I could totally live without meat. It’s not a must have for my diet but my boyfriend on the other had needs some sort of meat at every meal. It can sometimes be hard to cook for the both of us when all I want is veggies. I’m not a short order cook and I’m not making completely separate meals for each of us. I came up with this recipe as a way to satisfy us both. And it totally does. The marinated mushrooms are insanely good. I add a hamburger patty to the grill for him. It doesn’t add much work to the recipe but we both get what we need without sacrificing flavor.
Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do in life. There is a lot of time, energy and emotion wrapped up in packing and unpacking all of your things and moving to a new home. It is disruptive to your life and schedule.
In my adult life, I’ve only moved a handful of times, so when it comes to start packing, I have a tendency to panic. If you are anything like me, then you are going to want to read and memorize these tips. Moving can be unpleasant and there is no way around that, but there is also no need to panic. There are ways to make moving manageable. If you follow these rules, then the process of packing and moving will be slightly less painful.
1. A few weeks before the move date, I recommend going through your place and decide what you really need. This is a great opportunity to clean out and get rid of the junk you accumulate over the years. Do you really need all those shoes? If you haven’t worn or used something in over a year, get rid of it. You’re probably not going to use it next year, and there’s no point in packing it. If something is still useful, just not to you, donate or sell it. I’m a big fan of Goodwill and Craigslist. Keep in mind that the more stuff you pack means the more you pay for more boxes, more truck space and more time for movers. There is no point in paying money for something that you don’t use anyway.
2. Label everything. Depending upon how much stuff you have, you may end up with a significant number of boxes. I label every single box with what’s in the box and what room to put it in. If you’re super organized, you can also color code the boxes by room with colored masking tape markers. That way your movers (or your friends) will know exactly where to put the boxes once you get to your new place. I also keep a list of the boxes as well as what is in them. It’s so easy for things to get lost in a move, staying organized is your best defense.
3. Pack an Overnight Bag. Pack a few outfits and everything you need for the few days before and after the move. That way you can keep some sort of order to your life and a schedule. It’s very stressful to have to dig for a toothbrush after 12 hours of moving. It’s also important to pack scissors, a few trash bags, or whatever you need to help you unpack in your overnight bag.
4. Use towels and clothing to pack breakables. Money seems to fly right out the door when you move. Moving expenses can really add up if you aren’t careful. Instead of wasting money on bubble wrap or paper, use the stuff you already have. Towels, t-shirts and socks are great packing supplies.
5. Stop grocery shopping a few weeks before the move. It’s just common sense to stop bringing things into the house when you are trying to move out of it. This is the time to use all the can goods and other foods in your fridge and pantry that have been sitting there for a while. If you eat it, you don’t have to move it.
6. Make a list. It’s important to stay organized since there are so many things that need to be done before a move. I like to make a list and constantly refer back to it to stay on top of everything. I also add alerts to my phone to remind me of what needs to be done at a certain time. It’s good to have a back up reminder.
7. Don’t forget to change your mailing address for all your bills, magazines and doctors. This should be on the top of your list and done about 2 weeks before you move. You should also forward your mail at the post office to catch everything that you may have forgotten to forward. This can now be done online so it’s easy to check off the list of things to do.
8. Clean rugs and drapes before they are packed. You can pack up your dirty rugs but do you really want to put them in your nice new and clean space? Probably not. You’re not going to want to take the time once you arrive to get them cleaned either. There are a million things to do to get settled without adding this to your list. Getting them cleaned in advance means that you can just unpack and start using them.
9. Take a picture of the back of your television and pack the cords in labeled plastic bags, which can be taped to the back of the TV. The TV is probably the first thing that gets set up after a move. It’s incredibly frustrating when the TV and cords are in 2 separate places. The picture will help with set up. No need to guess where the cords go when you have a photo to guide you. This is actually good advice for ALL your complicated equipment.
10. Have water and snacks handy for moving day. Lifting all those heavy boxes will work up a thirst and an appetite. Stopping for a full meal may not be a realistic option. Have bottles of water and snacks handy for your movers (or friends) to keep them happy until dinner is served.
11. Try to maintain a schedule. I know this one can be hard, but it will help keep your sanity. Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. It’s important that you stay rested and energized. Start packing up the things you don’t use often first. Wait until the last moment before you have to pack up the things you use on a daily basis. For example, packing up the coffee maker 2 weeks before a move is a seriously bad idea. It’s something you use on a daily basis and having that hot cup of Joe starts your morning off on the right foot. Unless you have a Starbucks barista living next door, you are going to want to keep the coffee maker out. It seems like a little item, but having a few items that make your life ‘normal’ and comfortable make the process a lot less stressful.
12. Take a break. It’s ok to take breaks. Actually, it’s more than ok; it’s necessary. Since you won’t be cooking (see item #5), embrace the fact that you are eating out. Enjoy the last moments in your neighborhood by trying different restaurants.
13. Moving is a marathon. Pace yourself otherwise you are going to run out of steam before you get to the finish line. Set up a schedule for packing. I would set a daily packing goal. It would either be by time or rooms. For example, ‘after work today I am going to pack for 3 hours’ or ‘today I’m going to pack up the guest bedroom.’ Knowing what you need to do and when, doing something everyday and setting limits will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
My friend, Christina, has moved more times that I can count and she’s done it with 4 kids. She’s got moving down to a science so I asked her to way in and give me her tips for moving with children.
14. Accept help from friends and family. Having someone look after the kids while you pack allows you to focus. 15. Pick out a few basic toys that will keep the kids happy then pack up everything else. Assure them that they will see their toys again. Keeping a few favorites will keep them occupied and maintain a sense of home and normalcy.
16. Whether you are moving across the country or across town, it’s important to emotionally prepare the kids for the move. Tell them about the new house and neighborhood as well as read stories about moving. Talking to them about what is happening helps make it less scary.
Do you have any other tips or tricks? Hopefully, I won’t have to move again for awhile but I’m open to any other tips to make the next move go smoothly!