Tag: moving

Stay Organized with a Moving Binder

Stay Organized with a Moving Binder

Stay Organized with a Moving Binder

One of the tricks I learned from my Sister-in-Law years ago is to prepare well for a move. At the time she introduced me to the concept of a moving binder my Brother-in-Law was serving in the military and they had a few moves under their belts. With experience on her side, my SIL warned me to always expect things to take longer than promised and to prepare for any scenario.

In a digital world it’s easy to assume that all of our documents are safe and sound when we need to access them, but what if the internet isn’t working, you are locked out of an account, you can’t get your printer set up when you need a hard copy, or you need multiple copies of records sent to different locations? The solution that has saved me more than once is having hard copies in a moving binder.

Here’s What to Add to Your Moving Binder to Stay Organized

Inside the first thing I include is a comprehensive cleaning list. If you rent it’s important to keep a detailed list of what your lease requires when you move out.

Next, my binder has 3-page protector sheets for storing loose ends and papers that I don’t want 3-hole punched such as immunization documents. I also have a flash drive with photos of our furniture and expensive items such as crystal and jewelry. From there the binder is divided into sections.

Master Lists

  • I have a checklist of people and places to notify of your move and a timeline you may find helpful of when to send notifications. By adding the date as to when you first sent the notification you may save yourself future frustrating conversations.
  • List of website logins and passwords
  • Names and contact information for people in your new community you will need to connect with such as the schools.
  • List of where to find original documents (safety deposit box, fireproof box)

Items for Kids

  • Birth Certificates
  • Copies of Social Security Cards
  • Medical Records
  • School Documents
  • Passport Photos
  • Copies of Immunization Records
  • Copies of Birth Certificates
  • Confirmation of activities they are signed up for in new community
  • Information from teachers that will be relevant for new contacts

Items for Adults

  • Copies of License
  • Car Titles and Loan documents
  • All insurance information: Life, car, renters, health etc.
  • Photocopies of passports
  • Copy of birth certificates
  • Copy of marriage license
  • Most recent physicals
  • Immunization records
  • Medical files
  • School Transcripts (sealed and unsealed)
  • Serial numbers of all equipment such as laptops, tv, Xbox, etc.
  • I also have a page that has our previous address and the address we are moving to clearly written out. You would be amazed by how many times we reference this page.

Most importantly, I don’t list any account numbers out and keep things vague such as “checking account” or “bank” so that everything isn’t quickly accessible. I keep our moving binder in a safe place during the packing process. It usually ends up in my suitcase so that I know it won’t get accidentally packed.

Once we start loading the moving truck I move the binder as well as the fireproof box of documents into our car and lock the doors. This system has worked for every move so far partly because I keep the documents in the binder as up to date as possible. This means that tracking down important information in the stressful season of moving is one less thing to I have to do.

If you are ready to start your moving binder, I’ve created 4 free checklists to help you stay organized. You can download them here!

Moving Resources- Here We Go Again!

Moving Resources- Here We Go Again!

Moving here we go again


We’ve just completed our third move in four years. One of those was a local move, but it involved just as much work as the others. The reality is, if you stay in the coaching business long enough you will probably move a few times. I’ve gleaned some great tips from coaches’ wives over the years. I’ve also learned from our own experiences a few do’s and don’ts. Although those things are great, this post has a different purpose.

Moving Resources To Help You Keep Your Sanity

I’m going to divide this into sections. I’d love to add to this as new things become available so send me information if you notice I’ve missed something.


When it comes to packing many wives hang on to boxes to use the next time. Although I did this for a long time, I discovered that not all cardboard is the same. Some boxes collected mold. Others tear. Boxes at Walmart are less than a dollar a piece brand new, but there are many sources to find packing materials without spending much money at all.

  • Hospitals, grocery stores, big box stores, even dollar stores will often reserve boxes for you if you call ahead.
  • I’m a fan of plastic bins for odd shaped items and just to have on hand. After Christmas check the clearance section.
  • Bubble wrap is worth it. I purchased a large roll of bubble wrap, and we used it all. This was after we used all the towels and sheets wrapping fragile items.


Purging is almost a natural part of moving. At some point, you just get sick of packing and start throwing things away. Of course, all that junk needs a new home.

  • Schedule a pickup Many organizations will pick up your donations. Save yourself a trip and save your energy.
  • Mail your donations if I’m going to save a box it’s going to be one from Amazon because then I can mail my donations off for free. This system saves time and money!
  • Of course, you can always host a garage sale, but I find that when things need to sell, they rarely do. We were able to sell several pieces of furniture via Facebook with this last move, but I don’t think it would have been worth the hassle for toys, books, and clothes.
  • Finally, hand it down. We left our school gear at the football office for the next coaching staff to use. Hubs has a strict rule against wearing competitors clothing, so off it goes!

Moving Truck vs. Pods

There are a variety of options these days for moving. I’ve explored them all and the reality is storing items can be just as expensive as moving them. It’s often cheapest to do the entire move yourself. Driving a truck isn’t for everyone though.

Schedule the mail to be forwarded before you move: When we scheduled to forward our mail, we received a 20% off coupon for the moving company we’d already chosen. This saved us $200.

Movers vs. U-Pack

I learned a valuable lesson with this last move. When reserving the truck online one of the services offered was moving help with loading and unloading the truck. I was able to read reviews, compare prices and reserve exactly what we thought we would need. It was worth every penny. 

10 college kids volunteering: Thank you tip ($20 a piece)+ pizza+drinks+ napkins+ plates ($50) + cost of repairing broken items not loaded well ($200) =$450  Additionally, this scenario lasted 6 hours.


2 Insured Movers for 3 hours= $186 plus tip (Remember, you just saved $200 by forwarding the mail 😉 )

Not only did the movers help us out with unloading the truck and placing boxes in the rooms we requested, but they also set up our furniture and helped me arrange the rooms with the remaining time. Yes, you read that right, in 3 hours we unloaded a 24-foot truck AND arranged rooms.

Another bonus was that our movers did the heavy lifting. After loading a truck in one day, then driving for 10 hours the next, the third day of unloading was looking bleak. Instead, it was my favorite part of the whole experience.

Car and Renters/Home Insurance Quotes and Switches

Probably my most dreaded part of any move is finding new insurance. Even when using the same company you will almost always need to deal with a new agent.

Chrinco.com is a new, web-based software that will do all the searching for you. The best part is that you can make sure you always have the best price by asking them to run your numbers every 6 months to year AND it’s FREE!

Company loyalty can be helpful with some companies, but it’s not always your best option. Look around, compare prices.

Magic Jack

We have a “landline” for our kids and the number moved with us. Although this makes for an easy transition for them, when giving out a number to their new friends a local one seemed like the best solution. For $10 and five minutes of your time, you can switch the number and continue to pay your $35/year for service.


Many of you are lucky enough to have doctors with online medical record access already. This is our first time living in an area where this we have this luxury.

We called ahead and asked for our records to be printed and were told that this couldn’t be accomplished without a fee. A call to HR revealed that not to be the case and the CEO of the hospital instead handed us our records for free. This has taught me a valuable lesson. We keep a printed copy of medical records on hand at all time.

Here’s the glitch we’ve encountered in the system:

To establish health care, you need to have an initial appointment. Your former doctor can/will likely refuse to forward your records to your new doctor without the proper authorization…which can’t happen until the first visit. This wastes time and money since your new doctor can’t actually treat you for anything until they know your health history. Printed records allow for a productive first visit.


Online banking has become a huge convenience for those of us that move. Still, it’s not always as convenient as the banks would like you to believe. Limits on digital deposits, fees for ATMs, even limits on daily usage for debit cards can all hinder someone.

Ally Bank reimburses ATM fees, offers free checks that can be ordered at any time, and has a $50,000 limit per day on digital deposits. Goodbye headaches!

School Records

We intentionally moved over Spring Break this year giving us a week to acclimate to our new community before jumping into school.

  • Once we knew our new address I called the new schools and asked for all the forms I would need to fill out to be emailed to me.
  • I also called the schools we were leaving and asked them to go ahead forward the school records as soon as they could.

The day before we loaded the truck I received calls from our new schools with the name of our 4th grader’s new teacher and contact information as well as the first day of school information.  It still took a few days after classes resumed for our middle schooler to start, but we were told we cut the process from a week to 10 days down to 3. For this Mama that was all I needed to hear to know I’d repeat this process every time.

Another bonus is that all the forms were filled out when I was calm and thinking clearly instead of exhausted and overwhelmed meaning the information was accurate. 😉

Community Events

Check the local park districts, YMCA, churches, and libraries in your new community. Depending on the timing of your move you may be able to sign the kids of up activities even if they start shortly before you arrive. Even if they never participate again, this will help your kids get to know people quicker as well as provide a bit of “normalcy” for them if they are having to say goodbye to a sports team, saying hello to another may be comforting.

Utilize Your Garbage Service

On moving day we had a significant amount of items that would not be going with us. Football players can be rough on furniture, and we ended up tossing couches, mattresses, broken items and many items we just hadn’t had time to get rid of.

I called ahead and scheduled a special pickup and informed our landlords what was happening. Instead of having to limit ourselves to a particular type of container we piled the trash high, left a spotless house behind, and sent a check for $30 later that month to cover the extra pickup.

There are great checklists for all the details surrounding the move on Pinterest. All the companies to remember to call, all the things to have in your car for move in day, and many other details surrounding your move. The information here is a compiled list of stuff I couldn’t find on other lists. I hope it is as helpful to you as it has been to us. And of course, while you wait for the next move…may the odds be ever in your favor. 😉

Moving Binder Checklists

When Kids Say Goodbye

When Kids Say Goodbye

Football and Family Coaches Wives are not single parents


This is our second major move with kids, which for 16 plus years of coaching is actually on the low side. That being said, this time around our boys are at the ages where they remember the last move and know a bit of what they will experience as the “new kid.”

I dropped off some papers with the school secretary and ran into a teacher. She stopped to tell me how sad she was to see us go, but also wanted to give me a heads up. Our son had written her a letter expressing his sadness and concern his friends would forget him. Of course, this broke my heart, but I understood it. The last move was several years ago, and memories weren’t as sharp. There is much that has been forgotten about our previous home, and the fear that will happen again is real.

Thankfully this teacher is a thoughtful person and has decided the class will write letters to ease the transition.

Saying goodbye is never easy, but when you aren’t at an age where you have Facebook, a cell phone or the means to travel independently, life can look a lot different regarding staying in touch.

Leaving always includes a mourning season. Watching our boys process this move has been hard for me. I want to take the sorrow away, but I know that they need to move through this in their own time.

In the process of saying goodbye our kids have been able to have sleepovers and time with their friends. This has certainly eased the sadness, but it also brings up new questions. Will I have friends in our new town? Who will they be? Will they like the same things I do?

One of the hardest thing we encounter as parents is the need to release our children back to God. To trust that God has our children’s best interest in mind when he calls us as parents to a new path is a daily surrender of my boys back to God.

As hard as it can be to move our family again, I’m comforted by the fact that God loves his children and seeks to draw us closer to him. God gave us our boys. He’s fully aware they move when we move. God is just as concerned as we are that our boys have friends that surround them with support and welcome them to their new home. He hears the cries of our son’s hearts even when they haven’t expressed them to us.

It is this knowledge that reminds me to let my kids say their goodbyes, to remind them that FaceTime and snail mail are real things they can utilize even today, and to pray for them a bit more intentionally in the months to come.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira