Packing up your family and moving is not easy, even if you aren’t moving far. Fortunately Jonathan and I have had the blessing to be moved several times by the Coast Guard, but we have also moved ourselves a couple of times too and I would like to think that I now have a pretty good system to pack up a house and move. I’ve picked up tips from the professional movers we have had in the past as well as ideas I have had on my own.
I don’t think there is any right way to pack up your house or a strict order in which you do it, but I would like to share some tips and steps about the way I am packing up our home (hopefully for the last time) and moving.
Starting a little over a month away from our move, I went through all of the closets and the places that have gathered things and created piles to keep, donate, sell, and trash. I feel like this little Marie Kondo way really helps set things up for success when you are packing up your home and it still helps even when you have movers moving you. In doing this I won’t be looking at things while I’m packing and asking myself if I need them or not. I think this will save a lot of time in the long run.
Secondly, about a month out, I took down all of the wall decor and the hanging materials and set them aside somewhere safe so they wouldn’t break. Fortunately, we are only moving a couple miles away from where we currently live so I won’t be packing up the huge pieces of wall decor. Instead I will be driving them to the house in my car. If you are moving farther and don’t feel comfortable doing that, just pack them up as best you can. My stance is that if I don’t need to pack up larger wall decor then I won’t, because packing up huge pieces of decor is awkward and I feel like it is a waste of packing materials that I would like to use somewhere else.
Now comes the real packing. Fortunately, Jonathan works in supply and gets a lot of boxes daily so he was able to bring those home for us to use. We also ordered 10 boxes each of small, medium, large, and 5 extra large boxes as well as some supplies from a moving supply company. The supplies included some tape, markers, a box knife, plate wrappers, and 200 sheets of wrapping paper. I decided to pack 2-5 boxes a day which would help my overall sanity, because yes the kids are probably going to watch more tv than usual during this, but this beats any last minute packing that we would have to do. I started packing up all of my decor pieces that have no functionality except to look pretty and I also packed up the smaller wall decor that wasn’t awkward to put in a box. Then I packed up all of our linens that we won’t need until we move. This included extra towels, sheets, blankets, and pillows. I tried to put as many boxes as I could in our garage so the boys wouldn’t climb on them and they also wouldn’t be in the way.
After packing up most of our unnecessary items that we didn’t use regularly, I started working on kitchen items and clothing items we wouldn’t need. I packed these items about 3 weeks out from our move date. I also did this over a two and a half week period, because I took a week long trip to see my grandma and friend and I had to pause on the packing while I was away. When I got back, we were about a week and a half out from our move date and I started packing everything except bare necessities. This included all of the tools and garden stuff as well as any coats or shoes we weren’t using. I left out all cleaning supplies since Jonathan was going to clean our old house for our inspection after we moved out.
About two days away from our move date I did one last load of laundry and I packed up all of our clothes and dishes. I ended up leaving out a laundry basket for any dirty laundry we would have. I also left out a big empty box for any last minute items that would be taken down the day of moving (i.e. curtains and rods from bedrooms and bedding).
Then the day of we all got up early and grabbed our rental moving truck. We had a bunch of friends come help us, which was a blessing and it definitely made the work light. Since I did most of the packing I left Jonathan to be in charge of loading and unloading the truck while I watched the boys and made sure they stayed out of the way. In the end, it was a pretty successful and eventful move. Getting all of our stuff moved over to the new house went rather quickly. However, it took Jonathan and a friend two hours to get our dryer down to the basement. They had to take off the back and some door trim to get it down there. Good thing we own the house, haha. Jonathan also lost his phone, which was okay and not. He needed to get a new one anyways, but losing your phone still sucks. We found it the day we got his new phone - David had stuck it in the dryer vent right before Jonathan attached it to the dryer! Good thing I hadn’t done any laundry before we found it! Haha.
So far, unpacking has been going slowly and not as fast as I would like. The kids have more access to the house than they have ever had before, so that made things challenging. Overall, I would say we are 97% unpacked and since we are currently in the throws of renovating the great room I will wait to unpack the last 3%.
I hope you were able to pick up some tips to use on your next move and enjoyed a little about the unpacking process! I plan to talk all about the second half of buying our home in the next post. Thank you for reading! I appreciate all of you!