How To Get Organized For A Move

Full article 19 min read
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Moving can get messy because of the volume of things you have to pay attention to. This involves changing addresses, finding movers, scheduling the move, and packing your belongings. It can get more complex with a family involved since you need to also change your kid’s schools, find new doctors and inform utility providers.

In order to execute a smooth move, you need to organize your move smartly. It can mean the difference between a move that’s fraught with anxiety and one that flows smoothly. Bring out your planning brains and gather your organizational tools! Here’s how to get organized for a move!

Create A Detailed Moving Timeline

The first step is to create a moving timeline. This will help you visualize the move and allocate time for each task. Include tasks such as finding movers, packing, and disconnecting/connecting utilities. Ideally, you should start creating this timeline at least two months in advance.

Schedule when you’ll be visiting the bank, changing the address on your driving license, informing the internet provider, etc. If you plan on donating clothes or holding a garage sale, include that in your timeline. Things like these should never be left for the last week before the move.

When you’re creating a timeline, you should also think about things that may cause delays. For example, if you have a lot of heavy furniture, you’ll need to schedule more time for packing and moving. If you have young children, you’ll need to take into account their school schedules and bedtimes.

Maintain A Moving Binder

Make a trip to the departmental store right away and get yourself a moving binder. Now, this may seem like a school assignment, but don’t skip this step! A moving binder is where you’ll keep all your moving documents, contact information, and receipts. You should also add things like gas receipts and toll receipts to this binder.

Label different sections in your binder according to the type of document it is. For example, you can have a section for “utilities,” “moving companies,” and “storage.” This will make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for when you need it. There are many benefits of maintaining such a binder. First, you always have all your important documents in one place. Second, if something gets lost in the shuffle of the move, you have a backup copy.

Download Moving Apps

Technology can do a lot for you when you’re executing something as complex as a move. There are several apps that can help you stay organized and on track. For example, the “Homesnap” app can help you find a new home in your area. If you’re looking for movers, the “Move Planner” app can help you find reputable companies.

There are also apps that can help you keep track of your packing progress and remind you of what still needs to be done. If you don’t want to download apps catering to moving, you can make do with organizational apps like Google Keep, Evernote, or Trello.

You’ll also need labor when you move, set up your home, and for small tasks like plumbing in your new home. Apps like TaskRabbit, Upwork, and Thumbtack assist you with finding skilled labor to help you with the same!


Study Your New Home’s Floor Plan

One of the most important aspects of a smooth move is to know your new home inside out. This means studying the floor plan and figuring out where your furniture will go. If you’re not sure about something, ask your real estate agent or the homeowners.

It’s also important to measure all doorways and corridors in your new home. This will help you figure out if your furniture will fit through them. The last thing you want is to carry a huge sofa set halfway across the country only to find that it doesn’t fit in the living room!

While you’re at it, take pictures of your new home from all angles. This will help you plan your furniture layout in advance. If you’ve not been inside your new home, ask the real estate agent to do it for you.

Put Together A Packing Kit

We can’t stress this enough! A packing kit is a must-have when you’re moving. This is a collection of all the essentials you’ll need for packing your belongings.

You can maintain a pouch in which you can keep small handy tools like scissors, screwdrivers, permanent markers, labels, zip ties, and tapes. You can also maintain a box kit filled with things you’ll need while moving. It can hold sticky notes, a flashlight, portable batteries, chargers, wiping cloths, and so on.

You should also include a basic first aid kit because safety should always be a priority! If you’re moving with kids, include candies and snacks in the kit so that there’s always something to keep them busy.

See Also: How to Save Space When Packing for a Move

Make A Moving Inventory

When you’re moving, it’s important to keep track of everything you’re taking with you. This is where a moving inventory comes in handy. This document will list down all the items in your home, along with the quantity and the estimated value of each item. You can make your moving inventory on a spreadsheet or even on paper.

It helps you know what you own, and jotting down the value of every item helps in case of an insurance claim or burglary. When you maintain an inventory checklist, it helps you keep track of what’s been packed and shipped, and what’s still left to be packed. Several movers themselves maintain an inventory of the goods they’re shipping. But it never harms to have your own for the record!

Too bored to maintain a spreadsheet or an inventory file? Go ahead and download one of the several home moving inventory apps out there.


Pack Wall Items Beforehand

If you’re like most people, a good chunk of your belongings is probably hanging on the walls. These include pictures, paintings, shelves, and other decorations. Often, people pack everything within sight but forget to cast a glance at their walls. When wall items are left for the end, it’s a task to arrange and pack them all.

To organize wall items, start packing them beforehand. Doing this will help you save time when it comes to packing on the day of the move. It’s also a good way to avoid any accidents that may occur while carrying heavy objects!

Walk over to your refrigerator, pack all the fridge magnets and throw away the sticky notes. If you’ve got fairy lights up in your bedroom, pack them up too! These things can seem trivial but they add up when you’re packing in a hurry.

Organize Cords With Zip Ties And Zip Lock Bags

If you’re someone who has many electronic devices, you know the pain that comes with its cords. Packing everything in a heap means meeting a tangled mess at the end that will take you years to solve! How about you organize your cords with the help of zip ties? Just fold each cord gently and secure it with a zip tie.

Another way to keep cords together is by placing them in a zip lock bag. This will protect them from getting wet or dusty. You can then label the zip lock bag to help you know which device the cord belongs to. Don’t pack important things like mobile chargers, iPad chargers, or laptop chargers in the same bag as the cords. These should be kept with you always!


Declutter Your Belongings

One of the best ways to make packing easier is by decluttering your belongings. This means getting rid of things you don’t use or need anymore. Donate clothes you don’t wear, discard broken appliances, and sell furniture you don’t need. Not only will this make packing a lot easier, but it’ll also help in lightening your load!

Walk over to your attic or basement; if you find things that you haven’t used in a year or two, best to let them go. Exceptional cases include things that have sentimental value, but if you have bad memories attached to some things, don’t ponder a moment before flinging them in the bin!

Decluttering also helps in making a home look neater and gives you a sense of relief. Start small by decluttering one room at a time and before you know it, your entire house would be clutter-free!

See Also: How to Declutter Your Home Before Moving

Create A Packing Schedule

Creating a packing schedule weeks in advance reduces a lot of stress on moving day. This will help you in dividing up the work and avoiding any last-minute rush. Start by packing the things you don’t use on a daily basis first. These include books, kitchen appliances, and holiday decorations.

Next, pack the items you’ll need on the day of the move. These include clothes, toiletries, and your passport! Lastly, pack the items you don’t want to see for a while. This can include old toys, magazines, and other knick-knacks. For bigger items like beds, cupboards, and tables, you can leave them for the last few days.

Your movers are very well capable of moving furniture around, but it’s always a good idea to have everything ready before they arrive. This will help in ensuring that there’s little to no disruption on move day!

Label Or Color Code The Boxes

If you have a lot of boxes, it’s best to label them or color-code them. This will help in identifying which box belongs to which room. It’ll also help in locating a specific box when you need it. For example, blue for the living room, green for the kitchen, and red for the bedroom.

When you are labeling the boxes, make 2 copies and stick one on the side of the box and one on the top. This helps to easily identify the box when someone is carrying it since they don’t have to bend over to locate the label on the side. Make sure you don’t stick labels directly on furniture since they can be hard to remove.

If you don’t have labels, you can write on the boxes with thick-tipped permanent markers. It’s for the benefit of both you and your movers so don’t forget this step!


Maintain A File Box For Your Documents

One of the most important things to remember when moving is to keep all your important documents safe. This includes your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security card. You can either keep these in a file box or in a safe place like a bank safety deposit box.

Make sure you have multiple copies of these documents just in case you lose one. You can also scan and save them on your computer for easy access. If multiple files of important documents are becoming a hassle to organize, you can get a file fox or file organizer.

Don’t store all documents of the whole family in a single file box, but maintain one file box for each person. This way, you have enough space to store the medical records and vaccination certificates of every person in your home.

Note Phone Numbers And Addresses In A Diary

You can’t always rely on your devices: what if you find no charging stations to charge your mobile while on the road? It’s better to maintain contact numbers, addresses, and even to-do lists in your diary. This physical diary will solve tons of problems that can arise if your mobile is dead.

Another great thing about having a diary is that you can write in it anytime, anywhere! You don’t have to worry about losing your thoughts or ideas because they’re all contained in one place. If you feel like you’re running out of space in your diary, you can get a planner instead.

Before leaving your home, search for your new home on Google Maps, then draw the rough map in your diary. This will help when reaching the new city as you’ll have a better idea of where your new home is. Plus, it’s always great to have a visual representation of the place you’re moving to!

Organize Your Time On Moving Day

On the day of the move, try to be as productive as possible. This means that you shouldn’t spend hours packing boxes or cleaning your old home. You can finish packing the night before and do a quick clean the morning of the move.

If you have small children, try to maintain some sense of normalcy on moving day. This means that they should still have their usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also keep them occupied by playing games or watching movies. Make sure to have a few of their favorite toys and books on hand. Or, simply get someone to take them for a few hours and keep them occupied.

In case you’re moving in the summer, try to finish most of your outdoor moving chores before the sun is overhead. Your movers are going to thank you for this since they’ll be doing most of the heavy lifting and carrying it to the waiting truck.


Pack An Essentials Bag

This bag should include all the necessary items that you’ll need for the first few nights in your new home. This includes clothes, toiletries, a toothbrush, and toothpaste, as well as your important documents. If you’re traveling with children, make sure to pack enough diapers and wipes for a few days.

You can either keep this bag with you or in the car. This will ensure that you have everything you need even if your movers are running late or if there are unforeseen problems with your new home. Pack snacks, instant foods and fruits, and a small cooler with drinks. This will help you tide over the initial chaos of moving.

Summing Up

These are just a few tips to help make your move easier. There are plenty of other things you can do to prepare yourself, but these are some of the most important ones. During the move, if things fall out of place or won’t go according to plan, don’t worry! Everything will eventually work out. Just take a deep breath and relax, you’ve done all you can, and you’re on your way to a new home!

FAQs On How To Get Organized For A Move

How Long Does It Take To Get Organized After A Move?

It usually takes a few weeks to get fully organized after a move. This is especially true if you’re moving to a new city and have to set up all your utilities and accounts. However, with a little bit of planning and effort, you can be up and running in no time!


How Do You Declutter Before A Big Move?

The best way to declutter before a big move is to go room by room. Start with the easiest rooms first and work your way up to the tougher ones. This will help keep your motivation high and make the process less daunting. You can also get rid of items by holding a garage sale or giving them away to friends and family.

What Items Are Not Worth Moving?

There are a few items that are not worth moving. This includes old furniture that is no longer in style or broken appliances. You can try to sell these items online or donate them to a local charity. If you’re unsure about an item, ask a friend or family member if they want it before deciding to move it.

What Should Be Organized First In A House?

Always start with the empty drawers, cupboards, and storage cabinets. This will give you a place to put your belongings and make the unpacking process much easier. You can also organize your belongings by room. This will help you stay on track and avoid any overlaps.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.