Declutter Your Life: Stress Free Moving Tips!
Annette Reyman shares Declutter Your Life: Stress Free Moving Tips to help you have a stress free move!
What’s in That Box?
Moving is not easy. There’s a lot to keep track of and so much happening at the same time: boxes are being packed and unpacked, kids are switching schools, utilities are being shut off and turned on, and then there’s life that just keeps going on! 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. If movers are doing the packing for you, they will write the name of the room they are packing and put a numbered sticker on your box. 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 service in the Greater Philadelphia area visit her website at www.allrightorganizing.com. For unpacking services throughout the U.S., visit www.allrightmoves.com.
Annette is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®) and president of its Greater Philadelphia Chapter.