Without a doubt, you’ve often heard that proper organization is the key to success. This is especially true when moving house – there are so many important things to take care of and arduous tasks to complete before moving day that without good organization you’ll be completely at a loss as to what to do. However well-organized your move may be, though, it won’t be enough to ensure a smooth and trouble-free relocation unless you find a way to stay organized throughout the entire process.
But how to stay organized while moving? The only way to bring order to the chaos and keep your sanity amidst the whirlwind of intertwining moving-related activities is to have a reliable plan of action and stick to it, no matter what.
If you can see the larger picture – envision your new home and walk through all the steps of the moving process in your mind, it will be easy to develop an efficient relocation strategy. If not, you can take advantage of our resourceful tips on how to get organized for a move:
Create a moving timeline
In order to keep things under control during your moving adventure, you need some reliable guidelines to refer to whenever you lose your focus or your nerves. So, the very first thing to do when your forthcoming relocation becomes a certain fact is to create a detailed moving timeline that will help you organize your tasks and monitor your progress.
Make sure you include all the tasks that need to be taken care of prior to moving day in your customized to-do-list, prioritize them according to their importance and difficulty, and set appropriate timeframes for each specific chore. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be done for the day and will be able to concentrate on one thing at a time. You won’t be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the relocation process, won’t forget anything important, and will be able to stay focused and motivated all the time.
Create a floor plan of your new home
Once you’ve found an appropriate new home for you and your family in your new area, you’ll be able to envisage your new life and make an informed decision about your move – what exactly to bring along and what to leave behind.
It will be much easier to find out which of your old items you’ll be able to use in your new surroundings and which of them will fit in the available space if you create a detailed floor plan of your new residence. As an added bonus, you won’t waste any time on move-in day as you’ll know what goes where and will be able to direct the movers to take your items straight to their rightful places.
Create a moving inventory
Still another indispensable reference list, your moving inventory sheet will allow you to sort out your belongings and keep track of your possessions throughout the entire moving process. It will help you get an accurate idea of your moving costs (the movers will give you a price estimate based on your inventory sheet – the number of items on the list and their total weight), determine the kind and amount of packing materials you’re going to need, and find out how long it will take you to pack your belongings. What’s more, your inventory list will double as a packing list (so that you don’t forget a single item) and will serve as a proof of the condition of your belongings before the move.
Get rid of unwanted items ASAP
Once you set aside the items you’re not going to take to your new home, you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible – otherwise they will clutter your space and contribute to the moving chaos in your home. Besides, the closer you get to moving day, the less time and energy you’ll have to deal with online sales, garage sales, charity donations, etc. Not to mention that when an item stays around for a long time, you may change your mind and decide to take it with you out of nostalgic feelings or simply because you don’t know what to do with it.
Designate separate areas of your home for separate purposes
To reduce the chances of mixing up your items when getting ready for a move, you’re advised to designate separate storage areas for different categories of items and keep everything in the area where it belongs:
- items to be sold;
- items to be donated or given away;
- non-allowable items your movers won’t load on the moving truck for safety reasons;
- pre-packed moving boxes;
- things to be used up before moving day;
- items to be packed in your essentials box; etc.
Pack in a systematic manner
- Come up with a logical and practical packing schedule:
- prioritize your packing jobs and set up reasonable deadlines for their completion;
- make sure you know where to start packing and what to pack last, so that you don’t end up opening already sealed boxes because you need an item packed inside.
- Break up every major packing task into easily achievable mini-goals to keep better track of your progress and to avoid being overwhelmed by the enormity of the packing endeavor.
- Pack your items by type, by destination room, or by some other characteristics that make sense to you (it’s logical for like items to go together, but you may have something else in mind when packing a box – keep all the contents of your desk drawer together, for example).
SEE ALSO: How to pack items safely and efficiently
Color code the boxes
Proper labeling is essential for keeping things organized when moving house. The more detailed information the labels give, the better, of course, but you need to be able to tell at a glance where a box belongs. The fastest and easiest way to do is to designate one color for each room and mark all the boxes that contain items from that room in the same color (you can use colored markers or tape).
Pack an essentials box
Having the most essential items you need packed together in a single box will be very handy during the peak moments of your move:
- it will allow you to finish the last moving preparations on move-out day quickly and efficiently;
- it will help you survive for some time without the rest of your belongings;
- it will greatly facilitate things on move-in day (you’ll have access to everything necessary to prepare a quick meal, take a shower, have a good night’s rest, start unpacking, etc.).
Take plenty of pictures
This is common advice when it comes to moving house. Taking photos of your old home and your cherished belongings before you start packing (as well as during the packing process) will serve several important purposes:
- Provide evidence about the condition of your items;
- Help you keep vivid memories of your old life;
- Help you recreate your interior décor, if you wish so;
- Provide you with visual aids that will allow you to reassemble furniture pieces and reconnect cords in a quick and efficient way;
- Help you keep things organized in a practical and logical manner.
Collect and organize your documents ahead of time
Having all the necessary paperwork in order will help you stay organized and keep things under control during and after your move:
- You’ll have all your personal documents with you;
- You’ll have all the medical records, school records, financial records and other important papers you’re going to need soon after the relocation;
- You’ll have all the moving-related paperwork within easy access, so that you can make sure that everything goes according to plan;
- You’ll have the utilities in your new home running on move-in day;
- You’ll have your address changed, so that you’ll be able to update all the relevant documents (voter registration, car registration, driving license, insurance policies, etc.) and have your mail forwarded to your new home.
Keep phone numbers and addresses at hand
Make sure you have all the addresses and phone numbers you may need during the moving process with you – your moving company, the hotel you intend to stay in on the way to your new home, auto services, medical facilities, emergency numbers, friends and relatives, etc. Have them saved in your phone, as well as written on paper as your communication device may run out of battery or get damaged.
It is also a good idea to prepare several small map print outs, showing the route to your new home – you can keep one with you (just in case), give one to the movers, leave one with the new occupants of your old home, etc.
Last but not least – keep your focus. If you manage your time well and keep your concentration high, the entire moving process will go like clockwork – smoothly and without any problems. It takes nothing more than self-discipline and dedication to achieve this remarkable feat. Just make sure you avoid procrastination and eliminate distractions, so that you don’t waste valuable time and lose your motivation.
The bottom line: The best way to stay organized when moving is to plan ahead. When you make informed decisions about every step of the moving process and stick to them, you’ll never get lost in the hectic whirlwind of moving activities.