Moving can be physically and mentally overwhelming in the best of times, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds new challenges. The recommendations on social distancing mean you’ll need more coordination to manage your move to ensure that you and those working for you stay safe.
As professional home organizers, one of our services is managing the moving process for our clients. Here are seven strategies we use to help our clients stay organized — and that we recommend you adopt if facing a move yourself, pandemic or no.
1. Create a Master Plan and Schedule
Before diving into any part of the moving process, it’s important to understand the big picture of all the tasks that need to be completed and all the people who will be involved in each part. I recommend creating a spreadsheet or a calendar of events so you have a visual of the overall timeline as well as your current progress.
A defined plan can prevent you from getting buried in or overlooking any of the details. Having a plan also makes it easier to delegate tasks and manage the different crews that will be in your home. I recommend that you add to your schedule the contact information for key people involved, including your real estate agents, packers, movers, inspectors, architect and designers.
Tasks to include on your spreadsheet or calendar might be real estate agent meetings, packing deadlines, moving dates, inspector visits, donation pickups, trash removals, and utility cancellations and setups, among others. I also suggest you create corresponding to-do lists for each of these tasks.
2. Declutter Before You Move
Packing can be hard work. Most people must make decisions about which items to move and which to let go. This can be mentally exhausting, especially if you’re downsizing to a smaller space and have accumulated many items over the years. Your first instinct may be to pack everything and review belongings once you’ve moved. But I recommend putting in the hard work of decluttering before the move.
Decluttering before your move will make unpacking at your new home more efficient and less chaotic. Also, the fact is that many people find that they feel no urgency to declutter immediately after a move. Instead, they end up storing unopened boxes for long periods, eating up valuable real estate that could be used for other purposes. Plus, most moving companies charge by weight. If you need to declutter but don’t know where to start, it might be helpful to ask yourself if you like an item enough to spend money moving it.
Try to start your decluttering process as early as possible. It may take longer than you expect and you can minimize exhaustion by spreading out the work. Inevitably, you might not be able to decide on every item ahead of time, but do what you can to filter out unwanted belongings before your move.