Monday Musings Vol. 3 // The Big Move and beyond
Hey yall! So if you don’t know - Tyler and I recently moved from Houston back to that good ol’ VA. That’s right… we’re back in Virginia. This time we’ve settled in Richmond. We’re loving the Richmond life, especially now that all the boxes are unpacked and all we have left to do is hang our artwork and frame some wedding photos.
I was talking to a friend recently and she asked me all my tips and tricks that I learned by moving across country for the second time. I thought, hmm… wonder if anyone else would like some of these tips?? So this Monday I’m musing about all the moving woes, triumphs, and OH PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS AGAIN moments. Also, if you’re not moving, have no fear this is really just tips and tricks that could help you cut out the clutter, organize your life, and give you a mini Marie Kondo experience.
Molly’s Moving [get life organized] Tips
1. You can’t do it in one day
I think the biggest thing to remember when you’re moving or just taking time to organize is that it can’t be done in one day. So don’t try to do it all at one time. Go room to room or type of thing to type of thing, but pace yourself. Also, if you have someone in your life that loves you, ask for help. I couldn’t have done our latest move without my mom. She’s the one that helped me implement everything you see here.
2. The Equipment Matters
Buy the right equipment - boxes or storage - invest in what you need. My first couple of moves I was right out of college, broke, and just trying to get to the next place. Good boxes are not cheap, and cheap boxes are worthless. This time, we had the bandwidth to go ahead and purchase the right type of boxes and storage containers. Moving or storing dishes, use a dish set/china box. Moving or storing clothes? Keep them on the hangers, and hang them in wardrobe boxes.
3. It’s okay. Things can go in the trash.
One of the hardest things you can do is put things in the trash. My biggest piece of advice. GET RID OF IT. This includes food, cleaning supplies, beauty products, old towels, sheets, office supplies, etc. Start fresh every once in a while. Spring cleaning is a real thing and really needs to be happening in your life. Maybe it’s not every spring, but every 12 to 15 months (less if you’re committed) you need to evaluate what’s in the deepest depth of your closets, the garage, the random junk drawers, and beyond. The more you do it, the easier it is to do the next time. I’ve always been pretty good at this, but this move, I went nuts. If I hadn’t touched it or used it in the past year, and it wasn’t a high dollar item, I ditched it. I should note, remember to think about donations etc., but don’t let that hinder your progress.
4. Learn to Adult
One of the biggest things we came across when moving was the random onesie twosie items. We had random mixing bowls, a random 2 cup measuring cup, random glass here and there, dishcloths that matched nothing, ones and twos washcloths, half a sheet set, random towels from all over and we ditched it all to make full sets. I feel like getting rid of the random pieces (except coffee mugs, we kept the ones that sparked joy) has made our kitchen so much easier to clean and maintain. Our linen closet is on it’s way to being neat and pristine. I LOVE being able to do the laundry and have a place to put everything. So, my next piece of advice, learn to adult and invest in full sets. Get rid of the random stuff – single pieces of cutlery, random kitchen tools and regular tools, etc. If it’s not a full set – invest in the full set once you get settled and donate or trash the singles before you pack up.
5. Organization is Key
Okay, I get that this is really what the whole post is about, but I’m going to try to deep dive in to some of my key organization tips. Doing these things really helped when we moved and started the worst part - unpacking. Now that we’re moved in, our life is already organized and ready to live!
When you’re moving, you have to stay organized. I feel like this is the one I’m so bad at, but create your system and stick to it. Try not to dump stuff in random boxes (or drawers). Pick your method, room to room, type of thing with type of thing, etc. Since the space we were moving from was so different then the space we were moving to, we decided to go with type of item with type of item. I went through and packed all the decor and accessories, then moved to books and magazines, then linens and towels, then clothes. Even if you’re not moving, there’s things you can do to help yourself along on the journey to organization.
Marie Kondo really is a master at this. If you haven’t watched the series, and you’re about to move or spring clean, it’s worth putting it on and watching. She has a lot of little helpful tips that will make it all a lot easier. Some of the biggest take aways I had included using found containers and dividers, and organize next to and not on top of so you can see everything and grab what you need without upsetting the whole box.
Why was I not using boxes within boxes before?! Seriously, use containers, the whole boxes within boxes thing will change your life for the better. I’m all about it now. All my drawers are lined with boxes, lids, random leftover containers, etc. all dividing the space. Yes, random leftover containers. You know what I’m talking about? Those divided food containers. I use these from Amazon to pack Tyler’s lunches when he’s working. When we started packing, well really cleaning before we packed, I was like what the heck am I going to do with all this random stuff that I still need but is way too small to just throw in a box? Enter using what you have… I had about 30 of these Amazon meal prep containers, and they were perfect for what I was doing.
Something I’m terrible at, still, is labeling things. This year is the year I’m gonna get better! I feel like I know where stuff is, but now there’s two of us… he’s gotta know too. If you’re like me and not great at labeling, at least try the vertical packing idea. Instead of stacking stuff on top of each other, stack things next to each other. I’ve started doing this EVERYWHERE, and it really does work. To help with this in my office, I’ve started using binders with the plastic zip folders. I keep the binders in a cute storage box, and within the binders, in the clear zip folders you’ll find random gift cards, blank cards for every occasion, stamps, random stickers, etc. Instead of having to dig in a drawer, I just pull out the binder and flip through the envelopes.
Lastly, my biggest organization tip that comes straight from me and years of traveling with camera equipment, USE ZIP TIES. Even if they’re not zip ties, use twist ties, those velcro strip things, something to keep all your cords and other random things organized. Are we the only house that has a million cords and headphones? Now they’re all tidy, in boxes, and easy to grab because they’re not all tangled together. I even have the velcro kind on my curling iron cords. It makes travel so much more enjoyable and keeps our bathroom looking tidy because there’s not random cords hanging out of drawers or off the counter. It’s helpful to organize things, even if you can’t see them - i.e. the cords in the back of the tv. It makes moving much easier and you won’t lose a random printer cable like we did! It makes cleaning way easier, and keeps things from collecting as much dust. Do you use zip ties/velcro cord ties?