Tip 3. Measure each piece of furniture
By this time (we hadn't yet had the movers come), my wife started to think I'd gone a little off the bend. I was carefully measuring each piece of furniture, and if the furniture opened (like the couch), I measured it in opened and closed mode.
Our desks are strangely-shaped polygons, and I measured each angle and segment of the desks, to create a small Visio object for each.
I measured every object that would have a footprint on our floor, whether it was 8-inches square of six feet long.
Then, I created a Visio object for each. I now effectively had a workable home design kit inside Visio. I could move each furniture item independently, and if I wanted to see if a bed would fit in a side room with all those bookcases, I could do so in a minute.
Like I said earlier, this level of floor planning proved invaluable on moving day.
Tip 4. Doorways exist for a reason
While we're on the subject of floor plans, let me point out a new homeowner lesson I didn't learn before I moved: doorways exist for a reason.
Here's the story. Our kitchen is long and thin, and it ends with a nice counter that opens on an angle. There's just one-person width of space to get into the kitchen when you want to get by the counter.
When we bought the house, it did not have a refrigerator. This is the first important fact you need to know. The second was that near the back of the kitchen was an ugly sliding door that opened onto what was once a patio, but was now an enclosed room that would become our gym.
Our kitchen didn't have a lot of wall space and in my floor-planning frenzy, I realized that if we closed up that sliding door and made it into a wall, we'd have great wall space in the kitchen, a lot more room for storage, and it would be an altogether nicer kitchen.
So we hired a contractor who closed in that wall.
And then, we decided to buy a fridge. Do you know how the previous owners got their fridge out of the kitchen? Yep. Through the sliding door we'd just turned into a wall.
Do you know how we managed to get the new fridge into the kitchen? Yep. it was ugly. Multiple tries, teams of moving people, counters damaged, stove handles disassembled, and more. My wife was a hero managing it all that day -- and I learned a powerful lesson that I now pass on to you: doorways exist for a reason.