Monday, April 20, 2015

Moving: Staying Organized

Unpacking in Texas has been a bit of a process. We have a unique situation since we don't know long we will be living in this apartment, but we know it most likely will not be longer than six months. So we are not planning on fully unpacking since it will not be very long.

When we were packing up in Louisiana, I wanted to keep this move as organized as possible. I feel like the hardest part of moving is putting all your things in boxes, only to move and not be able to find anything. It is the most frustrating thing. I decided when we started packing to come up with a system. I created an excel spreadsheet where we labeled each box with a number and then listed out its contents, which room it came from, and a one word overview.
This system has helped us so much. Originally, I thought about doing this by hand, but then realized that digital would make it easier. We can filter by room if we want or search the document for specific items. This has come in handy countless times while we have been unpacking, especially since we have not unpacked all of our boxes. Even when we were packing, there was a few time where we packed something and needed to go back and find it. If we had to search through every box to find the item it would have been a nightmare. While this system made packing take a little longer, its benefits have far outweighed the time put in.
Over the last few weeks, we have unpacked some boxes, but things started to get crazy. With all the empty boxes we are keeping and other boxes that we are not unpacking, our office started to become a dumping ground. It got so bad that we could barely walk in there. So I buckled down this weekend and decided to organize all the boxes so we could live in this space for the next few months. I'm embarrassed to even show these pictures, but moving is not always a pretty process.
Not pretty. The plan was to empty out the large walk in closet shown below, and reorganize both empty and full boxes. Sorry for the not great pictures. This space is really tight and hard to photograph.
I looked through my spreadsheet at all the boxes that had been un-opened and decided which ones we would not need access to for a while. Boxes that held Christmas decorations, books and other things were then stacked in the closet. The storage in this closet is amazing. The space is 11 feet deep, 4 feet wide and has amazingly tall ceilings at 9 feet. Have I mentioned this apartment puts our old apartment to shame? I was able to stack about 35 full boxes and then filled the rest of the space with empty boxes all the way to the ceiling.
Once the closet was full, I organized the office boxes. There are a few still full boxes, but they are ones we need more access to and also some half empty boxes. Overall, the room is so much better and leaves space for us to continue to unpack the rest of the house. We had 6 or 7 boxes sitting in the hallway that leads to our living room that I was finally able to clear out as well. I forgot to take a before picture before I moved the boxes, but here is the space after I had moved the boxes.
Then I cleared the rest of the space and it looks amazing now. We have our living room back! It makes me feel so much better.
The office is also a million times better. Although, we don't use that room as much but it feels nice to have more room to continue to clear the clutter around the rest of the apartment.
So that is the bit of organizing I was able to do over the weekend! It felt good to see progress around the house. There is still a lot to do in our apartment, but having this space cleared will make things going forward much easier and much more organized.
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