Friday, May 9, 2014

Move prep- The 6 weeks to 1 month before

Moving is tough on a family, even when it is a hoped for and exciting move.  Doing as much as possible before the week of the move makes life easier on everyone.
*This post is written assuming a long distance move.  
**We are a military family, the military provides movers.  If you will be packing yourself start doing that now!  Start collecting boxes.  Start packing them with things you will not be needing (or can make due without) in the next month.

-Most large families have an extra freezer (or two).  Work through eating everything in it with the intention of having it empty about two weeks before the move.

This looks like a lot of food, but we have a lot of mouths to feed.  It should be mostly empty in a week or two.

-Along those same lines...Empty your cupboards.  Eat as much of it as you can in the coming month.  Start going through you cupboards and identify those things you know you just will not get to.  Pass these things on to a friend.  I've designated a friend that I know eats similarly to us and is happy to take these items.  

-Start putting together a list of things you want with you for your drive/transition time.  The last week/days will be crazy and your brain will be scattered.  Putting this list together now (and over the coming weeks) leaves you a greater chance of having everything you will need.  
*My list generally includes minimal items for the kids (lovies/baby gear/favorite toys), basic household items such as sheets, towels, enough kitchen gear to make some simple meals.

-Prep the car/van(s).  Oil change?  That funny rattle? How are the tires?  Clean the car well, inside and out.  Now is the time to organize the car/van if you haven't already.  Check out this post on organizing the 15 passenger van.

-Do some major organizing.  Hopefully you've already decluttered and worked on some organizing.  If you have any idea what your home on the other end will be like prep for it now.  Get things cleaned and organized that will not be in use in the coming weeks.  Don't let anyone touch them.

Every room in my house is a mess right now as we clean out, organize and move around all of our stuff.  Hopefully this will all be worth it on the other end!

-Have pets?  Think through what you will be doing with them through the move.  Boarding them?  Make sure they are in good health and have all of the needed shots.  Keeping them with you?  Identify a safe place in the house for your pets to be on moving day(s).  We usually use a bathroom.  Bathrooms have little that need to be packed and can easily be closed off so that pets don't escape with all the in/out and new people around.

-Plan out your meals for the next month or so.  Make up a plan for meals in transit and on the other end.  Try to minimize the junk, fast food and eating out.  If it's possible you could cook/freeze ahead some meals for this time.  I like to make this a fun time for the family and allow in some special treats and make life a bit easier.  However too much prepared foods etc means people are not feeling their best; this is a stressful time as it is feeling icky makes things worse.  A cooler and some dry ice can keep these things frozen during your drive.  Just make sure you have a place to store them on the other end (or keep adding more dry ice!).

-Already know where you are going?  Sometimes we already have a residence set up on the other end, sometimes not.  When we do, we try to make sure utilities are set up/transfered to our names.  Set up your phone number and anything else you possibly can.  *We like to have family "business" cards printed up.  If possible ,these are available before we move so that we can easily pass our info on to friends.  On the other end they are very helpful when we are meeting so many new people in a new place.  It also helps me to have one in my wallet so I can remember where I live. ;)

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