Moving can be an overwhelming, stressful ordeal, especially when you have a family and you’re a “Do It Yourself” type of person. Packing, organizing, planning, and coordinating is a huge task, not to mention all the cleaning that comes along with preparing a home for someone else to move in. It’s important to try and work out a timeline for each task and designate other family members to take on certain chores so everything doesn’t fall on your shoulders.
Here are some of the best tips for moving and making your new house feel like home.
Get some help
Moving will go much more smoothly if you have some help, so enlist family members to gather boxes and other packing materials. Giving everyone at least one responsibility will help ease the pressure off you a bit; maybe have one person be in charge of getting a change of address form from the post office, while someone else can take care of securing a moving company or truck.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to be organized when you’re packing, so make sure you have enough boxes for each room and mark them clearly. It might help to create a packing list for each box and tape it to the outside, so that when you get them into the new house you’ll know exactly what’s in them. Save one box for things you might need immediately, such as cleaning supplies, a manual can opener, paper plates and cutlery, and trash bags, and another box for medications, toilet paper, and toiletries. This will ensure that if it takes a while to get moved in, you’ll have the most necessary objects for the first night in your home right at hand. Be sure to leave out comfort items for small children and pack an overnight bag for each family member with a change of clothing and their toothbrush.
Pets can have mixed reactions to moving and all the activity that comes with it, so you might consider taking him to the new house before moving day, if possible, so he can explore and get used to the smells and new rooms. Make sure you bring old toys with you, at least for the first week or so in the new house, and position food and water bowls in a place similar to where they were in the old house. This will help your pet get accustomed to the space without stressing them out too much. Also, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to take care of your pets on moving day. All the activity can be difficult for them to process, and they are also in danger of escaping or getting hurt. Crate your pet or have someone look after them in an area away from the hustle and bustle of the move.
It might be tempting to buy new furniture, but if you have young children, too many changes at one time might be hard to deal with. Let them come with you to choose new pieces or appliances and make them part of the process, so they don’t feel bombarded with strange new things all at once. It might also be helpful to use nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Make a plan
Planning out where you’ll hang artwork or position the couch–and doing those things right away on moving day–will not only help you stay organized and prevent accidents, it will allow you to make the home yours from day one. Many people make the mistake of moving all the boxes and furniture into their designated rooms and leaving them to unpack later, but at the end of the day, you’ll be tired and perhaps unwilling to tackle the mess. Make an effort to have the furniture situated, some of the pictures hung, and boxes unpacked as they’re brought in. You can always change things around later, but doing this will help cut down on clutter and make you feel like you’re finally home.