Saturday, January 04, 2014

8 tips on moving like a boss

It's hard to believe it was two years ago that we started talking about moving to California. Ugh the pain still feels so fresh!

I've been wanting to blog about this for a long time, because the results were pretty awesome.  Basically, we had one of the most pain-free experiences you could have without professional movers. Now, we did have the luxury of several months of planning, so we were able to take our time with some of these steps. But I think they could fit in any timeline.

So without much further ado, the Patented LBC System of Packing and Moving, or 8 Tips on Moving Like a Boss.

1. Take some "before" pictures.

  You want to be able to remember how it looked before you destroy it all for your new dream home.

2. GCD.

GCD stands for Goodwill Craigslist Dumpster. Clean through all your closets and storage areas. You do not want to move any more junk than you have to! Sidenote: We were prepared to take this all to the city toxic materials center when my neighbor came by and offered to take all of our leftover paint. I do not know what she did with it, and I do not care.

3. Decor-ganize.

It may seem counter-intuitive to be creating special baskets and labels for your stuff, but hear me out. Sort through all the contents of your closets and get rid of any garbage (see Step 2). Group them into logical categories and label the storage containers.

When you are ready to pack up your bathroom, you can easily stack the baskets into your moving boxes. You might need to wrap them with Saran wrap or a towel, but with any luck, they survive the trip intact and you can simply unpack them into the new closet!



This might be the most important tool you use in your move. Get a notebook with loose leaf paper and folders. Start saving important papers in the folders, and leave the paper for to-do lists and inventory (see step below). Pick a color that makes you happy. You're going to love and hate this thing.


5. Prioritize

Pack up your house in stages. Determine which items you will not be using any time soon, and set a timeline. On the page seen here, we started about a month before moving day and started packing things like crafts and DVDs.

The next week was slightly more important stuff like large kitchen appliances and dishes.

The last week, affectionately referred to as "Hobo Week," was when we switched to paper plates and Chinese takeout. We put our clothes in suitcases and basically camped in our own home.


6. Theme party!

I love a good theme. Choose a different color tape for each room in your house. I went with funky duct tape. If I did it over, I would have chosen solid colors so I could see the writing on them a bit better. You'll learn more about this in Step 7. I also would not have chosen duct tape, as it does not stick to cardboard boxes very well. Each label had to be reinforced with packing tape.

When you start packing a new box, put a piece of the THEME TAPE (!) on the side. Not the top. Put it on two sides if you want, or even all four. You want to be able to see it, even if it is in a stack with other boxes on top.

This will help you identify which boxes go to which room at a glance, without having to read any writing. It also helps you direct any movers or helpers involved. That way you can tell them things like, "All red boxes go to the kitchen," and "The yellow boxes are full of personal stuff so please rifle through it when I leave the room."

You are now ready to pack up some boxes!

7. Inventory is the mother of necessity.

Before you start boxing your things for a certain room, start a page in your book for that room.

Every time you start packing a new box, write on your THEME TAPE both a letter and a number. Record this in your book. Choose a letter that will make sense to you.

Write down each item that is being packed into the box. This is typically for your eyes only, so writing cryptic things like "2 heads" is OK. Unless you blog about it later, in which case it might seem weird. (So I have a couple styrofoam heads for my Halloween wigs. SO. WHAT.)

This inventory is the key to being able to move and unpack without losing your mind.

It's a tiny bit hard to see but this label says K25 and it's on the flowery paper I chose for the kitchen. I can tell at a glance which room it goes to, and I can look in my book to find out what is inside.

8. Get movin!

Those are the main tips I would share. As an added note, here are a few other helpful tips/reminders you might want to know:

- Duct tape does not stick to cardboard. You will need to use packing tape to close the boxes.
- U-Haul sells helpful things like tape that says, "Open First" and "Fragile." They also sell green plastic wrap that doesn't stick but is great for wrapping things like dressers to keep the drawers closed.
- You can use THE BOOK to keep track of boxes that are going into storage. In my book, I highlighted the boxes that went to storage so now, even a year later, I can find it if I need to.
- The THEME TAPE is also useful for marking furniture or other items that don't go into boxes. Again, this helps your moving crew know which room to shove all your stuff into.

- Use toilet paper rolls to keep your jewelry from getting too tangled:

And one final thought: If you can hire movers/packers, do it. Moving sucks.

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