Since graduating from West Point, Honey has moved a total of six times in ten years (including two international moves). So yeah he's pretty much a professional. With his help I got through the move, life in boxes, and complete disorganization for longer than I would like. Before the move Honey did say to Parker Bear, "We will love Mommy through this". Ha!
Here is what I learned and will certainly put to use. In May. When we move again.
The Boxes. Oh the boxes! Get used to boxes. Boxes for days and days. Even a week. Just get used to boxes. It's a short period really. Before we moved, Honey and I agreed to a strict rule of unpacking every box. We agreed there is no point in keeping (and moving) boxes of "stuff" that you are never going to use. If you don't use it, get rid of it. So we worked hard to get each and every box unpacked.
Unpack but Don't Organize. Do you have any idea how hard this one is for me? I need to organize! I need to decorate! I need to make a house a home! But when faced with unpacking, I had to put those needs aside. The goal, as my sweet husband taught me, is to unpack. So unpack now, organize later. I learned that is does make sense (for your sanity!) to unpack each box, place items where you think they will eventually go, then move to the next box. Empty boxes are the primary goal, organizing (and decorating!) are the secondary goal. Still so hard!!
The Art of Area-Tackling. Ok, an easy one. Tackle the most-frequently-used-spaces first: kitchen, kids rooms, master bedroom. After that move (quickly) to your family spaces: den and playrooms. Next are your work-horse rooms: laundry room, pantry, office, linen closets and guest bathrooms (I store A LOT in guest bathroom cabinets!). And lastly are your secondary living spaces like your guest bedroom, formal dining room, and patio. Prioritize your frequently used spaces and work there until unpacked, then move on to the next one! This approach will help you get functional quickly! Yay!!
Allow Some Time for Hanging. As boxes start to disappear, take the time to do some minor decorating. Nothing short of baking homemade, from scratch, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies is going to make you feel more at home than hanging window treatments, pictures, wall decor, and decorative shelving. Until we hung a few things on the wall, I felt like I was helping someone else move in. It didn't feel like my home! Every other day or so, Honey and I would take some time to hang pictures or window treatments. And I? Felt so much better!
The Space Issue. If the place you are moving to has more space that the place you are moving from (hopefully it does!) then the move will be
Surprise, Here It Is! Remember when you lost that white comfy sweater? Your favorite mixing bowl? A single earring you got on your honeymoon? Guess what? When you move, you will find it! Moving allows the very rare opportunity to literally see every.single.thing.you.own in the span of a week or so. So you will have surprise moments wen you suddenly "find" what was once lost forever!
Surprise, It's Broken! There will be broken things. The moving company will reimburse you. This is great if the broken item is a crock pot. But not so great if the item is a retired piece of a Lladro you have had since childhood. The lesson learned here? If it is irreplaceable, pack it yourself. P.S. Our moving company will be sending us a large reimbursement check. Silver lining? Maybe.
So there you have it, my How To Guide to Moving In. I hope you aren't moving any time soon. But when you do I hope you find this helpful! As for me, I don't want to see another box until May 2014.