How to Stay Organized Ahead of a Move

A couple packs moving boxes.

Moving into a new house or apartment can be an exciting experience. But packing all of your belongings and getting to your new home can seem daunting at first glance. Luckily, there are ways in which you can make a move easier and stay organized throughout the entire process. Here is a quick guide on how to stay organized ahead of a big move.

Step 1 - Create a Timeline

Creating a moving timeline helps you map out everything you need to get done before moving day. It also can relieve any stress or anxiety you feel about the move because you know exactly what you need to do in a given time. Things you should add to the timeline include: when you should pack up certain areas of the house, when you should contact moving companies/rental agencies, when you should gather supplies for moving, and everything you need to do to get your new home ready for the move.

Step 2 - Map Out Your Home

Two movers carry a couch.

A map of your new home can help you organize where everything should go and determine what you may need to leave behind. You can even assign numbers or color codes to each area of your new home and appropriately mark boxes as you pack them up. Save this map for when you move and use it to help guide anyone helping you move on where to place things.

Step 3 - Get a Binder

You should put all of your moving information inside a binder for better organization. This includes business cards, moving brochures, timelines, and anything else you might need for the move. You can organize the binder with tabs and by placing things into categories. If binders are not your thing, you can accomplish the same thing using a digital app.

Step 4 - Purge Your Home

A woman tapes shut moving boxes.

After you identify the things in your home that will not make the move, you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible. You do not want to be stuck with trying to get rid of things on moving day. You can either sell items that you cannot take or donate them to Goodwill or another charitable organization. Although getting rid of items can be difficult, it will save you on moving expenses.

Step 5 - Gather Supplies

You will need a lot of supplies throughout the moving process, including boxes, tape, sharpies, scissors, bags, storage containers, and cleaning supplies. You can designate an area of your house to store these items as you accumulate them. When it comes to boxes, it is better to go with medium sized containers to cut down on weight. Boxes with finger holes are ideal for easier moving.

Step 6 - Pack Up

Movers unload boxes from a truck.

You should pack similar items together. For example, all of your plates and silverware should be packed together. Avoid stuffing boxes with miscellaneous items just to fill them up. This can lead to a nightmare situation when you unpack, and you might even lose a few things in the process. As you pack things up, give every box a color code that corresponds to a certain area of the house. So all of your bathroom items might be have a green sticker while everything that goes in the kitchen has a blue one. This will make sorting the boxes a lot easier when you get to the new place.

Step 7 - Prepare for the Big Move

If you have taken all of the appropriate steps, your moving day will go a lot easier than expected. Prior to the move, make sure to get a lot of sleep and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. As a precaution, pack an emergency bag that includes toilet paper, towels, personal hygiene items, and a change of clothes. Remember to bring your binder with you when you move as it will have all the documents you need for the big day.