Moving is one of life’s biggest (and sometimes most stressful!) transitions. Moving affects every aspect of your life as well as your family’s, and it’s important to be organized and on top of things. If you’re wondering how to organize a move, creating a moving binder should be the first item on your moving checklist.
Over our almost 24 years of marriage, my husband and I (and now our kids as well) have moved more than ten times. When planning a big move, the first thing I do is make a moving binder. In this post, I’ll show you just how I do it and you’ll see how it keeps us organized during a household move. I couldn’t get by without it!
How to Set Up Your Moving Binder
There are several ways you can go about it. You can make one big binder for all your moving paperwork or you can do as I do. I always make two moving binders: one for the old house and one for the new house. This helps me keep both places separate in my mind so I don’t forget all the little details that go with each place.
Bonus: Download these cute moving binder cover sheets!
You can either use a three-ring binder with dividers or a pocket folder with tabs and a clear pocket on the front like I did. It’s really all personal preference.
You basically just need some kind of binder that can be divided into sections and can organize important moving papers and reminders. These cute binder covers just make it fun!
How to Organize Your Moving Binder
Start by writing the address of your new location on the front and then add your tabs. Next, print off a moving checklist. (Life Storage has a free moving checklist printable that covers everything you could think of. Check it out here!)
I love to have a moving checklist printed out in my hands. There is just something so satisfying about checking things off, especially during a busy time like moving! It’s too easy to forget something important.
The last thing you’ll need to do to set up your moving binder is to decide which tabs will be useful for you. You might establish these on the fly as you receive papers related to your move, or think of important notes you don’t want to forget.
Tabs to Include
Here are some category ideas to consider including in your moving binder. What are some tabs you would add to your moving binder? Let us know in the comments below!
- Moving checklist
- Moving budget
- Open house dates and details
- Movers’ contact info and invoices
- Self-storage rental information
- Loan information
- House plans
- House colors (paint, siding and exterior colors)
- Information on your new area
- Estimates and bids
- Builder information
- School information
The tabs you include may be different than the ones I use, depending on your moving situation. Since we are building a home, I have a tab for house plans and room layouts. This is my favorite category! You don’t know how many times I’ve had to refer to these over the course of our home building process. It is so nice to be able to turn to this section quickly. Seeing a visual of what the house will look like someday gives me a little hope that we will be done soon!
Even if you aren’t building a home, your moving binder will be invaluable for keeping you organized while moving. All the details of your move can be housed in one place. It can even save you money! I always make a receipt tab to keep all those moving expenses. These can be used to make returns or even used for your taxes later on.
When I’m out shopping or running errands, I just slip these binders in my bag so I can grab them if I need to.
Another important tab for me is house colors. When I’m out and about buying and picking out things for the new house, I can quickly whip out my binder and use my color samples to color match and make house decisions on the spot. This has saved so much time, especially in the paint department!
A Final Tip on Organizing a Move
If you’re reading this, I can bet that you are the type of person who thrives when life is organized. So my final bit of advice for you, from one organizer to another, is that, yes, moving can be stressful, but try to enjoy this time of your life. All your belongings may not be in their proper places for a while, but that’s OK. They will get there eventually, and you’re the one that sets the deadline.
Moving means new experiences, new adventures and a new home to decorate. It means new friends to make and memories to create. Don’t let the uneasiness of disorganization hold you back from enjoying the moment!
Try to dream big and make plans for your new home. Enlist others to help you. Reach out to new neighbors. Explore your new area and town. Take breaks, get your rest and most of all, get busy making your new house a home!
Let me know if you are planning a move soon in the comments below. What is your best advice on how to organize a move? I’d love to hear it. Happy Moving!
Editor’s Note: This article originally published on April 3, 2018 and was updated May 30, 2020 to provide more value to our readers.