The nature of my work puts me in contact with people moving almost every month. I know all too well how overwhelming this process can be.
If broken down into bite size pieces, however, this process becomes a lot easier. Here are some tips to help you during your next move.
1) Start early. Even before you know you will be moving, keep your home and personal belongings organized.
2) Continually sort/cull/donate/store your personal property. Don't wait until moving day to decide if you really want to keep or donate your Christmas Jumpers. I read a helpful tip a few years back - "for every item you bring into the home, one item should leave".
3) Downsizing. If you are moving into a smaller space it is important to decide what will fit and what you need to "let go of". Your children, family or friends might want certain pieces. Talk to them earlier than later and have them remove these pieces at a leisurely pace. This really saves on your mental and physical well being. If you have personal property like furniture, home accessories and appliances that doesn't make the cut (yours or others) then donate them. There are many charities that help those in need outfit their home. The Sharehouse (turning houses into homes for Seattle's homeless) is an amazing organization. If you are downsizing, this article might be helpful.
4) Boxes can be expensive. See about borrowing or buying used boxes from friends/colleagues/craigslist. If you still need to buy boxes, use my list of companies below. Either way, get your boxes asap so you can pack at a less hectic pace. Keep an inventory of what is in the box (photos are ideal, but a list is fine) and tape it to the inside of the box. Use strong packing tape and clearly mark the outside (top and sides) of the box where that box is going (i.e. 4015 E Madison Street/Main Floor Bedroom/Closet 1). Think of a sharpie as your new best friend!
5) If you really, must, absolutely, have to, store your items, then arranging for a portable storage unit is a necessary (my list of companies below should be helpful).
6) Hire a qualified moving company (see my list below) and make sure you fully understand and agree with their scope of the job. Ask for recent references, check them out on Yelp, and ask for the names and photos of the movers who will be there on move day. Understand the company and their employees/contract laborers' full liability, and make sure you understand what they expect from you.
BUYING MOVING BOXES ONLINE
PORTABLE STORAGE UNITS
7745 Aurora Ave N/206-262-0404
6910 Roosevelt Way NE Ste 106 / 206-522-0600
Cascade Moving and Storage, Inc.
430 S Cloverdale St / 425-458-3829
Express Movers, Inc.
218 S Mead St / 206-276-4599
Gentle Giant Moving Company
gentlegiant.com / 206-213-0426
Hansen Bros. Moving and Storage
12645 Stone Ave N / 800-365-0303
Neighbors Moving and Storage
117 E Louisa St / 206-381-1234
2608 Second Ave Ste 123 / 206-443-0210
PO Box 17789 / 206-284-9445
2237 N 106th St / 206-723-8898
2515 Rainier Ave S / 206-723-4265
2601 15th Ave W / 206-285-0860
6403 MLK Jr Way S / 206-723-1685
6343 35th Avenue SW / 206-937-9320
publicstorage.com / 800-688-8057
1334 Alaskan Way
1515 13th Ave
1815 12th Ave
700 Fairview Ave N
2964 SW Avalon Way
3600 Stone Way N
3000 15th Ave W
2746 NE 45th St Ste 100
1st Ave Self Storage
2400 1st Ave S / 206-682-1291
While this is an exhausting process, when broken down into more manageable steps, you will get through it (hopefully with your nails and sanity in tact)!
Until next time,
la chasse au bonheur