Moving doesn’t usually top anyone’s list of favorite ways to spend a weekend. Hefting heavy furniture, negotiating traffic with a moving truck and, of course, confronting all those unpacked boxes just isn’t much fun. And moving in the summer can make it harder, thanks to the heat.
If you find yourself moving in the summer, you can make the process easier by preparing ahead of time and taking a few simple measures.
Ease the Workload
Don’t wait until the last minute to start throwing your possessions into boxes. About two months before you’re scheduled to move, do a room-by-room evaluation. Clear out clutter, like old paperwork, and parse out items you no longer need.
Now’s also the time to track down gently used boxes from places like stores and even office buildings, who are often happy to part with them for free. This way, you won’t have to spend time and money on them in the middle of the stress of packing.
Offload (and Earn)
By hosting a yard sale, you can even make a few extra bucks to defray moving costs. Or make extra scratch by selling items, like furniture and electronics, on Craigslist. For unwanted clothes, visit a local consignment shop. If you decide to donate items to charity, you may be able to earn a tax deduction. Also, ask your friends and family if they would like anything. You never know who’s looking for an end table or accent lamp until you ask.
Getting rid of things by selling them, giving them away or throwing them out will help you reduce the amount of stuff you’ll have to move.
As you pack everything you own into boxes and bags, stay organized to ease the transition into your new place. Label each box with the room it belongs in (kitchen, living room, etc.). It may help to number your boxes, too. Keep lists detailing what each numbered box contains. That way, if you need a certain item you can get to it immediately. You might even want to tape these lists to the side of each box.
Look for Help
Let’s face it: Moving furniture is hard. And it can even be dangerous if you don’t have experience maneuvering heavy, awkwardly shaped objects. Moving in the summer throws heat and sweat into the mix, which increases the risk of conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, too.
You can always ask friends and family to pitch in, but you may not want your dad throwing out his back trying to lift that heavy sofa on his own. When there’s really a lot to move, hire professionals. They can move furniture more efficiently and safely than you can.
Consider the Kids
There’s one advantage to moving in the summer: If you have kids, you don’t need to coordinate around school schedules. Just remember to think ahead to how they’ll be involved during the move. If they want to help, make sure you communicate clearly with them and give them specific responsibilities appropriate for their age.
Smaller kids may be better off spending the weekend with grandparents or even enrolled in a summer camp. This way you don’t have to keep up with the move and watch small children at the same time. Plus, it keeps them safely away from the potential hazards of heavy boxes and adults handling big pieces of furniture.
Prepare for Your First Night in the New Place
Moving is a long, tiring process — and at the end of it, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of boxes and furniture. Rather than rooting through everything to find your toothbrush, pack an overnight bag with the essentials.
Likewise, bring easy-to-prepare meals and snacks like sandwiches, granola bars and nuts for something to satisfy your hunger and replenish you before you try to get your kitchen set up.
With a little planning and organization, moving in the summer can be a swift and efficient process. Start early, ask for help if you need it and remember to focus on how amazing your new place is going to be.