I moved house just over a month ago, so this post is coming from my heart. I may very well have deliberately forgotten the stressful parts, but they were there. Did we do it right? As a Realtor I should have had this down pat, right? The answer is no, we did things wrong and could have done it much better.
Firstly remember you are not moving alone, especially if you have a partner, kids or pets. Make a plan.
I would create a box just for those things you know you are going to need or want immediately and put this in your car so you know where it is. It is amazing how many boxes seem to get mislaid in the move. In this box I would put toilet paper, documents you are going to need, clothes for at least a couple of days, medicines, toiletries etc. I would also make one for the kitchen too. You don't need much, but a kettle, a coup,e of frying pans etc, some every day spices like salt and pepper so you can cook something if you want to rather than running out to a local restaurant or takeout.
Discuss what is going to get packed and what you are going to donate well beforehand. This gives you time to organize and donate or discard slowly over time. If you are working full time, you will need longer as it is hard to find time to do this when you are living your lives and preparing to move. It makes no sense to move things you are going to donate, it just adds to the cost.
This is especially true for clothes, what do you really wear, that closet is full, and maybe spreads to other closets in the house, or the basement. If you haven't worn it in the last eight months, are you really going to wear it again. organize now, not after you have moved.
Make sure you label boxes clearly, not just where, but what is in them too. We were so tired as boxes came off the truck at the end of the day things just got piled up in the garage rather than in the rooms where they needed to go. We also had way too much stuff.
The people you move with may not be on the same page as you, be gentle. They may not want to get rid of everything like you, they may have emotional ties to things you do not value. Be understanding, it is not worth argueing over every little thing. Work on your things. When I got divorced I shed much of my "things" thinking I was moving back to Europe, so I had far fewer items to consider, but when you combine two houselholds, even the things I had were not necessary.
Consider your pets, they will be stressed from the move, they do not understand all the boxes and the paper. They will be disconcerted not knowing what is happening, try to keep their routines as normal as possible. I think we did well with this and both our dog and cat seem to have adjusted well to the new home.
Kids, I moved with three boys a few times. We generally made it an adventure, and as mentioned above we made sure they had their favourite toys with them, not every toy, just the favourites. It was like Christmas when our stuff arrived from the UK, they had forgotten about most of their toys and genuinely played with old toys as if they were new.
Try to stay calm, and realize this too will pass. I got stressed by the garage being so full, it still is not empty, but the few boxes there I can deal with in my mind, knowing we are getting there, maybe a bit slower than I would like but we will be alright.
Good purchases for a new home are shelving systems. I think we have bought about eight sets of shelves for the basement and garage. having things on shelves, even if not sorted at least gives one a sense of order.
I hope this helps you if you are starting to plan a move. If you are looking to buy or sell in the Main Line or Chester County contact me, I would love to help you find or sell your next home. Nick Vandekar, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, Nick@VandekarTeam.com.