#1: Not all movers can read fluently or be able to read one’s writing. Color code your boxes and rooms (in the new space). Red dots= Kitchen. Green dots= bathroom, blue dots=living room, etc.
#2: If you can, give visual directions (paper with arrows) showing where the different rooms are. Otherwise you will have movers asking you the same questions, over and over again.
#3: Have ‘Open 1st’ boxes put in the truck last and taken out first. Have them separate from the other boxes. You want to get the most essential items unpacked first for your client: Beds made, some towels, some clothing ready to go, food in the fridge, basic kitchen stuff.
Map out the new place before you even start packing. Use post-its all over the new place to assign homes to all of your stuff. Then pack in boxes based on where stuff is going to go, not where it came from. Be as specific as you can. Rather than labeling “kitchen,” label “Brown dishes, top left cabinet, Kitchen” This will save a lot of time when unpacking.
When it comes down to packing time, it’s easy for things to get misplaced. Keep all of your packing and labeling supplies (think Sharpies, packing tape, colored stickers, packing paper) in one location or container. This is especially important with more than one packer! No more yelling “Where’s the packing tape?”
Be prepared when the movers arrive! They will want to get down to moving immediately and anything that’s not tied down may get moved. Create an ‘off limits’ zone, such as the kitchen counter where you can stash things you don’t want them to take – important papers, your overnight bags, etc.
Realize that the moving process takes time to get finally settled. Therefore, prioritize the packing and unpacking process to allow you to live in the new space for the first few days, thus giving yourself time to deal with the rest of the house as your schedule allows:
- Label at least 2 sides of the boxes. Label the long and short sides of the boxes. This way when the movers bring the boxes into your new space, you can ask them to make sure the boxes have the labels facing out and depending on how they stack them, they will either have the label on the short or long side facing out.
- Color coordinate your move. Choose a color for each room and then use that color label or dot for each box going into that room. Create a cheat sheet for yourself and the movers. Make a sign for each room with that color label or dot on it and hang it on the room so movers know what room you want the boxes and furniture to go into. For example, kitchen = red, master bedroom = blue, office = green, etc.
- Designate one area as packing central. Keep markers, packing tape, labels, colored dots, packing material, boxes, and other critical items together. When you are done packing for the day, make sure all items go back into that area. You will always need more tape and packing material than you think. Save your receipts and don’t skimp on supplies.