Moving in Six Weeks Flat?
by Susan G Mathis
After my sweet husband went to heaven, our wonderful, large house and multi-acre land felt way too isolating. Empty. Lonely. I needed to downsize, to make my life easier, less stressful, more peaceful. And I sensed God giving me the “go.”
But selling a house? Buying a new home? Downsizing by half? Moving? That’s anything but peaceful. Still, I decided, the short-term pain and long-term gain was well worth the effort.
Though I hadn’t moved in seventeen years, this was move twenty-eight for me. So I drew on the lessons of the past and the transition was amazingly easy with little stress. Two weeks after closing, I was settled and at peace. I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips for when you need to move.
- Create a plan and a budget. Everyone’s plan will be different. Time. Budget. Distance. Needs. The number of people involved. Create a timeline for your move, a game plan of how you’re going to accomplish it, and a list of people who can help before, during and after your move. As an empty nest widow who was working from home, I had flexible time and chose to move into my new home right after I closed on it—just six weeks from start to finish.
- Engage your helpers early. If you’re moving yourself, ask and schedule a team of family and/or friends to help. I have two super organized friends who helped me pack, plan and move. We enjoyed several packing parties together, and when I moved, they organized my entire kitchen wonderfully!
- Declutter. Start with your little used areas—attic, basement, closets, cupboards, formal dining, etc. My precious man was just short of a hoarder, so I had to make some tough decisions. You may have to as well. Be ruthless. Sell or donate everything you won’t need at your new place or haven’t used (or seen) in several years. I ended up with six boxes of papers to shred and several loads of Goodwill donations. But I also sold lots of stuff on Facebook Marketplace and Next Door. I also signed up for PayPal and Venmo so buyers could pay without even meeting them. Porch pickups work great.
- Collect moving boxes and packing material early. Trust me, you’ll need many more than you think. Ask on Facebook and other local sites. I got more than enough for free and they weren’t the used, mismatched sizes you’d get from a retailer. Then, when you’ve unpacked, pass on the blessing.
- Reserve the moving truck early, or if you chose to use professional movers, book them as soon as you can. If you’re moving a distance and using a moving company, take photos of everything before you pack it in case of any lost, stolen or damaged items occur.
- Pack a little at a time. Every day. Have a friend help and make it a fun time together. Mark the boxes clearly. Repurpose hampers, suitcases, laundry bins, etc., for packing items. Use vacuum-seal bags for your linens and clothes. Pack hanging clothing in garbage bags by cutting a hole on top of the bag and placing the garbage bag over a grouping of hangers that are tied together.
- Protect your furniture. Take photos of any furniture you take apart to guide you in putting it back together. Remove and secure all drawers and doors beforehand. Label drawers, doors, cables and anything you need to remove so you know where it goes when you reassemble it. Put screws and bolts into plastic bags and tape them to the back of the furniture.
- When packing electronics, take a photo of the back configuration so you remember which cord goes where. Also, make sure you label doors, screws and anything else you take apart.
- For dishes and breakables, use your linens or paper plates, packing paper or bubble wrap. Avoid using newsprint as you’ll often need to wash your dishes afterward.
- Make a list of who you need to notify about your move and contact them early. Take a few hours on a mid-week morning and call all your utilities, services, credit cards, miscellaneous bills, etc. (businesses are usually less busy mid-week mornings). File a postal change of address early too. It usually takes a few weeks for it to completely process.
- The week before your move, pack a last-out, first-in box of your essentials including medications, tools, toiletries, bed linens and anything you’ll need for a few days during the move.
- Plan to feed your helpers. Buy drinks, snacks and food (or plan to order pizza, subs, etc.) for your movers on moving day.
- On moving day, have a game plan. Choose someone else to oversee directing your movers, preferably a strong personality who knows how to load a truck. Let them take charge so you can answer the last-minute questions that may arise and be pulled in a dozen directions.
- Unpack wisely. Kitchen, main bedrooms and bathrooms are usually the most needed items. If it’s a local move, assign various helpers to unpack those rooms first. I was blessed to have a friend even unpack my home office and set it up wonderfully the first day in my new home.
Thanks to careful planning and preparing, within two weeks I was settled and feeling comfortable in my new home. Plan wisely. Engage others. And enjoy the journey to the next chapter in your story.
Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.
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