Who can't use some moving tips when they're
packing up their whole life for a new home? If you're among
thousands of people who have picked up and moved their family to
a new home or a new community, you have fresh memories of some
of the ups and downs or thrills or frustrations of moving.
Drawing from personal experience, I know there are lots of
ways to help make your household move easier and more smooth.
Read here for help to get your life, and your possessions,
organized for a peaceful and exciting move.
Make a list.
Write everything down! You'll thank yourself later. Before you
pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Create
a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the
contents. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You'll
place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on
your list. Don't put the list down unless it's in a place you'll
call Packing Central. This is where you'll find your
labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. When
describing the box contents, be specific -- "A-D files" is
better than "files", and "Tulip dishes" rather than "misc.
Have plenty of supplies.
Don't make me say this twice-- you'll need LOTS of
boxes--probably more boxes than you think, and having enough
boxes will make your life easier! (If you buy your boxes from a
moving company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund.
If you got them free from the grocery, just toss any leftovers.)
Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on
moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies.
You'll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes
securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your
items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion
household good. Again, you'll need lots more supplies than you
think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any
unused supplies after the truck is packed.
Utilize wardrobe boxes.
These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such
as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that
need to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the
wardrobe boxes they'll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in
your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe
boxes you'll need. You can also use them for closet storage
boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts,
large baskets, or gift wrap tubes.
Don't make the boxes too heavy to lift, however. One mover
told the story of someone who put a bowling ball in a wardrobe
box! When the box was lifted off the truck the bottom gave way,
sending the bowling ball on a wild ride down the ramp, across
the street to the gutter, then down a hill where it finally came
to rest in a roadside ditch. (Is that a strike or a spare?)
Strategize wardrobe box use.
Moving companies will be happy to deliver boxes ahead of your
moving day. Or if you're doing the move yourself, get things
organized as early as possible. A few days before your move,
fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items
such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill
the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags,
then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items tightly so
things won't move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover
the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well),
then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You'll have fewer
boxes, and closet items remain together. Also, the shopping bags
will make it easier to retrieve your belongings from the bottoms
of a tall wardrobe box.
Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as
yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored
stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home. Put a
matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know
where to put everything when they arrive at the destination.
It's also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room
where you want boxes stacked, ("Boxes here please") to keep them
out of furniture and traffic areas.
For more moving tips, go on to Page 2 and find out
more about strategies for filling wardrobe boxes, making a
cleaning kit, and using "personal" boxes.