For me, moving is one of my least favorite things to do. Moving from my bed, moving from a nice cozy spot on the couch, moving from the dinner table after a huge meal. I’ve given up nice window seats at work, just because I didn’t want to move my belongings to another desk. Simply put, I just prefer to stay put. This summer, my family had to move and it took me almost a year to work through that process. We’d been in our home for over 10 years. We had two babies come home to this house, after birth. We moved into this house two months before we exchanged wedding vows. This was our first home, and although I knew this wouldn’t be our forever home, the move was still hard for everyone. I decided that I’d try to plan the move as best I could so that it would be an easier process. Moving anywhere is a huge task, and I knew that I’d have to break it down into smaller tasks to avoid “mover’s burnout”.
The first thing we did in preparation for the move was to declutter. Ten years of stuff accumulates fast! We had a six bedroom home, with six family members, and that amounted to a lot of memories boxed up never to be seen again. Here are a few ways we decluttered.
- Bulk Trash Services (residential): Our County offers bulk trash pick up, and they also allow you to bring items to the dump. There is usually a limit to how many items you can place in front of your home for pick up.
- Purple Heart, GoodWill (etc): Plenty of non-profit organizations will gladly take your gently used items.
- Dumpster Bags: You purchase these bags and fill them up to the brim. Then go online to schedule waste management to pick them up from in front of your home.
- Online Sales: Sites like craigslist, and even Facebook Marketplace are great places to sell your unwanted items. I made a few hundred dollars selling items I never used or rarely used.
- Junk Removal Services: The day before we finally left our house, there were a few items that still needed to be removed from the home. It was late and we couldn’t get the items to the dump. We called College Hunks…the company not some kid from my daughters school…. to finish carrying off the last of our junk. They have similiar pricing as other junk removal services, charging you for the amount of space you take up in their trunk. We were able to keep the pricing to a minimum because we only had a few remaining items.
We began packing towards the end of Spring, since we knew we’d be gone by the end of summer. I had all of the girls pick out two weeks worth of clothing and put it to the side. We then packed away EVERYTHING else. We made sure to pack clothes according to the season type and labeled the boxes appropriately. This was probably the best tip to me. It cleared the closets and dressers, which made moving much easier. It also helped with showing the house. The kids didn’t seem to mind the new clothing routine since they were out of school and didn’t see many of their friends.
If you are moving to a smaller home, as was our case, you want to make sure that you pack items that will most likely stay in storage separately from items that you’ll definitely use at the new home. This will alleviate sorting through boxes and having to rebox items.
I opted to purchase a storage unit early on. There are tons of sites that will let you price compare the storage facilities in the area. Plus a lot of them offer move in specials. I rented the largest unit available and paid a little of $100 per month. Having the storage unit early in the moving process allowed us to declutter at a comfortable pace, and move out of the house in time. We didn’t need a moving team because we could simply load the car with a few boxes a day and head over to the storage unit.
Make sure you label the boxes appropriately. We strategically placed boxes in the storage unit. Items that were out of season, we placed towards the back. Items that we knew would most likely stay in the storage unit were placed in the back as well. This helps when you move items from the storage unit into your new home. You’re more likely to grab boxes of the items you need. Another thing about storage is that you can take your time moving into your new home. There isn’t the hustle and bustle of getting items from point A to point B with limited time and help. And once you are finished moving your needed items to your new location, you can downsize your storage unit to fit the items that are left. I was able to downsize to a unit that costs roughly $40 a month.
Since I had the storage expense, I tried to keep my manpower expense as low as possible. The gradual transition of items to the storage unit, only required myself, my husband and kids. Yes, your kids can move boxes, too! We were able to do about 80% of the work. For the larger bulkier items, we waited until we had keys in hand for the new place, and then asked my brother and his friends to help us move the larger items. We were able to move the large items in one day and it didn’t cost us anything. I did make sure to feed them, and I gave them some money. What you give is up to you. I have a back injury, so I relied heavily on family for my manpower. I know how much I saved not using a professional mover, and I wanted to make sure they were aware that I appreciated their help.
In previous moves, I used a company like U-Haul or Budget trucks to get a huge truck to move all of my furniture. Those were when I lived in an apartment building and only required a small truck, within unlimited miles. Over 11 years later, I see that prices have changed and to rent a large truck would cost me a pretty penny. Lowes and Home Depot offer pick up trucks that you can rent for $20 for 90 minutes, and then additional pricing the longer you have it. That option only works if you are commuting items to a radius close to the store, and you don’t require a lot of time to move those items. Unfortunately, that option didn’t work for us. I did find that you could get a great deal online for a rental car, pick up truck, and have use of it for 24 hours, for less than $90. The deals are even better if you pick up the vehicle from an airport.
I was able to use my connections and my friends from Toyota lent me a 2019 Toyota Tundra Platinum. The truck is HUGE!!! So I was able to pack the kids in comfortably, load the truck bed with tons of boxes, and then drive to my destination. The comfort and luxury of the Tundra was such a better experience than any U-Haul truck, so I didn’t mind having to take multiple trips. As we were moving boxes and shuttling kids to summer programs at the same time, the Tundra’s versatility really came in hand. It would be hard to pick up the kids in a moving van!
CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS
Something that I didn’t think of until the last minute was to change my address. It’s hard to remember all of the companies that send you correspondence. Remember to change you address,
- With the United States Post Office, you can change your mailing address to have all mail forwarded to your new address. This gives you time to individually change the address on file for the companies that send you stuff.
- With your health, home, car, and life insurance companies.
- With your employer. You want to make sure that appropriate taxes are being taken out, especially if you move to a different state. Plus if you received paper W-2 items, you’ll want to ensure they go to the right location.
- With your bank and credit card companies.
- With your cell phone and other miscellaneous bills.
Sites like MyMove.com will help you change your voter registration, as well as give you coupons to Lowes, HomeGoods, etc.
And finally, don’t forget to tell your friends and loved ones!! Nothing’s worse than the new owners of your old home getting a surprise visit from Granny!!!