Nerves are (mostly) intact, Jeep and trailer are holding up well, and the best part of all is... we stayed in budget! We are thoroughly relieved we are here safe and sound. Now we just have to unload it all...
The leasing office emailed me a copy of the lease to read over and sign, so all that is left to be done is do a walk-through (*crossing fingers and hoping all goes well*) and then I get the keys to my very first apartment! *happy dance!*
Now, without further ado, here are my best tips for completing a long-distance move (or really any move) as stress-free as possible:
1. Start planning early.
I've known about this move since April. That gave me a lot of time to plan so I took advantage of it! Pinterest was a great resource for finding moving tips, packing tips, real-life experiences, budgeting tips, and so much more. Planning as much as you can in advance will give you such peace of mind come moving day. Just make sure everyone else involved knows the plan too :-).
2. Start packing early.
I packed my first boxes in May. We had a lot of travel plans for June so I knew if I didn't get a head start I would be running around like a chicken with my head cut off come July. I also worked up until the day before we left, so that would have made it extremely difficult to getting everything packed up if we waited until the last minute. Start by packing things you won't be needing until you unpack at your new place; my first boxes were filled with books, rarely used kitchen items, seasonal decorations, and wall art.
3. Purge BEFORE you pack.
The last thing you want to do is pay to have junk moved that you're only going to toss or donate when you get there. Don't just throw everything in a box because you're running out of time to pack (see #2) but also don't spend hours sorting through years of memories when you should be packing. If you haven't used it in the last year or you don't know why you kept it all these years, toss it! My favorite quote for decluttering your home (and life!) is this:
|Original Etsy posting: https://www.etsy.com/listing/161260884/william-morris-quote-print-art-for-home?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=william%2Bmorris+quote&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery|
That just about sums it up perfectly, doesn't it?
4. Pack with unpacking in mind.
Put like with like. Label the box and where it goes. It's really simple but it can be hard to follow through, especially if you're rushed while packing. You end up with rooms full of boxes that look alike, without any idea what's in each one other than "Kitchen" or "Bedroom". Then you open a box labelled "Kitchen" and find the TV remotes. What went wrong? A. You were probably just throwing random things in whichever box had room, because you waited until the last minute to pack. B. You never had a good system to begin with, so it got thrown out the window halfway through packing. Talking from experience here, people.
My system is a combination of two ideas I saw on Pinterest along with my parents' infinite moving wisdom. Check out the original posts here:
- Before you start packing, gather your supplies: a notepad, pencil/pen, sharpie, scissors, one roll of colored ductape per room/area in your new house, and lots of packing tape.
- As you pack a box, keep in mind what room it should go in, and keep track of what items are going into the box.
- In your notepad, create one page for each room/area.
- Assign a color of ductape to each room. For example, Orange = Kitchen for me. This is for easy move-in purposes, especially if other people are helping you move. I'll label each room in my apartment the same way so people know where each box is supposed to go.
- Assign a number starting with 100 to each room. For example: 100 = Living Room, 200 = Bedroom, 300 = Kitchen. Each box will get a number within that 100, i.e. boxes 301, 302, and 311 all belong in the kitchen and are the 1st, 2nd, and 11th boxes I packed.
- As you finish packing each box, write the assigned number on at least two sides. Write that same number on your corresponding notepad page along with a brief description of the box's contents. Make note of important and open-first items.
- Close the box with the corresponding colored ductape and then add extra support with regular packing tape (ductape starts to curl after so long in a hot car/garage).
- Breathe a sigh of relief as you unpack knowing exactly where everything is :-).
*You can also write the box's contents on the box and disregard every tip but using colored ductape. However, I strongly suggest against it if you are not moving yourself. Boxes like "Tools", "TV", "Xbox", etc, might end up missing and unless you have a record of what was in each box written somewhere else, you won't have the proof to show you ever had that box much less that it is missing.
Remember to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the ride. Spend time with friends and family you may not see as much once you move. It will all be worth it when your last box is unpacked and you can finally settle into your new home. I can't wait for that feeling!