Organizing your move: Start early
Professional moving companies recommend at least eight weeks to organize your move. Of course, if you have more or less than that amount of time, you can still plan a smooth transition for you and your family. The first step is to organize your planning notebook by dividing it into sections.
Timelines: Assign one page to each week in advance of your moving day. On each page, list certain tasks to be accomplished by the end of each week.
Resources: Here’s where you collect addresses, phone numbers and websites of moving companies, cleaners, shipping companies, etc. You may also want to list phone numbers for utility companies and other services at both your new and old locations.
Rooms: Assign a page for each room of the home you are leaving. What needs to be done in this room? Will it need a special clean-up, touch-up paint, or repair of any kind? List the room’s contents on the page; as you pack and move out, check the page to make sure you have not overlooked anything.
Checklists: With so many details, don’t trust your memory; write down every task you need to do, as you think of it, and check off each one as you complete it.
The right tools for this job: visit the office-supply store
Your notebook and pencil are only the beginning. Once you begin sorting, packing and labeling, you’ll rely on these office-supply favorites to see you through. Collect in one place those items you already have, then visit the store to fill in the missing items:
Waterproof marker pens; get both a thick-pointed and a thin-pointed pen.
A pad of lined notepaper, at least 5″ x 8″ in size, to list the contents of boxes as you pack them
Colored “dot” stickers (get an assortment of colors in at least a 1″-size circle), to code the boxes for each room of your new home
Blank adhesive labels, to mark the outside of the boxes
Re-closable 1-quart plastic bags, to collect small parts of disassembled furniture, picture hooks, thumbtacks, keys, or other small things; you’ll mark the outside of the bag to identify the contents.
Clear packing tape in rolls, with a “handle” dispenser
Start strategizing: Not everything you own is going to move with you
Now it’s time to face facts: you most likely do not want to or can’t afford to take everything you currently own to your new home. It’s a waste of your money to move items you’ll only be replacing or throwing out at the other end. And the farther away you are moving, the more important it is to reduce clutter and pare down your possessions to the most important items.