Tag Archives: moving

Sorting & Organizing Ideas

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Salvation Army donations

As I’ve been unpacking and sorting boxes, I have come to realize that I hold onto things far beyond their usefulness.  My mother grew up in the years following the Great Depression and was certainly trained to reuse things and not to waste anything.  This translated in saving YEARS worth of magazines that ‘One Day’ she would reread.  That day never came.  And now, I wonder if I don’t have some of the same ‘Great Depression’ tendencies, on a much smaller scale albeit.  So, I question the usefulness of each item as I unpack and try to find new homes for things as we settle into our new house.  I, too, detest wasting anything that still has life remaining.  We are consistent contributors to Salvation Army and Goodwill, for sure.  I always have a current box of donation items waiting in the wings until it is full enough to drop off.

These are the questions I must continually ask myself –

“Is this currently serving a purpose in my home?”

“Will I likely use it in the next year?”

“Could someone else use this more often than I do?”

“Would I miss it if it were gone?”

Last December we moved 1,000 miles so I am very familiar with having to make these tough choices.  And sometimes they are difficult because we cling to our possessions so tightly, it seems.  I’ve grilled myself as to why this is lately and have only come up with the notion that I love deeply, but perhaps that love and affection is often misplaced on things or memories.

Take, for instance, a recent sorting of cards, letters and kids’ artwork … Some of the cards and letters are so special to me, especially since some of the senders have passed on.  Those will be placed in the scrapbook, however, some of the senders I had to pause even to recall WHO they were!  But, I saved every card from select years apparently.  Fortunately, most I tossed.

I have a solution to coral all these fond memories.  I am making a scrapbook for each child that will contain all of their precious artwork.  This way, we can look back on their treasures easily, instead of them getting buried in an old file, where no one will see them.  (Eventually, these albums will be theirs to keep.)

I’m making scrapbooks for old letters and cards as well.  For years I have struggled with what to do with these sentimental artifacts, so I am very excited about getting these organized in a format we all can enjoy!  As I sat on the floor rereading old letters I sent to my husband over a decade ago, I realized what treasures these will be to look back on.  They were personal, of course, but yield a glimpse of the stage our relationship was in at the time and document our deep and enduring love for one another.  Those are the treasures to keep!  I think our children will even enjoy reading them after we’re gone.

Some decisions as we sift and sort are easy ones to make!  (such as the iridescent marbles I saved in a gallon size ziploc!)  That’s an easy one!  I don’t need them.  In fact, those may be the very marbles I am losing on a daily basis!  Maybe it’s time to donate those to charity!  Haha!  As much as we have parted with over the last year in preparation for our move and then facing the harsh reality that not nearly everything we thought would fit in our 26 foot Uhaul with a trailer attached!  We left a lot behind with our neighbor!  (Bow Flex, antique table, and the list is nearly endless)  In the end, there is not a single item that I can say we miss!  As painful as the process of organizing may be, the end result will be far more rewarding!

The above picture is not even all of what we’ve donated post-move!  I counted 25 boxes for the first home pick up and this was the second pick up, which also included an artificial tree and two toy Christmas trains.  (My younger two are 16 and 17.)  The Salvation Army worker asked if the trains were operational.  To which I acknowledged they were.  He smiled and said, “Oh, wow, these are going to make some children very happy!”  🙂  The satisfaction in knowing that something that would have been collecting dust in our storage room would provide enjoyment to others is very rewarding.

I can think more clearly without clutter.  As a full time homemaker, fewer items in our house means less work for me to keep up with those things!  Please do not think we are minimalists because we are far from that.  My ‘Girl Scout mentality’ (Be prepared!) does not allow for sparse living.  However, I am quick to toss items in the donation box if I have no use for them.

The flip side to organizing is being extremely selective about what we bring into our home!  I have been asking myself ‘Do I really need this?  Where will I use it?’ more and more.  And then most times I find myself placing it back on the store shelf.  Just because it’s cute or may be useful does not mean it needs to come home with you.  That is a lesson for us all.  Americans are great consumers, but maybe we should consume a little less.

For some reason, my husband and son love bringing home fliers, business cards, little newspapers.  This is needless clutter!  Unless you’re actually going to use this information, don’t let it stay.  And certainly, don’t allow it to accumulate in piles around the house.  This is why I open the mail over top of the trash can.  I toss or shred it and only keep what I must.  Paper clutter multiplies while we’re sleeping.  We must be watchful and vigilant!  🙂

Happy Organizing and may your home be a place of rest and peace always!

~Amber

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We’re Under Contract…

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After four, long months of feverish house hunting, we are seriously under contract on a house!!  If all goes as planned, we should close next month.  Yay for us!!  🙂  God has answered our prayers!

To say the Florida real estate market is rebounding would be more than accurate, particularly in our area.  As soon as one comes on the market, it is swiftly scooped up.  It seems out of state investors are in full force and my only prayer is that it doesn’t lead to a repeated bubble.  At any rate, here we are.  Elated doesn’t begin to describe our feelings at the thought of being liberated from our tiny abode, otherwise known as our apartment.  I really shouldn’t complain as 1,500 square feet is not small, however my disdain for it has more to do with my desire for a more permanent situation.  I’m so looking forward to hanging curtains, unpacking all of our boxes, organizing and decorating!!

Before any of that happens, the house needs to be painted and new flooring!  So, despite a possible closing next month, we will not likely move in until sometime in May.  But, at least, things are headed in that direction!

The master bathroom also needs to be gutted because of mold behind the shower wall, so we’ll completely renovate the master bath prior to move in also.  The thought of a claw footed bathtub sounds delightful!  I think I have finally convinced my husband of their popularity and how nice it will look!  I love all things antique-y and he leans more toward trendy, although sometimes we actually meet in the middle of what I’ll call “classic” style.  Haha.

We definitely will take loads of before and after renovation pictures and I hope to have a few spare moments to share them with you!

I have a “coastal” theme in mind for the living room … a white couch with coral print accent pillows paired with turquoise or slate blue print accent pillows; a white coffee table and end tables (one end table square & one round perhaps); two coral print accent chairs… This is what my thoughts are so far for this room.  The white couch has a slip cover, which can be easily machine washed.  I’m all for practical decorating ideas.  This is so exciting to me because it’s the first time in our twenty year marriage that I’ve actually hand picked our furniture.  Most of what we’ve owned in the past has been second hand or a concession I’ve made to my husband’s tastes.  This time around, I actually have a firm idea of what I want!  Only took me twenty years!  Haha.

We will have a large family room downstairs, but we already have a couch, love seat and tables for that room.  We sold our formal dining room set before we moved so we will need a new set.  I really like the farmhouse tables I’ve seen around and would love something very durable, yet pleasing to the eyes too.  A cross between casual farmhouse and elegant every day style.  Does that exist?  I don’t know, but what I do know is we will have many family dinners around this table and that they will eventually include grandbabies.  I don’t want to worry about every nick and scratch on our new furniture.  So…that’s the idea behind that.

We already have friends who want to come visit us this summer and my dad is already planning his visit for Thanksgiving!  So, we’ve got to get settled in quickly!  🙂

The house we’re purchasing is a short sale and, honestly, there have been very few “updates” since the house was built in 1988!  It’s as if the house is stuck in a time warp.  Now 1988 was a great year.  It is, after all, the year I became a mother for the first time!  However, homes need a little TLC and updating every now and then!  The previous owners had a cat and the carpet has long done its duty.  So, that is one reason the floors need to be redone.  I have bad allergies to cats, so that’s a non-negotiable.

The 80’s watercolors cornice boards will be one of the first things to come down.  Hideous!  Haha.  I personally adore natural lighting and the back of the house allows plenty of that with all of the gorgeous windows.  So, I’m not sure I’ll want anything but blinds.  We’ll see.  At least that’s not something that requires immediate attention.

My husband and I made a list with two columns.  One for immediate items that need renovation and the other for items that can wait, but definitely need attention.  We also attached approximate dollar amounts to each area, so we have a general idea of our future expenditures related to the house.  We weighed our total investment against the average CMA in our area.  In the end, our investment still makes sense.  We showed our analysis to our trusty realtor (who’ve we’ve spent a great deal of time with over the last four months!!) and he commented that he’d never seen anyone ever do this before!  I couldn’t believe that!  Especially when one is purchasing a short sale that needs a lot of work, one must count the cost!

We’ve had every conceivable home inspection performed recently!!

We had the following inspections:

  • the general, extensive home inspection (including the pool)
  • mold & radon
  • termite
  • structural engineer (to check an area of concern)
  • well (& sent water sample to lab for testing)
  • septic (& had it pumped out)

I think that just about covers it!  Whew, what an exhausting time!  Although these inspections can add up to a big chunk of change, we feel like they offer a bit of insurance or, at a very minimum, a glimpse of what upcoming expenses may be. After all we went through with selling our previous house and having to pay so much for items that failed the home inspection, we wanted a very thorough picture of what we might be dealing with in advance!  This way, we limit our surprises!  Word to the wise…

This house is really special.  If we didn’t feel that way, we would not be willing to invest so much into it.  It’s in a wonderful neighborhood that is close to everything you’d need, yet in a peaceful surrounding.  There is a creek with rushing water that runs along the backside of the house, which funnels into a big river.  Yet, we are not in a flood zone.

Once we close and the dust settles, I will take some pictures, particularly of the back of the house.  The scope of the glass on the back of the house is amazing and beautiful!  I call the house a “diamond in the rough”.  Haha.  For some, maybe the present state of the house would be alright, but for us, we know it can really shine and be so much more!

We’re looking forward to the transformation!  Hope you’ll join me on this journey…

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Life in Transition…

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We’ve made our big move … 1,000 miles south to the Sunshine State!  We’ve been here in the land of the perpetual vacation for six weeks now and are glad to be back!  We lived here for a decade before, so this is not a totally new experience.  We are currently renting a 1,500 square foot apartment, which is very nice, I must say.  It is, however, much smaller than our former 2,600 square foot home.  It has three bedrooms and two baths, so there’s plenty of space in theory.  It’s just that we haven’t rented an apartment in 16 years!  Our two teens (ages 15 and 17) will be very glad to transition into a house, that’s for sure.  The interesting (and sometimes annoying layout) of our apartment is the 17 steps we have to walk up to get to our living space once you enter our front door!  When you have lots of bags of groceries, this becomes a little cumbersome.  You have to really want to come up or down to actually put forth the energy to do so! Haha!      

One of the criteria in finding a suitable apartment was that it must have an attached garage to house all of our “stuff”!  Well, this one does and, oh my goodness, is it ever jam packed!  Despite selling and giving away furniture and household items, and being forced to leave behind furniture that wouldn’t fit in the Uhaul, we managed to pack a 26 foot Uhaul pulling an additional trailer.  I honestly don’t know how we had so much, but somehow it accumulates over the years!  It boggles the mind considering I’m a consistent purger and organizer.  We managed to pack our little garage here as tight as possible and have only opened the door a handful of times!  Don’t open the door!  🙂  Something may fall out!  Haha!  

We have put an offer on a house so we’ll see if that works out.  It’s a nice, three bedroom house with a pool, which we’re all excited about!  I, for one, am looking forward to the daily exercise.  My husband and I are downsizing a bit and nearing the empty nest stage so we don’t want a large house.  We’re really trying to reduce monthly expenses and concentrate on the things that really count.  While three bedrooms will be smaller than what we’re accustomed to, the total square footage of the home is 2,300.  So, it’s not a tiny house and it has an office space, which my husband will be required to share with his quilter/scrapper wife!  😉  Concessions must be made.  Haha!   Most of the houses we’ve seen are 4 bedrooms, so we’ll see what we wind up with.  It would be nice to have that extra room.

The one constant in our lives is the homeschooling train continues its journey down the track.  Our 17 year old daughter will graduate in May and our 15 year old son will complete 9th grade.  That is the blessing of learning at home … there’s no new school or peer group to adjust to.  We’ve already located a very nice library and have our handy, dandy tickets (or library cards) to “free resources paid by our tax dollars”.   Our daughter is all registered to take the ACT test in the spring so she has been studying the big prep book for that.  She’s a smart cookie, so she should do very well.  Just a decade ago, we were walking this road with our older son, our first homeschool graduate!  I remember thinking on the night of his graduation, that I finally felt confident that I could do “this”!  And, so we have!  … I should be graduating any day now…. 😉      

Last Sunday we visited the fourth or fifth church since moving here and I think we all have decided it’s a keeper!  So, thankfully, we will visit this church again this Sunday!  We all really liked the way the pastor integrated so much Scripture and stories from both the Old and the New Testaments, and made it so compelling and relevant to our lives.  He held even my teen’s interest with his great articulation, sense of humor and delivery.  We liked the praise and worship and it’s somewhat close by.  All in all, a win-win for our family!  And, here I was about to give up hope…      

Transition is tough but this time around, it hasn’t been bad at all.  I think the reason for that is that God truly ordained this move and living closer to our grown son makes it all so very worth it!  We have probably seen our older son 15-20 times over the last 6 weeks, which is more than we’ve seen him over the last 5 years!!  Can you imagine the joy that resonates within this mother’s heart?!  And when he texts asking about a favorite recipe….Ah, it does a mother’s heart good!    

We all cannot wait to be finally settled, reunited with our boxes in the garage and make “heads or tails” of the things that made the 1,000 mile trek!  It’s so close we can taste it now…But, not quite!  Patience…

Life in transition continues, but before long, this quilter will have a rotary cutter in one hand and a piece of cotton in the other.  Such joy awaits!

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We Have a Contract!!!

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Special thanks to all who’ve prayed for our house to sell!!  God has answered prayer and we are ever grateful!!!

As most of you know, we’ve lived 1,000 miles from our grown son for five years now and it’s been my prayer for most of that time to move back!  I feel like I’ve missed so much!  He’s 26 and we’re so excited to live closer very soon!!

The real estate market has been sluggish, especially during this time of year.  So, that’s been one challenge we’ve faced.  However, the greatest challenge has been being separated from my husband, who began his new job in early September where we will be moving to!  We’ve been married for 19 years and have never been apart more than two weeks at a time!  This has been so hard on us, despite all the modern technology advances (i.e. Skype, texting, phone calls, etc.).  He’s flown here and I’ve flown there, but nothing replaces sharing daily life together!

Our two younger kids are 15 and 17 and they are overjoyed that we will all be reunited very soon and can move on with our lives!  (The umpteen showings were really beginning to wear on all of us!)  They’ve handled this transitional period very well and are always a big help.

So, now the rush is on to find an apartment to lease until we do our homework and find a house to purchase.  I’ve narrowed it down to four!  🙂  I’ve done the legwork and now my husband will investigate further.  Then, the next thing is to reserve the Uhaul.  Yes, we’re “Do it Yourself-ers”!  🙂  Fortunately, we’ve gotten rid of a lot prior to listing our house, done preliminary packing and are selling some furniture.  I’m anticipating a smooth move with far less than we moved into this house with.  We’ve moved quite a few times over the years, so we have this down to a science.

The home inspection is this weekend and the septic tank inspection is Monday, so we’ll be glad when those are behind us.  Although, we do not anticipate any issues.  It’s just nice when that hurdle is over.

We will be moved just two weeks before Christmas!  What a Christmas present!!  I can’t think of a better one!  All of our children together!  My husband and I absolute love the Christmas season, so this will be really special!

Just wanted to pop in long enough to share our awesome news of the Lord’s provision!!

(I’ve been interrupted every two seconds by my teenie boppers while writing this, so pardon if it’s choppy!  Some days I think I have preschoolers.  😉  These are the days I will miss soon.  My daughter graduates from high school in May and will be in college next year.  And my 6′ 15 yr. old is growing faster than I can believe!)

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Our House Selling Saga

Hello there, friends!  As previously mentioned, my husband got the job we prayed for and we’re now two months into the process of selling our home!  Praise the Lord for the job and answered prayer!!  Hubby began his new job six weeks ago and being separated by 1,000 miles has been strenuous to say the least!  He visited three weeks ago and I flew to visit him (and retrieve our other car) two weeks ago.  Our beloved 12 year old SUV decided now was a good time to die!  *Sigh*  Fortunately, hubby didn’t need the car he drove to our new town as he has another vehicle.

We’ve had a lot of showings over the last two months, although some slow spots in between.  The real estate market tends to be slow this time of year, but we are resting in God’s hands.  We’re very happy that we have TWO showings scheduled for this evening!!  If you would, please pray that someone will fall madly in love with our home and make a solid offer!  What would be truly awesome is, if there was a bidding war!!  🙂

We’ve lowered our price twice now and are offering a $2,000 buyer’s agent incentive.  I think that incentive is largely the reason for the sudden interest.  Whatever the case may be, we are grateful!  The kids and I are ready to begin our new life 1,000 miles away and be reunited with my husband!  We’ve been married for 19 years and this is certainly the longest period we’ve ever been apart.  It is a strain on all of us.  I know the kids really miss their dad too.  The first month, I cried just about every night as it was completely foreign to be alone in our king size bed.  Although we are very thankful for Skype and cell phones, there is no replacement for the huge void that spans such a distance.  Now, I don’t cry, but I am ready to move onto our next chapter and settle in.

Preparing the house for showings is much like a dog chasing its tail!  We do the same actions — again and again!  And, then wake up the next day… and do them yet again!  It would be simple if we did not live here.  The house would simply always be ready for the next showing!  But, somewhere amongst the madness of selling our home, my children are plugging along in 9th and 12 grades!!  They’ve been absolutely wonderful throughout this process!  My daughter, who’s a senior this year, makes sure we are all duly fed.  She’s the chef, most days!  And my son has had a fast course in operating our John Deere riding lawnmower and has done an outstanding job maintaining the yard!  He mows, trims and blows the unending leaves off the driveway and sidewalk!  The John Deere is my husband’s baby, so it’s been interesting to see him hand over the reins to our son.  (only because he had to! haha)  I have to say, our son blows it off each time he mows and even wipes it with a cloth.  He says it’s like his first car!  🙂  Precious.  My husband has told him a number of times, “Now, son, you’re the man of the house while I’m gone.  Take care of mom and your sister.  Make sure the doors are locked and the alarm set.”  🙂  My 15 year old (now suddenly very mature) son has taken his marching orders very seriously and has been wonderful!  He’s been taller than me for a while, which isn’t hard to do, considering my 5’4″ stature.  But, he’s pushing 6′ very soon, I can tell!  He has really grown over the last six months and is about 5’11” probably now.  Considering he started out at 9lbs. 10oz. and 22 1/2 inches long, it’s not surprising at all!  🙂  Our 26 year old son stands at 6’2″ and I’m afraid it may injure his ego to know his little brother may surpass him in height before it’s all over.  🙂

… Pardon me, I just received a text from my husband, wishing me a great day, complete with heart symbols.  (only because when he types “I love you”, his phone prompts the emoticons! haha)  I have to laugh because my husband is a very hard worker, very diligent.  He really doesn’t have time for trivial things.  He’s not on social media and up until six weeks ago, he didn’t have a Smartphone for personal use.  So, he’s had a crash course and I helped him set up his address book, etc. on his new toy.  But, it’s been nice to text back and forth as we’ve never done that much in the past.  🙂  Feels like we’ve reverted back to our courting days with all the phone calls and wishing we could be together!

I can honestly say, our faith has grown as the Lord has truly been stretching us!  My perspective has changed on our relationship.  When you can step back for a minute … or six weeks … you see what’s really important in life, in your relationship, and what things you need to let go of, as well as things you want to change moving forward!  Perspective is a beautiful thing!  And, so the Lord has been teaching me that He is not confined to statistics nor seasons, but can perform miracles any time He so chooses!  Statistically, this is a dreadful time of year to be selling a house and the weather is turning colder now.  But, He’s been reminding me to take Him out of the box that I’ve put Him in, remove the limitations my little faith has placed on Him, and just believe that He is able to provide for us and show Himself strong and mighty on our behalf!  For He truly is working all things together for our good and ultimately for His glory!  That’s where I rest my faith!

If you would, would you agree with me in prayer that our house will sell very soon?  During this separation, I am made keenly aware of just how precious my husband is to me.  Perfect?  No.  Precious and priceless?  Yes!  He gets on my nerves.  Yes.  I’m sure I do too.  But, far above any trivial irritations in our relationship, he remains my best friend, my lover and one of the greatest gifts God ever saw fit to bless me with!  He is diligent, tenacious, loving, caring, generous, thoughtful, loves Jesus and serving others … and invaluable to me!  On our wedding day, we were so in love and one would tend to believe that it doesn’t get any better than that!  However, the longer we’re married and the more we’ve grown and experienced life together, I can honestly say our love becomes deeper and richer for it!  God knew what He was doing when He ordained marriage to be a lifelong committment.  Somehow I think our richest and most meaningful days are yet ahead…

Sorry to make this post so long.  If you’ve held on to the end and your eyes haven’t glazed over, thank you.  And thank you for your prayers, most of all.  There’s a testimony after the test, folks!  God is good and He is ever faithful that promised!

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I’m Still Here…

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So, it turns out I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, friends!! Our family continues going to physical therapy three times a week as we recover from our car accident in May. We’re all doing fairly well…still in pain every day … but praying our way through and believing for God to bring total and complete healing!

THE BIG NEWS IS …

No, I’m not pregnant! Ha! I hope not at age 40 something! …

The real big news is … we are moving five states away (1,000 miles!) to be closer to our grown son!!! Those who’ve followed my blog for some time know how much this mother has missed her #1 son (for 5 long years now)! God has opened the door for my husband to transfer his job and we are so excited about this breakthrough for our family!!!!! Can you sense our excitement?!?!

I should specify how huge of a breakthrough this really is … First of all, for over four years my husband has been against the idea of moving. I learned a valuable lesson throughout this process…Take the desires of my heart to the Lord in prayer, leave them there and keep quiet. This has not been easy, I have to say. (especially considering how badly I’ve wanted this to happen!) But, God is faithful and I will be ever grateful to Him for opening this door for us!!

Our house went on the market today and we are praying for a speedy and solid sale!

Would you agree with me in prayer? I’d definitely appreciate it. Our prayer is for a quick sale and full asking price. There is nothing too hard for God!

We’ve been working feverishly getting our house ready to put on the market, packing extra things away, doing lots of touch up painting, etc. We laid 20 bags of mulch the other day in the front flower beds and it still wasn’t enough. Looks like we’ll need about 10-15 more! My husband only has a couple projects to complete and we will have this exhausting phase behind us! The photographer came out yesterday to take pictures of the house and install the lockbox. Exciting stuff!!!

As soon as the dust settles, I’ll return to blogging regularly but I wanted to check in with my WordPress friends! Miss you guys! God bless! 🙂

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Moving 101: 30 of my Best Tips

We have moved 8 times in 11 years and I’m fairly confident I could write a book on moving do’s and don’ts!  Most of our moves were local, however, we have pulled off a major move spanning 1,000 miles, two 26 ft. Uhauls and two personal vehicles on our own.  Quite a caravan!  We also hired professional movers for another long distance move.  (definitely the better choice!)

If you think you may be moving in the near future or even mid-distant future, begin planning now.  You will be glad you did.  The statistics are that the average family moves every five years.  Clearly, we are above average, folks!  Haha.

Here are my best tips when preparing to move:

  1. Purge.  Begin setting aside items you no longer need, want or love to donate or sell.  Seriously consider whether it’s worth it or not to pack and haul whatever the item is.
  2. The Salvation Army makes house calls!  We had quite a bit to donate during one of our recent moves and they sent a truck out, loaded it up and away our large pile of donations went…just that easy!  (Tax deductible too!)
  3. If you own your home, decide whether to sell or rent it out.  Contact realtor.
  4. Begin making necessary repairs or upgrades.
  5. If you rent, notify your landlord of move out date.
  6. Start deep cleaning.  Ask a friend or pay a professional for assistance if needed.
  7. Research housing, schools, churches, necessary businesses, etc. in your new location.  Write notes.
  8. Collect Cardboard Boxes.  Inquire with friends, stores, Craigslist, etc.  We actually got a ton of free moving boxes from someone who’d recently moved on Craigslist.  That was awesome!  (Consider offering yours after your next move.)  As a last resort, buy moving boxes.  Save your pennies; they’ll be needed elsewhere during your move!
  9. Purchase copious amounts of packing tape (you always need more than you think!), bubble wrap and black permanent markers.
  10. Designate a spiral notebook/binder as your “Moving Resource Manual”.  Write down all pertinent info. related to the move and always keep it close by.  During the busyness of the move, you’ll be organized with necessary phone numbers, dates, etc.  It’s also a great place to write “To do” lists.
  11. Techies can store a lot of info on smart phones, but you will likely still benefit from having a manual.
  12. Make a list of names/addresses of those you do business with & will need to mail a change of address notice.  For many, this can be done online.
  13. Type up a generic letter with spaces to fill in the name/address/account # for change of address notice.  This will save you time and effort.  Be sure to include the effective date and your new information and a phone # should they need to contact you.
  14. Complete a change of address form with the USPS online when you have a concrete moving date.  This can be adjusted if dates change.
  15. Transfer/cancel utility services, security company, lawn care, newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
  16. If you’re using a moving company, begin getting quotes as early on as possible so you have plenty of time to compare.
  17. If you’re moving yourself, begin asking family, friends and church family early so they can set aside your moving date on their calendar.  Remind via text, email, phone calls a week or so out.  People get busy …
  18. If you have small children, consider a friend or family member who could watch them while you assist with the move.
  19. Uhaul has this nifty service offered on their website for moving assistance.  We had plenty of help loading our Uhauls on the front end of our move, but knew we would need help on the back end.  We reserved local moving helpers for a set amount of time via their website!  We thought it was very reasonable and well worth every penny!  We had the moving helpers assist with the heavy furniture and large items and we unloaded the miscellaneous boxes ourselves.  One of the best choices we ever made.
  20. Begin using up food in the fridge and freezer in the weeks prior to moving.  Discard or donate to friends any you don’t use.  (We blessed a good friend with spices before a recent move & she was very grateful.)
  21. Start packing up items that won’t be needed in the weeks prior to the move first.  Clearly mark outside of box with black marker for easy identification.  I like to mark every side of the box, as well as the top.  That way, no matter which side is visible in the moving truck, you know right away what it is without shifting it.  Mark “Blankets” and underneath write the room it belongs in – perhaps “Linen Closet”.
  22. Some may like to color code rooms with colorful stickers. (i.e. Master Bedroom gets a blue sticker, etc.)  The problem with this is unless everyone knows the “Code”, it can prove useless.  Of course, the master code would be kept in your “Moving Resource Manual”, so you can remember too.  I, personally, never found this useful, but some might.
  23. Try, try, try hard to only put what belongs in, say a box marked “Living Room”, items that actually belong in the living room.  That said, when you’re trying to top off a box and it’s the day before the move, your standards may be sorely tested.  It just makes it easier on the other end to locate things if they are grouped in the correct room.  😉
  24. Jewelry and anything of immense value should be kept with you during the move, if possible.  Don’t risk it.  Obviously, large paintings may not be feasible, but designate a box with your name on it and label it whatever “nickname” you like, so you’ll know to take extra precaution.  Yes, you may have insurance if you’re paying movers, but heirlooms or special pieces cannot be replaced.
  25. Medications and vitamins should also be set aside and kept with you during the move.
  26. It’s a good idea to designate a box “Shower Essentials” & place towels, washclothes, soap & shampoo inside.  This will eliminate much scuffle upon arriving at your new place!
  27. Pack an overnight bag for each family member (kids can have a backpack) that includes a change of clothes and toiletries, as locating the box marked clothes for each person may take a while, depending on the size of your family/move.
  28. Be sure to keep cell phone chargers with you.
  29. Upon locating a new physician and dentist, request your medical and dental records to be transferred.
  30. Order sandwiches, pizza, Gatorade, water or sodas for moving help.  If hiring professional movers, set aside cash for tip.

~        ~        ~        ~

The above is, in no way, an exhaustive list, however, it will get you started in the right direction.  If I think of any others, I may update the list.  The main thing to bear in mind is to plan!  Plan, plan and then plan some more.  Anticipate your family’s needs and prepare accordingly.  Think of every scenario that could happen and provide a contingency plan, if possible.

They say that moving is one of life’s top stressors and I tend to agree.  However, with proper planning, the stress can be vastly reduced.  Here’s to a positive, productive and smooth moving process, my friend!

What moving advice has helped you the most?

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