Project Organize :: Tips for Having a Sane and Organized Move.

by SARAH JOHNSON of Redhead Recipes (My DARLING sister!)

I moved from Utah to Nebraska about 3 weeks ago. It was a big move for us, but we really felt things went quite smoothly. I would have felt a little better if my baby would have napped more during the 15 hour drive, but other than that, it was almost picture perfect. Here are some tips I found useful for our move. Hopefully some of these tips will work for you!

Tips for having a sane and organized move:

-Get help. Have people on both ends help you pack, clean, unpack, clean, babysit, or whatever else it takes to get the work done.

-Set some goals. I am a big list/calendar/schedule maker. It helps with the stress. I made a schedule of the two weeks prior to the move. I first put in the activities (ie goodbye parties, lunches, visits, etc). Then figure out what items you need the longest. Then each day pack a room. My first days I packed decorations, books, things I didn't need. Then I packed a suitcase and lived out of those, like we were on vacation. That way I didn't pack up things we needed. Once the kitchen was packed up, we ate out for about 5 days. 

-Write the room and specific box content visibly on the box. If you need to get in that box later you don't want to search through 5 "Kitchen" boxes just to find your silverware. This is especially true if you are placing your items in a storage unit or won't be getting to it for a few days/weeks; however long your memory retains (me = hours).
-Color code. Each room has its own color. Instead of writing on the box, write on half a sheet of colored paper (I suggest neons, you can't miss them and they are easy to see the writing of a black sharpie on them). Then when it is time to unpack place that color of paper of that room above the door or some place very visible.

-Keep the little ones away. They don't like the stress of a house being packed away, and you don't like having them unpack and wandering off with something and hiding it. Pack during naps and bedtimes. 

-Save the little one's rooms for the last. Let their room be a sanctuary, and let it be the same as long as possible.

-Obtain many more boxes than you think you need. There are always those little things that you forgot to pack or just wouldn't quite fit in the box.

-Have all the same size boxes, or just a few different sizes. This makes packing up a moving truck really easy.

-Pack your valuables well. You get what you pay for with movers. If you are having friends and family help you move for free, remember they are not professionals. Pack accordingly.

-Buy the ends of newsprint rolls from your local newspaper. It is like a roll of butcher paper only thinner. Perfect and inexpensive. Call your newspaper to see if they sell it. (Bonus! Kids love to make big artwork on the leftover newsprint! It will keep them entertained while you are packing the truck!)

-When unpacking, have someone manning the door. Look at the box/furniture and direct the traffic. This will make unpacking a little easier.

-As you pack each item, think if you have really used it in the last year. If not, throw it in the good will pile. You don't need it taking up space in a box if you aren't going to use it. Be brutal. You'll be happy to not move with so much clutter.

-Wrap your furniture in newsprint to prevent from minor scratches. You can put something with a little more padding on the corners if you are worried.

-Keep original boxes of items you care a lot about. They make packing easy and you can feel safer about how they are packed. I have my boxes for my computer, food processor, printer, and Kitchen-aid. 



  1. Awesome suggestions! I will have to bookmark this for when we move eventually. I love the idea of color coding! Brilliant.

  2. I'm getting ready to go from CA-UT (temporarily), then Idaho in the end. Thank You for these handy suggestions. We are at a weird stage of 3 weeks away so I don't know where to go now that odds n' end, books, etc are packed. We still sort of need everything. I can tell the kids have been a lot more grumpy since I started hauling in boxes and packing material. I have to remind myself to stop and pay attention to them.

  3. Thanks for the feature!

    The Stevens Family - good luck with the move. Isn't it weird how kids get cranky just by a small disruption? I think part of it is a reaction to our stress. So sometime the time away is just as good for you.

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  5. I love these tips!! I am about to move and just printed them off.

    Thanks, Sarah!

  6. your advice is very helpful as always!!! This week I move to the apartment we'll be living with my husband in. I have plenty of stuff to move.

    thank you. May God bless

  7. Ummm, Sarah and Hannah, where were you two LAST week? ;) I moved on Sunday and could have used a lot of these tips!

  8. Victoria - good luck with the move!
    Anneliese - thanks, we are loving it here!
    Ashely - dang it! Hope the unpacking ones might help... ugh. Good luck. I am still organizing and getting things put away.

  9. I'm here because I'm moving soon. (Found your site from Pinterest.) But I think it's so cool that your names are Sarah & Hannah. My name is Sarah & my sister's name is Hannah!

  10. I agree with all the above steps but i think putting number on boxes will also do a great help to remember all the stuff :)

  11. Good to see some good idea followed by Sarah.I think sharing the idea help a lot while moving.

  12. I highly recommend duct tape!! There are so many colors available and there are even coordinating sheets. Just seal the boxes with the tape! Super visible for movers or helpers alike just color code the rooms. The favorite so far is red duct tape for fragile, it makes it super obvious!!

  13. Thank you for all these every useful post. I have to admit that we are far from actually making a move but these will certainly be a must-try when that time comes. Several readers will surely learn a lot from this. Again, thank you for sharing.


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