July 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
One of the things we do as assistants is move homes, well not on our backs, but our employers move…a lot. They buy new homes, vacation homes, remodel, re-decorate on the regular, or just create whole new environments. What’s more, you may be in charge of getting their extended family organized and moved-mother, father’s, and kids off to college. I have had all of these scenarios. And you know what? It is always a process and things do go wrong. But after years of experience, you have a back up plan, right? Most moves I’ve done are with the family on vacation or out of town. It’s not our stuff so we may not know where to place things. Clear communication with your employer before the move is essential. Tag items that are being sold, staying in storage as well as what is returning and to which room. One of the best ways to make sure you are thinking like your employer or where they want things is to look at where they came from. Here are the top 5 things to make your move easy and eliminate stress: 1) Create a realistic schedule and system, with a built in buffer for unexpected hiccups—There are many components to a move and trust and hire experts – packers, movers, storage, proper art removal and art storage, piano movers, computer removal, electronics removal, construction cleaners, organizers. Make sure you understand what each of these specialists needs to do their job expediently yet carefully. Create a timeline so you do not overlap your scheduling of vendors. It should consistently flow. 2) Organize the move out as much as the move in – clearly mark boxes that correspond to where they came out of so they can go back into the same area. It’s best to color code a room so the boxes from that room have the same colored sticker on the outside. When the boxes come in, they go into the correct room to unpack them. (Kitchen-red, bathrooms-blue, girl’s room-pink, boys room-blue, baby’s room-yellow, etc.) Idiot proof it. 3) When packing, you should be careful not to mix areas in the same box. Don’t pack drawer 5 contents with drawer 6 unless it is clearly delineated in the box where drawer 5 ends and drawer 6 starts. It is better to use more boxes if that means you’re not mixing contents from one area with another. Trust me, unpacking is a breeze this way. Make sure all cash, jewelry, and valuables are handled by your employer. They should put the contents of any safes in their safety deposit box at their bank. 4) Take photos – they are worth their weight in gold. You may or may not remember what you packed but if you photograph the area you packed before you pack it, it will eliminate needless writing on boxes and searching when you’re looking for what you want to unpack. Photograph the whole house, even inside of drawers prior to packing. 5) Make sure everyone understands your system—Your system is no good if those helping you do not understand and implement it for success. And don’t micromanage. Consistently spot check on the work being done but be respectful of others and their abilities. Don’t forget, it takes a lot more time to move in than out since beds must be made, items must be re-hung in closets, glasses and dishware may need to be re-cleaned, rugs need to be measured and placed, and all items organized neatly. This really can happen without stress and it will be a big accomplishment when it is all finished. P.S. Make sure to thank everyone involved. You may be the grand coordinator but make no mistake; you can’t do it by yourself and give credit where credit is due.