I have a love-hate relationship with moving. It’s something I’ve done many times and while I love moving into a new space, the process of boxing up everything I own isn’t something I particularly enjoy. I wish I could fast-forward that part and go straight to decorating. Me and my boyfriend’s lease was about to be up and we were outgrowing our current apartment, but instead of searching for a new building, we opted to stay in the same and go from the 7th floor to the 15th with panoramic view of DTLA. I’m obsessed!
Last weekend we packed up all our things and asked our friend to help us move. A million trips in the elevator and we’re finally here. Unpacking—that’s another story. Slowly but surely it’s coming along. I’ve learned over the many times I’ve moved some tips and tricks to make things easier.
Schedule your move on a Thursday or Friday so you have the whole weekend to unpack.
Take photos of your old house/apartment. How else are you going to remember the way you arranged your counter tops or bookcases? This works when you want to remember exactly how you decorated a specific area to either recreate it or draw inspiration from it.
Buy boxes, bubble wrap, packing labels, tape, zip ties, and box cutters. We stopped by U-haul and stocked up on moving supplies. We bought small and medium sized boxes and used the bubble wrap to wrap up anything fragile. We also wrapped up our expensive furniture, picture frames, mirrors—anything that could get damaged during transport.
Pack in sections. Start in one room, in a corner and move your way forward (put the fragile stuff aside, we’ll get to that), trust me…you’ll unpack at record speed and you’ll actually know where everything is. Last time I moved I threw everything I owned into boxes and as I was doing that, I was thinking hmm…this seems pretty easy, while I was going at record speed. Then came the unpacking which was a total catastrophe, I had kitchen supplies in bedroom boxes, books with makeup, food with clothes—you get the picture. It took me forever to unpack and I probably lost a lot of weight sprinting from room to room.
Label boxes so when you or your movers carry the boxes in you’ll know where they go. That’s why buying labels or label tape comes in handy. There’s nothing like having to carry a box full of books that was placed in the bathroom all the way to the living room. Not only did we use the labels, we wrote what was in each box. It may seem time consuming and a little bit OCD, but when you have a pounding headache and you’re searching for Advil, all you’ll have to do is look for “medication” written on the box, and not have to go searching for a needle in a haystack.
Pack all the fragile stuff together. After you’re done with each room go to the corner and bubble wrap all the fragile stuff (vases, glasses, frames, jewelry boxes, etc.) Slap “fragile” stickers all over the boxes and label what is in them.
Protect your jewelry. There’s seriously nothing worse than getting your chains tangled, and it’s an absolute tragedy to have this happen when you have a house or apartment to unpack. I bought a bunch of zip ties and grouped my chains in sections depending on size, wrapped a zip tie at the top and hung them on hangers. Worked like a charm. I also save all my jewelry bags and put bracelets, rings and any fragile jewelry in them.
Invest in a clothing rack. If you’re hiring movers chances are they have clothing boxes with a built in rod to hang your clothing on. If you’re moving yourself you may have to get a little creative. Instead of us having to take all our clothes off the hangers, fold them and box them up, we used a clothing rack to transport them (took multiple trips, but still faster than unpacking wrinkled clothing and hanging all of them.) If it’s not possible to do it without packing them, a clothing rack is still going to come in handy if you have expensive clothes and with delicate fabric. I couldn’t think of anything worse than throwing my Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent silk beaded cocktail dress at the bottom of a box, or possibly scratching the metallic fabric of one of my Alice and Olivia dresses.
Shoe bags are your best friend. I have so many of these I could supply a warehouse. Put all of your shoes in them so they’re protected, and put the heaviest and bulkiest at the bottom and work your way up to the lightest. It should go something like this:
- Moto boots
- Over-the-knee boots
- Regular boots
Declutter as you go along. It may seem like a good idea to start tossing things out before your move. It’s not. In the past I’ve gone on a decluttering spree, became exhausted and threw stuff into boxes. Now, I toss and put aside what I want to donate as I go along.
Change furniture around before you start unpacking. Move furniture around and try out different scenarios to see what works best. This is a lot easier than when you don’t have decor all over the place. Once you get the layout you like, start unpacking.
Unpack room by room. Once the boxes are organized and in the correct rooms, start unpacking.
Don’t hang wall art…yet. In fact it should be the last thing you do. Take some time to sit and think about where it’s going to look good, ask for opinions, rearrange and try different locations. When you think you’ve found the perfect spot, prop it up against the wall for a few days to really consider if it is in fact the perfect place for it. It’s a lot easier to move when it’s not nailed into the wall.
Buy a stud finder! Up until a year ago I didn’t even know what I stud finder was, and no it’s not some dating website. Therefore all my pictures were hung into dry wall. I had one of those white ceramic animal heads fall off the wall and hit me in the head, and I also tried nailing jewelry hooks into concrete.
Take inventory. Make a list of what you need as you unpack and hang it up on the fridge. The All Out Of pad is from Knock Knock and it’s a lifesaver. Whenever we run out of something we just check it off or add it to the list.
Make an appointment to transfer your Internet service to your new address. This was the only
issue disaster we came across. We had AT&T U’Verse which was the WORST. Trying to stream on Apple TV while it buffered every 5 minutes made for a great movie night. Being kicked off the Internet multiple days a day made me want to chuck my Mac across the room. We thought we had no other Internet providers in the area and that we were stuck with a service that was similar to dialup in the late 90’s.
Document any damage. Most apartments will ask you to fill out a form and mark any damages you see so they can repair them, and if the problem persists they’ll know you weren’t the cause of it, so you won’t be charged when your lease is up.
Change your address with the post office.
Update any documents and change your address with specific companies you use. (Renters insurance, utility bills, Amazon Prime, delivery services, magazine subscriptions.) Note: Most apartments require you to have renters insurance so make sure your policy is up to date with your new address before you move in.
Buy address labels and/or an address stamp. I like both, labels for personal mail and stamps for bills.
Get checks made with your new address.
Stock up at discount stores. My favorite discount store is Daiso Japan. It’s a $1.50 store and has a better selection, higher quality than your typical dollar store. I buy all sorts of stuff from here. Right before our move I stocked up on hooks, plastic containers for under the sink, potpourri, cool straws, curtain ties, a flowerpot, and notebooks.
Decorate, decorate, decorate. Now it’s time for the fun to begin. To get inspiration, I look at decor books, revert to my old Pinterest boards and check my Instagram feed. Some of my favorites are:
Tory Burch In Color, $50 | Kate Spade New York: Things We Love, $19.44 | The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Feng Shui, $1.99 | Nasty Galaxy, $18.50 | The Domino Decorating Books Box Set, $70 | Jonathan Adler: Happy Chic Colors, $18 | Paris in Color, $14
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