Saturday, August 12, 2017
Have you ever moved? If you have, you know that it is not an easy feat. I recently moved after living in the same house for over 15 years. To reduce the chance of losing my mind during this arduous process, I did some research on organized packing and moving. I implemented my plan effectively and efficiently. I moved an entire house and only a light bulb broke during the move. Now let me just say, you can’t control everything, some things about a move or anything else, happens well outside your control. But planning and proper preparation is always the best way to go. So just in case, you are contemplating a move, I’d like to share with you some surefire tips to make your packing, moving and unpacking easier.
Like most people, I had a few concerns: theft, broken or damaged items, including furniture. I also wanted to ensure that I didn’t have to drag boxes from room to room afterwards. I didn’t want to spend a trillion dollars on boxes and other moving essentials.
1. Start going through your things one year in advance. Sought: keep, throw away or goodwill items. It’s make no sense to pay to move things you are going to throw away later.
2. Create an inventory months in advance. Take pics of your valuables with your phone. You’ll need it to ensure your items with the moving company.
3. Collect free boxes. Have friends and family hold boxes for you from shopping on Amazon or other mail order purchases. You could also check the supermarket and large stores like Walmart. If you work at a school grab those Staples boxes and other boxes from purchases. I started collecting a year in advance I placed the boxes in large black garbage bags for long term storage.
4. Purchase colorful packing tape. Use regular masking tape to close your packed boxes. Color code your boxes by room. Place one strip of colored tape vertically across the top of the box. Don’t label the boxes, no one needs to know what is in them but you. Keep a key to your color coded boxes (i.e. Orange – kitchen, red – living room, blue – office etc.) It’s easy for someone to open and re-tape a box when you are not looking. That’s impossible when you have a variety of colored tape not stocked in the truck. Lock your colorful tapes in your car.
5. Number your boxes. If one is missing, you will know within a day. What I did is this: Orange is kitchen so the orange list started with 100. First box 100, second box 101, third box 102. The living room was blue. The first living room box was 200, second box 201, third box 202 etc. I also listed in my log some of the main items in the box so I can find them easily when needed. Let’s face it, I can’t unpack a house in a day, but I need my toaster right away. Store most of your boxes in your living room for easy and quick moving. Time is money. When it is time to unpack have a family member stand by the door with a prepared key. As the movers come in they can call out their number or color and be directed to the proper room. You won’t have to lift a thing to unpack. Boxes will be placed exactly where the contents will be housed.
6. Pack your plates with Styrofoam plates. Between each plate, place a Styrofoam plate for cushion. Cheapest method ever and it’s the best padding.
7. Collect free bubble wrap. You will need to wrap your glasses and other breakable items. Have your buddies save the packing including the packing paper from TJ Maxx, Amazon and other stores. If you have to buy any, buy it at Walmart, it is the cheapest I’ve found, or simply shop around in advance.
8. Have a furniture layout plan. If you plan in advance, you won’t have to waste the mover’s time figuring it out. Their time is your money. You won’t have to be dragging furniture around afterwards. For a few tweaks, buy sliders and give your back a break.
9. Purchase glass packing dividers. If you like glassware like I do, this is the only way to go. You can find them at home depot, but if you plan in advance, you may be able to find them cheaper by shopping around.
10. Purchase furniture blankets. Movers will never have enough – I don’t want to see a scratch – I know – a little anal but that’s fine. Purchase them on Amazon, you’ll save a bundle. Sharpie your initials on yours so they don’t get mixed up with the mover’s blankets also number them so you get them all back. You can easily store them away in a bin in the basement or resell them.
11. Have bottled cold water for your movers. They can get more done if they are not dying of thirst.
12. Purchase plastic totes/bins. They are good for protecting china and other breakables. Take a drill and drill holes on each side so that you can zip tie the cover to the bin.
13. Pack a suitcase. You’ll need pj’s, toothbrush, paste, deodorant, undies, at least three change of clothing etc. You’ll be too tired to dig in boxes.
14. Pack a food box. My sister gave me this idea. What good is cream cheese, if you can’t find your bagels?
15. Pack an open first box. This box #1 should have your cleaning items, bucket, sponges, soap, disinfectants etc. Put boxes 13 – 15 in your car.
16. Zip tie your hanging clothes in the closet. Then use Hefty garbage bags like clothes bags put two or three sets of zip ties clothes in each bag. Move the bags from one closet directly to the other. All you will have to do is untie the bags, cut the zip ties and wa-la. You can reuse the bags for trash later on and avoid the folding an unfolding.
Last but not least, remember to pack big boxes with light items like clothes and pack small boxes with heavier items like books etc. If the box can’t be safely carried, items will get broken, including the movers back. Once you are in your new home, smile – home at last. Now diva, the new journey begins.