If packing up and moving has you in tears, read these 7 tips pronto. You’ll find an essential survival kit for a smoothing moving day. Who knows-you might even have a few laughs along the way!
It all started with that crazy hat. My husband kept the odd momento tucked safely in his office closet for many years. During our last move, I found the black farmer’s cap. The auspicious words “NOODLERS ANONYMOUS” were emblazoned across it, and it resurfaced to saved the day.
In the interest of full disclosure, dear reader, I have cried many puddles of tears during moves over the years. Our last downsizing move was no exception.
My emotional sobbing and unreasonable demands were ruining this memorable day with my family. I realized the damage I was doing and made the choice to turn things around. That’s where that goofy hat came in.
We Are On The Move
The American Moving and Storage Association reports that more than 1 in 10 americans move annually. Most of those are in-state moves, with more than half of us moving ourselves.
We also have a lot of stuff. The growing number of storage units in the U.S. has now surpassed the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.
Are you considering a move within the distant future, or ready to get serious right away? No matter where you are in your moving process, save these sanity-saving ideas for a smooth moving day.
Moving Day Must Haves
Oversized Trash Bags
Snag a couple boxes of giant, sturdy trash bags- the kind you use for yard work. As you pack hanging clothes, divide them into categories and pull the bag around groups of clothing from underneath.
Draw the bag closed around the hangers and tie off with a loose bow. Now you known your clothes won’t get mixed up, ripped, or dropped in a mud puddle during transport.
Once you get to your new home, the wrapped clothes will line up nicely in a closet. Once you have time to organize them, they’ll be waiting. And all those trash bags? Don’t worry-you’ll be using them for the endless piles of pizza boxes and junk mail coming your way very soon.
“Captain Obvious” Signs
The day before our move, I went over to our new place and posted signs on walls and windows. “Couch”, “Big Screen TV”, “Kitchen Table”- I left no guess work for the movers. This simple trick made for fewer questions on moving day and peace of mind for me.
Remember, the precious belongings so familiar to you are just objects to those helping you move. Hired help may not know your family’s names or what belongs to whom. Make every effort to get to your new home before the movers and put up some helpful signs. If nothing else, this trick will save you a lot of annoying questions throughout the day.
Order these jumbo-sized IKEA bags with sturdy handles for your bedding, clothes, and essentials. They’re easy to pack, carry, and transport. In addition to holding lots of odds and ends, these wonderful bags fold down small when you’ve finished using them.
I try to hide these bags away until the very end of a move. They are great catch-alls for personal care and bedding items you need to pack last and use first. Most of all, they’re a great excuse for a shopping trip to IKEA.
Once all your possessions are in your new home, you can quickly become overwhelmed just looking around at the chaos. Avoid paralysis by prioritizing rooms you will need to access right away-the kitchen and bedrooms.
Set Up The Beds
Setting up and making the beds will give you peace of mind. Even if the rest of the house is a mess, you know you’ll have a place to lay your head at the end of your exhausting work day.
My mother-in-law, a retired military wife, has lots of experience moving her family. She taught me to unpack dishes and cookware, making sure my kitchen was tidy and in order.
Set Up The Kitchen
In the past, she has whipped my kitchen into shape with military precision and a spring in her step. I dearly missed her kitchen magic during this last downsizing move. But I followed her example, just the same.
Having your kitchen in order will save you money on take out. You’ll also start feeling this new spot truly is home after you have made a few meals.
Budget For Eating Out
Whether or not your kitchen is in shape, pad your moving budget with something extra for convenience food. After an exhausting day of moving, you’ll love having someone prepare and serve your meal.
No matter how smooth your moving day, unexpected delays are all but guaranteed. With a little extra cash for carry out, getting the refrigerator up and running or finding the nearest grocery store will be less of a big deal.
Perfection is Overrated
Don’t set yourself up for frustration. By expecting moving day to go off without a hitch, you are headed for dissapointment. Our moving day coincided with a hard snow that delayed the delivery of our furniture for a week. On top of the bad weather, I had a nasty cold that slowed me down significantly.
We enlisted our kids’ help with the move by scheduling it over their Thanksgiving break. That meant we needed to complete our move and get each of them back to their respective campuses on time.
Every move has its own story. You can count on some kind of chaotic and unexpected event to add stress. Even though I considered myself organized, we still ended up throwing things in unmarked boxes toward the end.
You will be exhausted, emotionally wrung out and messy. And that’s ok.
Even if you have a smooth moving day, your home won’t be neat and tidy. No matter how well you’ve planned, there will be chaos everywhere you look.
Laugh Out Loud
Back to the famous hat. What’s a Noodler, you ask, and why would one wear a hat?
Noodling is fishing for catfish using one’s bare hands, and is practiced primarily in the southern United States. The noodler places their hand inside a discovered catfish hole.
Noodling is a very dangerous sport, since the fisherman is likely to discover other, more sinister river creatures poking their heads out of those holes. For this reason, noodling is illegal in many areas.
My husband came to own the hat during a work-related meeting. Someone who held the cause of noodling dear and belonged to a group of protesters enthusiastically gifted him. It was one of those family oddities I’d forgotten about-until the day of the move.
I stumbled upon that silly hat, and everything changed. My emotions were getting the best of me-causing me to snap at my husband and kids. It was time to lighten up. After all, everyone was working as hard as they could. Besides, the hat would keep my ponytail swept off my sweaty neck.
Welcome to Noodling
So, for the rest of the move, I became a Noodler. The moving guys recognized me by my unusual article of clothing. They either stayed far away or asked me for direction on where to put boxes. Some movers are braver than others.
I learned that moving, like noodling, is not for the faint of heart. In fact, a smooth moving day is less about tips and tricks, and more about attitude. Just like sticking your bare hand in a muddy hole, it takes courage to move forward and conquer the unknown. Even if that unknown is just a new grocery store.
Noodling and moving-both, I suspect, are a lot easier with just a little bit of laughter.
What are your favorite moving tips and tricks?