I've moved twenty times (!!) to date. I'm sure that Bill has moved a similar number of times. That's not uncommon for military brats who have mobile post-college years. So it should come as no surprise that we have accumulated some advice when it comes to moving. Here are my favorite:
Have someone else do the work.
Ha! I grew up in a Navy family and had the pleasure of the military moving us. That means they sent people to our house to pack up our stuff, then they loaded it up, and unloaded it on the other end. All I had to do was pack a suitcase with enough clothes to make it to the new house. What a luxury! (This time around, we have a couple of professional "lifters" coming to load the U-Haul and unload it on the other end. But all the actual packing? That's us. And by us, I mean 10% me and 90% Bill.)
Pare down the clutter before you pack.
Sadly, the second half of my moving experiences have been without professional support. That means I (and my friends) end up lifting the boxes into the U-Haul. And if there is one lesson I've learned, it's that friends appreciate it when there are fewer boxes to lift. So Freecycle, donate, sell, or trash everything that isn't going to be a beloved item in your new place. Note: my other half has a different take on the whole clutter issue. Which is why he ends up lifting most of the boxes.
Use duct tape.
This was the best "new" tip that we came across. Essentially, you assign each room a different color of duct tape, then tag each box accordingly. On the day of the move, put a swatch of the correct duct tape on the outside door of each room -- that way you (or your movers) can easily put the boxes in the correct room.
I have high hopes that this method will help keep us organized -- especially since we're shuffling a lot of stuff. For example, in the new house I'll have a separate craft room, so some of the boxes in the current basement will be going to the new basement and some will be going to the new craft room.
We're also tagging an urgent boxes -- those boxes that we'll want to open right away -- with orange duct tape next to the room-specific duct tape. Those will get stored right by the door for easy identification later.
Anyone tried this before? How did it work?
Find someone to take the kids and dogs.
I could not be more grateful to my in-laws who are going to come up to our house and take the kids and dogs the night before the move. They'll keep them for a couple of days, leaving Bill and me to get moved and unpacked (at least a little) before we have a full house again. I highly recommend cultivating relationships with people who love you (and your family) unconditionally. Then foist away.