For many pastors, moving and transition can become a way of life. Beyond the ministerial issues of church transition, there are many practical issues to consider when uprooting to a new place. Here are some helpful hints as you make your next move:
Get a Move on It
Begin by working out details with your new church home. Will they pay for professional movers? If not, will they reimburse for truck rental? If you are part of a denomination or network of churches, check with them for recommended movers and potential discounts. Consider asking for suggestions from members of the church to which you are moving.
Start by making a list. Taking one step at a time can make the task seem less daunting. Before you begin packing, create a system of numbering each box, and listing the contents by box number in a notebook. Remember the more specific your description, the more helpful it will be when unpacking. Plan the order of packing, starting with seasonal items or items used most infrequently.
Boxes, Boxes and More Boxes
As a rule of thumb, you never can have too many boxes and packing supplies. Ask friends, family, neighbors, and church members for any extra boxes, and check with your local retail stores for some free boxes. Gather plenty of packing tape and markers, as well as unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) and bubble wrap for fragile items. It’s a good idea to save a few boxes for last minute items such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies.
Lighten Your Load
Moving is a great time to have a yard sale or give away unneeded “stuff.” If you haven’t used it in the past year, get rid of it! Yard sales can bring in a little extra cash to defer moving expenses, and giving away items can bless someone else in need! Check with your local Salvation Army or Goodwill donation centers about coming to pick up larger items.
Bound by Books
What good would a pastor be without a library? When packing your volumes, place each book either flat or with the spine touching the bottom of the box, as glue can break away from the binding in transit. It’s helpful to pack books of the same general size together. Because books are heavy, be kind to those helping you move and use smaller cartons.
Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for the kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Then, apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home, put a matching sticker on the door to each room, and your moving crew will know where to put everything when they arrive. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in each room where you want boxes stacked (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.
Keep it Together
To save time later, keep things together as you pack boxes. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps and extension cords with appliances. Small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes (picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, etc.) As a backup, have a “Parts Box” filled with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Keep this box with you so it can be easily located on move-in day.
If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.
Keep all important papers with you, such as: birth certificates, school records, moving details, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor information, maps, etc. And don’t pack that checkbook!