Missed in the Move: Commonly Forgotten Items and How to Keep Organized

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During the scramble and excitement leading up to and on moving day, it’s easy for responsibilities, errands, and even personal items to fall through the cracks or be left behind. Because time is precious and there is so much that needs to get done when relocating, we’ve put together a list of commonly forgotten tasks and items, as well as advice to make remembering easy.

Girl labelling moving boxes

Commonly Forgotten: Where that box for the bedroom went!?

How to Remember: Label. Label. Label.

Concise labelling can save a significant amount of time and help you locate single items quickly when it’s time to unpack. Label your boxes with the name of the room the contents belong, what’s inside, and any special instructions (e.g., fragile or this side up). Include a brief description of the contents inside the box and, when required, the name of the person to whom the contents of the box belong (this is especially important for multi-person households). Make sure your writing is easy to read and on more than one side of the box (this can make it easier to spot if it gets lost in a stack of boxes). Another tactic is to use coloured stickers to mark boxes by room, with each colour belonging to a different room.

Commonly Forgotten: Your favourite concert T-shirt.

How to Remember: Make a personal box.

Before moving, everyone in the household should prepare an essentials box. This should be full of items needed for the last few nights before the move and the first few nights in a new home. Never pack any personal documents or medications in boxes that will go on the moving truck. Be sure to keep these items on your person so that you don’t lose anything critical. A helpful tip to ensure you include everything you need to get to bed on your first night is to pack items needed for your nighttime routine in one box on the last night you sleep in your old home. Your alarm clock, bedside lamp, book, and phone charger can go into a small box labelled “nightstand” or “first night bed”. If you can, transport this box last to be sure it will be one of the first you unload.

Upscale modern home interior with a fireplace

Commonly Forgotten: Cleaning behind the fridge.

How to Remember: Think like a dust mite!

Plan to scour areas of the home that are often overlooked during everyday cleaning sessions. Think ceiling fans, fridge vents, and appliances. Then for the final clean, wait until your possessions have been loaded onto the moving truck to give your old home a final, thorough cleaning. If you start cleaning main areas while your packed possessions are filling the space, your task will be much more difficult and time-consuming as you work around boxes and furniture. It’s a good idea to leave cleaning supplies in the areas you will be focusing on until after the boxes and furniture have been removed. Some people even mark cleaning areas by leaving paper towels or other markers. This serves as a reminder to go back and clean the area. Use a cleaning checklist to make sure you haven’t missed any pertinent areas.

Commonly Forgotten: To leave behind the house’s accessories.

How to Remember: Designate a countertop basket. 

Garage door openers, spare keys, and pad locks are linked to a home but not always stored there. Take these items out of their usual storage spots (such as a glove compartment or hidden key holder in the front yard) well in advance of moving day. Doing so will save yourself an extra trip back to your old home and won’t inconvenience the new inhabitants. A simple way to make sure everything required is left behind is to write out a list of all items and their purpose, and leave it in a basket or bowl on a countertop near a main entryway. This way, when you’re conducting your last walkthrough after your belongings have been removed, you can double check all items are in the basket ready for the next homeowner.

Commonly Forgotten: To wrap up commitments.

How to Remember: Get out the red pen and schedule!

Tie up loose ends by returning any borrowed library books, cancelling gym memberships, and using up any prepaid club fees before it’s time to go. Notifying these establishments to let them know you are moving can reduce the risk of someone racking up fees on your card after it’s become inactive. When terminating club memberships, check if you are eligible for a refund on the unused portion or have the ability to transfer your membership to your new location. To help you remember to complete these tasks, itemize each in your phone or digital calendar, adding alarms to keep you on track. If you’re more visual, don’t hold back from covering your bathroom mirror with sticky notes outlines each task that needs to be completed. That way, you’re looking at the incomplete jobs on a daily basis.

Commonly Forgotten: To Eat!

How to Remember: Order Up.

Don’t forget to stay fueled and hydrated. Drinks and nutritious snacks will provide you and your moving team with the energy needed to get through the day. To make sure there are healthy snacks on hand, prepare easy-to-grab food the night before. Try to use disposable sandwich bags and wrap for the food so you’re not stuck with empty dishes to deal with after break time is over. If preparing snacks isn’t feasible, you can always pre-order food to be delivered ahead of time and not have to worry about it the day of.

For more tips on how to make your life easier when moving, visit our blog.