Moving tips: Get Organized!

>> Saturday, May 28, 2011

Well, it is officially official! The money is in our account and we are no longer homeowners. I’m just a little sad but we’re trying to look forward to the great things ahead!  So far this has been the least stressful move we’ve had, despite being the biggest by far. I’ve done my fair share of packing and moving in the past few years and like to think I’ve learned at least a thing or two. To me, the most important part of moving is the organization. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your new house only to be tearing apart box after box looking for a can opener or the remote control. Or missing a payment on your credit card because you forgot to advise them of your new address. Or staying up all night the week of your move just to get it all done. Or… well, let’s face it, when you are moving, there are so many things that could go wrong. And most likely something will. But as long as you are in control of the situation, you can take each setback in stride. We got through the first half of the move with minimal stress – and I’m sure it is all due to the fact that I am organized!



It all started when Jen started talking about her Household Binder. I was super excited about the idea but initially put it off, thinking it would be best to create a binder once we were settled into our new home. Then it dawned on me that the move was one of the main reasons I needed a binder. How else was I going to keep track of all the things I had to do to prepare for and during our move? So I started putting together a binder and just added a “Moving” section. It is mostly just blank lined paper for making lists and plans and I added a pocket divider to hold any moving receipts or important papers.

Then came the fun part. I had to decide what it is that needed to be organized. And for me, there were three main areas of focus.

1. Budget: Moving can be expensive! Especially if you are moving long distance and/or buying or selling a house. But even if you are just moving across the street, it is still important to write down exactly what you expect to spend. I just made a quick little list of all of our anticipated expenses. I made sure to include things like packing materials, rental equipment, moving companies, storage, travel expenses (gas, meals, hotels), and closing costs.

2. Change of address (and discontinuation of services): About 2 months before we moved, I started taking note of every single piece of mail that we received. I just created a simple list of every one of those companies. Then, since I do receive many bills online, I went through every bill that I pay in a month and listed those companies too. This is when you start freaking out because you have a list a mile long. But the process was relatively painless. I just started making a phone call or two each day until I had every company on my list crossed off. I found that this worked well since some companies require more notice than others. For instance, some magazines are printed and labeled a month or two in advance so it could take up to two months for an address change to come into effect. Also, many utility and cable companies require 30 days notice for discontinuation of services. Banks, credit cards, schools, work, government, insurance etc. don’t usually require as much notice so they were left to the bottom of my list.

3. Getting us (and our stuff) from point A to point B: For us this was kind of huge since we are moving across the country. And cross country moves can be really, really expensive! I called around to a bunch of different moving companies for quotes but all of them were ridiculously out of our price range. In the end we decided to rent a U-Haul and make the 4 day drive ourselves. **Now I just have to insert a disclaimer here. We are in no way fans of U-Haul. Yeah, you read that right. We have booked two one-way rentals with them before and both have been disasters. So why are we doing it again??? Because the stress and problems that could occur in that one week are nothing compared to saving three, four, or five thousand dollars. So we’ve just mentally prepared ourselves for things to not go as planned and not set any strict timelines, just in case.



>> Sunday, May 1, 2011

Anyone know if there is a way to just skip over the next few months?? We begun packing this week and I’m already sick of it! We have only 27 days until we have to hand over the keys to our house. And how on earth do we have this much stuff?? I am in no way a hoarder and we don’t shop a ton so I have no idea how we have all of these things. Luckily, I have no problem getting rid of things I haven’t used in years. (Wedding gifts that are still unused? Goodbye!).

Unfortunately, in addition to all the useless things we’ve been storing, there is so much other stuff that we use frequently or will need in the future. Why do babies need so many gadgets? I’m so tempted to just get rid of our baby stuff and buy new when we have another kid just so I don’t have to store all those awkwardly shaped things. But we all know how expensive baby stuff is so I’ll probably continue to hang on to it.

One other thing I’m realizing is that much of the things that I’m now saying goodbye to are things we received from other people that I didn’t necessarily need or love but thought we should take just because it was free. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here because there are many generous gifts we’ve received from friends and family members over the years that we absolutely love and use all the time. But I’m beginning to realize that if I don’t love it, I won’t use it. And then I’ll just end up storing it for a few years until I realize that I didn’t need it in the first place and finally get rid of it. I think my new rule should be that I can’t bring it home unless it is something I’d be willing to spend money on. In some ways it is a blessing that we are moving into a small 2 bedroom apartment because I simply cannot afford to keep stuff.

But as much as there is left to do, I’ve already taped up a few boxes and every time I do, we get closer and closer to getting it all done. Here’s to a month of hopefully minimal chaos! I’ll breath again in July when have arrived in Alberta with all of our things!


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