Organization Tips for Moving (And Beyond)

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a blog post. Between teaching first grade online, buying our new house, selling our condo, and preparing to move; life has been hectic over the last few weeks.

I think I’ve moved closed to a dozen times in my life. I’m not ashamed to admit that many moves in my early-twenties involved garbage bags, laundry baskets, and stuffing a friend’s large SUV with a dresser. Moving for the first time with Ben, I decided I wanted to be a bit more organized.

I consider myself a very organized person , so the thought of speaking to a professional organizer seemed silly. Then, March 1 rolled around and I started to get serious about packing. I looked at the calendar and realized there were 30 days until we closed on our house. (We ended up closing a week early after things became uncertain due to Covid19). I went to Home Depot and bought a few containers. I decided I was going to start packing that night. When I got home, I literally stood in our condo motionless for a few minutes. I had no idea where or how to start packing.

Enter Sharon from TidyHouse. After five minutes with her, I realized that organizing and packing for a move really isn’t intuitive- even for a person who consider herself organized. Sharon suggested a color-coded system for packing that has worked beautifully for us. She also helped me brainstorm a realistic list of what we needed in order to start packing.

What supplies we purchased:

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I’m really particular, and although he would never admit it, Ben is, too. We know that we could have saved money and used old boxes or gotten boxes from friends. We decided to buy 30 medium boxes from Home Depot and a handful of extra large boxes. We also spent a small fortune buying Rubbermaid containers. Our new house is tiny and doesn’t have a ton of closet space. We are going to use our finished attic and garage as storage space right now. Having organized, sturdy Rubbermaid containers was really important to us and made the investment worthwhile.

Sharon told me that we would always need more packing tape. She was right! I think we went through about 10 rolls of tape when all was said and done. We went through two full rolls of packing bubbles. Colored dot stickers were key to organizing each space in our house. In total, we spent around $350 at Home Depot on supplies. While I’m sure we could have packed things and spent less money, everything is organized and packed safely. We felt like it was a good investment to ensure all of our items area moved safely.

The system we used

I picked one area of our condo and decided to just get started. I decided to pack our sideboard items first since I knew we wouldn’t be hosting any dinner parties during the month of our move. As I packed each box, I put a sticky note on top stating what was in the box. I was very specific with this and even listed out bigger items like our Blendtec or stand mixer. I also had a master list of all the boxes we had packed. I started stacking boxes in our living room and attempted to keep them organized by room. When we were done, I assigned a color for each room in our new house. Then, I typed up a key that I could give to our movers. I typed out signs for each box and printed them color. The worst part of packing was doing the final labeling on each box. We were crawling around our living room trying to make sure each box had a color-coded label on it. We also stuck color dot stickers on each side of the box. This way, we could easily tell which box was going where in our new house. A lot of our Rubbermaid containers will stay packed and be kept in storage in our new house. Even when the renovation is complete, our new kitchen doesn’t have a ton of storage space. I really couldn’t part with the 12 pie-pans I have, so a lot of it will be kept in storage in our finished attic.

I actually feel really calm about the actual move next week. I do still feel some guilt about using movers during a time where we have been diligently practicing social distancing since our area is seeing a big increase in Covid19 cases. We are trying to move a lot of this stuff on our own. Once everything arrives safely in our new home, I am excited to start unpacking and finding places for all of our stuff.

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