For many people moving is one big headache and ranks as high on our list of fun as getting a tooth pulled without Novocain. Yet when you're buying and selling real estate, whether it's your primary residence or an investment property, moving belongings is part of the job.
Decorator, Kathryn Bechen, has moved 11 times in 25 years of marriage (and she's still married!). She moved equally as many times as a child. Today it's not surprising that her passion is helping people stay organized during a move. For about seven years she had a professional organizing business.
"I've been organized since I was five years old and I just have always had a knack for it," says Bechen.
Her practical experience provides helpful tips for those who are getting ready to tackle a big or small move.
"The absolute first thing that you need to do is get a big three-ring [notebook] binder because that's a place where you can keep all your notes," explains Bechen.
Moving typically requires numerous details and plenty of paperwork; having everything in one place will make the move easier on everyone.
As you're packing up your items, the best way to ensure organization when the boxes reach your destination is to label and index all your boxes. It sounds like a lot of work but this can be a real lifesaver. When you pack your boxes, Bechen says mark what goes inside each box. You can even inventory your possessions and capture the contents on film or video.
Keep a copy of the contents with the box and another one that you can put inside your notebook. If a box doesn't turn up at the new location, then you will know exactly what is missing. "The other thing that's good to do when you are labeling your boxes is to label it as bedroom box 1 and then you'll have the index with it. Then bedroom box 2, bedroom box 3, etc.," says Bechen
Remember that packing and moving boxes is only part of the job. Don't forget to take care of cleaning arrangements, children and pet care. Also, "I recommend that you pack a comfort box with food, snacks, juice boxes, and water for the day of the move so that you don't have to rely on finding stuff," says Bechen. She suggests that you have two additional suitcases that will travel with you and not be shipped or packed on a moving van. Inside the suitcases pack needed medications, wet wipes, masking tape, paper towels, scissors, extra clothing, and anything else you might need immediately. A separate box should contain all your important documents and your three-ring moving notebook.
While not everyone has several weeks to organize a move, Bechen says that if you can organize your moving activities based on an eight-week schedule it'll simplify moving and ensure an organized move. Here is a brief look at the schedule she suggests from her new ebook, "Moving with Ease."
Weeks before your move:
- Eight weeks: set up a zippered three-ring notebook, keep all important documents in it, record payments made, have a copy of your budget, contact information, maps to your new location, keys, etc.
- Six weeks: inventory and index your possessions, begin giving away items you do not need/want, make arrangements to consign items.
- Four weeks: start packing up things you don't use frequently, label boxes with indexes, hold a garage sale to unload items you won't be moving, contact a moving company.
- Three weeks: assemble packing materials, arrange to cancel phone and utility services and have them installed in your new location, find childcare and pet boarding, and arrange for cleaning help.
- Two weeks: arrange for any necessary banking changes, service your car.
- One week: order and pick up prescriptions, get keys to new home, pack two suitcases with items mentioned above and keep them handy during the move.
- Two to three days before your move: defrost the refrigerator, unhook any electronics, set aside a box that contains your legal documents that you will take with you.
- Day of the move: make sure your address is correct on the bill of lading, double-check everywhere in the home.
A little extra planning can save you from having a move turn into a giant nightmare. Bechen says here's the motivation to make it an organized move, "For every one minute you spend planning, you save three to five minutes in execution time." Visit kathyrnbechendesigns.com for more helpful moving and decorating tips.