ATLANTA—More than 40 million Americans move each year, according to findings from the U.S. Census Bureau. Couples with young children are the most likely to move a long distance and people between the ages of 18 and 34 move the most often.
“Moving is one of the most stressful events you can endure in your lifetime,” says Marie Stegner, consumer health advocate for Maid Brigade. “With so many details associated with moving, just thinking about where to start can be overwhelming.”
Making your move as seamless and stress free as possible begins with organization. To get you started, the green cleaning experts at Maid Brigade offer the following tips.
Create a folder on your computer specific to the move and use a legal-sized envelope to keep all move-related information in one place. Plan the actual move – are you hiring movers, renting a truck, enlisting your friends and family as helpers? Determine if you need temporary or permanent storage for any items and book that in advance. Schedule the turn on and turn off your utilities – internet, cable, water, electric, gas, phone, and garbage services. Contact schools, doctors, and dentists to transfer records to your new location and to get referrals if needed. Fill out a change of address form with the postal service. Make sure that friends, families, and employers have your new address.
Purge before packing
Get rid of clutter and unused items before making a move. Let the kids help identify any toys, clothes, or electronics that can be recycled or donated to a worthy cause. You can use the “one in, one out” rule – as one new toy or clothing item comes in, one must go out. Or the “one year” rule – if you haven’t used it or worn it in a year get rid of it (unless it’s a keepsake). Use up the food in your pantry and refrigerator to limit the amount of perishable goods you move into your new home. Make sure to return anything you’ve borrowed from friends or neighbors. Get rid of any flammables such as gas, propane, and paint.
Label and separate
Keep boxes labeled by room. Sketch out a floor plan of the new home and mark each box with the old room location and where it should be placed in your new home. Separate out any valuables or important documents that you will move yourself such as jewelry, wills, and legal or insurance information and assemble them together so they don’t mistakenly get packed with other household items. Fill a separate box with things you will need on moving day like tools, small furniture parts, nails, thumb tacks, tape, etc. Pack a suitcase with all necessary items for easy access like a spare set of clothes and toiletries.
Clean before unpacking
Clean your new home thoroughly before unpacking including the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, counters, cabinets, and any appliances. Take the time to clean properly using natural cleaning products. Baking soda, lemon juice, borax, olive oil, and distilled white vinegar are great green cleaning alternatives. To disinfect, allow the cleaning solution to remain on the pre-cleaned surface for at least 10 minutes before wiping to kill bacteria. Use a separate microfiber cloth in each area you clean to reduce the chance of spreading germs from one area to another. For more healthy cleaning tips check out the Maid Brigade DIY Green Cleaning! video series.