Inexpensive Tips to Organize Your Move

On Friday, Justin and I, along with the help of some friends will be loading up a truck with all our earthly belongings for our fifth move in our eleven-and-a-half-years of marriage.  I know for some of you “that ain’t nothing”, but for us who dreamed of living in one place all our lives, it’s a lot.  Thankfully, this should be our most organized move thus thanks to some great tips I’ve found online – specifically Pinterest.

Here is the list of inexpensive tips I’m using to make this move organized:

  • Inexpensive Tips to Organize Your Move by @MandyJHoffmanDuck/Duct Tape Color-Coding.  {There is a brand that IS actually called “Duck Tape”!}  I bought 8 different colors of duck tape and designated each one to a specific room.  After I packed each box I would stick a piece of tape to the top and all four sides of the box.  This way I do not have to tell people what room each box goes in, they can just follow the signs I will post.  Marking all four sides means that you do not have to keep spinning the box around to figure out where it belongs either.
  • Number The Boxes.  Each box has a number and I have one master list of the numbers and what is in each box.  We used a sharpie to write the number on each piece of tape (see above) so it’s visible from all angles.
  • Let The Kids Decorate.  I followed the advice of another and allowed my kids (ages 6, 8, & 10) to use the sharpies to decorate the boxes.  This was cheap entertainment for them and kept them from un-organizing my organization at that moment!
  • Lists & More Lists.  I have kept lists of things to do and when to do them.  Using my planner and writing tasks down for the day I wanted to accomplish them helped keep me focused saving both time and money.
  • Begin To Pack Early.  People questioned me about why I began to pack a full two months before we were moving, but doing so has kept the work to a steady and manageable pace while trying to balance and carry on all the regular demands of life.
  • Designate 1 Room For Storage.  I cleaned up one room and made that the storage room for all the boxes being packed early on.  This kept the clutter out of the main living areas and simplified the process of packing.
  • Simplify & Declutter.  Nothing will help you more than if you declutter and simplify your belongings.  This is not the time to be sentimental with everything you own but rather be aggressive in getting rid of what you do not use on a regular basis.  We already live very simply, but I went back through and got rid of my third cutting board, duplicate cheese grader, extra glass bowls, and so on.  If you have not used it in a year…toss it or donate it!
  • Use Facebook To Sell Stuff.  Take all those things you really don’t need and sell them to make some extra cash for the extra expenses that come your way during the moving process.  I created a photo album on my Facebook profile titled “Mandy’s Moving Sale” and posted the pictures of items along with the price and my “rules” for selling.  Remember that it is better to sell cheaper and get rid of stuff than try to get a better price.  My sister-in-law also added me to several Virtual Yard Sale pages on Facebook which helped me sell to a wider audience.
  • Find Good Boxes.  Most people immediately think of getting boxes from the local grocery store.  But why not ask your local book store?  I stumbled upon this idea when a friend (who works in our local Christian bookstore) offered to save me some boxes.  At a grocery store the boxes are usually without lids or odd shaped.  The boxes from the bookstore were in great condition and sturdy.  They were also perfect for packing up my hundreds of books!
  • Buy A Few Good Supplies.  Despite the fact that we are trying to move as cheaply as possible, we decided it was well worth it to buy a few supplies that would make things easier.  Like packing wrap…it looks like a giant roll of saran wrap.  It cost about $20 from Lowe’s but has wrapped all my mirrors, and many other odd shaped items.  Also, while you can make do with the boxes you get for free, buying a glass packing kit from a moving company is well worth it.  We had friends who actually went out and bought us one, but for our next move, I will just go get one myself.  Having my good glasses all packed up easily and securely for $10 is worth it.  Another thing those friends bought us was a box of packing paper – something else that I have deemed worthy to buy myself for the next move.
  • Use Plastic Bags.  Before I knew that there was packing paper to be had, I asked my friends to save their plastic shopping bags for me.  These have made great wrapping supplies and cushion for packing delicate items.
  • Foam Plates For Glass Plates.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and it worked like a charm for me!  I bought a pack of 50 foam plates and used one one between each glass plate while surrounding them with my plastic bags.  Quick, inexpensive, and super easy!
  • Match Lids.  When you pack up all your plastic containers – Tupperware, Rubbermaid, etc – match each container with it’s lid.  This ways you know what extra pieces can be thrown away rather than move odd pieces you will never use.
  • Take Breaks.  I mentioned the importance of packing early already, but let me give your another reason to do just that.  Packing early enables you to also take breaks during those last few emotional and stressful weeks.  I was able to meet several friends for a cup of coffee, for a quick breakfast, or for a two-hour lunch.  These breaks helped me keep going and were the emotional encouragement I needed during this time.
  • Make Things Pull Double-Duty.  Packing table clothes, doilies, or other cloth items in your house?  Make them work for you by using them to wrap up breakable items.  Saves space and money.
  • Bag The Clothes.  Group your hanging clothes and cover them in a garbage bag.
  • Give Yourself Grace.  Remember that this is a phase.  It is okay if your eat chicken patties and chips for dinner and not serve veggies that night.  You will be settled soon and the veggies will find themselves back on the menu!
  • Clean As You Go.  Clean each room as you go.  Pretend you are the police and have to “clear” each room!  As moving day approaches move furniture to the main room/closest room to the door so that people will not be walking through the whole house.  This way you have one or two rooms to do a final clean-up of before you walk out that door for the last time.

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