house packing

What’s the plan? Preparing for your move

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We’ve gone through the different steps involved in getting unpacked to organized on the blog, but one part of the moving process that we can’t emphasize more is the planning involved. Moving into a new home or even into your current home after a major renovation is a complex process that if done right, can be a stress-free and efficient process. In order to achieve that, you must be willing to take the time before you start moving to make sure everything is in place. Sometimes, this involves doing tasks in a counterintuitive way that forces you to think more about where you will be than where you are now. It doesn’t seem that hard, but it can be difficult to look beyond your current home to imagine your new space. That’s why Calm Order is here to help! 

 

Declutter 

The first step in any organization project, including a move, is to declutter. Purge anything that you do not need or want in your new space. This way, you’ll only need to pack the items that you are actually going to take with you to your new home. It will also allow you to handle the process of donating, selling, or recycling/throwing out the items you do not need or use. Depending on how many items and belongings you have, this could significantly lower the cost to remove the items and transport them to your new home. 

 

Create a schedule 

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a lot of tasks that need to happen in order to complete your move, and some of them need to be completed before the others. Create a schedule or timeline of what needs to be done and when, like the closing date of your property, the possession date for your new property, moving dates, and more. If it is possible, try setting the possession date for your new home before the closing date for your existing home, so you will have time and space to keep your belongings until you’re able to move in. This process can become complicated if you need to set-up temporary storage or move in with family or friends in the interim. Once you have an idea of the key dates, you can plan to take time off work, line up trades for minor upgrades, and coordinate movers, furniture and appliance installations, and other necessary tasks like cleaning or a potential estate sale. 

 
Transition your belongings

Before you begin unpacking in your new home, you should already have an idea of what items are going into what room. In some cases, items that you have stored in the bedroom of your current home might actually be going into your living room or a different space in your new house. To avoid it being moved into the wrong space, make sure you know exactly where each item should be. If possible, try to arrange for a time to do a walk-through of your new space so you can come up with a plan for the space based on the furniture and items you have in your current home. Whether it is due to space, different layouts, different needs, or personal preference, you may need to change up what room your belongings go in, so make sure you have an idea of there they are going to live in your new home before you get there.

 

Pack with a plan

Label, label, label! It is important to know exactly what is being kept in each box that you are bringing to your new place, especially if you have a moving company coming to move them for you. An important part of this is also labeling and packing boxes based on where they will be going in your new home, not on where they came from in your current home. This may be counterintuitive from what many people are used to doing – it seems natural to label boxes based on what we have in them or based on what room we packed them in. However, it is more efficient during the moving process to first create the plan for transitioning your belongings, and then based on that, labelling each box and item based on that plan. In this way, you won’t have to re-move boxes and furniture in your new place because everything will have ended up in the right room the first time. 

Prepare for the first night

The first day and night of any move can be a busy and stressful day – instead of making you and your family dig through all the boxes to find your tooth brush or phone charger, have a first night box or suitcase ready to go with all your essential items. This way, you can find the important items you need right away, like a change of clothes for work the next day. It will make the first day/evening in your new home less of a frantic process, and calmer and more orderly because you won’t be rushing to unpack everything in order to get to the few key items you need.

Get some help

There is a lot to deal with during the moving process, so why not get some help from the experts? Think about hiring an unpacking service to make sure you get unpacked and running as quickly as possible. You can learn more about Calm Order’s Move Services and how we can help you here.

Phase 2: The Unpacking Process

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We’re continuing our journey through a client’s move to Calgary from a different city by exploring what comes after the actual move – unpacking.

Before our team at Calm Order even gets to the boxes, we also need to know what the new space is like. We were already able to get an idea of their current living situation and devise a plan. As soon as we have access to the home, we conducted a walk-through of the new property. In this walk-through we were able to see how their belongings would fit and function in the new space that suited their lifestyle (based on their preferences).

The unpacking process can be described as a “strategic transition” process, not a “shove and place wherever there is room” process. To start unpacking, our team follows some key steps:

 

Group items into categories

Sometimes, we open a moving box to find a mix of everything from clothes, to tools, kitchen gadgets, plants, garden supplies, and office supplies all in the same box. To make sure each item ends up in their proper new place, it is important to make sure they become grouped with similar items before they get put away. Sort before you organize.

 

Set up a sorting station

In order to organize the items, we set up a sorting station for all the miscellaneous items. Using bins, boxes or baskets for sorting and categorizing. We line them up in a row on a table or area to establish an efficient sorting work area.

 

Determine the major categories 

Next, we take a good look at what items were contained inside the boxes. While looking, we consider how we are going to group the items. For example, if it was immediately evident there were more of the garage tools than the other items, This would form our first category and all similar items were placed into their own separate bin. From here, we were able to continue sorting the rest of the items based on similarities until everything was sorted into a separate category.

 

Break down large categories into smaller ones

However, this categorization can go one step further. Within our newly sorted box of tools, we noticed a lot of screws and left over parts from the build. Instead of leaving them loose in the bin where they were likely to get lost or misplaced, we grabbed another container just for the miscellaneous screws and parts

As we continued, we broke down the categories and sorted each container whenever we noticed another large quantity of similar items. It is easier to sort piles now instead of having to re-sort a large and overwhelming pile that was just sorted. Whenever a new category trend is identified, it is helpful to start another bin sooner rather than later.

 The unpacking process takes time and patience – it is not conductive or efficient to just start opening boxes and place items in empty drawers and cupboards. Sorting is a key component, and one that our team at Calm Order takes seriously. Are you having trouble sorting through your items, or knowing how to properly categorize your items? In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at proper sorting techniques to help you with any organizing project you choose.

Phase 1: Getting ready for the big move

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On average, it can take a minimum of four weeks to complete a seamless move – in that time, there is a lot of planning, research, shopping, packing, and organizing involved. Wherever a client is moving from or moving to, there are a lot of steps involved to make sure the process is successful and efficient.

Calm Order was recently contacted by a client in another city who is preparing to move to Calgary. When a client doesn’t live in Calgary, we need to get creative in order to understand the scope of the project because we can’t just go over to the property to look around. For this project, we connected with the client over FaceTime, and got them to show us around their home. We had the client show us every place in their home, from kitchen cupboards to closets and drawers, so we could get a complete picture of what their space was like, how they were using it, and what items and belongings we had to work with.

 During the “walk-through” over video call, we could see that there were a lot of items stored around the house, and not necessarily in an organized or practical way. For example, there were light bulbs stored in four different places around the home, piles of paperwork and mail left out on the kitchen counter, and miscellaneous items scattered throughout each room of the house. At this point, we were able to step forward to the planning process, so we could devise a way to create order for their upcoming move and new home.

 Moving is as much about the planning as it is about the actual move – at this point all we had done was seen their current home, but this was an important step so we could begin the process of getting their belongings sorted, organized, and ready to move to a new city and a new home. The process of going through your belongings and seeing how you use your space is important to understand before you move them into a new space.

How was your experience in preparing for a move? Share your stories and photos with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.