Packing Your House & Moving Your Family Without Losing Your Mind
Now let me preface this by saying - we just moved last week and I wouldn't say I exactly KEPT my mind.
No, friends. It's gone.
But here's the back story, and here's what I learned.
We were in a lovely giant Southern home in the country, one we had at a rent price that was a steal (and we knew couldn't possibly last forever), when one day we found out the owner had sold the house. In this very down market, our landlord had been contacted and offered cash for the "asking price" on our house that wasn't even on the market. Yes, we'd all like to be those people right? Either the one getting a cash offer on a big house dropped in their lap - or the one able to make that cash offer itself!
At first the news wasn't dire - the new owner planned on owning the house but keeping it a rental property. A few weeks later at the closing, the story changed. Now, the new owner would be living in the house.
We had 2.5 weeks to pack and move.
Now, this advice is all about moving locally - my last two moves were cross country and I have no plans to ever endure that nightmare again. All I can tell those of you that are doing that monstrosity with little kids is GOD BLESS YOU. It has to be a calling, like it was for us, or the stress and money and headaches are just really not worth it.
But back to our supersonic speed local move.
Here is how we did it.
1. Simplify and purge like your life depended on it. We were drastically downsizing because we were going from the big country home to the tiny suburb home, and on top of that storing a bunch of things for my parents who are moving to a tiny swank apartment in the city (with no storage, per natch). We had no choice but to downsize, but let me tell you. It was FREEDOM. Releasing ourselves of years of accumulated things, while painful at times, was exactly what the doctor would have ordered. Ask yourself if you LOVE something, and if not? Get rid of it. Truly, there's no reason to keep things that don't bring you joy, even a necessity (maybe you can go without until you can replace it with something you love?). The toxic energy that something you hate or something with bad memories brings into your home is just NOT WORTH IT.
2. Sell, Giveaway and Yes, Throw Out. In short order I became a Craig's List expert and a yard sale queen. We began posting large appliances, never used strollers, and more at rock bottom prices (it's the secret to a quick move - make quick sale!) and lo and behold things sold. We had a yard sale that was less than stellar not because we didn't have epic beautiful things but because we had hardly any turn out. If I had it to do over (and had the luxury of time) I would've had the sale NOT on the same day as a nearby local neighborhood sale that stole all our customers. Ahem.
3. Label, label, label. I've always teased my dad for writing a novel on the outside of boxes declaring the contents, but this time I'm grateful. As we've been unpacking we've been able to find EVERYTHING. A box marked "kitchen" does me no good when I'm looking for that specific favorite plate of my 4 year old's. This tip can NOT be overlooked.
4. Send the kids off somewhere the day of the move. This was a lifesaver for me. The kids may be really excited about the move but they have no business being there and stressing you out. Send them off!
5. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. This is the motto of one of my sweet friends, and I've been reciting it to myself as I unpack and try to resume normal life in a house that is more than chaotic. As the mom of three special needs kids, just every day life is extremely overwhelming. To have all of these kids out of schedule, out of routine, and in a whole new atmosphere is just crazy town. What I know for sure is this: the house will be put together eventually. It doesn't have to be perfect now. It's a work in progress. Let. It. Go.