Making the Move Without Losing Your Mind

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dear Ellen:
I am about to move out of my parents house at the end of the week.  I secure my own apartment a few miles away.  I am so overwhelmed. The holidays kind of slowed down everything with me packing and moving but I’m really overwhelmed on how to tackle my list of stuff to do before I move.  My head is spinning! I remember you had a post a couple months ago about a list or chart you put together to find an apartment, and I assumed because you were so organized with it that maybe you had tips about stuff for when you are actually moving in to a place.  I just have stuff in boxes everywhere and I just now am realizing I have to make a huge grocery trip when I move in. How will I know what to get? I’m also nervous because when I move out, what if I don’t have everything I need and something happens one night, how will I be prepared? Any advice you can give me before the end of this week will help a whole whole lot. Thank you thank you thank you!

Hi Jackie,
It can seem like so much lies ahead of you but if you break it all down you won’t be as stressed.  First, put a list together of everything you need to do now and in the first month of moving in.  Things on this list should be:
Change address with post office
Change magazine subscription addresses
Change drivers license address
Get renters insurance
Make a grocery trip
Call and arrange to have your cable installed (if need be)
Change address and phone number with doctors offices and vets offices, etc.
Change address with credit cards

Those were just some of the things on my list.  Another thing you can do is pack up all your boxes with similar items.  All your stuff from the bathroom should go in one box, etc.  Label these on ALL sides with the room they go in, that way when you move in, the boxes just get carried right to the new rooms they will go in.  Also, be sure to take all the stuff you will use the first few nights like tooth brush, shampoo, etc. and put it all in an overnight bag, just as if you were going away to a hotel or something.  This way you don’t have to dig for this stuff, and in the case that you can’t unpack, you can still live out of your overnight bag. 

When it comes to the grocery trip, I would break it down into two trips.  The first will be to any store (doesn’t have to be the grocery store) to get odds and ends for your place.  This list will include:
Light bulbs (SUPER IMPORTANT!)
Bandaids and first aid supplies
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Cleaning supplies
Any kind of storage stuff you might need like bins for under the sink in the bathroom to store some of your stuff
Bath towels
Mats (bath mats, welcome mats, kitchen mats, etc.)
Kitchen stuff (cups, utensils, pots and pans)
 You will probably have to make another trip down the road once you are all settled in.  Make a list your first few weeks of things that make you say “Oh, I definitely forgot to get Q-tips”, etc.

Your list for groceries should include all the staple ingredients like flour, sugar, etc.  Don’t forget to buy condiments like ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, etc.
For your first actual grocery list, just think of a few things you eat as meals at home, then get those for at your apartment for the first week.

It can be very overwhelming, but if you break everything down into individual tasks, it’s not as bad.  If you need anything else, feel free to contact me! Good luck with your move and congratulations on your first apartment!


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