Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How we are organizing our move

I was looking through some old blog posts a little bit ago, and stumbled upon this gem from last summer.  It's about moving, and what our experience was like.  And it's kind of funny, but I feel less stressed about this move, a much bigger, higher stakes move, than I did about that one.  Why?  Most likely it's because we are so much better prepared for this move.  We learned a lot about what does and doesn't work for us when it comes to moving last year, and we are banking on that experience to help ensure that this move goes far more smoothly.  Since I'm so nice and all (haha), I figured I would share with you how we are organizing this move.

1) It's not really organizing, but it needs to be said.  There is no shame in drinking wine, beer, or whatever alcohol floats your boat during this time.  Also, eat the carbs.  They are wonderful.  Moving sucks, and is stressful.  If your glassware is packed, solo cups are just fine.  No shame, people.  None whatsoever.

My wine glasses are still out, but not for long.  The solo cups are ready and waiting.

2)  Get on the same page with your roomie.  Hopefully, your roomie loves you, and you're married or in an equally committed relationship, because then they can't call Mulligan and ditch your sorry self once things get a little crazy.  Lucky for me, my mom made sure to tell Ammon that there were "no exchanges, no returns, no refunds..." on our wedding day, so he is a captive audience.

Oh heyyyy, wedding photo =).

3)  Honestly, those first two were ridiculous, and simply shouldn't count.  So first thing's third:  Make yourself a few spreadsheets in Excel.  You need one for your expenses, and one for your inventory of boxes.  You can put them in the same workbook, if you like having everything in one place.  If you're like me, you put your husband in charge of the spreadsheets, because nothing is as wonderful as delegation, am I right?  ...You're right, wine and cupcakes are up there too.

4) Now that you have your spreadsheets, print out a copy of your box inventory, so that you can write down the boxes as you go.  We have columns for the room/area, the box number, a basic description, and specific contents.  We hand-write things in as we pack the boxes, and then update the Excel document every 10-15 boxes.  It keeps the list tidy, and makes sure that we have back-up of all of our hard work.

Clipboards also make the process so much better.

5)  Go through EVERYTHING you own and be intentional about what you are keeping.  Why waste the energy moving something that is junk, or even worse, trash?  We have gotten rid of a prodigious amount of stuff in preparation for the move... maybe as much as a quarter of the stuff we owned?  I'm not sure, but it was enough that we have paid for extra trash pick-ups, and made special donation runs to multiple thrift stores.  While your husband you are making spreadsheets, consider making one to track what you donate to charity.  Tax benefits are real and important, peeps.  

6)  Speaking of tax benefits, if you are making a job-related move, you really need to track all of your moving-related expenses, because you might be eligible for a pretty sweet tax deduction come the spring.  You should check the criteria here to see if you qualify.  We do qualify, and so instead of worrying about saving receipts that we have to total up later, we are just entering them into our spreadsheet.  Boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, moving services, gas to your new location, hotels... it's all totally deductible.  Take full advantage.  And if you need some help figuring out if you can deduct moving expenses, or what qualifies as a moving expense, email me, and we can have a super geeky conversation about the nitty, gritty details.  The way I love taxes is disturbing.

7)  It goes with 6, but buy your supplies.  We buy them a little at a time, because we are a bad judge of what exactly we will need.  If you are hiring a moving service, they should be able to help you determine what supplies you need, as well as how much.  In addition to your standard moving supplies, you may want some little extra that helps you immediately see what room a box goes to, like printed duct tape, or several colors of Sharpies.  We have a 30-pack of Sharpies, and so we picked a different color for each area of our house. 

8)  Start boxing things up!  Start as early as you can, so that you aren't packing up until the last possible second.  You will probably still be packing up until the last possible second anyway, but hopefully it will be less frantic.  Our goal is to live like college students who have NOTHING for the last week before we move.  If you bought an extra item for coding your house, here is where they come into play.  We use the correct color of Sharpie to label each box with the following:  The inventory item number (which goes on the top, and 2 sides of the box), the description of the box, and the contents of the box.

See?  Box #33 is linen closet (description), and contains our blankets and beach towels.  It's all written in brown, which is our "miscellaneous area" color.  I was too lazy to give the linen closet, coat closet, and laundry areas their own separate areas, and lumped them all together instead.

9)  If you're moving your pantry goods, transfer the items that come in bags or flimsy boxes into more solid containers that won't easily leak.  We got a huge Tupperware kitchen organizer set from our wedding (my cousin can help you get the same set if you are super jealous and want to organize your foods too), and I'm utilizing it for a lot of those dry goods that we want to take with us.  I'm also using our everyday food storage containers and Mason jars for our pantry goods.

Not shown here is that I'm labeling the storage containers with Washi tape and (suprise!) a sharpie.  But really, I know what oats look like, so I don't waste my time labeling them.  A few days before we move, I will put all of these cute containers into bigger boxes and seal them up.  Easy peasy.

10)  Stack up all of your boxes in an area where they are out of the way.  For us, that's the garage.

Reorganize as often as needed.  Ammon just re-did ours, because we were having some cave-ins, and it was getting cluttered.  Isn't it pretty?

There's so many more things, but there just isn't enough time to get to everything.  But please, tell me:  What are your favorite moving tips and tricks?  What makes moving easier for you?


  1. You are so organized and SO an accountant. Normal people don't think of things like spreadsheets.

    I still love you, though. :)

  2. I love how organized you are! We are in the very beginning process of cleaning up our home to possibly put it on the market, so I know these tips will come in handy at some point. :)

    P.S. I love your long hair! xo


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