It just so happens that some the bloggers I have followed for years all moved in the last year. As all responsible bloggers do, they did posts with tips on moving which I promptly pinned with hopes we’d be buying a home soon and I’d be able to use them sooner or later. When we finally found a house to buy, I found those links and followed all their tips. Click here and here for the tips I used. Then, I moved and ran into my own reality.
Now, I’m not going to make assumptions about how everyone else moves, but here’s our reality: Our move was low budget. We didn’t have packers or movers or moving trucks. We have chickens. We decided to move over a week period rather than all at once. We have chickens. We have renovation plans, well…I have renovation plans for my husband and FIL to execute. There’s not a rod in my closet. We have chickens. We moved from a moldy-house situation that required me to wear a full respirator and furniture to be sterilized. So, here’s what I learned:
1. Pack everything before you move.
This may seem self-evident, but since we planned to move over a week (see point 2), we figured we’d pack as we went. Bad choice. Our move started out super organized (see point 3), but all color coding and list making ceased after our initial round of packing. Once we’d done our first trip, we just wanted out of the old house and threw anything and everything in sight into random boxes, which lead to a garage that looks like this.
2. Move in one day or one weekend.
This is the biggest thing we’d do differently if we had the chance. We had 10 days from when we closed on our house to when our lease was up. We’d originally hoped to have longer so that we could paint the new house, but we figured the 10 days would give us plenty of time to get out of the old place since we didn’t have movers packing and moving all our stuff. While we had plenty of time, all we wanted once we stepped foot in our new home was to be done with the old house. And, it led to the crazy packing in the 2nd half of the move as mentioned above. By the time we got to moving the chicken coop, the next tenant was knocking down the door (even though we still had 3 days) and
we were all grumpy all moving enthusiasm had waned.
3. Label rooms by color, make lists, and move things where they go.
I’d read this on many blogs and it worked great, when I did it. I bought the big multi-color pack of Sharpie markers and mailing label stickers and used one color per room. I chose to go the route of labeling boxes by number (per color) and then keeping a list of of each boxes contents in a folder (by color). I labeled by where I wanted things to go in the new house and boxes we delivered to their appropriate rooms ready to be unpacked. This allowed me to choose which boxes to unpack (some are still packed) thanks for the full content list. The key to this system is to reference point 2 above –> move/pack all at once. This worked for the first load I packed and everything else is piled high in the basement and garage in random, unmarked boxes.
4. Wrap up hanging clothes in bed sheets.
I got this tip from Shay, and it worked like a charm, except for when we discovered my closet (the only closet in the master bedroom) didn’t have a closet rod…WTF?!? There was definitely a single man living in our house before us. Anyway, all you do is lay a large sheet on the bed/floor, lay a pile of clothes still on the sheet, wrap a rubber band around the hangers to keep them together, and then fold the rest of the sheet around the pile of clothes. Then you can take them right in and hang them up, if you have a closet rod.
5. Make meals ahead of time and freeze.
This is just a friendly suggestion that I didn’t follow. Due to our dietary restrictions, it’s hard for us to do takeout, so it’s key for us to cook at home, which we did during the move, but cooking meals every night definitely took away from packing/moving time. Next time, my freezer will be better stocked with prepped meals.
6. Hire a cleaning company to clean.
Our new house was in great shape, so we just gave it a quick once-over ourselves, but when I developed a sinus infection mid-move (again, see point 2), my sweet FIL brought in a company to clean our rental to ensure we got our full deposit back. It was SUCH a lifesaver! When the rest of your move is low budget and DIY, having someone clean either the place you’re moving or leaving feels like a total luxury.
7. Clean mold off furniture as it leaves the old house and be liberal with tossing things that will hold the mold (mattresses, shoes, etc.).
8. Build a self-cleaning, collapsable, lightweight chicken coop on wheels. I’m sure they exist somewhere. More on that later.
Hope some of these tips help you in your future low budget, DIY move!