Moving to a new home is a time of new beginnings and inspiration. Chances are you have already started thinking about fresh paint colors and furniture arrangement. Taking the time to plan ahead is the key to ensure a smooth move.
Reduce: Why pay someone to move stuff that you no longer use? You also don’t want these things cluttering up your new home. Several weeks before your move, take the time to go through and weed out anything that no longer serves your needs. Be sure to hit hot spots like your basement and storage areas where unused items often end up. If you have boxes that you haven’t opened since your last move, consider whether or not you really need the stuff inside them. If you are overwhelmed with where to start, or if you are downsizing to a much smaller home, consider getting help from a friend or a professional organizer. Once you have set aside several boxes or bags of items to be donated, contact a local charity such as the Salvation Army and have them come and pick everything up. These services are often provided free of charge.
Create a Moving Binder: To ensure that important paperwork is not lost during your move, create a binder for everything related to your move. Keep all estimates, receipts, room measurements, checklists etc. in this binder. Be sure to keep this binder handy at all times…don’t accidentally pack it away in a box!
Space Plan: Be sure to take measurements of the rooms and wall spaces in your new home to ensure that your furniture will fit there. You don’t want to waste time and money moving a sofa just to discover that it doesn’t fit in your new living room. Once you decide how furniture is going to be arranged, tape a sign to the nearest wall, to alert movers as to where to place heavy furniture. ie: PLACE BED HERE. This will speed up the process of your move.
Begin Packing: If you are planning on doing your own packing, begin with those items that you use infrequently. Be sure to label every box with the contents and clearly indicate what room the box is going into, not what room it came from. Clearly labeled furniture and boxes will prevent movers from wasting time on moving day, waiting for you to tell them which room to put a box in.
Pack a Suitcase: A few days before your move, have every family member pack a suitcase as if they were going on vacation for a week. This will ensure that everyone will have everything they need the first few days after your move. Keep in mind that whatever goes on the moving truck first, will come off last, so be sure to pack other essentials like bedding, towels and kitchen essentials last. Also, if you have very fragile or valuable items, put them in your car and move them yourself, don’t chance them disappearing or getting damaged by putting them on the moving truck.
Movers: If you are going to hire movers, schedule an on-site visit and get several estimates, don’t rely on a phone estimate. Research the company thoroughly before you hand all of your belongings over to them. On moving day, be sure that all of your heavy furniture is arranged exactly where you want it to go, and that all beds have been assembled before you let the movers leave. You don’t want to get stuck handling these heavy items yourself.
Unpacking: If you want things to be organized in your new home, don’t have movers unpack boxes. Leave this job for yourself or for a family member. Take advantage of your move as an opportune time to get organized. Consider hiring a professional organizer to unpack your kitchen or other important spaces to ensure that everything is stored and organized in the most functional and practical locations possible. Once everything is unpacked, you can sell your empty boxes on Craig’s List or through a local buy-sell-trade site.
While the moving process can evoke anxiety in even the most composed individuals, a bit of preplanning can ensure that your move goes smoothly and with the least amount of stress.
Written by Laura Coufal
Clean & Clutter Free Professional Organizing
and Relocation Services
The following is a guest blog written By Julia Ward of Monkey Bars Garage Solutions Located in Lincoln, NE:
Summer has finally arrived which means now is the perfect time to tackle the clutter and mess that occupies your garage. With so much stuff that has accumulated throughout the year, it’s hard to imagine how you’re going to organize it all. With these few tips and steps, you’ll have order restored to your garage in no time!
1. Remove Everything
Pick a cooler day, open your garage door and start pulling everything out of all the nooks and crannies in your garage. Doing this allows you to see everything that is occupying your garage. Plus, it might give you the opportunity to find some things that went missing throughout the year. You’ll find things you probably didn’t even know you had.
2. Make Piles
Organizing things into piles is the perfect way to sort through all of the items you’ve just removed. Separating these piles into 4 different groups like keep, donate, sell, or throw away, allows for a smoother and easier cleaning experience. When deciding whether or not to keep miscellaneous items in your garage use this standard rule; if you haven’t used it in the last 2 years, it’s probably time to part ways with it.
3. Utilize Your Space
Now that everything is out of the garage, you have a clear space. Before you start moving everything back in, you want to make sure to make the best use out of the area. Decide where you’re going to put everything before-hand. Consider storage solutions such as shelving or cabinets to better organize your area. Make smaller tools and miscellaneous items more accessible so that when the time comes to use them, they are easily found. Also, keep in mind to leave room for bigger items like lawnmowers, workbenches, and even vehicles while still giving yourself enough room for a walkway.
4. Move It All Back In
Now that you’ve strategized a place for all of your garage belongings, it’s time to move them back in. Stick to the plan you’ve laid out for yourself and remember that keeping things off of the ground not only creates more space but will also make it easier to sweep and clean throughout the year.
5. Keep It Fresh
It’s no secret that the garage can be the home of some strange smells, especially in the summer when the weather is hot. Now that your garage is aesthetically and visually pleasing let’s work on keeping it pleasing to the nose as well. When the weather is nice, keep the door open to let it air out. Doing this often will keep it less stuffy and prevent smells from festering in an enclosed, hot space. Also, make sure to remove garbage as often as possible. This keeps animals and bugs from making your space their home. Feel free to add a nice air freshener as well to keep it fresh year round.
The “before” look of your garage can be overwhelming, but don’t let that keep you from having a clean and organized space. Following these simple steps allows you to have one more part of your life in order which in turn, will allow you to enjoy the remainder of you summer.
Laura is the Owner of Clean & Clutter Free, professional organizing services.