Moving 101– Getting started

Our family has moved. A lot. I mean, a lot. We have moved 12 times in the 12 years we’ve been married. 3 of those were because I was working as a traveling nurse, but still…that’s a bunch.
It takes a lot to organize, pack, move and then unpack a family. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to make the process go smoother for our family with the least amount of frustration for all involved. I want to share a few things with you to make the process easier if you’re facing a move in the near future.
The first thing I do before we move is go through every room of the house. I have three bags or boxes. One for donating, one for throwing and one for selling. I only have one rule…once it goes in a bag/box it doesn’t come out. If I decide to give it away, it stays in that box. No taking it out just because “I think I might need it someday”.
Once the donate box is full, it goes to the car. I don’t want it to accidentally get packed and I don’t want to move it just because we never made it to drop off. Some larger cities will actually come pick up your items for you. It’s important to make sure you call far enough in advance to schedule the pick up well before your moving date. I like to keep the box in the car so that when we are out and about we already have it in the car to drop off and there’s no “Oh nuts! We should have grabbed that box for Goodwill”.
I try to sell the other items as quickly as possible. I will usually list them in a local Facebook group or sometimes Craiglist. I don’t want to have to mess with shipping stuff out while I’m trying to pack them away.
The trash box/bag goes…well…in the trash. Sometimes it’s helpful to schedule an extra dumpster if needed, but I’m usually sorting items far enough out that I spread our trash out over a couple of weeks and we don’t need one. I make a shred pile for papers that might have important information on them. Shredding is a great job for the boys to do while I get a few things packed.
I know some families who sort, throw, sell and pack all in one fell swoop. I’ve tried it and pretty soon I just get overwhelmed. If I sort first, I know that when I walk in to that room to pack, everything that’s in there goes in boxes to go with us. I try to pack up a room soon after I’ve sorted so that junk doesn’t find it’s way back in there. Another benefit to sorting first is that if you’re lucky enough to have packing help you can send them in there with a stack of boxes, a tape gun, labels and they can have at it. They won’t be holding up a broken picture frame or toy saying “do you want to take this?”.
So that’s how I get started. It always feel good to get a room done and know that it’s ready to be put in a box or bin. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about how I stay organized when I’m packing.

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