Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More tips and tricks for moving

As move-in day gets closer and closer for me all I think about and dream about is moving in. I have nightmares that my place isn't ready, I forget to pack the most important things, or other moving catastrophes happen. Even though students on the semester system have already moved in, quarter system students and countless other people will be moving soon, especially if you are in your 20's where there is a 1 in 3 chance you will move this year. 

To make your move a little easier, or give you something to think about for the future, and I have a few tips for you:

1. Get your friends to help you move. Whether you barter your own time and help when it's time for your friend to move, bribe with food (or other shiny things), or give away the things you weren't planning on moving anyways, it should not be too hard to find a few willing people to help. (I also recommend getting family to help, they typically feel obligated and do not require as much begging and bribing.) 

2. "Get organized": 
- Pack all of your stuff significantly in advanced. I once helped family friend's move out of their house and into their new place in a hurry. They had found out the day before that their home had sold and they had until the next day to move into their new home. We were shoving items into cars and taking armfuls of things at a time. Not only was the move ridiculously stressful, once they got to their new place they faced the frustration of not knowing where anything was and having it all jumbled into a huge mess. Avoid the disaster of last minute packing  (or should I say shoving) and start packing at least a week before you move. I recommend packing a few boxes every day for a few weeks before you move. 

- Pack according to where items need to end up: Group objects from the same location together to make unpacking that much easier (for example put your stuff for your kitchen in the same boxes and do not mix them with things from your living room or bedroom). 

- Label your boxes: At a bare minimum put the general locations of where they need to go on the outside (bedroom, kitchen, ect.). It would be even better if you could put what is in the box as well as where it needs to go so you do not have to dig through every box to find what you are looking for. If you are incredibly organized you can give specific directions for each box so it can be placed and unpacked easily by anyone. For example say what is in the box and exactly where it should go (bookshelf by the door, cabinet under the sink, ect.). 

- Pack the car or truck according to where things will end up: In my new place I have to walk up a flight of outdoor stairs to the front door and my room is up another flight of stairs inside. I am putting all of the boxes that go to my room in the car last because I know that I will not want to drag all of those items up both flights of stairs last. I am going to instead move them when I have the most energy and I'm not completely irritated with moving yet. It also makes it easier to get things out of the car quickly because numerous things will go to the same location at once and there will not be wasted time trying to figure out where each box should go. 

3. Downsize: Get rid of all of the items you do not really need. It's not worth it to lug around extraneous items from move to move for the next few years until it ends up shoved in a garage or closet somewhere for the next 10 years. Do your future self and your friends' backs a favor, sell or donate unnecessary items. 

4. Never buy boxes: Why waste money on something that is so easy to get for free? Boxes at moving and home improvement stores are incredibly expensive, especially because you can save boxes or get them for free from stores around you. You would also be reusing a valuable resource.

5. "Move at night during the summer, during the day (or not at all in the winter)": This is one thing my school never gets right — they always make us move in during the day and typically it is one of the warmest days I will experience for months at school.

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