How To Stay Organized When You Move: Your Complete Guide
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Avoid the stress and chaos that moving to a new house brings. This guide will show you how to stay organized when you move so that it’s a peaceful and happy experience.
When you are packing up and moving to a new home, it’s normal for there to be stress. Literally, all of your belongings are in boxes. Nothing is the same anymore. How do you keep yourself organized when everything is in a moving truck or storage?
Thankfully, there are things you can do to stay in control and make the process a little smoother and easier.
Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
Moving Doesn’t Have To Be A Mess
Whether you are moving by yourself or trying to move an entire family, the process feels the same way. Stuff gets thrown into boxes and you just try to cram it all into one truck or van and pray it all arrives at your new place safely.
There really is a better way.
With a bit of planning, it is possible to stay organized when you move. This guide isn’t magic – things might still happen that are out of your control. What it will do is give you a few extra tools and ideas so you can maintain control and make the process is as smooth as possible.
Staying Organized When You Move: Top Tips
Save this guide so you can use it when you need it. These moving tips will help you stay in control and organized even through the confusion of cardboard boxes and moving trucks.
1. Declutter Everything Before You Pack
This first tip is probably one of the most important ones too. Before you pack a single thing in a box, donate or throw away as much as you can.
Unnecessary things that you don’t and won’t use will only take up valuable space in the boxes. It’s frustrating to dig through piles of junk to find the one or two things you need.
Months before your move, (if you are blessed with this much notice) go room by room. If you haven’t used something in the past 3 months, donate it. It is easier to replace it if you need another one after you move into your new place than to hold onto it with the off chance that you might use it.
Try to sell everything at a moving sale. Whatever doesn’t sell, donate it or throw it away.
2. Start Packing Early
Sometimes a move happens very quickly and you don’t have the luxury of a lot of time beforehand. If you do have time, use it wisely. The earlier you start to pack, the smarter your decisions will be and the easier it will be to keep everything organized.
Try to pack as much as you can as early as you can. Live out of suitcases for the last few days. This will give you peace of mind and a sense of control.
3. Take Pictures
This is one of my favorite tips of all. Take lots of pictures. If you have valuable heirlooms, take photos of their quality before the move so you can have proof if they happen to get damaged.
Take photos of what you packed inside a box and tape it to the outside of the box. This way, you don’t have to open it to see what’s inside.
Your brain is going to be a flurry of short-term memory usage. Let your camera capture everything so that you don’t have to try and remember it all.
4. Write Everything Down
Create a moving binder and keep records of everything. Since your brain is going to be focusing on a thousand things at once, right things down so that you don’t forget something important.
Use dividers and tabs to separate your binder into sections. Write down anything anyone tells you that you feel like you should remember. Here are a few of the items that you might want to include in your binder:
- Contact information for people helping you move
- To-do list
- Outstanding bills to pay
- Moving helper responsibilities – who is doing what
You should also write down anything anyone asks you something and you agree to it. It’s far too stressful to try and remember things when you are moving. When you have a record of it, you can focus on the most important thing – arriving to your new home safely.
5. Rent A Storage Unit
If your new home isn’t ready to move into yet, rent a storage unit and keep as much stuff in it as you can. This way, you are just moving the essentials into the house first. As you unpack and move into the house, take your time moving boxes and items from the storage unit.
You will enjoy peace of mind, knowing your memories and seasonal items are safe, which will give you more energy and focus in order to organize your new house.
6. Download Moving Apps
There are lots of moving apps that you can use to help you stay organized too. Less paper might feel freer and less stressed. Here are the most popular apps that people use when they move.
- Moved – This app is free and provides you with a personal moving assistant (yes, a real person) who helps you find moving companies, rent storage units, and forward your mail. You only pay for services you purchase.
- Evernote – Create an online moving notebook that you can share with anyone you want. It handles to-do lists, video messages, voice messages, and bookmarks to important websites – and so much more.
- MoveAdvisor – This is a comprehensive moving app. It allows you to establish a moving timeline, make a room by room inventory checklist, and even estimate packing and shipping needs.
- Unpackt – If you are searching for a moving company, this app compares prices in one place.
- Sortly – Use your camera to create a visual inventory of everything you own. Then, group your items by category. This database is easily searchable so you know exactly which box your stuff is in.
7. Plan Your Packing Strategy
Decide before you move what your strategy is going to be. Will you enlist the help of others? What is your timeline going to be? Will you move all at once, hire someone, do it yourself, or move slowly over the course of a week?
There are so many questions to answer. Make a plan before you buy a single box. Write it down and discuss it with your friends or family members.
This is also the perfect time to delegate responsibilities and open up communication. Admit when you need help and reach out for it.
8. Keep Contact Numbers Nearby
It’s also very important to write down any and all contact names and phone numbers. Whether you keep them in a paper binder or save them in an app like Evernote is completely up to you. Just keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.
Some of the contact numbers you will want to save include:
- Utility Companies
- Moving Companies and Manager
- Local Authorities
- Names and Phone Numbers of anyone helping you move
9. Color Coordinate
Trust me, after a while all the brown boxes will look alike. The best way to know which box belongs in which room is to color coordinate them.
This next tip takes a bit more effort, but it is worth it! Here’s how to do it.
First, create a legend or key. Give each major room in the house its own sticker color. Write down which room gets what color.
Next, add the correct stickers to each box. Place the sticker on the outside of the box, next to the label. Even better, use the same color of marker as the sticker to write the name of the room on the box.
Finally, write the name of the room on matching colored index cards. Then, hang up the index card on the outside of each. This way, the movers or volunteers will know exactly where each box belongs.
It might sound involved and like a bit more work, but it makes everything go so smoothly on moving day.
10. Create An Inventory
Whether you are moving half of your things into a storage unit or moving everything directly into your new home, an inventory helps keep track of everything you own.
If you are going to use a storage unit, mark in your inventory list which items are in the unit and which ones are in the new house.
Not only will this help you know exactly where things are, but an inventory will also help you pre-plan your packing materials and how large of a van you will need.
Plus, it serves as proof of the item’s conditions before you move. If you hire a moving company this is very important.
The easiest way to create an inventory is on an app. You won’t have to try and read your handwriting and you can access it from multiple online devices.
Stay Organized When You Move
The dream is to effortlessly place all that you own into neat little boxes and lazily move them out when you arrive in your new home. What really happens is a lot of stress, worry, and frustration.
The best way to minimize your frustration is to know what you can control and do your best to focus on managing just that. Organize your move with checklists, an inventory, a strategy, and a timeline. Then, try your best to roll with it when things don’t go according to plan.
Eventually, you will be in your new place and it will begin to feel more like home.
Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
More Home Organizing Tips
Before or after you move, here are even more home organizing tips that will help you get organized and stay organized.