Every year, movers pack up thousands of families’ belongings and prepare them for transport. A pack-out can be an extremely stressful time, especially when you have to prepare for driving across the country, cleaning the house, “camping” at home or staying in a hotel, checking out of a command, and all the other details involved in a move.
Getting ready for your pack-out and tips on how to unpack after moving are important steps in relieving stress and helping things run smoothly. Check out this infographic for easy ways to prepare:
- Purge, Donate, Sell. Get rid of everything you don’t want to use or store in your new location. It’s SO much easier to get rid of stuff now before they pack and load everything. Think of each donation as one more thing you don’t have to unpack! Plus, you may be able to make a bit of money from selling items on eBay or craigslist.
- Organize. Use clear plastic bins and Ziploc Bags to store your stuff and keep it together. Large Ziplocs are great because you can put so many more things inside including clothes, linens, baby toys, etc. Clear bins are a must so you can easily see what’s inside. If you have to search bin after bin to find something, it gets really annoying! Labels are great too, but sometimes they get hidden. So I highly recommend see-through!
- Set Aside Valuables. Identify items you do NOT want on the moving truck. Choose a plastic tub, and in it place valuables, files, cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic silverware, and paper plates. Depending on what kind of items you have, you may want more than one bin. Keep these set aside so you can bring them in your car on the move. Just don’t do what we did one time and lose the box!
Well, we survived part one of our move– our pack-out– and have been enjoying some wonderful time with family! During the process, I also noted a few keys about how to pack for a move, so I thought I’d share them with you today:
- Offer Sodas, Water or Coffee to Movers/Packers. Use fridge space to keep some drinks cool or pick up Starbucks for your packers and movers. It will keep them refreshed and energized, as well as happy. You want happy people packing up your stuff!
- Offer Lunch To Movers/Packers. Some people debate the need to provide lunch during a military move, and others go above and beyond and tip. We’ve settled on buying lunch. The packers and movers were extremely grateful and appreciative, though I know it depends on who you get and what kind of attitudes they have. Even if they’re not the best, it’s a kind gesture. Plan ahead by picking out a few fast food options, and even let them make the final decision on the big day, if you want. Popular meals are sandwiches, burgers, or pizza. (At Subway, definitely get yourselves some cookies to keep a smile on your faces hee hee!)
- Get Help With Pets And Young Children. I mentioned this in my previous post, but this is worth repeating, in my opinion. I had people offer and I took them up on it. Asking for help can be more difficult but it is so important! You’ll ease the stress on your animals, and give your kiddos the rest they need if they can nap or hang out at a neighbor’s house. You can even hire help- I hired my babysitter for a few mornings during the move-out. It was a lifesaver! There were many times that I needed both hands free as well as my brain to be able to focus on a task. Not having to prevent the baby from sticking her fingers in the outlets or getting trampled was a huge help.
- Set Aside Paper Towels To Use. For some reason, we went through a ton of paper towels. We used them for dusting, cleaning up the junk behind the washing machine, and for napkins during lunch. It seemed like we used them constantly so I recommend having a least a few rolls on hand.
- Try To Pare Down On Non-Vital Stuff. Luckily we have a very large SUV, but we will still be maxing it out. During the packing days, I removed stuff from our “don’t touch” room and sent it with the packers after all. Things that aren’t vital really fill up a car fast and add stress, so try to send as much as possible with the moving van.
- Try Not To Freak Out. During our military move, not freaking out was tough for me at one point. I walked outside and they had all our stuff in the street, but the truck was so full I didn’t think it would all fit. I had to walk away and not watch them load. I chose to focus on other things and not worry about what would happen if they couldn’t fit it all in. I felt like freaking out but I was able to keep my cool and divert my focus. They ended up fitting it all in, so if I had freaked out it would have been pointless!
- Plan To Eat Out Or Get Take-Out. Cooking a meal is the last thing you’re going to want to do. If you’re adventurous and want to “camp” at home, props to you. That would stress me out so we just plan to pick up food. It’s a great chance to eat food from our fav places one last time. We had friends invite us over for a meal too, which was a lot of fun and a big help.
- Hire A House Cleaner Or Get Friends To Volunteer. Cleaning your house or apartment is a huge task after the move out. I splurged and hired a housekeeper to clean for me. It was very reasonable and she did a fabulous job (Anacortes peeps let me know if you want her info!). Hubby had to go back to work that day, and with a 1 year old it wasn’t feasible for me to tackle the cleaning, so I went that route. It took so much stress off to not have to worry about it!
- Relax! Remember that it’s only “stuff.” Remember that it will all get done and the packing/moving days will end. You’ll move on to the next phase soon. Try to embrace the whole moving thing as part of the military spouse life and just remember you’re not alone! If you have any hilarious and/or crazy moving stories be sure to let me know about them in the comments or on my Facebook page! I’d love to hear them.
Follow these tips and your day will go much more smoothly and be less stressful! Good luck!