Working for the department of housing throughout my college career, coupled with multiple internships in various locations, caused me to move 18 times in just over 6 years. Prior to that, I had thought attending a different school four years in a row (6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade) was bad, little did I know what awaited me! In my first organizational job, we would pack a client, move them and then unpack them all in one day. Due to the excessive moving in my life, I have gained a few pointers here and there. If you’re planning a move, read up!
Planning A Move
If you’re planning to move, make a plan! It sounds simple enough, even obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t have a proper plan in place before making arrangements to move out of their home. There are many different aspects of a plan to consider and in many cases, multiple plans are necessary.
You first need to decide when you would like to move and what factors dictate this. Are you trying to revolve around a school schedule? Would you like to move during a slow time at work? Do you just need to get out as quickly as possible or are you only moving if the price is right? Whatever the answer, discuss it with your Realtor and figure out the best time to put your house on the market. Remember to consider everyone making the move, not just the adults! Moving can be stressful for kids too, so it’s important not to schedule the big day during final exams or a major sporting event they’ve been training for.
Of course, you can’t predict exactly when your house will sell or even when the buyer will want to move in, but you can have a list of dates that don’t work for you and a list of dates that you’d prefer. The best thing is to be as prepared as possible so that you don’t schedule a move date, only to have something catch you off guard.
Once you have decided a target moving time frame and determined the best time to put your home on the market, make an initial plan! There is a lot to do before your home goes on the market and again, you don’t want that first showing to creep up on you! The best thing to do is to come up with a mini-schedule for yourself. Use the number of rooms in your house and the number of days until the house will be on the market to figure out the necessary pace to complete your home staging on time.
Once your home has sold and your move out date is set, you need to devise a packing plan for yourself. Again, based on the number of rooms you have and the number of days you have until you move, you can determine how much you should be completing each day. Remember to be conservative with scheduling – don’t schedule packing up until the last day, give yourself a few extra days at the end of your plan as “catch up” days to finish any last minute items. Also, start your plan with the rooms you use the least frequently, this will help you avoid accidentally packing items you may need during your remaining time in the home.
The planning doesn’t stop once your current house is figured out! You also need to be arranging your new living space. If your new home will not be ready by the time you need to move out of your old home, you need to figure out the best option for your family in the interim. Speaking from professional experience, it is often easier to stay in a furnished apartment (or even hotel depending on the time frame) than it is to rent an apartment, move and unpack all of your belongings and re-move all of your belongings a few months later. Renting a storage unit for your furniture and non-daily essentials will save you a ton of time and stress, the goal is to eliminate duplicate moves!
Another issue I see clients experience fairly often, is the re-model. If your home needs to be remodeled and you are planning to do this within the first few months, do not move in immediately! The stress of unpacking everything you own, only to turn around and pack it all back up a few weeks later ends up being unbearable for many people. Instead, it is often easier to put your items in storage and rent a place to live until all of the renovations are completed. If this ends up not being an option for you, be sure you plan out an adequate amount of time to repack your items and move them out of the way BEFORE the renovations are started.
While it seems like a good idea to move items to the center of the room and cover them with sheets while work is being completed, you (and the workers) will be much happier if everything is cleared out of the rooms that are undergoing work before any work takes place. This is a much better alternative than realizing there isn’t enough room and having to move out all of your items while the work is going on.
There are many different organizational aspects to conquer during your move. Buy yourself a planner specifically for your move that outlines what you need to complete on each day and highlights key dates. In order to avoid frustration and duplicate work while moving, planning is essential!