(615) 300-8285 Lisa@LCTTeam.com

You sold your house!  YAY!  And, bought your dream home!  Double and triple YAY!  And now it’s time to start packing… YA…eah, no.  Not that exciting, right?  In fact, many of my clients face their big moves as if they’re headed to the gallows.  I’m not crazy enough to suggest that packing and moving all your worldly possessions is fun, but by following a few tried-and-true rules (gleaned from some of my best clients!), you can seriously reduce the stress and strain of a move and even use it to refine and organize.  Then, when you land in your new home, the process of unpacking will be ever-so-much easier and more pleasant.

I believe in getting the hardest and most arduous tasks out of the way… work out first thing in the morning, file your taxes ASAP after January 1st and pack the kitchen first when planning your move.  The kitchen is often our Achilles heel… it’s a room that is FULL of stuff and clutter and also one that sees the most use and abuse, so you might be tempted to wait till the last to pack.  Trust me on this…  you’ll feel better, lighter and more at ease if you plan, pack and then unpack your kitchen before any other room.  Let’s get started!

We talked last week about prepping your supplies, so I trust that you’re armed with boxes (remember, less is more in the kitchen, so you want small, sturdy boxes, not big, bulky and heavy ones), tape, markers and an inventory sheet.  For this important room, you’re going to throw in a few more tools… some post-it notes, a rough plan of your new kitchen (you can simply draw it out on a piece of paper) and a camera or camera phone.  This high-tech approach will help you ensure a low-stress move.   Hopefully, you’ve also completed the purge and gotten rid of the 500 pounds of stoneware you bought and never used.  Now that you’re working with what you actually use, let’s get down to it!

Create a LAST TO PACK/ESSENTIALS box.  This is going to be the box you throw the coffee maker, toaster, and leftover paper plates and cups into just before you leave your old home for the last time.  It’s a catch-all and very important.  Build it… then ignore it till your final day before the big move.

Create a photo-journal of your cabinets, moving left to right and top to bottom around your kitchen.   You had time to establish what and where things worked for you in your old home… no point in reinventing the wheel in your new one.  Take pictures of what is stored in each cabinet, then rename the pictures “cabinet #1, cabinet #2, lazy susan, #3, utensil drawer, etc…”  Referring to the master drawing of your new home, similarly label your new cabinets by writing in the corresponding number and/or name.  Obviously, your new home might have more or fewer cabinets than your old home, but pre-planning a place for your kitchen ware is going to save lots of time and tension on the other end of this move.

Start boxing… wrap fragile items (or use bubblewrap), use cell kits for glassware and remember not to overload these boxes.  Dishes and glassware are heavy, so use smaller boxes and create more of them.  You might have more than one box per cabinet… that’s fine!  Box up the items you use the least and get comfortable with eating out or eating off paper plates for a bit.  Again, pack around the room from top to bottom.  When you tape a box shut, complete a quick inventory sheet (some of my high-tech clients print the pictures they took before packing the contents of the box) and LABEL THE BOX WITH ROOM (in this case, KITCHEN) and CABINET #/NAME.

     If the cabinet by cabinet rule doesn’t work for you, follow these general guidelines for packing the kitchen, but DO label the boxes by the number of cabinet/drawer you want the items to land in in your new home:
A.      Pack ITEMS NOT FREQUENTLY USED first, then…
B.      WINE, LIQUOR AND OTHER UNOPENED BOTTLES, then…
C.      DRAWERS AND SHELVES, then…
D.      COOKBOOKS, then…
E.       DISHES, then…
F.       POTS AND PANS, then…

YOUR PANTRY… A note… you need to tape closed any opened, non-perishables.  Toss or donate perishable food and really consider donating canned goods to a food pantry.  It will often cost you more to move them than to purchase new canned goods once you arrive in your new abode.

That’s it… breathe and have a glass of that wine you left to pack in your LAST TO PACK box.  Give yourself a nice pat on the back for tackling and triumphing over the toughest room to pack.  When you arrive in your new abode, the system of neatly numbered boxes will make unpacking a snap!
NEXT WEEK: Packing and moving your bedrooms!