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“I Feel The Earth… Move…Under my feet. I feel the sky…”

– oh wait- wrong song! It’s not the whole earth. Just my little world.

Box by box, piece by piece – we’re movin’ on.

This move has gone smooth. And smooth is what you aim for with a move. “Easy” might be a bit Pollyann-ish but smooth is a worthy, attainable goal.

Here are my “10 Managing Many Moves Maneuvers” to help you who join me on this journey.

  1. Plan Ahead. Purposeful. Plenty. Thinking is easier than moving a sofa. Before move day, if you can get the floor plan – do. If you can’t, visit the new place and stand and stare. And measure. Then take the graph paper and play paper dolls/house with your pieces. You’ll get at least a good idea where the big pieces should land.
  2. Hire Help. Sounds Simple. Don’t doubt – just do it.
  3. Label Label Label. Invest in a BOLD BLACK marker or two and maybe even get carried away and get a couple of different colors so that you can sort while you label. For example, boxes labeled to go to the new place are labeled  by room in bold black like: DINING. But, maybe this new dining is minus the built-in shelving and some previously used display pieces need to go to storage. I don’t want to have to pack them, move them to the new house, unpack them, repack them, then move them to the storage myself…so I pack them in a separate box and label them in bold red like: STORAGE DINING ACCESSORIES. So if this seems like a lot of writing – reread the sentence before. I think the writing is a lot easier in the end.
  4. Put on your drill sergeant hat (and of course a smile). Your moving team is there to help you. But they are human. They are streaming your boxes and furniture in from the truck like little ants building a mound… and they see the boxes in the truck waiting for them so naturally they want to haul ‘em in and heave ‘em down. Haul ‘em in. Heave ‘em down. Anywhere.Everywhere. But you have labeled them. If the box of books you labeledLIBRARY (for the library is upstairs) – is heaved down on the floor in theKITCHEN downstairs, guess who gets to move the books upstairs? You don’t want that to be you. So with your smile and your sergeant hat make sure the boxes and furniture lands in the right spot.
  5. Banish the Boxes. Hire more help for this. It is so worth it. As my boxes are being delivered, I had found a couple of organized, hard working ladies who were “unpacking” them as quickly as they were delivered. True, I might have to rearrange the plates and soup bowls later. But at least my kitchen isn’t sitting packed away in 15 different boxes. Shifting from shelf to shelf is much easier once everything is visible and the boxes are out of the way. Which leads me to another Move Maneuver….
  6. What boxes come in- must go back out…empty and flat. Make arrangements with your movers to move your empty boxes back to your storage. Hey – you’re probably going to have some items going to storage anyway so as soon as the moving truck is empty, have those big strong moving men load the empty, flattened boxes back on the truck and take them away. Feels so  good you’ll feel like singing  “Calgon…. take me away” as you see them go!
  7. Like Momma always said… Make your Bed! When moving, this is one of your best investments. I have the movers be sure to assemble all the bed frames when they bring them in. And I had the ladies helping me make allthe beds. It makes it feel like home. And then when the day is done and my body is ready to sleep – a warm shower and fresh clean sheets are waiting. Much better than crawling up to sleep and finding a bare mattress laying on the floor while you trip over the bed frame.
  8. Handle it once and be done. Try not to pick up something more times than you have to. If I have to move the mirror out of the way of the chair – I want to put it down where is needs to be hung not in another place where I will have to move it again. Once is enough.
  9. Have the Hardware. You know what you’ll need. I like the “miracle monkey hooks” and Ook hangers for hanging stuff with very little holes. I know I need to keep my tools accessible. I know I need healthy snacks. And cleaning products. And the obvious – tissue paper not packed in the back corner of the truck. Think of this part like you are packing a “storm survival kit”. What will you need to have on you?
  10. Don’t dawdle. The more focused you can be, the sooner the “new home” becomes “your home” and you can continue on with the good stuff of life.

Well, those are just a few tricks of the trade I’ve learned. Last move was easier than the previous. And this one easier than the last. So it can be done! We had 1 day for packing, 1 for move-in and unpacking, 1 for arranging, and 1 for hanging the art/mirrors and tweaking the arrangements. 4 days in all.

And margaritas last night! Worth celebrating!
This post is courtesy of November Design Group and was originally posted on their blog page 6/13/2009.