It is best when moving to have an organizational system in place. Creating deadlines, assigning tasks, and staying motivated will help keep your move on the right track.
When you move, it’s important to be organized, on top of your to-do list, and on schedule. That will vary for everyone. Some people naturally turn to calendars and to-do lists, and others use apps or spreadsheets. However you choose to organize your move, these four tips will go a long way to keeping your move moving smoothly.
Break Large Tasks into Smaller Tasks
If your to-do list is just finding a new place, pack, and then move, when moving day arrives you may find yourself struggling. Moving is a lot of small and medium-sized tasks. Some of the steps involved in finding a new place are: house hunting, closing or signing a lease, setting up utilities, updating your address with dozens of providers, and finding a mover, as well as updating your homeowners or renters insurance and getting the kids into new schools. To make packing seem more doable, break it into lots of little tasks (“pack dining room cabinets” and “declutter closets before packing”). Taking the time to create small tasks means you’ll spend less time trying to figure out where to begin.
Using whichever tool works best for you, start thinking about all the things you need to do to move. Divide them into categories and assign priorities to each thing. This is easier than it sounds: You should decide which things you’re moving before you begin packing; in order to pack, you need boxes, tape and padding, and you should pack the least used items first. Having a detailed to-do list makes it less likely you’ll suddenly discover you forgot about packing the garage while the movers are loading the truck.
Yes, moving day is a great big deadline. But how far in advance do you need or want to get items on your to-do list completed? Deadlines for each little task will help ensure you do them. Working back from moving day, figure out when you want to be all packed, when you need to schedule pickups for donations, when you’ll have your utilities switched on and off, until you have a deadline for every item.
Assign All Tasks to Someone
You’re moving as a family, it’s better to focus on who is going to get what done, rather than how things will get done. Assign tasks to the person who is going to be responsible for them. You should expect older children and teens will pack their rooms; they can also help with packing general areas. Younger children should decide what books and toys they no longer need and can help pack their toys. Adults, of course, should help each other. Once you have a list of tasks, hold a family meeting to go over everything that needs to be done. If no one volunteers, assign tasks so no one person has to do everything. As an added benefit, it will put all the tasks on the table and show everyone how much work moving is.
Whether you’re a family on the move or just one person, find ways to keep motivated and accountable. If not, you’ll keep missing deadlines until moving day arrives and you’re only half done. Set up a system of check-ins and rewards to make sure everyone is making progress. Also set consequences for things that don’t get completed, and hold firm to them.