Bidding adieu to your old property and moving to a new house is an emotionally and physically tiring time. There are endless things to keep track of and confusion abounds. It can take a toll on everybody involved, or it can be a positive experience, depending on how you approach it.
This post is aimed at those who are in the process of packing to move to a new place. This also happens to be the best time to lay the groundwork for setting up your new home.
We are great fans of planning and organizing here, and we firmly believe it will save you a lot of grief. To that extent we are going to suggest you create a number of lists (and even access the power of technology to simplify things for you) because well-organized is well-executed.
You will need a plan for both packing as well as unpacking. When you arrive at your new home with vans full of furniture and boxes and start putting them away haphazardly you know you are going to have a tough time rearranging it all. So save yourself considerable hassle and put things in their right place the moment you have landed in your new home with your belongings. (Speaking of which, it’s a great idea to set up the utilities in your new home before you make the move.)
How to do it?
That’s what we are here to tell you. So let’s begin. Take out that phone/tablet of yours and start taking notes!
Build a Smart Home Bottom Up
Moving to a new place is a great way to turn over a new leaf. Here’s your chance to make those changes in your home décor that you always wanted to but couldn’t for various reasons. A number of things impress us but we aren’t able to implement them all when we already have an established decor. Making changes is hard, time consuming, and often impractical.
But moving to a new home means you get a blank slate to draw your magic on. All that you have read so far in home improvement magazines, blogs, and websites about optimizing your resources and increasing the storage space can now be put to work. If a particular way of storage had captured your imagination, we hope you were paying attention and have saved the clip for future reference, which is now. And here’s one way to do it:
Download Helpful Apps
When you are undertaking something as big as moving to a new house (or a new city), you are going to need all the help you can get to organize the multiple tasks ahead.
Apps are a great way to simplify our daily lives and ramp up our productivity, and chances are you use quite a few yourself. So put your smartphone to even better use and bring up the best to-do or listing apps because you are going to be making a huge number of lists (to keep things systematic and to prevent yourself from going insane).
Image credit:https://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/woman-organizing-contacts on-smartphone.jpg
You can, of course, power up your computer and open an Excel spreadsheet to make and save your lists, or you can do it the old-fashioned way – write it all down on a piece of paper.But pieces of paper tend to get lost and computers, or even laptops and notebooks, are bulky things that you can’t always have on you when you are running around taking care of things (and you are going to be doing a lot of that). Smartphones are your best bet since we always have our phones with us.
Take pictures of things in Evernote or One Note and leave comments below them so that you are able to keep a track of what goes where. Here’s a story of somebody who tapped into the power of productivity apps to assist his move from New York to Chicago. (Note: This is not an advert for any app; we are merely bringing to your notice how any of these apps can help you with your move.)
Apps dedicated to interior décor are especially a great help for people who are about to move into a new place and may be confused about where to begin decorating it (unless you want your new rooms to be the replicas of the old ones).
Houzz and Remodelista are great places to start. They will help you create decoration and design plans for various rooms (while you still haven’t moved) and determine how best to accommodate your existing furniture in your new abode.
Martha Stewart here has some good advice to help you simplify your “big move.”
Create ‘Essential’ Boxes
Each and every member of the family should have an essential box, which is like a suitcase that carries all their most important stuff, as well as things they are most likely to use within a day or two of reaching your new place. You don’t want to be rummaging through all your boxes to find your favorite pillow, do you?
Movinginsider.com is a great website for those interested in doing the packing and the moving all by themselves.
And if that’s not enough for you, here are some more interesting tips on the topic:
Create Checklists for Each Room
You have already seen your new house and know what it is like. You have a very good idea who is going to take up which room, or what each room will be dedicated to.
Make a checklist then of all the things that you feel should fill up and enhance your rooms. Apps will prove priceless in helping you do this. They will let you organize your lists category wise so that you are able to include the maximum number of things in your room-specific checklists. And then when it is time to implement your plans, start with the bedrooms. (We hope you have already determined the room set up with an interior decoration app.) We recommend the following order.
- ➢ Bedroom1
- ➢ Bedroom 2
- ➢ Bedroom 3 (or however many you have in your house)
- ➢ Bathrooms (simultaneously with the bedrooms)
- ➢ Kitchen
- ➢ Living room
- ➢ Other rooms in the house (like yoga room, study room, children’s playroom, etc.)
- ➢ Scullery (if you have one)
- ➢ Garage
- ➢ Porch
- ➢ Garden
- ➢ Backyard
- ➢ Shed
If you have an army of people willing to help you out with this task, you can assign them separate rooms to set up so that you will get a lot done in lesser time.
So then, if you got an empty landscape to work with, what would you do and where would you start?
The answer would change from person to person, but we recommend you start with the bedrooms. One bedroom at a time. After all, when you are tired after a long and hard day’s work, you will need some place nice and cozy to crash, wouldn’t you? Bedrooms are more important than living rooms, so they should be your first pick.
However, you need to semi-set up important things in the kitchen to tide you over till the time you organize it properly. The aim here is to get the most important rooms (i.e. the rooms concerning our daily functioning) set up first and anything that is not crucial to our purpose can wait.
Work with a View to Maximize Storage Capacity
This is another thing that you will have to take into account when creating room-specific checklists.
Create a separate list for everything that you feel doesn’t need to be put on display as of now (create a ‘don’t need now’ folder in a listing app) and should make its way to storage. Further divide this stuff into room-specific storage units.
Storage should ideally be set up first, right after the distribution of furniture, simply because doing it in the end will disturb the settled rooms and increase your workload. But this may or may not be feasible, depending on the storage space you have. Regardless, here are some excellent suggestions to help you make the most of the hidden and not-so-hidden spaces in your bedroom. This is another helpful resource for people looking to create stylish bedrooms that also pack in tons of storage.
At whatever stage you do this, make sure you have a plan (there’s that word again!) for it.
Tackling the Kitchen
This might take the longest to set up, depending on the amount of kitchenware you own. The average American family owns a lot of cutlery, tableware, appliances, crockery, and utensils of all kinds. Then there are the endless number of jars and pots and pans. This is going to be heavy work. We recommend taking this up only after your bedrooms have been conveniently laid out so that you can rest well when arranging and organizing things in your new kitchen, which may well stretch up to a week (depending on the enthusiasm you have for the work).
Speaking of which, how to set up a kitchen gives us some great ideas on how to tackle this aspect of setting up our new place. Lots of cabinets are always great news. They give you good storage space but with that comes the problem of remembering what you stored where. Once you get the hang of your new kitchen you won’t have to open and close a number of cabinets to find the thing you want. But till then you might want to get hold of a chalkboard or any big whiteboard on which you can list all the most frequently used items in your kitchen and where you’ve stored them.
If a board is too much for you, buy a truckload of post-it notes and paste them all over the cabinets, drawers, and shelves for everybody’s easy reference.
Place a Great Emphasis on Functionality
In plainspeak this means getting rid of everything that you don’t need. What better time to give away redundant stuff than when you are moving to a new place? We all have a lot in our homes that we don’t have any use for, and we know it in our hearts that we probably won’t need it later either. But the hoarder in us prevents us from giving any of it away and creating some much needed and cherished space in our homes. If you have ended up with things that go back 15 years and that which you only vaguely recall having purchased (much less used) you might want to look up the number of your closest charity and hand your old things over to those who actually might have a use for it.
There are many ways to set up a new house, but going about it in a systematic manner, tackling one room at a time armed with well thought-out lists, is the best we can think of. The above are some suggestions that we feel will serve you well in settling down in your new house.
Begin when you are still about to move; be very clear in your mind about how you want to set up your new rooms; brainstorm with your spouse and/or children to find ideas; and create and recreate plans on Houzz or Remodelista. By the time you are done with all of it, you will be in a good position to set up your new place in a functional yet stylish manner.
The entire process – packing, moving, and setting up your new home — will take a few days so make sure you undertake the move when you have enough free time to devote to the job at hand. Involve your kids in the process, divide responsibilities among all the family members, and try to make it fun for everybody.