As we pass the seven-week mark life seems to be a whirlwind of not only daily activity, but also everything that we need to remember to do in preparation for our move. Up to this point we have set tentative goals that we have met at times; at others not, but as we move into the home stretch we realize that it needs to be on paper.
For those of you who are wishing to follow in our footsteps and plan a long-distance move, we thought we would share our paper organization and checklist methodology. Feel free to tweak it to fit your own needs.
Inventory: Every box that is packed is given a unique letter combination. We started with A, worked our way to Z, and now are advancing to the double letters (AA, BB, etc). For example, Living Room A. On the laptop we have an Excel file with several worksheets that lists the contents of all the boxes. This can be a little tedious when packing and does take extra time, but it will prove invaluable when we find ourselves in Florida with an apartment full of moving boxes, and wondering where we put something. We’ll just need to pull up the Excel file on the laptop and will be able to pinpoint which box it is we need to locate.
Blue File: This is where we keep all our documents that we will need on our journey: school papers for the kids, automobile documents for the DMV, hotel information for our stays along the way.
File Box: This is what we use to keep the papers we need to move with us but don’t necessarily want to put in a moving truck, such as banking information or credit card statements. As we sort through the filing cabinet, most of it is getting shredded or scanned.
Notebook: This is our checklist. Each room has its own page, where we list what we are moving with us, what will get donated, what will get sold, what will be given to Nick, and last but not least what we still need to do in that particular room, in terms of cleaning or purchasing replacement products, such as new blinds. The notebook will also be where we keep notes on what we need to do yet before our move, what documents we need to acquire yet, and what phone calls need to be made. We find that as our departure date gets closer, we are more distracted and likely to forget things, and this helps to keep us on track. It also helps to make it seem less stressful–by focusing on an item or two on the list, we are not feeing overwhelmed by thinking it all has to be done right now.
The key to a successful move is organization and planning, and we share this information not to overwhelm you with ideas, but to help you plan out your move. Have we moved without doing all this? Absolutely, usually our moves end up in throwing stuff in garbage bags the morning of the move, because we run out of time (and boxes), but it usually results in a lot more chaos than is necessary. Our current goal is to be fully packed and living out of suitcases by Tuesday, July 19. Thursday, July 21st our son will take away the furniture and mattresses that he wants. We will spend the night in a hotel, and then Friday, July 22, of course is moving day.
Thanks for following along,
Mark and Jen