Our family of 5 has lived in our Iowa Craftsman Bungalow for 16 years and I don’t plan on moving again until I have forgotten this experience! Get my tips for moving yourself smoothly! I share the do’s and don’ts of moving a family AND a business.
I knew we were going to be moving back in the beginning of the year. At least 4 months before we actually stuck a for sale sign in the yard. That gave me plenty of time to PURGE!!! If you only take away one thing from this post…please listen to me when I say to pare down!
Checkout How I Announced That We Were Moving
Tips for Moving Checklist
This is hands down my biggest tip for a successful move! The less stuff you have, the easier it is to move!
Think back to when you left for college. What you moved from your parents house to your dorm room was a relatively simple task that you could probably do without even thinking about hiring movers. That was much easier than probably any other move you had after college and one of the biggest reasons was simply because you had less stuff to move!
So, when we first started talking about moving, I mean seriously started talking about moving, I started going through EVERY drawer, closet, tote, and cabinet in the ENTIRE house. I seemed to pick a space depending on my mood. If I was feeling motivated I might tackle something massive like the storage room.
I had organized the storage room not too long prior. Like a couple years before! But still things were tucked away in totes and the totes were on shelves. But this time around I went through ALL of those totes. We moved to this house from Kansas City, Missouri. If you are familiar with the area, we were a KCMO address, but basically Gladstone, right by Penguin Park. That was 16 years earlier and when I opened some of these totes, I realized I had not looked inside some of these totes for 16 years!!! Granted those were mainly sentimental, scrapbook, old keepsake totes. But I went through every one of those totes and pitched A LOT! I continued going through all the totes and either trashed things, donated things, listed things on Facebook Marketplace, moved them out to the shop, or condensed and organized them into new totes.
On other days when I wasn’t feeling so motivated I might pick a drawer or two to go through. I even got up at my 4:45am time and instead of going to the gym, I would work on purging and decluttering. I tried to tackle some every day. I always told myself that even if we didn’t move, I wouldn’t regret tackling this task of whittling down our belongings!
So, trust me! My biggest tip for moving is simply to have less stuff to move!
Take A Tour of Our Craftsman Bungalow
To Hire Professional Movers OR Do It Yourself?
We went back and forth on this dilemma…should we hire professional movers? It’s an easy question if you look at it as time or money? What is more important to YOU time or money?
I am a very frugal person, so for me I would rather take a little longer to move and save myself money.
It doesn’t hurt, that 1. with my job, I am used to packing, hauling, loading, unloading…moving things. 2. I am still physically able to do so and we have 3 teenagers physically able and my husband is physically able. 3. I have 2 dolly’s and 2 trailers. Because I knew it would be nice to just slowly load my trailers and Tetris everything inside when my schedule allowed, we opted for moving ourselves.
Loading or What I Call Tetrising
Again, thanks to my job, this is a skill I have! I can pack a lot into a little space and that’s what I did. We put a trailer close to the house and I slowly worked on loading it. I have a lot of totes that I use for my inventory and we used a lot of those for packing in the house!
I didn’t want to use my boxes because I needed those for packing and shipping you merchandise!! To help with the packing I had everyone use large heavy duty trash bags for any clothing, bedding, etc. I had the kids pick seasonal clothes that they would need and put the rest in trash bags. We kept out minimal towels, dish clothes, pillows, bedding and packed up all of the extras.
We packed up anything that was rarely used into totes. I did not sort the totes by room per se, but simply by how they would Tetris together. If I was up packing Kash’s room, and I had left over space, then I wouldn’t put a lid on that tote. I would bring it down to our bedroom to be topped off later. Then when I was down to the last of things I would bring them to our room to pack into the totes that still had space.
We did this for items in the storage room, basement, living room, kids rooms, basically for every room but the kitchen. The kitchen got packed a couple days before we moved.
Spend The Last 2 Weeks Before The Move With US
So, What Gets Packed Last?
Like I mentioned, we packed the kitchen last. You can pack those items you don’t use but because we massively pared down, we really didn’t have a lot of access. The last few days before the move, we tried to eat what we had, ordered pizza, or went to my mom’s to eat! When it was time to pack the kitchen we packed everything but the perishables. The last thing to get packed into our coolers were our perishable items. Luckily because of kids and packing lunches we had a lot of ice packs, so we didn’t even add a bag of ice!
Cleaners, Lighter Fluid, Flammable Items
I kept out all of out cleaning products, chemicals I have for refinishing furniture, chemicals from the lawn mower shed, paint, grilling items, matches, etc. These got hauled in the last trip as well, but AWAY from the food.
We did have some ammunition and luckily it occurred to us that we might not want that packed into a hot trailer!
This may seem obvious for your daily medicine, but you are also moving heavy things and stressed and possibly over heating, so don’t pack away bandaids and pain reliever!
I lucked out with this one. I needed some documents and thank goodness I hadn’t packed them away! Because that paperwork was needed early into loading up the trailers, I just decided that all paperwork would stay out until the end. Hubby and I have laughed about this a few times because getting a small mortgage involved A LOT more hoops then going out and buying a vehicle for about the same amount of money!
Check Tires and Registration
And there’s nothing like waiting until you have the trailer fully loaded and are a day away from moving to realize that you need new tires BADLY! Luckily our local Bratz Auto & Machine Shop had us covered!
Tips for Moving | Final Bits of Wisdom
While moving is a daunting task, both physically and mentally, you can make your life a little easier by planning ahead and following these tips for moving. Homes always sell fast staged, but decluttered and the less you have to move, the easier it is to move! So for those two reasons, if you are thinking about moving anytime soon, start going through your things and paring down NOW! Trust me, you’ll think me later!
Here’s a little glimpse into our life the last few weeks before we moved. Hubby and I teased that it was like being in college! No furniture and eating off flimsy paper plates!
Want to see more of my Craftsman Bungalow? Go HERE.
This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.