see all cities »


10 things NOT to lose during a move

After moving a dozen times in less than two decades, you’d think I would have it down to a science. And in some ways, I do. I can live amongst boxes without hesitation, and I can unpack and sort belongings with the best. I can order pizza, eat out, exist on chocolate and coffee or eat a homecooked meal without skipping a beat. I love to get settled in after a move, but it doesn’t make me crazy to take the time needed to do it properly.

But in every move, there are hiccups. Every time, there are things we regret, or wish we had done differently. Or there are things we are so thankful for that it’s a shame not to share them. This week, as we found a bag that had gone astray, I realized none of us are immune to moving stress.

Check out my list of things NOT to lose – and find out what we lost track of this time:

    1. Electronics keep us in touch, organize our lives, entertain us and keep our important information safe. Pack these yourself and bring them with you, and consider offsite backup services or external hard drives to be sure your information is secure. This category might include laptops, tablets, e-readers, iPods, a GPS and of course any cell phones.
    2. Charge cords for all of the above, as well as any backups in a second location. These are lifelines, people, so pay attention and pack them carefully. My husband had one bag of cables and chargers go missing for six days during this move and we were desperate to find them. Imagine all your electronics arriving safely only to sit unused because you can’t charge any of them?
    3. Keep a briefcase of files with you so you have a safe, accessible place for sale/end of lease documents for your current home and lease or purchase of new home, bills you need to pay soon and mail that arrives after your office is packed up, and moving expenses. I also use a notebook to track all my connection/disconnection details so I have a record of each item taken care of and new details such as phone numbers, connection dates, and service appointments all recorded in one place.
    4. Clothing and toiletries for each family member. You’ll need basics that are weather appropriate, anything specific for events or outings that will occur in the first few days or while your items are being stored/transported plus footwear and outerwear to go with. Do yourself a favour and throw in swimsuits as well. Even if you have no plans to swim, something might come up or your hotel might have a pool.  You don’t want to try to replace these in a rush.
    5. Anything you will need in the first 1-2 weeks – for me these were jackets for cooler weather, extra shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, back to school items such as backpacks and lunch kits. I also tucked a few greeting cards into my briefcase to be sure I had them handy for occasions that would come up during the move. You never know what will be unpacked first in the new home, so don’t bury anything you will need.
    6. Anything your children need for entertainment, for comfort, for bedtime. Never underestimate what the change in routine and location will do to your children’s security and behaviour. Pack the blankie, stow the teddy bear and have that favourite lullaby CD on hand just in case.
    7. Valuables or items you would be heartbroken to lose, or see broken in a move. Movers might do an exceptional job but never rule out human error. Some things we have always moved ourselves simply because we can’t imagine how we would feel if someone else broke or lost track of them. Keeping them close at hand feels like we are more in control. Plan your move so that you are comfortable – this is your life, and these are your belongings you are relocating. Don’t be afraid to make choices that are right for you.
    8. If you are moving out of town, keep out your GPS, maps, and contact information for anyone you’ll need to be in touch with. If you have slacked off on programming your phone with numbers or email addresses, do yourself a favour and take some time before your move to get caught up.
    9. A last day/first day box – coffee and fixings, paper or reusable dishes, a sharp knife, a bottle opener, a can opener, a corkscrew, paper towels, toilet tissue, a hand towel for the bathroom, and a dishtowel.
    10. Your mind. Your sanity. Your cool. There’s a big picture you’d better be keeping your eye on. Enough said.

Always remember that moving is like a marathon. It’s going to take a lot of preparation, it’s going to hurt, and it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Have you ever lost anything in a move? Have you had anything go wrong while moving? Spill it below – misery loves company!

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

Leave a Reply