Getting Ready for Your Move--Organizing Is Key

Moving

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 
 
Repeat after me. Organized, organizing, organization. No matter how you say it, getting organized is the key to a successful move. The good news is that you have several weeks to get ready for a move. The bad news is that you've not only got to get organized, you've got to stay that way, especially as moving date gets closer.

There's an App for That

How you choose to get organized is up to you--old-fashioned notebooks and pens are tried and true, and some people love a spreadsheet. If you're more technologically inclined, there are several apps you can download to manage just about everything. Sortly is great for taking inventory of all your stuff, and Unpakt books movers online and coordinates details. Wunderlist keeps track of your to-do list, and you can share it with family members.

If you have hired a professional moving company to pack up your house, you still need to be organized before the packing crew arrives, unless you want to keep all the empty shampoo bottles in your daughter's shower.

Break Down Your Tasks

Obviously, you need to pack, but there are enough intangibles involved with moving to be a full-time job in itself. Break down your tasks into these categories.

  • Packing--inventory each room, closet, and cupboard
  • Housekeeping--transferring or shutting down utilities and starting new ones
  • Change of address--you can do this online with the Post Office
  • Gather medical, insurance, and banking records, and keep hard copies in one accordion file
  • Get school records for transfers
  • Mortgages, deeds, real estate contracts, and leases
  • Vet records for pets
  • Driver's license and vehicle registrations if you are moving to a new state
  • Charitable donations and junk--arrange for pickups and find a junk removal company

Professional moving companies have comprehensive checklists to help you prep for your move; you can modify them to meet your individual needs.

Set Deadlines--And Meet Them

The best organization is for naught if you don't set deadlines and meet them. Preparing for a move is setting a variety of deadlines and staying on track to meet them--when to have the movers come, when to have the garage or attic cleaned out, when to board the dog. A month or so out, a weekly deadline is okay. As you hit the two-week mark, hitting those daily goals is the key--otherwise you won't stay on track, and the last days before the movers come will be a hot mess--the perfect recipe to forget something important, like having the gas disconnected.

Treat Yourself

There's documented research that proves that moving is one of life's most stressful events. Take some of the stress off by treating moving prep as a part-time job--set aside some time every day specifically for these tasks and focus on this project. Then when you're done, you're done--take a walk, meet a friend for a drink, or go out to dinner. Don't let the "to-do" list overwhelm your life to the point you're a frazzled and frayed mess--take a weekend getaway after you've hit your target goals midway through.

It's A Family Affair

The whole family is moving, so getting ready should be a family endeavor--everybody should have chores. Assigning the kids a few chores not only takes some of the burden off of you, it helps them get invested in the process. This is a great time to sort through toys and donate the "gently loved but no longer interesting" games, dolls, and toys. This is not the time to download Toy Story when the kids want to see a movie. Grown-ups can do the same thing--sort through old stuff you no longer use and either donate or throw away.

 

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