We have moved so many times that I have almost lost count! I know that I have learned and created a few tips to make it easier on not only me but the kids as well. Here are my top 15 tips.
1. As soon as you know you are going to move, weed out things you don't need or have not used in 6 months. Do you really need 200 pairs of shoes? If not, donate or sell them. There are so many pages on Facebook for Buy, Sell or Swap in almost every area of the US. There's also Craigslist, EBay and Etsy.
2. When you start to pack have a "no pack" zone. The bathroom tub or a big box in the corner of the living room. Put items you don't want packed and you want to keep close in the box. Things like that might be a spare change of clothing, toiletries, medication, lightbulbs, toilet paper, a few towels, important paperwork and pet supplies. This is the last out and first in box. It is especially important if your using a moving company and they are taking the boxes and they will not arrive for a day or so after you get to your destination.
3. Stop shopping. No I dont mean for food or basics. I mean stop shopping for furniture, clothing, toys and such things. Save up that money for the move! You will also have less to move. And dont think of it as "I'm buying for the new place." Buy it after you move, if you still think you need it.
4. Start collecting boxes as soon as you have a move date. People are always moving an needing to get rid of the boxes after they are unpacked. That makes it your gain. Why pay for boxes when you can get them free from just about everywhere. On places like craigslist, look under FREE and call stores in the area. They have to pay to get rid of the recycled boxes and to give them away, saves them money.
5. Keep a copy of the phone book from the area you are moving from. If you need to call your old city or town this will save you time and effort. Make sure to highlight the utility companies you had for reference if you have any problems. You never know when you might need to call your old pharmacy or the kids old school.
6, Safety tip: Take all the light bulbs out of the lamps and fixtures. If they shatter, especially if they are the older bulbs, you will have one heck of a mess to clean up. It may also save you from getting cut from the broken bulb.
7. Uncover any liquids, food, toiletries, etc., and put a layer of saran wrap oven them and then recap them. This will help prevent any spills of leaks. It would be awful if the Canola Oil leaked all over the flour or other food you take. Ick!
8. Don't forget you can use your laundry baskets and other bins and baskets for packing lighter items.
9. Take pictures of all your valuables. This includes your tv's, appliances, computer, and anything else that you paid a fair amount for. Also inventory and get clear pictures of your jewelry.
10. If your renting, take alot of pictures before you leave the keys. This covers your butt! We took over 200 pictures when we moved out of our townhouse. Good thing too as the former landlord tried to say we left it in horrid condition. Our pictures showed a different story and the judge threw the case out!
11. Make sure you set up the utilities in you new place before you move in! If you move in on a Friday and have no electricity, you might have to wait until Monday morning to even talk to the electric company. There's no guarantee it will be turned on then either! Make sure its turned on a few days fore you get there. Same with all your other utilities. If you cant live without your cable or internet for a week or so, make sure you set it up early!
12. Make sure to let doctors offices and schools know your moving. Usually you have to sign a release so they can send your records to a new doctor. Doing it before you move can save a major headache later down the road with all the faxing and emailing of records.
13. If your moving to another town or state and you have kids, let them host a goodbye party. This helps them deal with leaving and allows a chance for one last happy day with their friends. It also allows a chance for them to say goodbye and to share their new address so they can keep in touch.
14. Let the kids help you pack. Letting them help pack their toys and clothing gives them a chance to keep out special things they want to keep close to them. And you can explain to them that they will see their things again in the new place.
15. Change your address at least 2 weeks before the move. That gives plenty of time for the Post Office to make sure the mail gets forwarded and not be left sitting in your old mailbox until who knows when. That opens you up to identity theft!