We’ve been in our new home for about 10 months now, and it’s truly been a whirlwind of a year. I think it’s safe to say I NEVER want to move again. It’s been quite a learning experience for the both of us and I definitely see major flaws in the home-buying business. Looking back, there are definitely some changes I think I would’ve made, yet I’m very happy that we are *finally* in our home. Because I learned a lot, I thought I would share my knowledge on moving tips and tricks with you in hopes of avoiding any additional stress during the moving process (’cause Lord knows it is really, really stressful!)
Do your research. Research realtors, research mortgage brokers, research attorneys. Research, research, research. If you have friends who recently moved, ask about their experiences. It is YOUR choice who you use, so get a few recommendations and ask specific questions about the process. Did they communicate well? Were they responsive to your questions? Were they helpful, or did they cause added stress? Those are really important things to keep in mind because there’s a LOT of information you’ll receive during the home buying process and a lot of it you might not understand. You want people who are willing to explain every detail until you get it.
Pack your own stuff. This part is NO fun whatsoever and takes a million years, but I’m actually really happy we packed our own boxes. We did not have ONE thing break. Not one thing! I’ve heard horror stories of packing companies who basically throw everything in a box and call it a day. I’ve had friends lose valuable and sentimental items because packing companies didn’t care well enough for them. By packing things ourselves, we knew that the breakables were wrapped well enough and what was it each box.
Tackle packing room by room, one room every few days. We were still scrambling at the end because our house wasn’t on the market long (I have tips on that coming soon!), but if we had done this sooner we would’ve been fine. Only leave out necessities and pack those last!
LABEL. Label!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, label. And be specific! I wrote down each room on the box, but I wish I went beyond that and gave a brief description of contents. When it came time to unpack (which took MONTHS), I couldn’t find anything I needed immediately. I searched for days for the tray to Landon’s high chair and couldn’t find bed sheets for a week. Also, label FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP in huge letters on boxes of glasses and things of that nature.
Hire a moving company. My husband’s friend owns a moving company here in CT (you can e-mail me for their info!) so it was a no-brainer that we went with them. To keep costs down, we rented a UHaul and hired their company to do the actual loading and unloading. They packed that truck TIGHT. And nothing broke! I’m still seriously amazed that nothing was damaged. This was also helpful because I was 7 months pregnant and chasing a toddler around as well. There was no way I could lift boxes, and someone needed to be watching him. I was able to focus on Landon and just direct the movers where to put what box. It was great!
Put all sentimental/valuable/really breakable things in a box in your car. I had two boxes filled with things I didn’t want potentially breaking in the moving truck that stayed in the back of our car. A lot of my fragile vintage items were here, including my jewelry, etc. This really helped because I knew exactly what was in those boxes and wasn’t worried about the items.
Hire a cleaning service for the new house. I had my cleaning lady come the DAY we moved in so she could clean as we put boxes in place. I was grateful for this because I didn’t have to lift a finger and I new the house was to my cleaning standards. And thank GOD she did because it was a disaster!
When unpacking, focus on necessary rooms FIRST. For us, this was Landon’s room. I knew it would be quite an adjustment for him, so I wanted to get his room set up first. It was the first room we painted, and we set it up exactly how it was set up at our old home so that it was recognizable for him. He adjusted just fine and literally didn’t miss a beat, so I think this really worked. We also got the kitchen organized because that’s obviously of importance. We then just worked in order of most important to least important.
Try to breathe. Moving is for the birds. It’s such an emotional process and leaves you feeling absolutely exhausted. But, there will be an end to it! And also, maybe don’t move while pregnant. If I could change one thing, it would be that. LOL.
One of the big things that stressed me out when we moved was that not all our furniture fit anymore. These rooms were shaped differently than our last home (different wall space, difference sizes, etc), and I found that I needed to get rid of some old furniture and purchase new furniture that was a better fit. I wish I had known about CORT Furniture Rental sooner because it’s a great option if you’re moving! I never knew furniture rental was a possibility, but I think it’s really fantastic for families who are moving long distances or who move frequently (whether it be for work or due to the military). It’s there when you need it and gone when you no longer need it! CORT lessens the hassle of feeling like you need to spend a ton of money upfront to furnish your home because you can just rent furniture!
Overall I realize our moving experience could have been significantly worse, but I am SO happy it’s over and pray we don’t move anywhere else for at least 10 years. I hope these tips help your move to be a little more stress free!