As a military child and a military spouse, I’m rather seasoned at moving. Not including moving between houses in the same place, I am on move #10 of my life. Five of those moves have been in the past seven years. Here are some of my tips to make your life easier.
- Start early and work room by room. Even though we have the Army move us, we still wind up with some prep work (see #2) to get ourselves prepared for packers and movers. I am a model procrastinator, and you can say I’ve never been on top of moving prep. Give yourself plenty of time to work through each room, so you don’t get overwhelmed or behind.
- Purge, purge, and purge some more. You will come across a lot of crap in your home that you just don’t need. Save yourself the time, effort, and money of packing it and say goodbye now. This includes anything from clothes, old paperwork, textbooks from college that are now outdated and goes all the way up to furniture.
- Eat your way through your fridge and pantry and donate what you can’t / don’t want to take. You can absolutely pack unopened shelf-stable foods like pasta, sauces, and baking mixes. But anything that is open (to include flour and sugar) should or will not go. Open food can make messes and attract pests, and you do not want critters like mice and roaches chewing through boxes to find that half-full container. Most packers won’t pack open food. I baked coffee cakes galore and dozens of cookies to work through the stock of frozen butter and Sam’s Club bag of flour I had on hand. Call up your local food pantry or soup kitchen to see if they take perishable foods like eggs or frozen meats and veggies. Hit up friends and neighbors to take whatever else you can’t take.
- Use what you around the house have to pack. You can pack your cutlery and utensils in large Ziploc bags. Press and Seal wrap works wonders (I wrapped my earring organizer and jewelry tray with it) to keep small things in place. Pack your clothes in your regular luggage and tote bags to save on packing supplies.
- Hire movers. Yes, this costs money, and the reason for your move (job, personal life, etc.) may not cover that. If you’re doing a military move, let them pay to move you. Depending on your budget in non-full-military-move situation, hire people to at least help with the furniture.
- Book hotel rooms in advance. If you’re staying overnight on a long move, plan out where you will stop and make reservations. This is especially important if you are travelling with pets, need a rollaway bed, or if you need multiple rooms. Way back in 2009, Mac and I stopped in Spokane, Washington, for the night, so I called a few hours before to reserve a room. When we arrived, the hotel was full. Had we not made reservations, we would have had to get back in the car and drive to another hotel after spending 10 hours driving.
- Embrace the journey. Moving is a hassle. Stuff can get lost or broken. You can wind up living in a hotel for a few weeks. Road trips can be fun, but driving 2000 miles is going to suck a some point. Stop at the cheesy roadside attractions, laugh at the Amish buggy parked outside the gas station, and try not to stress over the unending construction zones in every single state.
What tips would you add?