Moving everything in a house takes time and money. If you’re like most people, you’re probably a little bit short on both. Never fear; it is possible to move without breaking the bank — or your brain! Take a look at these tips and tricks designed to save your money and sanity while packing your home.
1. Practice the Rule of Triage
When packing, carry a garbage bag with you at all times. Be ruthless as you go through your closets and drawers, bookshelves and garage. Just because you own a snowblower doesn’t mean you need to move a snowblower — particularly if you are moving to Arizona! Get rid of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day in at least six months. Also toss anything broken, unsightly, or unloved. This is the perfect time to rid yourself of Aunt Edna’s teakettle, or the hand-me-down clothes your kids wouldn’t wear. If questioned, you can always claim it got lost in the move.
You can trash those things or you can hold a moving sale! You may be able to sell enough unwanted or unneeded “stuff” to pay your moving expenses.
2. Be Organized
Even if you aren’t naturally organized, now is the time to pull on all your inner resources. You can organize your boxes a few different ways. The two most efficient are:
- By the room where the items came from (Bill’s Man Cave; Sandy’s Craft Room)
- By type of item (Dishes, Knick-Knacks, Blankets, Toys, Tools)
Either way will work; it’s just a matter of personal preference. If you are not going to be on-hand to unpack at the other end, you may want to note where the boxes are going, rather than what they are.
3. Call in a Favor (or 10)
If you are low on income and short on time but have a big packing job to do, call some friends and family to see who is willing to help you tackle things. Be nice and feed them. Pizza and beer will go a long way to getting free labor. Decide if you would like to tackle each room together, or if not, make up a list of the items in each room to pack together or get rid of. Don’t leave anything to chance if you’re enlisting other people to help; you may feel more comfortable having friends help pack the garage or bookshelves instead of your personal items or underwear!
4. Hire Cheap Labor
Teenagers come with a lower price tag and are willing workers, particularly if you don’t care that they’re plugged in to their cell phone or iPod 24/7. Give specific instructions, as mentioned above, and don’t expect them to know that the crystal vase is an heirloom and should be wrapped separately.
5. Label, Label, Label
You cannot overlabel! While it may be easier to just write “Kitchen” or “Master Bedroom” on the top of a box, this can get frustrating when you have hundreds of boxes and can’t remember where you put your two-year-old’s favorite stuffed animal or your husband’s ties for the meeting with the new boss in the morning. Also, make sure to properly label things that have liquids in them, books, clothing, etc It makes unpacking a whole lot less stressful, and you’ll know exactly where to start when you’re trying to wash a load of laundry in the new house and are looking for the iron.
It’s like the old adage says – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Put in the time and effort on the front end to ensure your unpacking goes as smoothly as possible.