May 07, 2018

Homeward Bound

Back in March I wrote about part of our crazy journey to get to New Jersey. Last week we continued that adventure by making our 10th move in 12 months. Thankfully this time it was only a five minute drive from our two bedroom apartment to a lovely four-bedroom colonial house in the Montrose section of South Orange.

Nevertheless no move is easy. Packing and boxing up one’s possessions always seems to take longer than expected, and there is always the tricky decisions about essential items you really need to leave out to survive the whole moving process. The moving team we hired were fantastic, I couldn’t quite believe the speed of the five guys deconstructing and wrapping up our furniture; squirrelling away up and down the elevator to pack the truck. It is really worth getting personal recommendations for removal companies, as well as at least three different quotes; service and pricing can vary significantly.

Here are my top tips for packing and moving:

  1. Label your boxes clearly with room, items and the floor they will reside on. Create a floor plan for your movers and label doors clearly for them.
  2. For fragile items, use household linens such as tea towels, dishcloths, towels, napkins, pillowcases, bathroom towels etc. These things have to be moved anyway and it is far more eco friendly than using copious amounts of bubble wrap.
  3. When packing books and other heavier objects such as large casserole and baking dishes, use small boxes or half fill medium boxes with the weightier item and the other half with light items such as cushions, throws, bedding etc.
  4. If moving in warmer months, pack up all your winter gear and leave it boxed up and unpack last. Likewise if moving in winter, do the same with everything you need for the summer months.
  5. If you have children, unpack some of their toys first so they can be occupied and will start to feel settled in new surroundings.
  6. Have clean bedding easily accessible to make-up beds when you arrive at your new property. Whatever happens with the chaos of unpacking, at least you will have a comfortable, clean bed to fall into. The rest can wait.
  7. Make sure you have useful items such as toilet paper, kitchen towel, hand soap, bread, milk, tea and coffee to hand on moving day, and make a plan for take out meals.
  8. Have a small suitcase or holdall with a couple of sets of clothes to last you the first few days in your new home. Sometimes clothing is one of the last things that gets unpacked properly.  

We are renting for a year at first, and if all goes well, we will buy a house when we know we’re on the road to a green card. We may not own this house but as renters, we certainly want to make it ours as much as we can through styling and personalisation. In the coming months, I’ll be blogging about practical solutions to life in transition. Whether renting short term or long term, or staying sane through a big renovation project, there are so many things you can do to maintain your own sense of ‘home’.

In the mood to read more? Check out these related posts: Letting Go of ExcessI just want to see the floor again; Spring Cleaning; Buying a new sofa; 20 Questions to ask a Contractor.