Moving, Just down the Driveway, Any Tips?

Updated on February 04, 2011
L.M. asks from Seattle, WA
15 answers

We have finally recieved an approval notice to switch apartments! We are currently in an end apartment, all ground level, 3 and 4 bedrooms, as its a family complex. We have five children and have been concerned about living right next to a busy road with no yard to play in and the park is not in viewing distance. One of our children has vision and hearing problems so we had filed a request for another apartment, this was over a year ago. So... we finally get approved for one the the apartments farther down the driveway towards the end of the complex, right next to the park and it has a little fenced in yard. Well, I should be totally excited right, but I'm not. Now that its actually going to happen I feel apprehensive. I know that its in our best interest and we ARE going to do it. The pro's are that our kids will get to play outside a lot more, I will be able to see them at the park, and they could go in our yard, even though its small. There are no streets. They will have a lot more social interaction with all the other kids that live here.
I am mainly stressing about the actual move. We were told that it will be at the end of this month, that's pretty soon, but I think okay. The thing is we will have only five days to vacate our current apartment and move into the other one. It sounds easy since its only less than a block away, litterally just down the driveway, but I have heard that those types of moves can actually be the hardest. We won't have a moving truck or anything. We will probably get boxes this weekend. I am just having a hard time visualizing how this is gonna work. Where to start? My SO works long hard hours at night, and sleeps through the afternoon, then goes right back to work. So I know that most of the packing will be up to me, I just feel kinda baffled. He will be helping a lot when we do the actual move, especially with the big stuff.
I guess my question is for those of you that have done a move like this, what are some tricks, tips, suggestions, you could give?
Four of our five children are in elementary school, and the fifth one still at home with me. Routine is so very important in our daily lives for school and everything. What has worked for you? How did you organize things to pack now, that are okay to live without for a couple weeks, and the things that will need to be used still everyday during the move? Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions, thank you. Some seemed pretty organized, while others suggested to just bring stuff over and unpack as we go. I think we will probably do a mix of REAL packing and just bringing stuff over as is. My SO went and got a bunch of boxes today and we've kind of started, I do feel a bit better after reading all your game plans and getting started.
We are also on the pack-rat side of things, hard to get rid of stuff. I think this will be a great opportunity to purge lots of needless things. So I am starting to get kind of excited about the move now, thank you for all the great suggestions!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I also moved (cross town) with a 2 month old. I was apprehensive and it was hard. but its over and I'm glad i did it. I however I payed for a pack and move. None the less, it was a big ordeal and I needed a lot of family help and for my husband to take a couple days off work to get it done. One thing that helps a ton in a local move it to simply keep everything in drawers and not box up everything. I also just thew things in closets to get stuff off floors and will need to organize at a later date. However I moved to a bigger place which is why i was able to do that.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I've moved across country a few times and have moved across town a few more times. I've learned a few tricks.

* Make a game plan NOW and start getting ready. Is the new place the same set-up as the other (do you have the same kitchen drawers, cabinets? The same bathroom space?) Figure out where you want your food in your kitchen, your silverware, your dishes, etc. Figure out when you want to actually sleep at the place and when the beds will be moved.
* Get all of the laundry caught up and clean your house BEFORE you pack.
* Go through the kids' clothes (and yours) and separate out the ones that fit and the ones that don't. Either pack up the ones that don't with easy to read labels that say STORAGE and the sizes or donate them.
* Pack your boxes on the light side so ANYONE can carry them.
* Put someone in charge of each room that is to be moved. Label cupboards and drawers of the new place with masking tape and let the person in charge know where you want things (like furniture).
* Try to move only 1 room at a time. Pack your kitchen cupboards, take them to the new house, unpack it. Pack your bathroom towels, take them to the new house, unpack them.
* "hire" people to help you with either the kids or the move. "Pay" them with dinner and drinks while they help you.
* Use kid power if your kids are old enough to help.
* Don't disassemble everything to be moved, unless you have to. That just takes more time and you don't have to put it in a truck to haul.
* Leave clothes in dresser drawers, but move the drawers separately.
* Leave clothes on hangers and just transfer them.
* Borrow wagons, wheelbarrows, and hand trucks to save yourself all of the carrying. Rent them if you have to (or buy a handtruck from the hardware store).
* Get the donated items out of the house before the move. Run an ad on craigslist in the free section to announce a curb alert for people to come get what is available.

Good luck. You can do it with a good game plan. It is work, but it sounds like the move is well worth it. I'll send more tips if I think of them. :)
They say you should get rid of about 1/3 of your stuff when you move.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think you should just hire Jill F below....see if she can spare a weekend ;)

OK, you're a going to have to enlist EVERYONE's help within your network of friends, family, acquaintances.

I recommend you get boxes at a liquor they are free, small so you can't overload them and the kids can still carry them.

The kids can help pack up their rooms with this size. Put on music, keep your boom box out the entire move with upbeat music playing for all.

Get lots of drinks and salty snacks to keep everyone motivated.

Remember, it's the small stuff that kills pack as much of that as possible before. The big items go fairly quickly.

You can toss your entire closet on top of large quilt or blanket, fold the corners up and move it down with a person on each end like a big burrito.

Hope something helps. Good luck. And the kids can take a break in their new play yard !!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Step 1: Get yourself organized. Know where things are going to go in the new place.

Step 2: Start packing everything you don't use on a regular basis. (Books, CDs, DVDs, photos, photo albums, clothes, dishes, pots, pans, towels, sheets, curtains, clothes, etc.). Pack like things together and label the boxes on the front & sides with a number and a letter or color. The letter or color should represent the room the items are designated to while the number represents the number of boxes assigned to this room. EXAMPLE: K-12 of 14 or Red-12 of 14 would let you know this is box 12 belonging to the kitchen and there are 14 boxes belonging to the kitchen. Keep a list of what is in each box. Doesn't need to be anything extensive just a piece of paper you can keep in the box or in a separate note pad. This will help for unpacking.

Step 3: Each person should be assigned a different colored laundry bag for their clothes. This would be a perfect time to give away things that no longer fit or things you just don't want or need any longer or just toss things that can't be given away. This will help when it comes to unpacking too.

Step 4: Put as many things as you can into labeled boxes. You may want to arrange for a sitter if your kids are the kind that get underfoot or really have them help bring their things to the new place.

Step 5: Go through the toys because this will also be a great time to purge and pare down by throwing broken toys out and really giving some toys they don't play with away. This will make the move easier.

Step 6: The last things you want to pack on moving day is the first things you want to unpack meaning each person should have a set of clean sheets, pajamas, curtains, blankets, towels, wash clothes, and one set of dishes to make the first day's meal. This box or boxes should be something you keep track of and don't let anyone else move for you. Each person will need their own first night box. The kids may want to add their favorite toy, lovey, or prized possession to this box.

Step 7: You should pack dishes up with your spare towels, wash clothes, sheets and dish towels. This is killing two birds with one stone.

Step 8: You may want to spend time making certain the new place is clean to your liking before you actually move in. It is easier to clean a cleared out space than it would be when you things get there.

Step 9: See if you can get some friends to help you with your move for an hour or two. This will help the time fly by. The more organized you are the shorter and less stressful your move will be.

Step 10: Your SO will need help moving the large items and you are probably not that help, so get some muscular help too for the heavy things. You may consider renting a hand truck from a rental truck place. They are reasonably priced and will help your move be so much better.

This probably isn't everything but it is a great place to start and really helps take the edge off when moving.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Not harder, just more irritating.

Here's the way I've done it:

- Have about a week
- FIRST DAY move over all the BIG furniture (beds, couches, etc.)
- After the big stuff has been taken over take a break. Then bring over suitcases with clothes, necessary pots and pans, the contents of the fridge, and bathroom supplies.
- Stay in your new apartment that night.
- DAY 2/3/4 go room by room and bring over the entire contents of a room. AS YOU FINISH EACH ROOM... vacuum it, but don't "clean" it clean it. There is *nothing* like the success of having a "done" room, and then moving on to the next.
- Day 5 do half of your 'move out clean'.
- Day 6 do the other half of your move out clean
- DAY 7 do the little things that you realize ; YIKES! How did I forget that??? (like replacing the metal dishes under the burners). and hand over the keys.

((Technically the above can all be accomplished in 2 days... it's an exhausting nightmare. I personally much rather have the week and work half days in relaxed fashion)).


In distance moves, one really needs to pack out. In short moves.. you still need to cart stuff from point A to point B... but boxes just save you trips. One doesn't necesarilly have to actually pack, but can instead just have 5 or 6 plastic bins and make a lot of trips. It's a personal choice. If you DO decide to "pack out"... start TWO weeks before you're going to move. Keep out a suitcase full of clothes (not a lot) for each person, toiletries, and school stuff/ favorite toy or two. PACK EVERYTHING ELSE. Buy paper plates and plastic silverware to eat off of. Pack up the *entire* kitchen except for 1 pot, 1 pan, 1 baking dish and sharp knives. Pack up *everything* that is not in the suitcase or school backpacks. You really don't *need* anything else, you're just used to having it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

We just went through the same thing basically, we moved from an upstairs apt on one side of the building to a downstairs one on the other side. I would pack a box up then bring it to the new place and unpack it. So much easier then a regular move. I made sure that the new place was clean so when I brought the new stuff I had no cleaning to do and just put everything away quick. I got everything moved in and settled into the new place in 2 days, including me going to work. I cleaned the old place the next day and was completely done with everything in no time. It's an easy move, just try not to stress so much you'll get through it just fine. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I have moved LOTS of times :) I would get started yesterday packing all unnecessary items. Unnecessary items are: nick nacks, anything on walls, all books, movies, rarely used kitchen ware, seasonal items that are out of season...if you think you can 'easily' live without it for a week, you can most likely live without it for 3-4 weeks.

Since you are just right there, you probably don't have to worry too much about the necessities for now, they can be moved in a laundry basket (yes, I've done that, lol) 5 days is a lot of days for moving just down the road, You will probably find you get most of the actual moving finished in one or two days, it's the cleaning and unpacking that are going to take forever! :)

Good luck with your move

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I just relocated my family a few hundred miles, but we did it all by ourselves, so I do have some advice for you. First of all, go to and check out her moving tips. They are EXCELLENT! A few of her tips that I would share with you right away:
1) Start purging now. Go through closets, drawers, cupboards, and get rid of everything you don't need, no longer use, or it's broken and you've never fixed it. You may choose to have a yard sale, or just donate to Goodwill or wherever. Get this stuff out of your house; you don't need to pack it and move it.
2) Once your purge is done, make it your goal to pack 5 boxes per day. That's it! No need to over-exert yourself. If you do 5 per day for 2 weeks, your whole house will be packed by moving day.
3) Buy some different colored labels (I used post-it labels in neon colors). Use a different color for each room in the house. Once you have packed a box, put a label on it and write the room and a number. For instance, the first kitchen box you pack will be labeled "K1," the second box will be "K2" etc. Then make yourself a little binder with some binder paper in it. On a piece of paper, put "K1" and then write a description of what's in there. This way when you get to your new house, you will know which boxes you want to open first, and which ones can wait to be unpacked.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that U-Haul has a service available now where you can have them send some burly guys to help you move. They are licensed, insured, etc. I think we paid $150 for 2 guys for 3 hours. Since I had all our boxes color-coded, I put the same labels on each of the doorways in the house. The guys said it was the easiest system to follow they had ever seen, and by the time they were done moving our stuff into the various rooms, I was already almost done unpacking my "unpack this first" boxes. It was by far the smoothest move I have ever done.

I hope that helps! Good luck with your move!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

The weekend is here, get the boxes now and get started.


answers from Tulsa on

I did this type of move when my son was 3 months old, from an upstairs apartment to a downstairs apartment. I found it a lot easier than moving to another city completely. I personally didn't do a complete packout. I had family helping me. They moved the big furniture first and then the rest got moved one room at a time. It was much easier to pack up the kitchen in a few tubs and unpack it at the new apartment and then move to the living room, etc. It's a lot easier to remember where everything was in the old place and put it in the new place one room at a time and you don't get as overwhelmed with the unpacking. I would have the kids stay with a sitter or at a friend's house and then you can get things done a lot faster and get rid of stuff as you go. Good luck!



answers from New York on

I've never been good at an organized move but I found it helps to have a few days off work for the actual move beyond just a weekend. It also seemed like the big stuff got moved in 1 day and then it was 3 days more of little stuff and cleaning out. I last moved when I was pregnant but had no kids yet. I tend to be a pack rat. We put things in paid storage for a while during the moving process but I probably should have just gotten rid of more stuff.



answers from New York on

I think the reason why you've heard that these types of moves are harder is because people assume it will be easy. It isn't, you are still moving every single thing out of one house and into another. I think you need to plan as if you were doing a move to a different town. Like, in one day you will move everything from one house to another. Not - lets just pack and move as we can - that will be disastrous.

My SIL just moved and has young kids. She had her parents stay at the old house with the kids and delegated chores to them so they could help with the clean up once everything was out!! It worked!



answers from Cleveland on

i would first pack up ANYTHING That is not used daily like if there are clothes that they wear ever other day or something keep those out like 5 outfits for each kids and like 2 pjs each and pack everything else and label, pack put books and toys that dont get used much and label same with your stuff and kitchen stuff and towels and sheets everything and i say move the big stuff first a and get the beds andstuff put together while the kids are at school then move the other boxes and everything



answers from Salt Lake City on

we moved two blocks away once, I didnt actually box anything - I moved the dressers drawers full and all. I would take the the stuff out of the Kitchen put it in a boxes drive it over unload it do that with three or four boxes. It did take a little longer I think it took me a full week but I honestly didnt even strip the beds just loaded them up in the truck and unloaded them. Took the kitchen and the beds last. It takes longer to box it up and un pack it than to just put it in a box take it over unload it and do it again.


answers from Dover on

We moved just a few blocks from a house we were renting into a house we had bought. We were only in the rental for 9 months & we actually hadn't unpacked everything we owned as we knew we'd be looking for a permanent home & boy was I happy with that decision!

I got everything packed up starting about 10 days before the move. The day we went to closing on the new house I moved all of our kitchen stuff in that evening by myself while DH was home with the kids feeding them dinner & doing last minute cleaning & what-not. On moving day the kids went to daycare. We had enlisted the help of 4 friends & we did rent a truck so really the move a few blocks away wasn't much different than the move from NJ to DE 9 months prior except that we had less packing to do since I hadn't actually unpacked everything when we initially got there.

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