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Friday, October 11, 2013

Moving – Packing Your Home

Moving is stressful and it’s a crazy time in your life. When you’ve lived in your home for many years you accumulate a lot of things that are personal to you, your grandchildren and children.

I have a friend who has been in their home for 13 years and they’re moving to a new state. Thankfully she started packing early because she had collections of cookware, china, stuff for the grandkids, a store worth of furniture, stored items in the shed, and so on.

When you move to a new state and you’re starting somewhere fresh, do you really want to bring all that stuff with you? No. You want to go through it first and see what goes, what gets donated, and what goes to family members.

Packing Tips

The problem is – you really do accumulate too much and because of this you don’t want to start packing a week before you move, start early, and give yourself at least a month so you can work on a little here and a little there.

Before you start packing and putting things in boxes ask yourself:
  • What do I need to take?
  • What can I give to others?
  •  What can I donate?
  •  How many of these do I really need?
Pack your things carefully and don’t worry about being excessive with the wrappings you use to protect your things. Be excessive I say!

What Will You Need?

Being prepared takes much of the stress off the packing process. If you have your boxes, paper towels, bins, tape, labels, pens, and wrapping materials ready to go – you’re half way there.

We used mostly medium sized moving boxes for everyday items and plastic containers for fragile items, cookware, and dishes and glasses. The plastics a bit more sturdy and you don’t have to worry about the bottom busting open and your breakables falling to pieces.

Large moving boxes were used for things that were tall like decorative shelves, hanging racks, curtain rods, etc. They were left light so the boxes were easy to carry.

Small moving boxes were used for books, movies and games, silverware, craft supplies and so on.

You can buy boxes or get them used. I would just suggest you stick to a few sizes so they pack nice and neatly in the truck. No willy nilly boxes to worry about falling and damaging the goods.

Going through all that Stuff!

As I mentioned above, there was stuff stored in the shed. This was one of the first things we did. It was fun looking in the boxes but we didn’t linger too long, we had a life to pack away after all.

Packing up the Shed

There were things of the kids; old school work, their artwork, mementoes, etc, clothes, old car parts, home d├ęcor stuff, and so much more. So what did we do?

  1. The memorabilia from the kids was packed into separate boxes and given to each of her kids. Her kids had homes of their own and were now saving papers from their kids. It seemed the most logical thing to do.
  2. Mechanical items that were no longer needed, nobody could use, or were just bad to start with, went to the scrap yard. As a matter of fact there is free pickup service if you don’t have the right transportation to get your junk to the scrap yard.
  3. Old wearable and in good shape clothing went to the thrift stores and some things were tossed.
  4. There were a lot of things dispersed amongst the kids like camping equipment, yard games that were bought with the grandkids in mind, chairs (OMG! Were there chairs, I didn’t know she had a fixation for chairs.)
When we were done, there really wasn’t much left to repack in boxes. Good thing, one thing done. Oh, and when you repack the boxes, tape them good and label them on the top and side.

Cleaning the Shed

Once the shed was empty we knocked down spider webs, used brooms to clean the walls and rafters and swept the floors.

The shed was large and had a lot of things in it but it ain’t as big as the house. And that is where we’re going next – oh boy!

Inside the House

Time to go through closets, look under beds and go through all the rooms.

Now keep in mind, all her packing was done over the course of at least a month. There is stress enough with leaving your home and family without having to rush and get the packing and cleaning done.

We went room by room, things that weren’t used, hardly used, or duplicates were set aside in piles of thrift store, give away, and items that weren’t in good condition were just tossed in the garbage.

Cleaning supplies, craft supplies, clothing, personal care supplies, all like items should be packed together. Try not to mix rooms together when packing; this will make it so much easier when you unpack. Label boxes clearly so when they get unpacked, you know just where they go and what room to put the boxes in.

If you have dressers, you don’t really need to unpack them and box them up. When you put a dresser in the moving truck, pull the drawers out, move the dresser to the truck, put the drawers back in and cover with a blanket, pad, or whatever protective covering you have.

For mirrors, curio cabinets, computer monitors, printers, etc. we used bubble wrap, then wrapped it in stretch plastic wrap.
For small, light dressers, we just used the stretch plastic wrap to keep the drawers closed. Tall lamps were wrapped in sheets and then the plastic wrap.

Remember the Essentials

Don’t forget you still need to eat and change your clothes, shower, etc. When we cleaned and packed the kitchen we left enough dishes, cooking essentials, silverware, etc. to tide my friend over until they moved. We moved them to a couple of shelves so the rest of the kitchen could be scrubbed and cleaned.

Most clothes were packed but enough left out for work, play, etc. Personal care products were left out and enough towels and bedding to get them through.

It will be easy enough to quickly pack these up and put them in the truck on moving day. If you pack these things last (if possible) they can be the first out and ready to use when you get to your new home.

Cleaning as You Go

So when a room was emptied, walls, closets, shelves, windows and window tracks, baseboards, fixtures and light switches were all washed and wiped down. Doors to bedrooms were closed to keep them cleaned.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Have a good sense of humor.
  • Wear a good pair of shoes. No walking around in socks, bare feet or slippers. I’m telling you, you will be banging into things.
  • It’s a good idea to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt to avoid cuts and scratches.
  • If you have kids that have small kids in diapers, make sure you nab them before they go in the trash.
  • If you have small children, get a babysitter so you can work efficiently.
  • Keep like items together when you pack.
  • Keep room specific items together when you pack.
  • Clean before you pack.
  • Don’t forget to take a lunch break and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Reserve the moving truck at least three weeks in advance. You’d be surprised how many people use the large moving trucks (even in fall and winter months) and how few may be on site when you need one.
  • When you pack the truck, put the heavier boxes on the bottom.
  • Have plenty of blankets, packing pads, or sheets to protect your things.
  • Don’t forget to do a change of address.
  • Let friends, family, and co-workers know what your new address will be.
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