Know Your New Home's Size
Moving day rarely goes smoothly without a plan in place, so get organized ahead of time by knowing the details of your new home's size. First you'll need dimensions for every room, including ceiling height as well as the length of each wall. You'll also want to know the location of built-in elements that you'll need to plan around, such as doors, windows, and counters. Also be sure to understand how the rooms connect and flow together. Ask your realtor or landlord for a floor plan to help you get started, or create your own sketch from photos.
Measure the Major Pieces
Writing down the dimensions for your furniture, TV, appliances, and other major pieces requires a small time investment up front, but it will pay off on moving day. When you have accurate dimensions to work with, you'll really be able to map out your space ahead of time instead of just casually considering where each piece might fit. When moving day rolls around, you won't risk being disappointed when your furniture doesn't quite fit where you'd envisioned. Even better, you can save yourself a ton of work and your movers a lot of grief by telling them exactly where you want the heavy stuff to go.
Use Floor Plan Software
Creating a floor plan by hand might sound like the easiest way to tackle this project at first, but by the third time you've drawn that couch or erased that lamp, you'll wish you'd used software. Even if you're not the most computer savvy person, there's no need to worry. Some of the best floor plan programs are also the easiest, and you won't spend hours or weeks learning new software. One of the most popular apps is SketchUp. Download it for free and start using right away. You can input room dimensions into this program, which has everything you need to create rooms, walls, and doors. You can also add graphic elements for furniture and text labels for notes. If you want an app that's a little more lightweight, try something like Room Sketcher. This program doesn't allow for quite as much customization or detail, but if you can't wait to get started on laying out furniture and designing your space, this is a good option.
Design for Your Needs
When you're planning out your new space, remember that the only bad floor plan is the one that doesn't meet your needs. It's easy to get caught up in design magazines and creating the trendiest space possible, but remember that at the end of the day, you need a space that will work for you, your family, and your lifestyle. If you're a social butterfly who constantly has friends and family over, add more seating options and configurations than a typical layout. If you love to cook and spend your weekends in the kitchen, make sure your floor plan drives the action toward that area with plenty of seating and tables. If watching the latest blockbusters is one of your family's favorite activities, leave enough room for comfy couches, a TV, surround sound, and your cable setup.
List What Else You Need
You might think you have everything you need in your current home, but new spaces and different layouts tend to require different elements. Your existing sofa might be perfect for your current home, but it might be too small or not the right dimensions for the new space. Similarly, the small lamps that have decorated your home for years might require an upgrade if your new space has different levels of natural light or a darker lighting scheme. Once you've created a floor plan for your new space, it's easy to see where your design is lacking and where you have too much stuff. With your layout in hand, you can start to make a list of the major things you'll need to replace, as well as the little things that are missing. Not only does being organized on moving day help you keep stress levels low, but it also eases the transition into your new home. Instead of spending days moving furniture around after the fact, you'll be ready to enjoy life in your new home from the second you walk in the door.