I can’t even believe I am actually typing this but, as of now we have officially moved in to our new home! Moving an entire house is hard enough, but moving with kids is chaos. When we first started looking for homes, Tom and I had two completely different ideas of what we wanted. I wanted to live in the city or very close to it, and Tom is a complete suburban boy who hates to deal with city traffic and parking. I wanted an old home with tons of character and I was willing to give up on square footage for a piece of history, and Tom was set on having a spacious open concept home. Tom wanted lots of nature, a big yard, and a quiet street, something I liked too, but not enough to live far away from civilization (Chicago).
After we sold our home in less than a week, we were in a huge rush to find a place to move. We saw tons of homes and we didn’t agree on anything. We argued a ton, and there may have also been some silent treatment going on. We were packing up and looking at potential homes non-stop, all this going on while fasting during Ramadan. One day after a particularly long day of house hunting, I literally broke down and just cried out of frustration, and probably a little bit of hunger too. I cried and prayed to find something we both loved and that we could make our forever home. After all that crying, I felt a wave of relief and I decided I’m just not going to stress about it any more.
We found our dream home the next day.
The place we ended up with wasn’t in the city but it is walking distance to a train station and a cute downtown area. It was built in 1916 but it was completely renovated (with historical accuracy) so we got additional space and the convenience of new windows, plumbing, and hvac. We are on a quiet street right next to a nature trail. I’m completely thrilled with the space, but it is going to be a while before we are fully unpacked and each room is personalized to our tastes. Since we don’t plan on moving ever again (if we can help it!) we are going to take our time and do it right. I’ll be sharing my room makeovers as we go – stay tuned! For a tour of our new home, visit the ‘Home’ Highlight on my instagram page.
I learned a lot from this move, mostly what I could have done better to make the transition smoother. Read on for seven tips I have for your next move!
Moving Tips (that I learned the hard way):
- Pack a box of Kitchen Essentials with things you use daily and bring that with you, in your own car, on your move-in date. In a sea of moving boxes, that one box you desperately need will be impossible to find. Include a frying pan, a few glasses, bowls, plates, spoons, etc. Basically anything you’d find in an extended stay hotel kitchen. After a week of take out three times a day because we couldn’t find silverware or a frying pan, we couldn’t wait to be able to cook our own meals.
- Label everything clearly. This one is obvious but somehow we still had boxes that said ‘Master Bedroom’ without any hint of what was inside. When there are 20 boxes that say the same thing, you can imagine the frustration. Especially necessities like bedding, put an entire bed in one box so you aren’t looking for a sheet from one box and a pillow in another.
- Declutter as much as humanly possible before you even start to pack. I spent an entire *year* Marie Kondo’ing my place and I still have way too much junk I don’t need. I sold quite a bit of my stuff on Facebook Marketplace, and I even donated a lot of things. Yet I still have tubs of miscellaneous items from my old basement storage that is now in my new basement storage. Le sigh.
- For parents, plan ahead for childcare on moving day, and for at least the first few days in the new home while you get settled in. Unpacking and running errands like school registrations are much easier when you don’t have a toddler getting into unsafe boxes of tools, or trying to run outside all day long.
- Ask for a fixed bid. Most moving companies charge hourly, and we ended up paying significantly more than our quoted price. Note: You do have to have an idea of what your cost would be in order to go this route. If you are doing the hourly rate, save yourself some time and money by disassembling your beds and tables ahead of time and wrapping everything up together with stretch wrap.
- For packing materials, check facebook marketplace – where we ended up giving away all of ours. We didn’t realize we could do that and we bought everything ourselves. Facebook can be a hit or miss so if you are buying, we found we got the best deals from Amazon and Home Depot.
- Be sure to measure your new place and any furniture you are bringing with you to ensure it will fit. Do not ‘eyeball it’ or say you will ‘figure it out later’ like we did. Not only did the move take longer because of our error, we currently have a 4 piece sectional sofa that doesn’t fit, an extra sofa from our basement that didn’t fit through the stairs, and ANOTHER sofa that was in our den, something we don’t have here- so 3 sofas that we DO NOT WANT are currently in our living room. Don’t be like us.
What other moving tips do you swear by? Share below!