I've found it's somewhat similar to paying bills. You don't want to pay too early or pay too late. You have to remember all the bills that are coming due. Where is the money coming from and where is it going to. I find that if I think about all the parts that make up the home (including the people in it) - heat, light, food, water, safety, communication, comfort, transportation, education, etc. - and how those things are connected to businesses and institutions I can remember what's coming up. I use this same idea when planning camping trips, and I'm using this same concept for our move.
So far I've put together a sheet within my Microsoft OneNote file for the new home called Checklist. I have:
- 2 to 3 Weeks Before You Move
- 1 to 2 Weeks Before You Move
- 2 to 7 Days Before You Move
- The Day Before You Move
- Moving Day
- Post Move In
We're right now in the 2 to 3 Weeks zone. We've organized Gas, Hydro (Electricity), Phone, and Internet/Cable hookups. Arranged for Canada Post to forward mail for the next 12 months (that's $84 ... $7 a month). Notified the bank, Doctor, Dentists, Employers about the move. (Still to do - notify Walter's school, update driver's license, car insurance, income tax/government agencies, accountant.) We have been collecting boxes for months. Have the tape gun (and just bought six more rolls of tape to be sure). Fragile labels, other labels, a notebook to record box contents. I'm going to take shredded paper from work to use as filler in packing boxes.
I've decided to label each box in the following way:
- Circle Label with a big single letter to refer to the floor level - M for Main, U for Upper, and B for Basement
- Label to designate room. I'm considering colour coding these labels with crayons (Yes - crayons. They won't wash off and they give me a wide assortment of hues to choose from).
- On the same Label the box number. This number will be recorded in the notebook along with a general description of the contents. I don't think it's necessary to itemize every object going into a box, but enough information to help locate items is useful. This list will be used on moving day to check off boxes as they come into the new house.
- Use a Fragile sticker if needed.
- All these labels applied to four vertical sides and top side. (Yes, I know, that's a bit OCD.)
- Blue - Bathrooms, Laundry
- Green - Kitchen
- Orange - Walter's room
- Yellow - Our bedroom
- Pink - Guest room
- Grey - My office
- White - Living room, Dining Room
- Red - Family Room
- Brown - Garage
- Purple - Basement
Weekdays are difficult for us - we work all day, come home, make dinner, spend time with Walter. Then bath and bedtime with Walter for one of us while the other cleans up. By the time that's all done it's almost time for bed. Just a bit of time to relax before we fall asleep.
That means the weekends become critical for us in getting this move organized and carried out properly. We have three weekends before we move. Oh My, how did that happen?!
This weekend our plan is to empty out the crawl space - either recycle, give away, toss, or box everything. Items being boxed will be placed in the garage. In addition, I plan to box up the contents of the guest room and linen closet, leaving only the furniture pieces alone; and Manuel and I will go through our clothes and box up out of season items. All these boxes will be stored in the guest room. Manuel plans to do some boxing of items in the garage that haven't already been boxed up (we boxed up a fair bit when we staged our townhouse in preparation for selling it).
I also am aware that this move is likely quite stressful for Walter. My plan is to leave his room and the common rooms alone as much as possible so that daily life goes on. He needs routine and calm. I'm sure, despite these efforts that he's going to act up. Children do that when life gets stressful for them. He IS excited about moving. He really wants to pack up his own things and be there for the move. So much that I've agreed he can take off a school day on the Friday (January 25th) to help on the big day. I've also arranged for my Mom to be around to take him away when he needs a break.