This was the third time we’ve coordinated a big move, and our second time working with the awesome team at NorthStar Moving Corporation! When it comes to moving, we’ve found it’s best to leave it to the pros, especially since we’ve accumulated so many things over the years that we needed a team of 6 movers and 2 Semi-trailer trucks, yikes! There are some awesome articles and lists out there, but we’ve learned a few new tricks and tips that I haven’t seen mentioned, so I wanted to share them in case you find them helpful!
- Logistics – Whether you’re in a residential neighborhood, large apartment complex or high-rise building, find out where you can park the moving trucks ahead of time, for both the home you’re moving out of, and the home you’re moving into. From our experience, most larger complexes and high-rise buildings have loading docks with freight elevators that you can reserve for a set number of hours, through your building management company. Every time we’ve moved, there have been other people moving at the exact same time, but luckily we had these amenities reserved while they did not. They had to walk much farther, and use stairs or tighter residential elevators, making the process more difficult, draining and time consuming. All of that’s avoidable, just plan ahead!
- Color Code – If you’re moving on your own, labeling each box Chris’ Office or Diesel’s Play Area would be fine, but if you’re working with a team, they won’t know whose room is who’s. On the day of, you’ll be too overwhelmed to remind everyone involved which room matches which name, so we’ve found that color coding was easiest and foolproof. I ordered some inexpensive color coding labels on Amazon, and just picked a color for each room! We taped a piece of paper to the wall of each room with the color, and all our moving team had to do was match the color to the room! It made bringing boxes and furniture into our new apartment, so much faster and more coordinated. Pink boxes in the pink room, orange boxes in the orange room, blue boxes in the blue room; no one had to worry about the purpose of each room. One of our NorthStar movers told me this was the most organized move he’s ever been a part of! 😛 Perhaps he was just flattering me, but I’ll take the compliment lol.
- Number and Inventory – This may sound tedious at first, but it ended up being the best thing I did to organize this move. I made a simple spreadsheet list on my phone of what was in each box, and numbered them. I didn’t pack in any particular order, and just went down the line starting with box #1. Boxes 1, 2 and 3 could be all different rooms, one could be valuables while the other toilet paper, it doesn’t matter what order you pack in. I’d type in the room color code and whatever was in the box with as much detail as possible, and then I wrote the number next to my color coding label on the box. You can skip writing any content details on the box entirely, if you want to. That sounds crazy not to label what inside a box on the box, but if you make an inventory list, it’s really not necessary. You see, whenever we were looking for something, I would just check my list and know exactly what box it was. Socks? Blue 46. Shampoo? Yellow 127. Dog Toys? Green 74! Without making an inventory list, we would have to read the top of every box in the room to find what we’re looking for – who has time for that, and space to write all of that on the top of the box? A quick Ctrl+F in my spreadsheet and bam! I know exactly which box the item was in. Not to mention, unpacking is a process that could take weeks, or even months, so keeping your inventory is incredibly useful in the long run.
- Walkthrough – Take a step back and look at your floorpan, for both the home you’re in, and the one you’re moving into. Plan a path you’re comfortable with people rolling a dolly around, and angles for moving larger pieces of furniture, as well as a layout of where you want items placed once unloaded. Protect your floors and walls; I ordered these contractor’s paper rolls and used painters tape to protect our flooring, and avoid scratches and marks from moving equipment. On moving day, before everyone starts loading, and again before unloading, do a walkthrough with your moving team, showing them the best routes to take, where you’re okay with dollies being rolled, and where you want larger items placed. Point out any corners that might be tight or areas that are difficult to navigate. This is also a great time to show them how the rooms are color coded!
- Order Lunch – Regardless if you’ve hired a team of professionals, or you’ve asked a team of your friends and family to help you move, you should feed them! This is a very physical and laborious job, that can easily last 8+ hours. These people (yourself included!) are carrying heavy boxes and furniture, sweating and risking injury just to get the job done – it’s a really considerate and nice thing to do, and everyone does a better job when they are fed. In the past, we’ve ordered pizza for everyone, and this time I was planning on ordering Chinese food party trays but our go-to restaurant wasn’t available, so we ordered Hawaiian plate lunches instead, which were a huge hit!
Photos by Chris Dyer.