Moving? How to Make Yourself at Home (Without Unpacking All Your Boxes)

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2015 was a year of changes for me: Our family of three welcomed twins, and four months later, we finished building our dream house. Which meant we were going to have to move.


As a wife, mother, and small-business owner, I already wear a lot of hats, so adding “moving coordinator” to my collection wasn’t something I was eager to do. There are tons of logistics to think about before and after moving day. But as an organization expert, I’ve learned a few things about how to sail through a move and make your new place feel like home in no time.

Start prepping early to avoid scrambling later

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Settling into your new house actually begins at your old one. Think about all the things that make your current house run smoothly each day, and check these off your list so you’re not struggling to function after the move.

Make a moving day plan

There’s always a ton going on when the big day comes: people rushing, boxes flying, little ones to keep an eye on. Take some of the guesswork out by making an hour-by-hour breakdown of who’s doing what—it’s almost like assigning work shifts. And because it’s life, not everything will go according to plan. That’s OK! With so many logistics to keep track of, just having a road map will keep you on target and breathing a little easier.

Clearly label your moving boxes

Include the contents and—the clincher—the room they should go in. That is, “kitchen, dishes” or “master bedroom, clothes” and so on. That small bit of extra effort will have a big payoff when you’re moving and later unpacking. You (or your movers) will know where to put these boxes in your new home, which means you won’t have to haul them around again later on. If you have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, make sure it’s clear which boxes go where by including the floor (first, second, etc.) and any other info that will help you and your movers tell them apart.

Pack a bag of essentials for each family member

There are few things worse than being totally exhausted from moving all day and then wading through a sea of boxes to find your little guy’s stuffed monkey he can’t sleep without. (Trust me on this.) Make sure each family member has clothes and toiletries to get through the first few days postmove. Remember favorite toys, medications, snacks, etc., and make sure these bags are easy to grab.

Know your priorities

You have a lot to worry about on moving day, so it really helps to know what to tackle first, next, and later. Here’s a game plan that worked wonders for me:

Get the furniture in position first.

Set up the kitchen.

Next, set up the kids’ rooms.

Then move on to the rest!

Relax into a new normal

Moving comes with a whole lot of changes, but it all depends on how you see them: Treat them like hassles or headaches, and that’s what they’ll be. Treat them like an adventure, and it will seem a whole lot more exciting. As you settle into your new home, look for opportunities to make the new seem fun. And deal with the following challenges:

Dining room furniture hasn’t arrived yet?

If the beds aren’t ready yet, sleep in sleeping bags.

New commute to work?

Thomas Nelson Publishers

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