Moving is no-one’s idea of fun. Unless you are fortunate enough to get movers who can pack, move, and unpack for you, you are probably going to be living with boxes and a bit of frustration during your move. The one silver lining? A move is the perfect time to revamp your style and create that home you have always dreamed of.
Before you Move
When relocating, you are effectively paying for every item you own. If you are hiring movers, you will generally pay per pound as well as per meters in distance. If you are moving yourself, you will need a larger, more expensive truck if you have more stuff. The solution? Get rid of everything you don’t love or really need. Likely ideas for pruning include:
- Things you haven’t used in more than a year
- Things you received as gifts but don’t really like
- Any piece of décor and furniture that you don’t love or need
- Any décor or furniture item you have outgrown
- Any item that won’t fit in your new home
- Any items that will be too difficult to move
If you are having trouble getting rid of things, read this blog post about de-cluttering or check out the MSN post here about cleaning up before a move. Keep in mind, though, that everything you get rid of you may need to replace at your new apartment. Really consider what you need – it’s probably less than you think. You will generally need (to start):
- A few pots and pans and kitchenware
- A few utensils and plates
- A bed
- Clothes hangers and a place to put your clothes
- Your computer and some electronics
- A place to sit and eat
Some of these things you can buy when you arrive in your new home. Keep in mind, too, that you can break up sets. If you love your dining room chairs but don’t love the table, keep the chairs and sell the table. You can pick up something nicer when you are moved in.
Keep Things Organized
Staying organized is easier than you think – even if you are living out of a suitcase for a few days until you unpack. You will need a binder or folder with several tabs and pockets. Inside, you will want to keep everything related to your move, including:
- Photos of your new and old homes, with measurements of each room, door, and window
- Ideas for decorating your new home
- Contact information for your real estate agent, utility companies, movers, and anyone else you may need to contact
- Swatches of upholstery and paint samples for your new apartment or house
- A list of places where you can buy furniture, housewares, and anything else you may need
- Lists of things to buy, things to do, and things to bring when you move
- A tape measure and a calculator
Bring this information with you whenever you are running errands. Whether you are buying new furniture or trying to arrange a move, this information will be handy and will ensure you don’t get a couch that doesn’t fit in your door or end up buying paint that clashes with your floor. Check out this post to see how one blogger organized a move.
After Your Move
Once the move is over, it’s time to start setting up your new apartment or house. If you have moved from a larger space to a small studio apartment, the main adjustment will be to reduce what you own and to buy furniture that fits the scale of your new space. Even if the space size is the same, however, your new home may have a different style or you may be moving into a different lifestyle as well as a new place.
Take some time to get familiar with your home. The impulse is to run out and buy everything you need right away, but it makes sense to set up what you have and to start creating lists of what you might want to furnish your home. Compare prices on items and consider spending some time just living in your new, barer space until you find something that really appeals to you. If you need a kitchen table, for example, consider hunting around for one that really suits you and suits the apartment rather than buying the first pre-fab set you see. Yes, you may need to eat at your kitchen counter or on the sofa for a few days, but it will be worth it to get the best price on something that will bring you pleasure.
Remember: a move is a chance to start over, and that means making new style and home choices. This is your chance to buy something you really like, not something that just happens to be convenient or on sale. Take your time and make choices you are excited about.
Making New Style Choices Fit Your Space
Once you have the basic furniture you need, you will want to make your apartment or house your own. Adding plants, art, and other decorative choices is ideal, but think carefully before just transferring the pieces you have now to your new space. One of the big challenges with relocating is that your new space will likely have a different style. You may be used to a modern apartment and your new house may be a historic property with high ceilings and original molding. Or, you may be moving from a historic walk-up to an ultra-modern condo. In either case, it is important to adjust your style slightly so that it complements the space. If you are looking at the blank canvas of your new apartment and just feel confused, check out the interior design tips at this Southern Comfort post and this HGTV article.
As you set up your new space, keep in mind that this can be a great style adventure. Start paying attention to home styles and furniture options. You may find new ideas and styles that really appeal to you and help you create that perfect dream space you have always wanted.