In less than 30 days my little family will be packing up and moving across country.
We’re headed back to Texas!
There were many factors that played into this decision including jobs and housing.
I lived in Texas for almost 10 years before we made the decision to move to Nebraska. That’s the longest I had been in one place as an adult, and I didn’t realize when I left just how deep the roots I planted actually went.
This will be my 7th, SEVENTH, move across country as an adult! I’ve been bouncing between California, Nebraska, and Texas since I graduated high school and it seems like Texas is the big winner.
So we made it “Facebook official” after we notified our jobs and took care of some of our to-do list.
A friend asked this question that I thought others may be interested in as well:
“My question for you is how do you plan for a big move?”
Well, I think I have a little experience in this department. Did I mention this will be my 7th move across country? Sheesh.
Here are a few things I’ve learned that hopefully you will find helpful too!
Downsize the Crap Out of Your Stuff
This one has taken me many, many years to master. I tend to be sentimental about most things, and now that we have kids, everything has some memory attached to it. I’ve always downsized to some extent with each move, but this time, I’m letting some of the harder stuff go.
Start going through every single thing you own and get rid of things that aren’t that important or used often. For long distance moves, determine if it will be more cost effective to move larger items or just replace them when you get to your new location. For example, our ancient washer and dryer. They needed to be replaced anyway, so rather than pay to have them moved and then pay to replace them within a year or so, we chose to leave them behind.
Oftentimes though it’s the little things that end up taking up the most space. I’m constantly going through things and purging different areas of my home throughout the year, but this goes into overdrive when I move. Anything that can easily be replaced is going in the donate pile!
Choose Your Moving Option
In seven moves, I’ve done most of the moving options available.
Each one has pros and cons, so you’ll need to determine which is best for you in your current season of life.
Family and Friends: Great if you’re single or at least kidless and don’t have a ton of stuff. Road trips can be a blast! But if you have kids, they lose a bit of their appeal. And if you’re moving a house full of stuff, you’re probably looking at a caravan instead of one or two vehicles.
Uhaul: One of the more affordable options…before you take into consideration the extras. This makes you responsible for packing, loading, driving, unloading, and getting your personal vehicles to your destination. With gas prices the way they are, try to determine if this is truly cost effective if you’ll be paying for you rental plus gas for 2-3 vehicles.
UPack or Pods: This takes the headache out of the travel. You pack up your containers, the company picks them up and delivers them to your new home. We used this option with our last move and loved it. It made things super easy and was affordable. However, prices seem to have changed, so be sure to explore all your options.
Professional Moving Company: These are typically your most expensive option, but this is what we’ve chosen for this move. This is my second experience taking this route. When price comparing, we found there was very little difference between the company we chose and the container option. And the big pros were they will load everything, disassemble and reassemble furniture, and unload as well as obviously driving it to our destination.
Get in a Packing Mindset
Once you’ve determined you’ll be moving, start packing those things you can live without for the next few months. Seasonal decor, off season clothing, fine china, etc. can all be packed up and stored until the move. The less you’re scrambling to pack up closer to the date of the move, the better. We use Rubbermaid containers for long term storage rather than cardboard boxes.
A few weeks out (so like right now for me) I start packing stuff that isn’t a necessity. DVDs, books, extra linens, craft items are all among the first to be boxed up and set aside. I even start packing dishes and using disposables when we’re less than 30 days out. Bonus: Less dishes to do when I’m focused on other things!
Kid stuff can get tricky since they want everything available to them until the very last minute. We have our toys separated and categorized into clear Rubbermaid containers all the time, so they will go on the truck as is. Plus it helps keep things organized all year.
Another good tip is to use the nesting method. What do you have that you can utilize instead of packing boxes? We use our deep freezer to move our pots and pans. The kids’ toy box holds all their stuffed animals (in vacuum sealer bags). Washing machines and dryers can hold some lightweight items as well. Make the most of your space.
Preparing the House to Sell with Kids
I honestly have zero experience with this one. When I sold my first house, I was single and sans kids. When we moved out of our second house, we rented it to family members.
But…I have watched those DIY home shows so I’m basically a fully trained expert here.
The only real tip I can offer for this one, based on my own experience, is from the first thing I shared: Downsize the crap out of your stuff.
The less stuff you have means the less clutter you have which means the less to clean. If it can be worked into your budget, rent a small storage unit to get the extra stuff out of your house so it can be staged beautifully.
Good luck! And if you have any tips for me, please share them in the comments! This ain’t my first time, but I don’t know it all and I love learning new things!