Making the Move: Advice From a Military Brat|
Growing up as a military child, moving became second nature to me. I became a pro at making new friends and being able to pack and unpack my room in record time. Over the years, my family and I picked up more and more tips with every move. Moving can be a daunting, overwhelming, and stressful occasion, so here are some tips and advice that I have learned over the years to help make your move go smoothly:
1. List it out.
Firstly, as with anything, I make a list of what needs to be done, and I prioritize it. This way you know what the most important task to be completed is, and then if you don’t have enough time, only the least important ones might not get accomplished. Plus, being stressed can make you forget things, so a list is essential. Along with this one, designate a place in a notebook or on your phone—wherever you can keep all the important information about your move (moving company, phone numbers, addresses, etc.)—that you could possibly need at some point.
Don’t do it! I am a procrastinator, but with moving, it can be one of the worst things to do and can create the most stress. When the moving date has been set, make sure you give yourself a good chunk of time to get things situated and packed up. I would recommend at least two weeks out from your moving date, but a month would be ideal to leave room for incidentals and to minimize the stress. For my last move, since I was working during the week, I worked on packing up my room a little each night, so that at the last minute it was not a mad dash to stuff things in boxes (it’s awful, believe me). Opening a box of random things that were just thrown in at the last minute is the last thing you want to do when you get to your new place. One box per day doesn’t seem as daunting as packing up the whole apartment or room in just a couple of hours.
3. Ziploc bags and a Sharpie.
Over the years I have learned to put things together according to what they are and what they’re used for. For example, all of my extension cords and electrical cords are together and labeled in a large Ziploc bag. That way when I unpack I know what it is and they are all together and organized. This is especially helpful for loose papers, memorabilia, or other small or miscellaneous items.
4. Essentials only.
Whenever I moved, my family and I always went through our things and donated what we didn’t want to the local Goodwill. It’s better to get rid of what you don’t want on the moving-out end rather than the moving-in end; once you do, you know that the things going into your new place are things you actually use and want. Don’t forget to get a tax form when you donate your belongings so you can write them off on your taxes!
5. Dealing with the moving company.
Unfortunately, with a move, belongings can break and go missing. Always take pictures of your belongings as inventory. If things arrive to your new place broken, take a picture; you’ll need it to claim the damage from your move. Also, take your portable valuables with you personally (jewelry, electronics, important papers, etc.). You never know what could happen, so just to be on the safe side, take those expensive and important things with you.
6. Bed = home.
Whenever I moved into my new place, I always made up my bed first. I felt that once my bed was set up, it felt a bit homier and I could use it as a place to put things I unpacked to make it easier to organize. With that, make sure you wash your sheets and bedding before you move so that once you first move in, you don’t have to worry about washing things.
7. The wipe down.
Hopefully your new place is clean-ish. I always felt more comfortable and at home if I cleaned everything before I put my things in their places (especially the bathroom and kitchen). Before you move, make sure you have a bag of cleaning supplies (a rag and multi-purpose cleaner are fine) so when you first move in you can wipe down your place without having to try to find the nearest store in a new place.
8. Baller on a budget.
Moving into a new place can be so exciting! Whenever I moved, I always wanted to go out and spend money on things that I thought I needed to spruce up the place and make it more homey. Over the years I have spent money on things I rarely used. Try living in your new place for at least a week before you buy extra things (unless they are necessities), and then figure out what you definitely need versus what you can live without.
Hope these tips make moving easier on the big day—good luck, and enjoy your new digs!
Have you picked up any moving tips over the years? Share them in the comments!