Moving is stressful, chaotic, unnerving, terrifying… And that is before packing even starts. While we don’t have every moving trick known to man, we have a few that have worked for us that we’ve picked up, having moved five times in the last three years.
- Freezer and Crockpot meals.
Freezer meals pre-made take more initial work, but they mean you will have home-cooked meals with less dinner prep and dishes to wash during the actual moving process.
Crockpot meals, especially ones where the ingredients come from cans and bags and are just dumped into the Crockpot (chicken with beans or frozen veggies and seasoned salt or salsa, for example), are easy on prep time and clean up as well.
You save money by not falling into the temptation of take out and fast food once you’ve packed your pots, pans, and other bake ware.
Menu plan so you aren’t left with many leftovers to cart to your new home or throw out.
- Ditch the dishes.
Once your dishes are packed, use a basic set of picnic plates, cups, and utensils, or do the disposable plates, cups, and utensils thing. You can re-use the picnic set or remaining disposable dishes as you drive to your new home, so they will be something to pack in the car, rather than your moving truck, especially if you pack picnic lunch supplies instead of going the restaurant route.
- And the most important one: Get organized.
Buzzfeed has some nifty hacks for getting organized before moving to make your packing easier. What we would like to expand on today is the idea Buzzfeed has of color coordinating boxes by rooms.
Sometimes the challenge lies not in packing everything and leaving nothing behind in the old house, but in the unpacking.
Boxes may be labeled with what room their contents belong to, but that doesn’t necessarily help in knowing and finding which boxes to open first so you can start actually functioning with some normality in your new home.
You can make color coordinated labels that list all of the contents for each box, but that can get tedious, and you might have to remake some labels if you add more to a box or find a box that better fits some of the contents. You also may not want to buy several different rolls of colored tape, or sheets of colored paper, or packs of colored index cards… whatever your preferred labels would be.
Here’s a suggestion of what to do instead: Assign each room a letter or a number, i.e., A- Kitchen, B- Living Room, C-Bathroom, et cetera. Keep a checklist (we’ve designed a simple one for you as a template) and assign a number or letter to each box for a specific room.
Box # Box Description Contents Special Instructions A-1 Clear 19 gal. Black lid Corningware & purple Pyrex bakeware A-2 Clear 19 gal. Black lid Cookie & pizza sheets, pie tins, cake pans A-3 Blue Vodka box Blender
Give yourself a brief description of the box and a thorough listing of its contents.
If it is a box that needs to be opened first or can be put in storage to be opened later, write that in the column for Special Instructions, along with any other information (i.e., “Unpack First!” or “tools for assembling such-and-such are in box R-13”).
Keep this checklist handy on a tablet, phone, or laptop, or printed out and in a location like your purse, overnight bag, or even your car’s glove compartment so you can refer to it when unpacking. I plan to keep mine for our next move in our Family Notebook (more on that in a blog to come).
A benefit of having this list is knowing exactly how many and what kinds of boxes you have for each room, so if any are missing, you can start the search with more information than just “a box labeled kid’s room”.
- If you move often, this checklist above will also be helpful for repacking, especially if you transition into (or, if you’re lucky, start out with) using plastic storage totes instead of cardboard packing boxes. They can be relabeled more easily and last longer- big advantages for frequent movers.
We hope this helps in your next move! We pick up new ideas to try with each move, so this will likely be expanded or updated as time passes.
Thanks for reading, and happy moving!