Master A Stress Free Move In 30 Days - Part 1


If you have been following our moving series, you might be a little confused based on last month's move update, we went over how we were approx. 3 months out from moving. Now here were are, announcing we are just 30 days (actually less) away from move day! So you might ask, what changed? 

*This post is sponsored by Homes.com - all thoughts and ideas are my own.

Well... We have a house! While I had full intentions of taking you all along the final house search process with us, this specific home presented itself while doing just a quick browse on Homes.com last week. We have had no plans to even begin contacting available rental homes until January, but this one seemed perfect so we went ahead and inquired. To our surprise, they got back to us nearly immediately and thus that is when this surprise whirlwind of finding our perfect home began. 


As stated in my last move update, I went over the challenges you can face when trying to find a home/ rental while living in another state along with how to set yourself apart from the many other (local) applicants. One of the biggest tips I have for securing a home from out of state or in a unique situation, is to find a home listed by the landlord/ homeowner. This allows you the chance to connect with the person owning the home and present your situation to them, and more often than not, they will be more open to holding a home for the right person/ family, accepting a not so excellent credit score or a new job change over a property management company who is just approving applicants based off of a checklist.

In this case, as well as when we moved to Georgia, both homes were listed by the homeowner. In both situations we were able to talk on the phone to the homeowners and explain our moving timeline and also let them know a little more about our family and who we are as renters.

So let's get back to our home search journey... After talking to the homeowner, we set up a time to do a video tour of the home via FaceTime. Being that we are moving back to California to be near family, we knew that we had people whom we trust to go view properties for us in person. But... My dad has been here visiting us for the holidays, and when this home presented itself, we were informed that there were already 2 other applications in that they were considering and they needed to make a decision soon. The homeowner graciously walked us through the entire home, then outside to show us the neighborhood, nearest playground and community pool to really get a feel for where we would be living. 

After the tour I think both my husband and I knew instantly that this home was for our family. We sent an email saying that we would like to apply. But, we knew there were still a few obstacles in the way. First off, those 2 other applicants were local and could move in immediately. We on the other hand, hadn't even prepared to start moving until mid Feb! Not to mention my husband starting a brand new job, and not knowing how our credit score would hold up against the other applicants. We decided to give them a call and explain everything up front before ever submitting the application. Being honest and transparent is key if there is anything you are concerned about when applying. Secondly, I sent the homeowner an email with links to my social media and blog, to show how we care for our current home and how we plan to love and care for their home as well. Even if you don't have a blog or social media account where you share your home, send an email with possibly a collage of a few photos of your current home and a photo of your family. This gives them an idea of who will be occupying the home that they cherish. Renting from a homeowner is so much more personal, so try to connect with them on a personal level.

After all was sent off, we received the news within 24 hours, on Christmas Eve of all days... that we were accepted! 

Then came hammering out the details. I won't go into financial detail here because of personal reasons, but the homeowners graciously discounted our deposit due to a long distance move, but we did have to pay to hold the home until we could move in. This has now pushed our move date up by quite a lot! We now will be moving across the country in less than 30 days!

So you might ask... What's next? We now have one massive to-do list...
Follow along as I share a few of the tips that I have learned through my past moves and how I plan to incorporate them into this one. There is so much information that I have actually split this post into 2 parts. Part 1 being everything you need to know to get your home packed up and ready to move. Everything from packing materials to how to pack each room and what you need upon moving into your new home. Part 2 being the logistics of moving. In that post I will take you through a breakdown of moving yourself vs. hiring a moving company, traveling long distance to your new home, and how to do it all on a small budget, along with a to-do list of what you need to do before moving out of your current home.

How to master a stress free move in 30 days (or less)


Packing materials you will need:
Depending on your size of home, this will vary, but when it comes to purchasing boxes and packing materials, you need to factor in the following,

8 boxes - Standard Size Bedroom
(2 large for clothing, 1 medium for shoes, 3 medium for decor, 2 large for bedding/ curtains/ misc.)

12 boxes - Master Bedroom
(4 large for clothing, 2 medium for shoes/ bags, 4 medium for decor, 2 large for bedding/ curtains)
3 boxes - Bathroom
(1 medium boxes for decor, 2 small boxes for liquids, lotions and misc. product)

20 boxes - Living Room/ Family Room
(8 large boxes for decor/ blankets/ curtains/ pillows, 3 large picture frame boxes for wall decor, 1 large TV box, 5 medium boxes for DVDs/ electronics/ decor, 3 small boxes for any small misc. items)

18 boxes - Kitchen
(10 medium boxes for dishes/ pots & pans/ bake ware/ non-perishable foods/ table linens, 8 small boxes for spices/ counter top items/ cooking utensils/ coffee mugs and glass drinking glasses, plastic cups (kid's dinnerware)/ dishtowels & cleaning supplies)

4 boxes - Hallway Closets
(4 large boxes for hallway closet linens such as towels, extra sheets, blankets and pillows)

25 Boxes - Garage, Laundry Room & Misc.
(Depending on the size of your garage and what you need to pack, allow yourself an over count of boxes needed in various sizes from large to small. It is also good to have extra boxes on hand for other products such as cleaning supplies, toys, and extra decor. Remember, you can always return what you do not use, but it's better to have more than enough rather than making run after run back to the store to buy more!)

The average 3 bedroom home usually accounts for 75-90 moving boxes


The quality of your moving materials also matters. Sturdy boxes and tape will insure that your items will arrive at their destination in perfect condition. And how you tape your boxes also is of importance. The last thing you need is the bottom of your box to fall open after you spent all that time wrapping up your belongings.


Begin by taping the box once, across both flaps. Then tape once down the center line, then again on either side of that, overlapping the sides of the tape to create a strong hold. Again, the tape you use will make a difference. I've done this same method of taping but with a dollar store brand before and I was sorry I did... My advice, splurge on the good tape.


Lastly, label each box so that it has a final destination and anyone picking up the box can figure out where it goes. Label the boxes not as where they came from in your current home, but where you want them to go in your new home. I label each box with the room, then number each box for that room, and label the main contents in that box. I also have a checklist that I have created of all of this info that I can relate back to and check off as I un-pack, just in case a box gets misplaced or I can't find what I am looking for.


One other tip - Because we don't have a craft room or a play room, but have lots of craft items and toys, I box all of those items up grouped with similar items. Such as: "Crafts - Paper", "Crafts - Painting", or "Crafts - Wood". And for toys that don't have a place in either of the kid's rooms, I label those, "Toys - Hotwheels" or "Toys - Dress Up". On move in day, I have these boxes placed in the main entry or in the garage until I find a place/ closet to organize them.

Lighten the load:
As I went over in my last update, one of the biggest things you can do before a big move to make moving as easy as possible, is to purge the "junk". I went through round 1 with you, which was the hard part. Round 1 consists of taking inventory of what you have, what you haven't used in years, what you can live without, and what is just plain trash.

(You can read more about the process HERE)

After getting rid of and selling everything you could do without, now it's time to really think about what else can go. If you have a home (which you should being 30 days out from a move) you know the layout. Which furniture that you currently own won't fit or work into your new space? Maybe you want a slight style style change, what can you possibly sell and use that money to buy something new that you love? Or take a hard look at your closet, can you let some of it go? I like to call round 2, the "make room for more" round. You have to let go what is weighing you down sometimes to make room for something even better. Moving into a new home, one you have worked hard for, this is a new chapter, a new beginning. Now is the perfect time to let go of the things you maybe have held onto for too long just because it is "stuff".

Want to know another great thing about letting go? Well, it sure lessens the cost of your move! The lighter the load = the less that you pay. 

For us, we have saved the big items to get rid of, for last. Now that we have the layout of our new home we know what we can take and what needs to be sold. A plus of our new rental is that it comes with a washer and a dryer so we will be selling ours, along with our large dining table and other furniture items we know will not fit into our new home. What is fun about the purging process is that we always use the money that we receive from selling the old to buy new after we move. We get to go shopping without really spending!

Once you have sold/ donated all of the big stuff it's time to take a look at all of those things you have been hoarding for much too long: When it comes to anything in your bathroom cabinets, lotions, hair product or makeup, if you haven't used it in 6 months - a year, its time for it to go. Same goes for clothing, if you haven't worn it in a year or if it doesn't fit, let it go. And as for kitchen items that we all know can gather up over time, if you haven't used it in a year - 2 years, its time to be used by someone else.


Downsizing can be hard and it can feel overwhelming when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to let go of. But with each one of my moves, I have never regretted letting go of any of the items I decided to part with. Just keep your new home in mind through the whole process. Think of how everything needs a place to go and if you don't have the space or room for it, let it go. If you don't absolutely love it and that item no longer brings you joy, let it go.

And if just even starting the purging process feels daunting, I suggest starting in the bathrooms. then closets, then dressers, then the main areas of your home. One bag/ box at a time, and you will get there, I promise. Just trust your gut.

Where to begin packing:
Again, another daunting task that many dread (myself included). After 9 times of doing this, I basically have a routine and a system. Before I ever begin packing to move our home, I set aside a suitcase (or multiple in our case - for our family) along with 2 large size boxes and 1 medium size box. The suitcases will be for your travels to your new home and the boxes will be your "first night boxes". Especially when moving long distance, there is no guarantee what time your belongings will arrive at your new house and if it happens to be pushing bed time, the kids are melting down and you are at the end of your rope, the last thing you will want to do is dig through tons of boxes to find the things you need. Here are the items that I pack as MUST HAVES for the first day/ night of moving into a new home:

The "First Night Box(es)":
1 set of sheets for each bed
2 rolls of paper towels
1 bottle of cleaning spray
1 container of disinfecting wipes
3 rolls of toilet paper
1 towel for each person
4 night lights
1 can of air freshener
1 candle
lighter
paper plates
plastic utensils
travel size laundry detergent
travel size shampoo/ conditioner/ hand soap
1 large blanket/ comforter per bed

Suitcases:
clothes for each person for 1 week
personal care items
bedtime books for kids

Bring in the car:
favorite pillows
phone chargers
laptop
camera
any valuable jewelry or items
memorabilia that cannot be replaced (baby books, photos, family items, etc.)

Packing with kids:
If you have children, especially young ones, moving can stir up a whole boat load of emotions. My biggest tip when facing a new change - get them involved with the packing. Let them choose which items they want to pack up and make a game out of it! Try to see who can pack their boxes faster or count how many items fit into a box, or sort toys by colors. The more you involve your children, the less anxiety they will have.



Packing room by room:
Bathroom - I always start in the bathroom because it is the smallest room in the home and usually has the least amount to pack. (Ziploc bags will be your best friend!) I first pack up all liquids and lotions, each in their own separate Ziploc bag. I always place those in a box by themselves, separate from everything else. 

Closets - I begin by packing clothes first, leaving the clothes on the hangers, placing a plastic trash bag over them and placing each group of clothing into a box. 

Dressers - As for clothing in dressers, we have never packed our clothing, we first take out the drawers of the dresser on moving day, load the dresser, then place the drawers back in them with the clothing still inside. As you fill up the truck, the other furniture and boxes will insure that your drawers will not open and it/s one less thing you don't have to worry about packing! 

Decor - I always wrap breakable decor up with quality packing paper. Each item gets wrapped individually.
Dishes - One of the easiest tips I have for packing dishes is to place a foam paper plate in between each plate, then wrap the whole set up in bubble wrap. For coffee mugs and breakable glasses, wrap with packing paper and pots and pans wrap up with extra bath towels. 

Bedding - When it comes to comforters, duvet covers, etc... I always pack each bedding set together. Including throw pillows. This way, once your beds are all set up, it is easy to put each one together again. 

Jewelry - For jewelry that I won't be taking with me in the car, I like to use scrap pieces of cardboard, then using 2 different sized hole punches, punch holes into the cardboard for where I would like my jewelry to be held in place. This makes it so that necklaces, earrings and bracelets won't get tangled up in the move. For additional packaging, you can wrap the entire piece of cardboard up with plastic cling wrap as an extra step to keep the jewelry in place.


Garage Items/ Tools - Packing plastic wrap is great for keeping rakes/ mops/ brooms together but when it comes to the tools, we have chosen to purchase large plastic totes to insure that none of our tools get damaged in the move. Plus it makes for easy organizing after moving into your new home.


These are just a few of  tips that I hope you find helpful. Ones I have learned after making things much harder on myself over the years, when moving and entire household on a short time frame. 
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, coming soon! Thanks for stopping by!

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Also, check out the other tips and move updates in our moving series below:



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