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Need advice before I have a breakdown

8 years ago

So we are finally moving next week. Yes I am happy that the house is just about done, but I have to tell you the last stretch is overwhelming. I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown. I work a full-time job, constantly have to run up to the new house, take care of the current house, and finalize things etc. I have some things packed and already at the new house, but of course not everything. It's just me basically doing all of this and I'm about to crack up. My husband takes things in his truck up to the new house, but it's basically left to me to do all the packing. I don't have much family, and my husbands family does not live by us, so we are basically on our own. I cannot tell you how overwhelming this is for one person and I don't know what to do. I'm not sure the best way to pack and prioritize so everything isn't unorganized and in disarray when we get to the new house. Any tips on how I should pack up and what I should do would be greatly appreciated before I lose my mind. I had to just sit down and try to breathe and write this message and take a little moment for myself. Is it best to just have everything all packed and get it out of here at once or should I be packing things and taking them out to the new house gradually? I am so overwhelmed that I can't even enjoy this. I just can't wait for it all to be over. Any words of wisdom from someone that was building a house, trying to pack up all their belongings of many years, cleaning and painting the new house while cleaning and trying to keep your current house up? I'd appreciate it. Thank you, sincerely, losing her mind in PA lol

Comments (45)

  • beekeeperswife
    8 years ago

    Moving is really stressful for so many reasons. My preference is to get it over with all at once. You know, rip the bandaid off rather than pulling on it slowly.

    It always seemed to me when we would move few boxes at a time and then finally get a moving truck to do the "big part", I always thought that we wasted so much time on the small trips.

    When you move in, you know, the first night you are sleeping suggestion is to get your bed set up and made immediately. This will not be something you want to do after spending a long day moving. We have done this every move, and for every child. And as those children became adults, they now do the same thing when moving in to a new place.

    Good luck. Soon it will be over. And don't forget to not pack the corkscrew, just keep it in your purse.


  • CaroleOH
    8 years ago

    I remember the overwhelming feeling I had when we were moving 3 years ago. I would go down the basement and look at everything down there and turn around and go back upstairs. I was finding closets that hadn't even been packed up days after the movers had come!

    I took maybe a different approach with this move because I didn't have a hard deadline for when we had to be out of our old house. It hadn't sold yet and I had a lot of stuff accumulated over the years, so I decided I was going to pack up all the things I definitely wanted to take. I could drive up to the new house and drop stuff off as I packed it. I decided I didn't want to move a bunch of stuff that was just going to sit in boxes at the new house - I was going to purge as I packed. Great idea, but it was hard because then I had to go back and get rid of all the stuff I didn't want.

    We had movers come and move all the large furniture and our clothing and I packed up all the kitchen stuff, books, etc. and they took those things up to the house for me. I put my china and lamps and our TV's in my SUV because I didn't want to pack them up so carefully - we were only moving 10 miles.

    I went to the movers and bought some boxes and a huge pack of paper to wrap my dishes and glasses in. I also marked each box with what was in it (generally) and where the movers should take it - master, bathroom, FR etc.

    I would focus on getting packing supplies and packing up all your books/knick knacks etc. things you don't use everyday. I would also tell DH if he's not able to help pack, you might want to hire a few people to come help you out and definitely if you're going to have movers come for the big stuff they should have some staff that could come for a day and help pack. You'd be amazed how much they can pack in a day.

    Take a deep breath and this will be over soon! You can't do it all, so don't be afraid to ask for help or pay for help!

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  • tibbrix
    8 years ago

    Label the boxes by room, i.e.: "Kitchen", "Master bedroom"

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    8 years ago

    I actually like the packing process! One room at a time, purge as I go, label the boxes clearly as to the room. I never wanted any help.....too many hands just get in the way.

    Don't pack and move a bunch of junk to the new place!

    I hope that you've taken advantage of the many web sites available on the subject of packing for a move. There's lots of great advice. You'll see that it's not very complicated!

  • annkh_nd
    8 years ago

    Hugs, chloenkitty! I can just imagine how hard it is to do this mostly by yourself.

    My advice: get rid of as much stuff as you can. You hate to end up throwing stuff away after you've moved it, but realize you don't want that crap in your nice new house!

    As long as you're making trips often anyway, I'd keep chipping away at hauling things over, starting with breakables, seasonal things, and stuff you know you won't need. If the new closets are done, bring over a load of clothes every time you go. If you have storage space (basement, closet), move holiday decorations, good dishes, appliances you don't have time to use.

    Pack up most of the kitchen. You probably won't have a dinner party before you move - get rid of all but a few place settings for you and DH, and all but your most-used cookware. Same with bedding, towels, shoes.

    Anything hanging on the walls, furniture from less-used rooms, things from bookcases or shelves - no reason to wait.

    Since your DH is willing to haul stuff to the new place, I'd make sure there was something to bring on every trip. As others said, as long as boxes are clearly marked, you can sort them out later.

    Do you have any friends or coworkers you could ask to help for an afternoon or evening? My Mom moved recently, and two friends of hers packed up an amazing amount of stuff in just a couple of hours. Liquor stores are a great source of empty boxes for heavy stuff like books and dishes.

    Good luck, and hang in there!

  • Kiwigem
    8 years ago

    Hang in there- you're almost there! I don't know if you have kids, but I always think the final stretch before moving is like transition in childbirth. Right when you think you can't take anymore- it means you're almost finished!

    Another great place to get free boxes is assisted living facilities. Everything we owned was packed in adult diaper boxes, lol. Seriously I couldn't believe how many boxes they recycle every day.

    I've had some time to read the advice others have given and it's all really good, especially packing an overnight bag for the move day.

    Keep your chin up. The first time we moved I packed every single box myself while chasing 2 year old twins around- ayayay. Moving is usually a happy problem, but it's exhausting and stressful. You're almost to the promised land!!!

    This post was edited by Kiwigem on Tue, Nov 4, 14 at 10:09

  • blfenton
    8 years ago

    The last time we packed up the house was 4 years ago. We were doing a whole-house reno so everything went into storage.

    I purged and purged and purged. I had a pile for the dump, for recycling and for the church. Then I packed and then I hired packers for the china, glass ware, and all the accessories and for the kitchen. Best thing I ever did. They weren't that expensive and they knew how to pack and were so quick at it. They saved me hours.

  • vedazu
    8 years ago

    If you are moving a short distance, keep clothing on the hangers and just put them in dress bags or a big box--then hang them back up. You can move entire drawers that way--just put them right in the back of your truck and pop them into the case. And use that rule--if you haven't worn it in two years, give it away.

  • Errant_gw
    8 years ago

    Hang in there! I know it's hard, my last two moves have been entirely left to me to handle, as well.

    As others have said, now is a great time to purge. Donate as much as you can, instead of bringing it to the new house. Sometimes, though, that ends up being just as much work as moving it. If that's the case, clearly mark those boxes but don't unpack them at the new house. If you end up with still sealed boxes after your first year, go ahead and toss them.

    Go room by room and make sure to label each box on more than one side. I always leave kitchen, bath, and my clothes for the last loads. Everything else you can survive without.

    Even if you don't move your bed until the end, get at least one set up and made so that you have a place to crash when needed. Keep that room free of clutter and boxes so that you can relax :)

  • vwhippiechick
    8 years ago

    We have moved many, many times over the years. We have moved cross country and 20 minutes away. It is always overwhelming at some point in the process. The long move was paid for by an employer so it was "one shot pack up and move" by professionals. The last move was the 20 minute move. On this move we did take a few boxes/items each time we came to the new home. It went pretty well but I had family to help. I'm so sorry you are so stressed. Just try to push through it and you will get it done. Hugs to you!

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    How far away is the new house? Are you showing the old house? Lots of good advice above. We moved 100 miles and were trying to sell old house while building new, so a lot of our stuff (after purge) went into storage, I'd bring more to unit (near new house) each time I went to check on construction. Valuables went to my parents' house (but you don't have that option, you have to decide whether you want to keep them with you until moving day, then put in your car, if you are showing the old house and new house is secure and insured you may want to bring them there ASAP, or rent a safety deposit box).

    Concentrate first on purging what you don't need, then packing things you don't use often or need before you move but will want at new house (holiday decorations, winter clothes, etc.) and are lightweight but bulky. Get a mover for the furniture. Label boxes with rooms they go in (e.g., Front bedroom, not guest room so movers can figure it out).

    If the houses are pretty close together and the new house is not under construction (and is clean and secure) then you can even unpack as you bring things over - that helps a lot with the stress of *un*packing, you can basically get your kitchen (except for anything you will need in the meantime), bathrooms, pantry and closets all set up before the furniture gets there.

    I don't know if you're moving everything, or keeping the old house as a second home, but if you are buying new appliances you might as well buy a new microwave and coffeemaker too, have those all set up - there is nothing I can think of more necessary than coffee that first morning, even if you have pizza the night before! OK, TP, towels, and a shower curtain are at the top of the list too ;-)

    Sounds like you're not in a huge rush to move, it's not long-distance so you can just chip away at it. Don't let it overwhelm you, you can do it!

    EDIT: Sorry for the repeat, I had typed this before dinner but just saw I didn't hit Submit and the last 4-5 people already said what I was going to! Except that if you can get the kitchen set up (with minimum coffee maker, filters, coffee, cups, sweetener if you take it) before the move that's even better than packing it up last-minute. The last time we moved (the 100 mile move), I packed up all my pots and pans except 1 small saucepan and had them already put away, and we had new coffeepot and MW there too (good thing since it took another week to get our new stove and fridge delivered, we were living with the MW, gas grill and cooler for a week!).

    This post was edited by ajsmama on Mon, Nov 3, 14 at 18:35

  • crl_
    8 years ago

    I have moved a bunch with kids! You can do it. Get rid of anything you don't need anymore. No sense packing and unpacking it. And label very well, on all four sides of the box--that way you can read the label no matter how the box gets set down or stacked.

    The kitchen is the worst of it for me, lots of stuff in that room and it's stuff you need to be able to eat. So I take the most care with that room. I unpack kids rooms first and kitchen next.

    Good luck!

  • joaniepoanie
    8 years ago

    My dad was in the moving business. I remember him telling people to leave all their dresser drawers intact and use a bath towel on top of each drawer to prevent clothes falling out. Since you are moving close by, leave all clothes on hangers then just hang them up at the new place.

    Whenever you are headed to the new house, by all means take boxes with you and put them immediately in the room where they will go. Pack all items that are not needed first.

    Keep one set of bed linens out for each bed so you can easily make up the beds the day you move in.

    Do try to purge as you go along.

    If you can't hire a moving company to help with some of the about high school or college kids...they should be able to handle unbreakable items.

    Try not to'll be nice and cozy in your new home before you know it and this phase will be a distant memory!

  • ellendi
    8 years ago

    Can you hire a local teen from a nearby high school? Packing is back breaking, especially doing it all alone.

    Or, is there a local handyman that can help you?

  • finallyhome
    8 years ago

    The cost of movers: $500 - ?
    The cost of peace of mind: Priceless

    Call somebody. Save your sanity.

  • gyr_falcon
    8 years ago

    Oh, boy. Been there! Purging takes time, and eventually I just had to forget that and pack. Our house closed right before a long scheduled vacation--so I was packing for a trip while packing for the move.

    I see a lot of mentions for labeling boxes by room. Much better, is to sort by room and PRIORITY while packing. You probably won't be making a bundt cake within the first few weeks, so you don't want to be digging through all of your boxes of this type of stuff looking for a spatula.

    Kitchen Priority 1 box should hold just what you will need within the first days of moving in. You should be able to make due with what is in this box/boxes (skillet and pan, 1 each of basic utensils, coffee maker, pot holders, a few favorite spices, foil, measuring cups & spoons, some dishwasher packets, cutting board, most used knives, etc). Think camping with maybe a few comfort items. If you don't get to another kitchen box for a week, you will survive just fine.

    Kitchen Priority 2 contains those things that you will need as you start preparing a few more meals at the house. You will need the grater, the rest of your knife set, and some casserole dishes, for example.

    Priority 3 and up. Unpack these at your leisure. You don't need that zester immediately upon move in, but you will want it in the drawer at some point.

    Same for the other rooms. Bedroom Priority 1 are just the clothes needed for the first days. #2 broadens the clothing assortment and gives a few more shoe choices.

    After unpacking the Priority 1 boxes for the entire house, you can comfortably live there. Priority 2 gets you settled in; life begins to feel a bit more normal. Unpacking takes longer than anyone thinks, and with painting and other prep going on at the same time, dealing with address changes, utilities, etc. can become crazy in a flash. I took a breather before getting to #3-4 / Last boxes. It is rare to know where all of the household items are going to be going, so delaying unpacking items that you don't need immediately helps prevent having to shuffle everything multiple times, and not remembering where the important items ended up.

    Moving is tough, but you'll get through it! :)

  • justgotabme
    8 years ago

    I didn't take time to read what anyone wrote but you Chloekitty, I just wanted to add a link to a blog I wrote awhile ago for a webpage I no longer work for. I hope the powers that be realize it's just easier to link then tell you how I move. And I've moved more than a dozen times many across country and into a home we were the builders on, so I do have experience.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Move

  • maxmillion_gw
    8 years ago

    I've moved over a dozen times, and it's never easy! The past few moves I hired professional movers. They are soooooo much faster than I am. What would have taken me weeks to pack took them a day. I get bogged down by looking at things, wondering if I should keep them or purge them, etc etc. Professional movers are all go go go and have no emotional attachments. I was amazed that they would just wrap whole desk drawers and pack them. I would have gotten bogged down with categorizing all the items into baggies.

    If that's not an option, when I packed myself I would always start with something easy to get my momentum going. It doesn't take very long to pack all the books, but they take up a lot of boxes and feel like good progress. Clothing and bedding too. The kitchen is pretty straightforward, but it does require a lot of wrapping.

    The hardest for me are the things that require greater care (potted plants, sauces that might spill or leak, paintings), all the miscellaneous bits and bobs that are left once you've packed the big stuff, and mementos. Depending on your personality, you might prefer to alternate easy and difficult tasks to keep your momentum going, or you might put off the difficult stuff to the end. If I procrastinate the hard stuff, DH will swoop in and finish the last bits because he doesn't find that part difficult.

    Oh, and definitely get boxes limited to 2 or 3 sizes so you can stack them. If you don't, they start to take over too much room and it can slow you down. Depending on where you live, you might have good luck buying slightly used moving boxes off of Craigslist for pretty cheap. If you assemble a bunch of them and have them on the floor, it's easy to toss things in when you're going about the rest of your day without thinking too much about it.

    Set aside a box or two for things you will absolutely need for the first week. That way you won't feel pressured to unpack right away because all the essentials are available. Clothing, toiletries, toilet paper, a few sets of dishes and cooking utensils, etc.

    While it's ideal to purge before you move, if that is the part that is slowing you down, just pack now and purge later. Purging can be such an emotionally draining process. There's no need to make your already difficult move any more difficult.

    Hang in there. It'll be worth it!

  • nhbaskets
    8 years ago

    I can so relate. When we moved into our new home this past May, DH wasn't able to help out much as he was recovering from by-pass surgery. Like you, I felt everything was left on my shoulders. The week we move was the most exhausting I've ever experience. We had movers move all our furniture along with some boxes. The rest was done by me and my brother. I'll never forget the day the movers came I watched as they were filling up their truck. I thought they had taken all the boxes that were on the second floor. Right as they were ready to close up the truck, I went upstairs and found 20 boxes. I sat on the floor and cried. There was no way I could carry those boxes down 2 flights of stairs so I asked the movers if they could bring them to the garage. It was worth paying for their extra time to have them all in one location.

    Lots of people have given you good advise. I personally like bees suggestion to put the corkscrew in your purse.

    My advise would be to unpack your kitchen in advance if at all possible. I didn't have the opportunity this time around but did so 20 years ago. I just remember having a functioning kitchen made everything much more bearable.

    Good luck!

  • nutsaboutplants
    8 years ago

    Chloenkitty, hang in there. I know exactly what you're going through. We moved almost two months ago. Our old house now has more stuff than our new house. It will take me another couple of months to sort through things, clear everything and put the house on the market. We are hiring the movers twice for two moves because of that. Supervising the painting, reflooring, inspection, appraisal etc of the new house, packing, unpacking is pretty much all me. As is the old house. All this with a pretty demanding job. I have to will myself to hold it together. I feel for you. Good luck. Hugs.

  • jmc01
    8 years ago

    In our last couple of moves, DH has been solely responsible for packing the garage and all of his basement stuff. He's also been given 2 large suitcases and he packs his dresser.

    I revolted from having to do it all. This much less has made a huge difference for me.

  • juliekcmo
    8 years ago

    Sorry that this is getting to you.

    My in-laws moved 2 years ago.
    We moved 1 year ago.

    Here are some ideas we liked.

    Most important things are below. Pack these by themselves and make SURE they get to the new house.

    Kitchen Critical --Coffee maker, can opener, Wine opener, coffee. coffee Cups, Cooler for creamer, diet coke, beer, and Ice, paper plates, disposable silver wear, trash bag, paper towels.

    Bedroom Critical-Sheets/pillows. Change of clothes for 3-4 days and shoes

    Bathroom Critical-Any medicines needed. First Aid Kit. Toothbrush and toothpaste, makeup, sun screen. TOILET PAPER hand soap and hand towels, feminine supplies (you know Murphy's law....)

    Pet Food and Beds-See if your pets can stay with a friend on moving day so that you don't have to worry about them getting lost.

    Critical Tools: Phone charger, regular and phillips screwdriver, house keys, masking tape, duct tape, sharpie, pencil and paper, box cutters for opening boxes and cutting them down for recycling, roll of large trash bags, hammer and picture hanger hooks, tape measure.

    Then for the other items, I liked packing boxes and give the box a number. Then get a spiral notebook and write down a short reminder of what is in every box (like things that were in the bottom left kitchen drawer). Why this way? So that if you have to LOOK for something before it is all put away, you can look in the right box, no matter where it is stacked in the new house.

    You may have kept that stuff in the kitchen in your current house, but it may go in the mud room in the new house. So that is why the numbered boxes are better than just saying Kitchen.

    Before the big day try and determine generally where you want each box. Then on moving day, you don't touch the boxes, you just stand there with your notebook. The mover says box 17, you look, and say, master bedroom. Easy.

  • fouramblues
    8 years ago

    I'm sorry you're feeling so stressed! Though I can't imagine your feeling otherwise, given all that you're doing. :(

    DH came up with a system that we've used for all our moves. It might seem a little OCD, but it really made things feel more manageable to me. Each room had a letter designator ('K' for kitchen), and each box in that room was labeled with that and a number, 1-whatever. As I packed each box, I wrote down on a master list what went in the box. (K1: saucepans, grater, roasting pan, ...) That way I could always refer to the master list and find anything I needed. This is especially helpful when everything isn't unpacked right away.

    Good luck!!

  • TxMarti
    8 years ago

    I always liked the packing part too. I would clear a room as much as possible and then start packing that room. Stack the boxes in one corner, and then move to the next room. And like others have said, cull as you go. Makes it so much easier to unpack and put away when you know everything that comes out of a box is a keeper.

    Ditto on setting up the bed first. And pack a couple of towels and your bath items in a box to be opened first. Also a shower curtain if you need one. So frustrating to be hot, dirty, and dead on your feet, and still have to search for a bar of soap to take a shower.

  • kswl2
    8 years ago

    Our last move was just 16 miles, one small town over from where we already lived. The interior designer did a floor plan of all the rooms and had several of those large blueprints made of the plan. We made it very simple for our movers and gave them a couple of sets of plans with round stickers in different colors on each room. The boxes that went in those rooms had the same color sticker on all four sides of each box.... It was darn near fool proof. Each piece of furniture was also tagged with a colored sticker, and my mother and I both had a set of plans and could tell the movers exactly where to place each piece as it came through the door.

    All the artwork and accessories were stored in the dining room and ID came later in the week to hang and accessorize. (Things ended up in rooms I would never have chosen for them, and they looked great in their new homes.).

    I agree with whomever said to just pack up and move it all in one go rather than do the job in lots of small trips as the latter method seems to make it go on forever. Definitely set up your bedroom first as that will be your oasis of calm over the next few weeks. If there was any time to spend money on a luxury, packers are it.....good packers are worth their weight in gold!

  • chloenkitty
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Thank you everyone for your advice. First Id like to say that the majority of you had some kind of reference to wine, corkscrews etc. LOL that really gave me a chuckle.

    I do have large sheets typed up that say kitchen, bathroom, spare bedroom, etc. to label each box with. I have also been able to put some things in my new closet in the new house. Our current house has sold and we close on it a few days after we move, so we do need to make sure everything is out.

    I am doing what some advise by purging as I go through everything. This does take extra time and wrapping breakables I find takes a lot of time. I am very much an accessory girl, I have a lot of candleholders and breakables that I just can't bear to part with so those kind of things are taking me time.

    One thing that may help considerably with the move, but I'm torn about, is our master bedroom furniture. We have lovely master bedroom furniture in our current house but are not using that in the new house master bedroom. I want our new master bedroom to be more simple, less furniture, so I purchased new furniture for the bedroom. I was going to split up the current master bedroom furniture set up into the other two spare bedrooms. However, the buyers of our current home have offered to buy our master bedroom furniture. My husband is thrilled with this idea because it is very large and heavy. I'm kind of torn because now I do have to buy some new furniture, but I really did not need all of the pieces we have currently. In fact some of the pieces I would not be able to use at all like the armoire and one of the nightstands. Another negative is the fact that I was just going to pull the drawers out of the dresser and take them filled. Now I have to empty all the drawers and box the clothes, which stinks. I guess maybe it's best to not have to move that big heavy furniture and be stuck moving pieces I will not be able to use. It can be nice to get a few new, smaller pieces for the new house. What do you think? Was that the right choice, to sell it to the buyers?

  • annkh_nd
    8 years ago

    Definitely the right choice! You're so lucky that the new buyers wanted it!

  • blfenton
    8 years ago

    For sure sell it to the buyers. You have to empty the drawers and move all the clothing into the new furniture anyway - and now you can purge that stuff as well.

  • amykath
    8 years ago

    I think that is great that the new buyers want to buy the furniture. If it is heavy, and you do not love it, then YES it is serendipitous. You can take the money and slowly buy some things you really want.

    I went from Atlanta to Texas to sell my parents house. My dad had passed and my mom was moving with me to Atlanta as she was ill. I was pretty much the only person packing up 25 plus years of stuff. My dad was a hoarder and my mom had not even gotten rid of all of his stuff. I had to go through everything. It was difficult, trying and also very emotional.

    We sold the house and sold most of the furniture, or donated it. We moved some special pieces and of course loads of items I had to keep that were very special since my father was gone and my mom was not going to be around much longer.

    We sold, moved etc in one week. Whew! I could not believe it all happened and I did not loose my mind.

    I have to share one thing that saved my sanity. 1-800 Got Junk. They were amazing. There was so much I did not have time to pack or throw out. Imagine a house your parents lived in for more than 20 years. I would just point at scattered items and they would pack them all. They just throw it into a large truck. They do not throw everything alway. They recycle and give to charity. You just pay for how much you fill the truck.. It was amazing. When you are out of time and energy and your sanity, they are the best. I sure hope they are still in business.

    So, take deep breaths and just keep on doing what you are doing. Consider hiring a helper or asking a friend or co-worker. Check out 800 got junk, if they are still around.

    Big hug! I hope you are feeling a little less frantic.

  • kswl2
    8 years ago

    Selling heavy furniture you're not using = v good idea

  • outsideplaying_gw
    8 years ago

    Some great advice. Most people have already told you what I was thinking. If you haven't thought about it already, pack a small bag as if you were going for an overnight trip with a change of clothes, underwear, your makeup and toiletries, etc in case you can't get to unpacking for the night in your bathroom. Same for DH (shaving supplies, etc). Bee gave excellent advice on making up your bed and getting it ready as soon as you can. Also put up some towels and a bar of soap or shower gel in your bathroom for the end of the day. Put toilet paper in every bathroom.

    I ditto that you did the right thing about selling your MBR furniture to the new owners. Your new spare bedrooms are probably smaller and you'll be better off finding scaled-down items for those rooms instead of trying to fit larger furniture into them. Think about beds with headboards only and small dressers with a small mirror to make those rooms look larger. It will depend on what type of guests you expect to host in the future.

    Another use for furniture not being used is the Habitat Re-store. Wonderful place. Also is good for left-over construction materials. You do have to get it there though.

  • kittymoonbeam
    8 years ago

    Take a minute in your favorite spot in the house and remember to be thankful you have a new home to go to and your beautiful things to take there. And be thankful you have a job to go to. Ask yourself how many people would love to have your problem right now? The rest you can manage somehow. It's hard but if you can just start with the most precious things first and the rest can be packed a little faster. Anything you can donate to people with nothing at all is a mercy in these hard times.

    Bless you and I hope you are happy in your beautiful new home.

  • gsciencechick
    8 years ago

    I like the idea of labeling "priority" or "critical" when packing.

    WTG for selling the BR set with the house.

    I have packed myself many times while working a full-time job. The last time I moved to be here with DH so he was almost 3 hours away and could not help me during the week. I was always a good "purger" but I swear I am still finding things I should have gotten rid of when I moved here.

    I have always hired professional movers, even when I moved across the street. Seriously, the best money ever spent. I was not moving the BR furniture or couch or risking friends to do it for me.

    Good luck! Hang in there!

  • joaniepoanie
    8 years ago

    yes to selling your furniture to the new owners...its a win win.

    Also thought GyrFalcons idea of marking boxes 1, 2, 3 etc for order of importance was really stated... no searching through 20 kitchen boxes to find a spatula. Writing what is in each box is also a good idea but takes time.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    How soon is the move? If possible I would prioritize getting the new BR set (mattress too? WTG!) delivered and bed made, bathroom set (including TP in downstairs bath for movers to use), clothes and as much kitchen stuff moved prior to moving. Then you'll be halfway unpacked. Let movers take heavy stuff (appliances?) bulky stuff and if you don't have time to wrap and you trust them, they can do breakables. Anything valuable or irreplaceable, YOU pack and move in your car (put in and locked before they get there) or with trusted neighbor/friend/safety deposit.

    If you have time to make a detailed list of what's in each box, great, but if not just generally write on it them what's in (spatulas, cooking utensils, pots, pans, glasses). The movers WILL NOT write what's on them (at least not in detail) and will just write the room they were packed IN in the old house (if you're lucky) and put in the same room in the new house so if you have time to supervise/see what they're packing, or sort things (they will put things in a 2nd box if run out of room, or grab something from another pile in same room if it's there to fill the box so not foolproof) you can sort of keep a handle on what's in which box and label it before it gets something stacked on it. Even if you have a stack make sure YOU label any accessible side(s) with what room it goes to in the new house.

    Movers aren't always careful with stuff - I had furniture scratched, screws from antique furniture (to attach mirrors, etc.) left behind (never found when we went back) or thrown away even though I provided ziploc bags. Anything you want handled with special care, move yourself if possible or discuss IN DETAIL how you want it handled. I had a mover take the custom table pad off my DR table and then proceed to lay paper down to wrap pictures, etc. on and he scratched the table! Enlist DH and any responsible adult you can find to keep an eye on movers as they pack and load, not so many people required for unloading. Just so they don't stack boxes on top of your antique dressers without using pads, etc.

    I've used movers 3x for interstate moves and have had something damaged each time. Insurance pays by weight, and they have a deductible (I did fight and win to have last mover pay furniture refinisher that HE sent try to polish my DR table, and I wasn't happy with the result but the table pad is back on and I try to forget about it). I much prefer to pack breakables and move everything myself. It's getting harder as we and our friends/family get older to handle the heavy stuff - next move will be a big purge, getting rid of all furniture ;-)

  • luckygal
    8 years ago

    Since I've moved about 19 times I've learned it's better not to stress about it!

    First of all, are you able to take some time off from your job? That would help a lot.

    Second, make sure there is a fully made up bed, toiletries, and clothing in the new house. Just dump out dressers drawers into boxes and move them. Likely not much there that will wrinkle anyhow. Helpful to have basic kitchen stuff but you might want to go out for breakfast on that first morning.

    Label, label, label every box as to which room it goes in.

    If you haven't purged it may be too late to worry about that. Those are decisions that often require a clear head and it may be better to do it later. Not fun to regret you gave away a special item.

    You will get thru this, attitude is everything so decide to make this a challenge you can learn from. Try to celebrate this event in your lives.

    Looking forward to 'seeing' your new house when everything is arranged to your satisfaction. That day will come sooner than it now seems.

  • outsideplaying_gw
    8 years ago

    I agree with purging too. If someone offers to buy some of our furniture when we sell, I will think long and hard about it before I risk movers scratching it. Some is just very heavy, we've moved it once. Some we had delivered here and I'd hate for it to be scratched or damaged in a move by careless people and I do know it happens.

    I forgot to add...if you have valuables (jewelry, silver, coin collection, guns, or anything else), I'd put it in a special box and put it in the trunk of my own car and keep it there out of sight and un-labeled, until the movers are gone. Even your kids piggy banks. You'd be surprised what tempts people to put in their pockets.

  • skibby (zone 4 Vermont)
    8 years ago

    I'm a reader on this forum mostly but I wanted to chime in on this one. Maybe it would be helpful to have your rubbish removal folks put a dump box at your house. That way you can purge as you go, perhaps more effectively. Throw it in there - done. No having to transport it somewhere else. It's hard enough to be decisive when trying to cull out in the best of situations - lots of wasted time agonizing. Getting out of the old house is never fun - the good part is getting settled in the new house. I would heed that advice about the corkscrew too. Good luck - this is a tough thing to do yourself.


  • sjhockeyfan325
    8 years ago

    I guess maybe it's best to not have to move that big heavy furniture and be stuck moving pieces I will not be able to use

    Not only would you be moving it TO the new house, but then you'd have to move the pieces you don't want OUT of the new house. Good decision to sell, and now you have some money to buy what you want for the new house.

    1-800-gotjunk and That way you can purge as you go, perhaps more effectively. Throw it in there - done.

    If you haven't purged it may be too late to worry about that.

    We took about a month to purge (major downsizing and purging - and LOVED doing the purging, not so much the packing). We had 3 full-size dump trucks to get rid of 26 years+ of detritus. That was after 1) we had already given away a LOT of stuff (we had every bed the kids had ever slept in other than the crib, which we'd already given away -- we even had the dinette set from our first apartment!), and 2) we had remodeled our kitchen and already purged (when I did that I was left with not a single item I don't use) Purging is very freeing.

    We started out labeling accurately and got worse about it as time went on. I encourage you to stick with it.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    8 years ago

    Ditto the advice on purging. But only if you have the time. I did a major downsizing a few years ago, moving from a house (1400sf) my ex and I had lived in for 20+ years to a tiny beach cottage (700sf). Boy, can you accumulate a lot of junk in more than 20 years in the same place! Plus my parents had passed a few years before and I still had boxes of stuff cleared from their house that I hadn't addressed.

    It took me about a month to go through everything and toss what I was sure I would no longer need. I was ruthless - anything I hadn't used in the last couple of years went. As well as a few things that were reminders of an unhappy marriage (treated myself to a new set of dishes and a bunch of new linens!!) Anything usable went to charity, the rest I took to the dump (thank God for pick-ups!!).

    I packed everything myself, using some of the great tips already mentioned. And I did have the luxury of moving gradually, taking boxes to the new place whenever I could (usually a trip a week). I had family help on moving day with all the furniture and whatever remaining boxes there were. Garbage bags can be your friends :-)) I used them for all sorts of soft stuff - pillows, linens, even clothes. They make great padding/stuffing between the furniture, etc.

    Moving day was stressful enough that I opted not to spend that night in the new place but stayed in a hotel and indulged myself. Plus I still had a lot of clean up to do in the old place so staying close to the old location was just more practical.

    The one issue that hasn't been addressed is moving any outdoor stuff. I am a serious gardener and had a lot of garden supplies, tools, ornaments and plants in containers that I just could not/didn't want to part with. And houseplants! These all took a full box truck on their own.

    That was my last move on my own or with family and friends helping. If/when I ever move again, I will pack all my stuff (just need that sense of control and attention) but I will hire someone to do all the loading and unloading under my supervision.

    It's all doable. Just take a deep breath, make lots of lists and cross off chores as you accomplish them. Get whatever help you can and remember to take some time for yourself, whether it just be a long soak in the tub or indulging in a mani-pedi or a leisurely lunch with girl friends. It will be all over soon :-)

  • justgotabme
    8 years ago

    Since you won't be closing on the house for three days after you move into your new home, why not take that time to move your clothing while still in the drawers? You could wrap the drawers each in a blanket to protect them from scratches. I'd use the back seat of your vehicle to move the drawers that way even wrapped their less chance for damaging them. Once you've emptied the clothing into your new furniture you can re-wrap the drawers and take them back to your current home.

  • lazy_gardens
    8 years ago

    I'm in your boat, but with house #2 about 7 hours away.

    Absolutely get RID of everything you can. Donate and trash and sell anything that won't be used. If you have something you were planning to fix, fix it or fling it before you move. Every box I donate, Craigslist freebie I haul to curbside, or bag of trash I toss is one less thing to move and unpack.

    Open ALL boxes that are in the old house's garage, attic and closets ... make sure you want to move that stuff, don't haul it around just because it was in the last house.

    Strip the old place down to the bare essentials, with everything not needed for daily living packed.

    Things that work:
    Set aside ONE room for stacking the boxes you have packed. Take some whenever you make a trip, but seeing the pile grow and seeing empty spots appear in the resat of the house is a morale booster.

    If you can empty out a room, clean it thoroughly and shut the door. Put a sign on it saying "DONE".

    Pull together and pack up a category of things you don't need for daily living (decor, guest linens, sewing, books, out of season clothing, or whatever), label the boxes. Label BOTH ends.

    Empty as much of the kitchen and bathrooms as you can, packing or donating, and use fewer cupboards and cook fewer things. Clear out unused bedrooms and make it "move-ready", then shut the door.

    I scrub the empty cabinets and tag them with a bit of blue tape so I know it's DONE! Big morale booster to see the blue tags spreading :)

    Set limits for a daily stint - clear and pack ONE closet, clean and pack ONE bookcase, pack up "n" boxes of stuff. If you feel like doing more, do it, but one a day will keep progress going.

    This is heresy for some movers, but I unpack by putting ALL the boxes in the middle of the living room in rows. Pull one box, put everything in it away, do the next.

    If you have to open a box to get that "one thing" ... put it and all the rest of the things in that box away.

  • robo (z6a)
    8 years ago

    I'm in the boat that it's easier to purge at leisure than cram it in to the week before a move -- so I have found at some point it's just easier to throw crud in boxes and worry about it later (and I LOVE purging!). Kind of depends on the time deadline.

    Always leave a couple of boxes/laundry baskets in the house for the final walkthrough, it's amazing what you will have missed.

    Clothing and garbage bags are a match made in heaven.

    To me it's much more important to purge and organize in the new home -- taking your time unpacking and really figuring out where you want everything to go will go a long way.

  • 2ajsmama
    8 years ago

    If you're not closing until 3 days after the move then you can leave things there for Salvation Army to pick up (call for appt, they will only pick up furniture and large items) or for you to bring, but make sure you put labels on all furniture that is staying (incl that MBR set) so movers don't take it (and be there when SA comes to make sure THEY don't take the MBR furniture!). Then try to collect all the stuff that is being donated or trashed (even if you don't have time to do it until after the move but before closing) and have it in 1 place, shut the door and tell movers everything in that room (or basement, whatever) is staying. I've heard of movers packing trash cans with garbage in them!

    I'd really try to get the MBR emptied of all your clothes, lamps, etc. before the movers come so they don't try to move the furniture - you can just put a sign on the door then. Move the clothes yourself, or at least put in boxes and put them (labeled MBR Closet) in another room. Same with lamps and decor.

    Good point about outdoor stuff - we rented a UHaul and went back before the closing to get the swing set, patio furniture, etc. that we couldn't fit in the moving van. If you've got anything like that, tell the movers it's not going (they won't take lawnmowers or anything with fuel in them, propane tanks, etc. anyway) but reserve the UHaul ASAP.

    Agree with the move coming up shortly take 2-3 days (depending on how much you've got to do and whether you have the weekend) off from work to pack - if you can't get enough time off to do it all yourself then at least get a day or 2 to supervise a packing crew from the moving company (again you need to schedule that ASAP).

    When it's all over, take a deep breath, have that glass of wine (or beverage of choice), go out to dinner the first night, go back and sleep in your new bed with clean sheets, have a cup of coffee the next AM (hopefully a Sunday?) and go out to breakfast, then come back and start unpacking. But hopefully you'll already have unpacked the basics. You'll be surprised how little you really need - and so what if the holiday decorations (or any decor!) don't get up until Christmas Eve?

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    8 years ago

    Has anyone ever read either of Shirley Jackson's books about her family ("Life Among the Savages" and "Raising Demons")?

    She has a chapter in one of those devoted to moving and dealing with the movers. That is all I could think of while reading this thread. It has been decades since I read those books! So funny.

    Any advice I might have has already been mentioned more than once. Good deal to have time before closing to tidy up, and so great that you could sell that MBR furniture. I was so stressed about what I would do with my mother's furniture, thank goodness the buyer decided that she wanted it all! (of course then my sister decided that she wanted have some things...another story for another day)

    Just remember, things don't have to be done/organized perfectly -- what is the worst that can happen if they aren't? only perhaps a little more time required on the back end instead of the front end of the process.

    It's 4pm, do you know where your corkscrew is?