Stress Free Moving Tips for A Smooth Move

Learn easy Stress Free Moving Tips to help you have peace of mind no matter what during your move!

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It is certainly a real challenge to manage it all and still feel that, at the end of the day, you haven’t let something slip through the cracks.

Here are three lessons to lessen the likelihood of loss – both of your stuff and of your mind!

Lesson 1: Use Labels. Labels are second nature to professional organizers. We’d label the cat if it would tolerate it. In moving however, labels are essential. All of your boxes should have some type of label. Their Bill of Lading will note (generally) the items in the box with the corresponding number. If you are packing for yourself you’ll need to have plenty of heavy-duty markers on hand. The best thing to do is to label the box with the name of the room that the box will need to go into in your new home. This is because the new place may have a different layout and number of rooms than the home you’re coming from. Your desk, currently in the corner of the bedroom, may be headed for an office or family room. Aiming to get furniture & boxes into the correct room from the start will save some aggravation (and your back) later. Label boxes on the top and two sides so that you’ll be able to read the label no matter how it is stored. If your items are going into storage, you may want to simply give each box a number so that if there are any security breaches, perpetrators will not have an easy time of deciding which box to try first.

Lesson 2: Make lists. How many boxes do you have? Have they all arrived at their destination? How will you know? Whether it’s the bill of lading or your own recorded index, make sure you are keeping a list. If you are packing on your own, keep one master Packing list in a central location of your home. When anyone packs a box they should go to the Packing list and use the next available number to mark the box. Use your list to record the details of what the box contains. The box need only have the number and designated room written right on it. The list you keep can be hard copy or electronic. If your items are going into storage for a while, make sure you keep your list together with your storage keys and codes so that it will be handy whenever you need to retrieve something.

Likenesses: Finally pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words. Want to take the pain out of trying to remember how things were set up before? Walk around your house and take pictures. Photograph each wall and piece of furniture in every room. You may very well end up creating new arrangements when you get to your destination, but this will give you a great frame of reference. Take pictures of your pictures! Since artwork is often switched around when you move, it will help to print out pictures of your art and tape them to the outside of each of their boxes. This way you can see which pictures you might want to unpack and use and which you might like to keep in storage. If your all of your movers are not English speaking, it may help to tape colored index cards to designate the different destination rooms. Make sure to tape the corresponding color card to the doorway of the designated room.

The time you spend on labels, lists and likenesses need not be discarded with the packing paper. This is the perfect opportunity to begin your own home inventory. (Something not often considered until on the phone with the insurance company following the latest hurricane!) But, I will save that topic for another day. Until then, happy moving!

Annette Reyman is the owner and CEO of two organizing companies.  For unpacking services throughout the U.S., visit

Transcript Stress Free Moving Tips

Producer 0:14
Welcome to clearing the clutter inside and out with Julie Coraccio. Every Tuesday at 1pm Julie interviews experts on all areas of clutter, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional, a cluttered coach and professional organizer. Julie also offers tips to help you get clutter free for a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Julie Coraccio 0:39
I would like to thank today’s sponsor our Why be professional writing services. They are certified professional grant writers and also pen press releases and social media copy to get the word out about your business. For more information, please visit reawaken your slash forward slash writing Hey everyone I always talk about death and taxes is something you’re going to experience in your lifetime I would add moving to that list. Very rarely Are you going to not move at some point in your life and did you know it’s a third highest stress cause of anything. So we’re going to talk about that today and give you tips for clutter free move, and to reduce your stress when moving so you’re not pulling your hair out and you can enjoy your move. Professional Organizer, a net Raman having participated in corporate moves around the country with a family of five while maintaining her own independent businesses understands the value of being organized, and that works to empower her clients with the ability to take control of their spaces in order to enjoy greater freedom, peace and productivity in their lives. She also appreciates the needs for smooth and quick transition in today’s global business environment. She serves as the president of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Professional organizers and is the founder and CEO of all right organizing and all right moves well Welcome, Annette,

Annette Reyman 2:01
thank you so much.

Julie Coraccio 2:03
We are excited to have you. So let’s get started. Can you share any experiences when you either moved yourself or worked with a client? were being disorganized cost them because I think a lot of times people don’t think of the cost whether it’s simply organizing their home or business but moving it can add up to several thousand dollars in lost time. It can,

Annette Reyman 2:24
it can and, um, you know, so some of the things that that I’ve seen happen or that had, you know, happen occasionally to many people is, you know, one thing is packing in correctly. Some people try to pack themselves or they may have less experienced Packers that they’ve hired. And, um, it’s very easy to pack a box nice and full. You think you’re you’re maximizing that space. And then when you go to unpack on the other end, you slice through the top and you’ve sliced through either a piece of artwork pillow or some important document. So if you don’t, if you’re not used to the people who are used to this business know how to, you know, open the boxes or how to pack the boxes so that that’s not going to happen on the other end, but it happens if you don’t know. I’m also I’m packing when you overpack boxes so a lot of people will pack books in a medium or large size box because they’ve only moved maybe once or twice in their lifetime when you’re when you move off and you know, you’re packing books in very small boxes, and things like that when you pack heavy boxes and you’re lifting on the other end. I’ve seen so many people get hurt doing that either, you know, because the boxes are too heavily packed or because they don’t know how to lift properly. And so I’ve seen people where they’ve, you know, twisted an ankle and been You know, out of work for weeks because of it. I mean, there, there are different things that can happen that sort of puts you back rather than moving your phone.

Julie Coraccio 4:08
While I’m still in shock about the artwork and pillow I could laugh about, but art is something that I love. When I travel I always get whether it’s a street vendor or something, I get a painting from where I traveled to, and I would just be heartbroken. If I sliced into a painting and very angry with myself, that’s a good point to know

Annette Reyman 4:27
that what photographs you know, to I mean, some of them. Yeah, you look, right.

Julie Coraccio 4:34
What have you found in your experience creates the most clutter when moving?

Annette Reyman 4:39
Um, so Well, I guess on the packing side of it, where you’re coming from, it’s, a lot of times it’s the odd shaped items that you that just don’t fit into the boxes, right? So they sort of stay out and then in the end, you’re going what You know, what are we doing with this and it goes into you know, or you or the odds you know the odds and ends that you know didn’t fit into the boxes and then you have a box that you label miscellaneous or which doesn’t really help when you’re getting there. But um, but yeah, I would say you know, if you pack the bigger things first, the smaller things can go in, you know, you can find space for the smaller things, it’s when you get those big odd shaped pieces, whether it’s a statue or you know, whatever it is a dehumidifier for your room, whatever it is. do those things first, you know, make sure they have a big box and don’t overpack the box. It’s heavy, you know, put in some pillows with it or a blanket or, you know, or just some packing paper, but keep the boxes as light as you can impact the big things, you know, cuz otherwise they sit around.

Julie Coraccio 5:57
Yeah, okay, fantastic. Now, what else? are the biggest mistakes you found when people are packing to move. You’ve mentioned some great tips for packing. Are there any other areas where you found like, wow, people just tend to make this mistake again and again,

Annette Reyman 6:11
right? Um, let’s say, Well, one thing is that you don’t, I don’t, I think a lot of people don’t account for the amount of stuff that they have. So they don’t lock themselves enough time to pack it because when it’s all in your home and it’s in cabinets, you really don’t think you have very much you don’t have that much. And then when you see it all in, you know that you filled an entire truck. A lot of times people are saying, I can’t believe I filled an entire truck. Well, you know, so you need to allot extra time and try to go room by room to make sure that room is completely cleared out top to bottom, you know, inside and out with closets and things. Um, so so if you if you don’t allow that Time, that’s definitely a mistake that a lot of people make. And on the last day, people are either asking for another day, or throwing things out the windows, which, you know, I’ve seen happen just because they don’t have time. I don’t have time. Um, let’s see, oh, not having a safe zone. Making a safe zone is important when you’re packing. Um, I had personally our first big move in our first interstate move. We had, unfortunately, a garden snake. That was my son’s and it was in a tank, you know, nice. But we put in this little shoe box so that we could bring it in the car with us. And my son put the shoe box down on the kitchen table. And when we went back through the kitchen, everybody was saying, where’s that shoe box? And all of a sudden, movers must have packed and they did And we didn’t want to flip them out, and they were working so busily, um, we got to our destination. The snake didn’t really make it so well. It was very unfortunate, but there are, you know, aside from live animals, which you probably won’t have, you know, there are things that you want to keep with you. And if the movers don’t know that, you know it, they’re gonna get packed there. They’re not there to just to make decisions. If they’re if you’re hiring Packers, they’re not there to make decisions. They’re there to pack everything in their path. You know, a diaper pail full of dirty diapers, it’s all gone. So you want to make a safe zone and you could make it your you know, mess the bed in your master bedroom, or your kitchen, dining room table, kitchen table, whatever it is, and the movers need to be to know clearly that that’s your safe zone so and so is your family. So you need to tell them you need this with you on the trip. It needs to be in the safe zone when the package is here. Excellent. Want now

Julie Coraccio 9:00
I know I suspect we’re going to move within the next year. That’s just kind of what my intuitions telling me so I already have boxes I got from someone who has like, I’ll take your boxes so they’re in the closet, but you know, I’ve been through that when I sold my place in LA Okay, you have 30 days to get out and even though I was organized and ahead of the game, that 30 days goes by like that. So what would you say to someone who maybe is about to start the process might be like me, like it might be coming down the road and they just that 30 days or whatever happened and they’re completely overwhelmed. And just like a deer in headlights, what would you say to them?

Annette Reyman 9:37
Right? Right. Well, um, the first three things are plan, plan plan. You can’t possibly plan enough for a move. And and it’s really I you know, when you said you opened in the beginning with death and taxes and moving is up there. Um, it is very stressful because you’re you’re normal. used to planning and acting in your regular life on a daily basis. If odd, you know, things come at you, you have your basic structure. When you’re moving, you’re thinking in sometimes two different time zones, two different locations, multiple people, you know, and your jobs in schools included. So the planning, you can’t do enough planning so you need to have lists you need to have you know, lists for your, the home that you’re leaving and your destination location. You know, you need to have utilities turned on, where are the pets going? What are the kids need? So, so keeping your list is really extremely important. Um, what Like I said before, allowing yourself more time than you think you need for packing if you’re doing the packing. Um, because there is no doubt I’m sorry. But it has to be 99% of the population that really doesn’t know how much they have. You know, I mean, we just don’t, I mean, myself included, when I move it when it comes out, you know, it’s all of a sudden, like, Oh my goodness, good. I’m an organizer. And you know, when you’ve got, you know, your house works fine, it all looks great. But when it comes out, it’s a lot. So you need to really have time. And you need to think about your valuables. First. You know, make sure that important things, um, that you that you also in your, your lists and planning that you plan ahead for, what are you going to do with with valuable or important things, you know, and where are they going to be because we love to trust people and people are great and friendly and I’ve had some great moving experiences with nice movers, but you don’t need to leave things in the way of temptation. Yeah.

Julie Coraccio 11:58
And I have heard the term Survival box. What is that? And is that something you recommend people use when moving?

Annette Reyman 12:06
Absolutely. Expect the unexpected. Expect the unexpected. You know, your truck might break down in Iowa and it might get there three days after they told you they wouldn’t be there. So you need so you want to play it almost as if you’re going on vacation. You know, do you have enough clothes for a week? You know, you’re gonna pack suitcases, you know, keep things if you’re driving to your location, you know, to keep suitcases in the car with you. You want to have enough clothes, your toiletries, your medications. Um, I always keep my jewelry with me I pack it in a suitcase because I just feel like with me is the is the safest place um, vital documents to the kids need their birth certificates when you’re registering at the new school and is that going to get delayed by your move? When are you moving during the school year? Do they know need their medical records to register. So some of these things can be packed with you, um, they also could be saved online. You know, so we really have an advantage these days to, to how much we have to keep with us even prescriptions at this point are kept by our drugstores you know, and you can access them in different states, which is great, but internationally, you know, not so much. But you know, you need to know if I get stuck for a week, you know, what am I What am I gonna really want to have with me and your chargers? Those that’s the other thing these days, chargers for everything.

Julie Coraccio 13:43
Absolutely. Now, are there any other final tips you want to share on moving you’ve given us a lot of good information, but if I haven’t asked any more the right questions on that.

Annette Reyman 13:52
Yeah. Um, so we think um, there are quite a few things. Let’s see.

One thing is in setting up your home, your window treatments, your artwork and your bedding is all of that the sooner you can address those things, the more quickly it’s going to feel like home. And feeling like home is really important for for your families adjustment. It’s, you know, like we said, it really will decrease the stress, if you can make things look familiar, quickly. Um Another thing is this, you know, once you’ve moved, that’s the time to be good to yourself, to treat yourself, buy a cake at the store, you know, get some ice cream, do something good, because really, you’ve had several months to have to keep it together and manage very big things, very big ideas. So once you move, just you know, have have a month of we’re gonna you know We’re gonna have treats this month. Because it really you know, it’s important to, you know, to try to help overcome that stress to just, you know, be good to yourself. The last thing is that organization is, is an amazing way to empower everyone in your family. It breeds confidence, independence, responsibility, you know, for each family member, and a new home is an opportunity to start fresh. So to start off in your new home and really say, you know, okay, these are our spaces, and this is what fits and this is what we need, you know, and this is the room that I intend to do this in. So this is what’s going here. All of that organization will help everyone in the house, really to be more confident and it’s great for kids. It’s great for kids when they can know This is where we go. This is there’s always a drawing drawer in the kitchen where we can find glue and scissors and tape. You know, there’s always this. So when the new house, they start going to those places, if you move over and over, you know, and you have those systems, they will say, where’s this drawer? Where’s that cabinet? Because they know it’s there. It’s supposed to be there. It’s really empowering. So yeah, you know, you have a new chance. Great.

Julie Coraccio 16:25
Excellent. I’m so glad you shared that because that’s a great way to look at it. And, and I’m a firm believer, especially with children instilling things, the younger they are, I’ve done videos, I’ve used my nieces and nephew, but they know what it means to say go put your coats in their home, and your books like when they stay with my parents because my father’s got to get them out early in the morning. They know where everything is so that they’re on to school on time. But since you’ve moved so many times your family Do you have any thoughts on with children? Have you learned anything that maybe helps make especially if you have younger children that might ease Moving burden?

Annette Reyman 17:01
Um, yeah, well they, you know, let allowing them to make their list of what? Of what is important to them. What do I need on this trip? If I’m going to be without it for a week, what can I not live without? I’m allowing them maybe to pick pick rooms, pick colors, pick, you know, make make some decisions. But I’m also I agree with you. I’m a firm believer in helping our children to be confident and responsible because it really creates confident people, confident adults who are okay with making their own decisions. You know, a lot of us are, you know, because we weren’t allowed to make decisions. Our parents said, No, this is how it’s going to be. We avoid it. And kids really can do that and it makes them feel good or make them responsible for the pet I used to. When we would move to a new house. One child was always responsible for the dog And I would tell them, I need you to walk the dog around the property throughout the whole day. And because sometimes you even have a dog that would run off or whatever, but I need them to know this property. So that was that child’s responsibility. You know, you feed them water the dog and you walk it on the property on the bounce property all day, you know, give them a responsibility. That’s good for them to him.

Julie Coraccio 18:26
Excellent. Now, let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about Okay, we’re moved. We come to the new home. It’s all exciting. But what about unpacking? What have you found causes a lot of clutter or mistakes people make? I thought that was I guess, maybe not taking a big 12 inch knife and slicing into a box is one good tip.

Annette Reyman 18:45
Right? Yes. thing that caused a lot of clutter unpacking is is the unpacking materials itself. So if you have services that unpack you, or the movers that Pick up, you know the packing materials, you know, you want to try to gather those things into a garage or one room because they you know, once those unpacking materials come out, they start to grow you know, you’ve you squish them all down. So it really it can get overwhelming to walk into your rooms in the first few weeks, because now you have all these boxes and packing materials. But I think you had mentioned to me when we spoke that you are already collecting packing materials and there are a lot of ways nowadays to share packing materials. I think even um, it might be u haul, where online there are some online places where they do packing materials share websites. So if you’ve done you know, if you’re unpacking you can put up packing materials and somebody can say if they’re also online, garage sale things I know my 10 has one where you can put it up online. Hey, and you can put it up pack materials free, you know, people come and get it like that, you know. So it’s, um, you want to try to get those things out of your way and break down boxes because that that really makes a mess. The other thing that can become clutter when you move is the stuff you didn’t make decisions on beforehand. So if you’re in especially if you’re in a tight, you know, tight timeframe, a lot of us you know, get moved pretty quickly, especially if you have to relocation sometimes it happens very quickly enough time to make the decision. So you’re unpacking and saying, Why I might keep it you know, what, why did we move this, that can also cost you money. I mean, you know, if you if things aren’t gonna fit, you’re gonna lose money, but you know, carding it, but but it does. Those are the things that end up sitting out on your dining room table or wherever and for a month while you say what What should I do? You know? Yeah,

Julie Coraccio 21:03
yeah, I want to add just really quickly. freecycle is a great resource to put your packing materials and Craigslist just for people who are who are watching or listening. And I’ve used that and they are wonderful resources as well. What are some of the first things people should do when they’re unpacking?

Annette Reyman 21:20
Okay, um, well,

first of all, you know, one thing I want to mention from both sides is paper goods. So, the things that you want to pack last so that you’re going to unpack them first are paper goods and cleaning materials. So paper goods, meaning plates, you know, plastic forks, knives, things like that, because you want your, your regular dishware packed well, so you don’t want a few odds and ends of those floating around in different boxes. So you want to pack that all at once. Then you know what, before you move, put the paper goods into the cabinets and you’re using that as you go and keep enough. Because when you get to the other side, you can pack those molest boxes so that they’ll, you know, you can unpack first on it. And those come out and you’re able to eat, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for everybody. You know, I can’t I can’t tell you the frustration I’ve seen when people just can’t find their dishware or utensils, you know. So that’s just such a basic. Um, so you want to be able to eat in your kitchen and sleeping events. You know, those are two really important things. And so those are the two areas you want to try to tackle first. And like I said, if it’s even if it’s just paper goods, as long as it’s enough to get you by, for the first few days as you unpack that it’s important to do that. The Essentials.

Julie Coraccio 22:55
Absolutely not. Do you use a paper list? Or is there an app you record? demand, what’s your process or what have you done since you’re a pro at this? Okay,

Annette Reyman 23:05
so there are a few different um, there. There are many so many apps but

they, so there’s a few that I recommend Evernote, Evernote, it’s just really easy to use and the few that I’m recommending also, I think have very good safety, you know, features for them. So So I would say Evernote is great. Safely filed, is is a program that has high security. So even if you need to keep copies of birth certificates or you know, financial documents, I would trust that they safely filed for things like that. I’m home. zada is an inventory program. It’s an online cloud based Inventory a website. And it’s fabulous because you can put pictures of everything you own lists of everything you own. It’s, it’s really great for keeping you know, keeping track.

Julie Coraccio 24:15
Excellent. Now are there any you’ve given us lots of good tips, any other tips on moving, moving in unpacking,

Annette Reyman 24:22
depending on what you have, if it doesn’t, it should fit. The things you have should be able to be put away somewhere, you know, so

and there’s my there’s my organizer, my inner organizer or my outer organizer talking.

If it doesn’t fit, you either have too much, or you don’t have the right, the proper storage pieces

or your house isn’t big enough.

So really, you know, if you’re seeing that on the other end, and you Get there and things don’t fit. Those are really your three options. You know, if you have to have it, then it needs to you need to be able to have a proper storage piece to contain. Yeah. Fantastic. One thing I didn’t mention that I guess I do want to mention is the prep work at the new home. The more you can do, the better, the better off you’ll be. So if you have if you can do furniture arrangement, measurements, cleaning, and prep work, like painting, whatever that can be, because once the boxes are in, it’s harder to do, you know, so you really want to make sure you really want to make sure that you have the furniture in place and the rooms you know, as as ready as possible, because then it’s It’s a matter of just putting away and and it’s it’s really the cart before the cart before the horse the horse before the cart I don’t know if it’s the right order I don’t know which comes the chicken or the egg but um you know the it’s a process. It’s a process and it’s always going to be a process. So you know it’s a matter of being patient with yourself and your family and knowing that you know where you are in this process, it’s going to get done. Have a have a chocolate bar and take a deep breath.

Julie Coraccio 26:35
Chocolate always makes everything better. For me. It does. Absolutely. Now do you have any on any area your inner and your ad organizer can come out on any subject in this next final tip on letting go of clutter,

Annette Reyman 26:48
any area I am also a member of the holistic organizers and I think that that really spending Time on yourself, you know, really, really give your Take a deep breath. Think about what you want, and what your goals are and maybe write out you know, the, the areas of your life that are most important to you, and then decide, do the things that I have actually matched this and the other words, you know, are they worthy of the life that I want? You know, that’s really what it’s about, you know, like just having your thing support the life and who you are.

Julie Coraccio 27:39
Excellent. I love that. Now, please tell people how they can find out more information about you or any other wonderful things about what you’re doing, you’d like to share.

Annette Reyman 27:48
Thank you. Um, so my, my organizing business is all right, organizing. It’s three words. All right, organizing calm. I’m a professional organizer in the Greater Philadelphia area. But my new I have a national company that launched last year and on a national basis I subcontract NATO professional organizers to do unpack and organize for people around the country. And so if if you contact me It’s all right moves calm. If you contact me, I’m happy to see if I can set up a team in your area to get you unpacked and organized in three days within your your move, and I wanted to offer to give a special offer to your listeners today. For anyone who uses an ALRIGHT moves team to do an unpack and whatever state you’re in. I would like to give them a subscription to homes up so that they can do their own home inventories with their families in preparation for their moves to keep track of everything and also ongoing so they have no home inventory to use. Use for their insurers in case of any type of disaster that might come up or any type of needs if there was an a, you know, robbery, hurricanes, tornadoes, all the things that have been going on. But for anyone who uses an all right moves team, I will give them a paid subscription to homes.

Julie Coraccio 29:18
Well, thank you very much in that that’s very generous. And just so people know, this has never come up. I’m not a pay to play interviewer which means, and that is not paying me for this interview. Anyone who does an interview if I don’t have a personal or professional relationship by doing screening and a pre interview before having everyone so thank you, it’s very generous of you to do and again, Julie Coraccio. And you can contact a net and I want to thank you This was very informative, and I’m making sure my husband puts all his knives away before we move. Because now that I’ve heard this tale, and that was the first time I’ve heard people doing that, so I want to thank you.

Annette Reyman 29:56
You’re very welcome. Thanks for having me, Julie.

Julie Coraccio 29:59
All right, everyone. to go out and clear some clutter and create the life you choose desire and deserve. Thanks again to today’s sponsor ROI be professional writing services, their Certified Professional grant writers and also pen press releases and social media copy to get the word out about your business. For more information, please visit reawaken your brilliance calm forward slash writing.

Producer 30:26
Thanks for joining us on clearing the clutter inside and out. You can find out more about Julie Coraccio and her services reawaken your brilliance calm. We’ll see you here next Tuesday at 1pm. Remember, the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.

Stress Free Moving Tips Transcribed by