We moved to Tennessee last summer, and I can honestly say I hope we are in this house for a hot minute, because packing and moving is so exhausting and stressful! Since Bobby and I have been married (16 years), we have moved 6 times, so I would like to think I have learned a thing or two! I thought I would compile a list of my best tips for packing to move in the hopes that it helps make someone’s life a little bit easier!
1.) Plan way in Advance: The worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to begin your prep. Not only will you potentially be out of luck with your chosen moving dates (especially if moving in a busy time like the summer), but it can get more expensive to hire someone the closer to a date it gets. If you plan in advance it gives you time to breathe and think without feeling rushed and then making poor decisions.
2.) Save Boxes: We started saving boxes many months in advance. We would break them down and keep them in the attic along with collecting newspapers, bubble wrap, etc. We had my parents saving boxes and packing materials for us as well. You can sometimes even go to a store and ask for their boxes as they empty them and they will give them to you. Anything we could do to keep from having to BUY boxes or packing material!
3.) Do Your Research on Moving Companies: I spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of hiring a company vs. moving ourselves in a UHAUL type truck, vs. just hiring help to load, etc. In the end, for us, it was the most economical to have a trailer delivered in our driveway and slowly load it over the course of a few days with the help of friends and family. Then the trailer was picked up and moved to Knoxville for us, and we hired a couple of local guys by the hour to help us unload the big heavy furniture while Bobby and I unloaded most of the boxes. It was the balance we needed without spending a fortune but also having some help! Be sure to read Google reviews, insurance policies, etc. before making a decision.
4.) Purge: I can’t tell you how many times we have moved boxes from house to house full of items we never use! Not only does it take up space, but if you hire a moving company that charges by weight, you are literally paying to move your junk that you don’t need! As you are packing, throw stuff out or donate it. Think really hard– “is this something that I want in my new house?” If not, toss it before you give yourself time to change your mind.
5.) Do a little at a time: Some people wait and pack all in one weekend. To me, this is exhausting and stressful. I pack over the course of several weeks, with the “low hanging fruit” first such as attic items, books, home decor, etc. (things we don’t need to use on a day to day basis.) We clean out the garage, move out our car, and start making stacks and rows in it to stay organized and get the boxes out of the way in the house. This method has worked out well for us!
6.) Ask for Help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! On the day of the actual move, having someone to watch kids and pets so they aren’t underfoot is a REALLY good idea. We had family watch Emma Kate and Dolly, and we ordered a bunch of pizza for family and friends. If you can get enough people to help you load (if you choose not to pay a moving company) it will take less time. Ask if anyone has a dolly you can borrow if you don’t own one. As if anyone has extra gloves, etc. You won’t get help if you don’t ask for it! We are so thankful for friends and family who gave up their time for us.
7.) Label, label, label!: Get a pack of sharpies and label your boxes WELL! Put what room it will go in at your new house, and don’t forget to put FRAGILE on multiple sides. You will be so thankful when unloading that you don’t have to open each box to see what room it needs to go in.
8.) Make Lists and Organize: I had several lists because we had items that needed to go with us in our cars while we waited a few days for the truck to arrive. You will also want a box or two of items you can quickly get your hands on so you can live in your home the first couple nights. Think things like clothes, sheets and pillows, paper plates, napkins and utensils, snacks, laundry detergent, hand soap, towels, pet food, bed and leash, etc.
Moving is never easy, but I hope this list helps you as you are packing to move, and I hope you enjoy your new home!
Related: Montgomery’s Moving to Knoxville