Or How Newlyweds Managed A Move Without Killing Each Other
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I moved to a new place. It was our first time moving as newlyweds, and I was really dreading the whole thing.
There were so many details! Like when do the movers come, remembering to label all the boxes correctly, and of course changing our address everywhere. It made my head spin just thinking about all the little things we had to remember. Before I got too stressed, I started jotting tasks down on a Trello board. I made sure to ask friends on Twitter what they recommended as another resource for moving:
After folks on Twitter reminded me to call my bank to change my address (duh!) and to make a list of places where payment was done automatically, I started dividing and conquering all the tasks we had to do.
I wrote each task on a card and easily assigned some of them to my husband. This prevented potential confusion on who was doing what (OK let’s be real, it prevented my husband not knowing what he was supposed to do).
We could comment on the different options right on the card, and get things done quickly. It was great to have an overall visual snapshot of the move, highlighting different stages of the process. I’ve made my board public so you can take a look.
Having our process documented meant that we could track the progress of each task. Every card moved to Done meant a high five and a rewarding feeling (I swear it’s real).
Since I’m on my computer most of the day, and my husband is mobile, having Trello on his iPhone gave him the ability to check in during lunch and do things like cancel our cable. I got real time updates every time he moved a card to Done, so it motivated me to do more. Situations like moves can be stressful because of diffusion of responsibility- when one person thinks the other person is doing something he isn’t. Trello helped solve this problem and motivated us to work as a team.
Having Trello on my phone was also a lifesaver when it came to things like connecting documents to tasks.
For example, People’s Gas needed me to wait 2 days before calling them to confirm my identity by giving them some code on a receipt (yeah, I don’t get it either). There is about a 95% probability that receipt would have been lost. Instead, I just snapped a picture of it and added it right to the People’s Gas Trello card. I also added a due date to remind me to call and confirm. With all the moving pieces (no pun intended) it was great not to rely on my (terrible) memory to ensure the move was a success.
We also discovered a bit of a productivity hack: the FancyHands and Trello integration. FancyHands is a virtual assistant service that can help with things like scheduling and research. Their Trello integration allowed us to tag FancyHands right on a card with a detailed description of a task and it would get done by a virtual assistant.
For example, I tagged FancyHands in a card regarding research on cable providers in our new neighborhood. They were able to narrow down the list of providers, outline our package options, and patch me into a phone call with customer service to set up our plan. That meant making quick choices for me, and not sitting on hold for hours.
My husband was also able to see the FancyHands’ research and we could discuss the task right on the card. See a snapshot of a card with FancyHands added below.
Trello took the stress out of my move. Since making my board, I’ve seen how other people use Trello to move. Some categorize each new room as a list, then number moving boxes to correspond to each list. Whoa- that gets major organizational props. If we had done that, we probably would’ve saved at least 2 hours of moving time shlepping boxes from room to room.
Now that we’re settled into our new home with gas, electricity, and cable, I can relax knowing everything has been managed and the move is over. Now I just have to make a Weekly Chores Board….