Moving soon? Here are some tips to
help you achieve a successful, organized move.
1. USE A MOVING CHECKLIST.
Make yourself a moving checklist outlining everything that
needs to be done before, and after, your move.
2. LEAVE IT BEHIND.
Avoid moving anything you don't really need. It is
expensive, time-consuming, and physically unnecessary to
move things you won't be using. If you don't use it now,
you most likely won't use it later.
3. GET RID OF CLUTTER.
Dispose of broken tools, old toys, old clothing and other
items that you no longer need, before you move. Give usable
items to charity or hold a garage sale.
4. DON'T SKIMP ON YOUR MOVING SERVICE.
Choose an experienced moving firm with an established
reputation for good service and reliability. Choosing
someone that is unreliable or inexperienced will waste more
time and money than you can imagine.
5. ENLIST ANY HELP YOU CAN GET.
You will get a lot more done, with some family members and
friends helping you pack and/or unpack. If your children
are old enough, they should be helping too.
6. BOX IT.
Get boxes in assorted sizes. Be sure they're clean, in good
condition and have covers so they can be closed and sealed
with tape. Start collecting them from your local merchants,
or purchase them from your moving company. Liquor boxes are
excellent. They are sturdy and contain dividers making them
ideal for packing glasses, goblets, vases, etc.--but make
sure these boxes have lids. By the way, an easy way to
store boxes so they do not take up storage space is to open
both ends and flatten them out. Cartons can be resealed
with tape as you use them.
7. USE THE A-B-C SYSTEM.
Everything you pack does not have to be unpacked the first
day in your new home. If it contains essential items, mark
it PRIORITY A. If the contents are important, but not
crucial, mark the box PRIORITY B. If the box contains out
of season items, holiday items and other things you won't
need right away, mark the box PRIORITY C. Then, unpack in
A, B, C order.
8. WRAP IT.
You will need plenty of wrapping paper and heavy- duty
tape. Anything wrapped in newsprint will most likely be
soiled from the ink and will require cleaning after
unpacking. Movers use unprinted newsprint. For items you
prefer to keep clean, you can purchase this packing paper
from your mover. Kraft paper, tissue paper and shock-
resistant corrugated paper make excellent wrapping
materials and may be purchased at most major department
stores, craft stores or your mover. These papers also make
excellent cushioning and lining material.
9. MARK IT.
Felt pens are ideal for marking boxes with information such
as its contents, destination room, fragile or this side up.
10. LABEL IT.
As you're packing, place removable, colored, circle
stickers on your boxes to easily distinguish kitchen items,
from bedroom items, from bathroom items, etc. Use a
different color for each room. If necessary, make a master
list so you'll know what is in each box. If you can go to
your new home ahead of time, you may wish to stick a
corresponding colored sticker on the door, or door frame,
of the room that the box will be delivered to.
11. LIGHTEN UP.
Cartons can be handled easier if they do not exceed 50
lbs., fully packed. Keep this in mind when you're packing.
12. ROOM BY ROOM.
Pack on a room-by-room basis, keeping the contents of each
room in separate boxes. This will eliminate confusion and
save time when you're unpacking.
13. PACK EARLY.
Even if you only pack two boxes a day, in thirty days you
will have packed sixty boxes. Start in areas where the
goods are not in frequent use such as the cellar, attic,
14. ORDER ADDRESS LABELS.
Order address labels before you move into your new home.
They will be great to have on hand when you need to
indicate a change of address on anything. Leave a few
behind with the people who move into your old home or
apartment so they can forward anything that gets delivered
to them for you. Give them a few bucks to cover any postage
15. MAKE A SURVIVAL KIT.
Make a survival kit for your first night in your new home.
This should include items that will get you through the
night if it's too late to unpack or the movers didn't show
up. Helpful items to include might be: non-perishable food,
can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, bottled water,
a flashlight, a few towels, sheets, toiletries, a blanket,
toilet paper, pen/paper, a few small games or magazines and
a change of clothes for everyone.
16. HAVE SOMEONE WATCH THE KIDS.
If you have children, especially young children, it might
be a good idea to have someone babysit them while you are
doing anything that involves your move, such as packing,
unpacking, etc. Your kids won't be interrupting your
progress and you'll accomplish more.
17. USE THE ONE ROOM RULE.
Set up ONE room in your new home as quickly as possible.
This way, you'll have a quiet retreat, free of boxes. You
and your family will then have a place to go when you need
a break from all of the unpacking activities.
18. MAKE IT PET SAFE.
If you have pets, be sure you have a plan for when the
movers arrive. Perhaps keep your cats in the bathroom with
the litter box, or put your dogs in a fenced in yard. Also,
take care to do what you can so your pets feel comfortable
in your new home. Bring their favorite toys, give them
attention, and don't leave them alone for long periods of
time for the first few days.
19. MAKE THE FIRST NIGHT SPECIAL.
Make the first night in your new home as special as
possible. It can be take-out Chinese food, or pizza, but
you may sweeten the evening with flowers, candles and
music. It will really make a big difference and will help
you to unwind and de-stress.
20. DEVISE A PLAN.
Before you begin unpacking randomly, sit down with your
family. Discuss a plan, including where things will go, who
is responsible for what, etc. It will help things run
21. HAVE A TOOL KIT ON HAND.
One of the most important things to have on hand when
you're setting up your new home is a basic toolbox that
includes basic tools and hardware, such as a hammer,
screwdrivers, nails, hooks, etc.
22. FUNCTION BEFORE FORM.
It is best to first arrange your furniture, and then unpack
accessories and personal items.
23. GET READY FOR BED.
As soon as the bedroom furniture is delivered, set it up
and put the sheets on the bed. You'll be grateful that
everything is ready for sleeping later on tonight when
you're really tired.
24. LET EVERYONE KNOW.
Inform everyone that you've moved with simple postcards, or
e-mail for those family members who can receive it.
25. GET ACQUAINTED.
Once you arrive at your new home, schedule some get
acquainted days on your calendar. This is a great time to
figure out where the supermarket, bank, post office, etc.
are and will give you a chance to get familiar with your
area. If there is a tourist bureau in town, stop by and see
what events and opportunities your town will be offering.
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