Writer / Claire-Anne Aikman

I’ve moved a lot in my lifetime, ranging from moves across the country to just down the street. I couldn’t tell you how many times, exactly, because I stopped counting after 14 moves. 

If you mention packing or moving to a friend, chances are you’ll hear a gasp, see an eye roll or hear moving horror stories. Folks, it doesn’t have to be that way! With a little planning, which is easy to do, I promise, you can make this life event a snap to maneuver by following these tips. 

Once you have decided you want to make a home change, the initial cleansing should begin.  Walk through your home and make a basic inventory chart for every room. 

Each room’s closet, shelf, dresser (basically, anything that can hold something) gets noted.  Next, whenever you find yourself with a few minutes, tackle an item on that list – it can be the coat closet, dresser, shelves – whatever.  Empty the contents and assess each item to determine if it is worthy of bringing to the new space.  Sell or donate what is in decent condition but not being used, throw away what is not in good shape and keep the remaining items.  Now check this area off your list.  Keep doing this until all areas have been checked. 

Once you find your new place, you will do this again. However, this time you will assess whether or not the item will work in your new home, which is oftentimes couches or tables. If the new space cannot accommodate, work on selling or donating those items.

Now is the time to find extra hands and muscle – cherish those friends and family members that help you move!  Plan to feed them well for their efforts. 

Consider getting moving insurance to cover the cost of any damaged items while in transit to the new home.

The next step is getting boxes — and lots of them. You can purchase them at your favorite home improvement store and you can also call local retailers to see if they will give you their boxes for free (many will do this).  You can also post a need for boxes on the local chatter/neighbor site.  Regardless of where you get them, do NOT over pack them!

Purchase rolls of different colored duct tape and assign a color to each room. Each box that gets packed from that room gets a splat of that room’s duct tape on it.  Make a chart to show what color is for what room.  Tape that color chart to the front door of the new home and garage door, too.  Place a piece of paper with each color at the go-to room so your helpers can see right away where the box goes and deliver it accordingly.  This will speed things up a LOT.

Simple, right?  Before you know it, you will be unpacked and settled in.