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May 17, 2015

Packing It Up…How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Move

Every day, there are people packing up everything they own and preparing to move, whether it is across town or across the country. It’s a big job, and a challenging one! If you’ve been through it before, you know exactly what you’re up against. If you haven’t, you might be in for quite a surprise. Boxing up your stuff seems like an insurmountable task, but we have 10 helpful hints that will make it less taxing…and maybe even fun! 1. Make sure you have enough packing supplies before you start. Nothing is more frustrating than “getting on a roll” when you’re packing, only to have to stop and find (or buy) more boxes. Running out of tape or having your labeling Sharpie go missing isn’t fun either. Stock up on these essentials so you know you’ll be able to get through the process without having to take a break mid-stream. If you like, collect enough supplies to do one room at a time, if the idea of packing up your house up all at once seems overwhelming. But once you start, don’t stop until the area you’re working on is finished. Some tips about boxes: Make sure they aren’t too big. Each box should weigh less than 50 lbs. when full. It’s easier to store boxes when they’re flat, so many people prefer to buy moving boxes from retailers such as Home Depot or storage unit companies such as Public Storage than scavenge for liquor boxes or copy paper boxes and then having them take up valuable space in your home while you’re waiting for packing day. Always make sure the box isn’t too full to seal properly. You risk damaging or losing items if the box won’t close. 2. Keep a box labeled "Load last, unload first" for the important items you'll need as soon as you get to your new home. Read more here about what to put in your essentials box. 3. Always pack heavier items at the bottom of a box, then top off with lighter items. If you think delicate contents may move inside a box, use small items like washcloths, hand towels, scarves, socks and (clean) underwear as packing material to protect items during transit. 4. Keep as many items in their proper places as you can. For example, leave your folded clothes inside dresser drawers and your flatware in the tray. Tuck a beach towel over your clothes to protect them during transit, and wrap and tape bubble wrap around your flatware tray. Items will stay in place, making less work for you when you’re moving in. Try to keep items from the same room in a box, rather than filling up the last bit of a box with a random item from somewhere else in the house, just because it fits. 5. Put fragile, more breakable items in tightly padded boxes first, then put them in a larger box with more packing material. Double packing can prevent breakage. Also, loose items can be consolidated into plastic zipper bags that come in a variety of sizes to keep them together, then placed in a box. This is especially helpful for children’s toys with many pieces, hardware such as nails and screws, small kitchen gadgets and costume jewelry. 6. Speaking of jewelry – keep all fine pieces with you along with your important documents, wallet, purse, essential medications and any important records. Don’t send these items with a moving company, or bury them in a box in your rental truck if you’re moving yourself. They should be kept in a closed tote, duffel bag or a small suitcase. Keep it on the seat next to you or in the trunk of your car for easy access and their protection. Make sure you know where this item is at all times. 7. Keep tools and light bulbs handy and in a clearly marked box, especially if you’ll have to assemble furniture or do some quick “do it yourself” installations when you arrive. And don’t forget to put the screws, nails and other hardware for assembling furniture into a zippered plastic bag and tape the bag to the bottom of a large piece of the furniture for safekeeping during travel! 8. Remember that standard weight garbage bags will tear easily during a move. Always buy the stronger, heavy-duty gauge bags for packing clothes, linens or other squishable items like stuffed toys or pillows. If you can’t find heavy-duty bags, always use a double or triple layer of standard bags. 9. It may seem time consuming and silly at first, but if you’re using a moving company, number each box or bag and keep an inventory of each item in it in a notebook. Keep the notebook with your important records in your tote or suitcase. If a box goes missing or is heavily damaged, you’ll know exactly what to list on the claim sheet for your moving company. You can also take photos of expensive or important items, so that you have documentation of their condition before the move. 10. If you’re moving liquids, make sure they’re placed in zippered plastic bags, then packed upright with padding of some sort to protect them. When possible, don’t plan on moving liquids that have already been opened. Also, check with your moving company about moving certain items, including liquids. Each company will have its own list of banned items they won’t handle during a move. Now that you’re packed and ready to go, moving day is next on the agenda! Join us next time for helpful hints for a stress-free moving day!
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