Preparing for a move can be daunting regardless of whether your move is across town or across the country. When Mr. MT Nest and I moved out of the south Florida home where we’d lived for more than 20 years, it was physically and emotionally exhausting. Leaving the home where so many memories had been made was difficult. Leaving the house we loved and in which we’d invested our time and effort to create a home for our family was bittersweet. Despite the fact that the move was part of our retirement plan, it was hard to leave our friends and the life we’d known. And then there were the logistics, the seemingly never-ending packing, and the long list of details that needed to be handled, all while still going to work each day. Exhausting, to say the least!
Our family is delighted that in a few weeks Brown-eyed Girl and her hubby will be moving from Florida to North Carolina. Thinking about their impending move and talking with them about their plans brought back memories of our move from Florida in 2013. When you’re moving, you can use all the help and advice you can get. No doubt about it. Moving is stressful and physically taxing, but there are things you can do that can reduce the stress and make your move a little smoother.
Here are 10 tips for moving to help get through the process of moving.
- The right supplies are important.
Before beginning to pack, gather the supplies you will need and put them in a box or basket to keep them together:
- Boxes-different sizes
- Package sealing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Plastic wrap
- Plain sheets of paper to wrap items…don’t use newspaper to avoid having newsprint smudges on items
- Ziploc baggies
- Utility knife
- Tools for disassembling furniture (screw driver, wrenches, drill, etc.)
- Sharpie markers
2. Take extra care when packing special items.
Decide which items need special protection and obtain the specialty packing boxes for those items. These boxes can be a little pricey, but it is worth the investment to protect your treasured items.
3. Label boxes systematically.
Place a label on multiple sides of each box. If one is covered, hopefully the other will be visible. The label should help sort boxes when you arrive at your new place, so be sure that the labeling is clear and accurate.
4. Consider creating a Packing Inventory.
Create a tracking system for your boxes. The single most helpful thing that I did when we moved was to create a spreadsheet that told what was in each and every box. I numbered the boxes for each room and the spreadsheet like the one below which helped me to determine which boxes to unpack first. This was especially helpful in our case because our move out of our home preceded our move to North Carolina by several months. Our possessions were in a storage unit from August through December. But even if we had moved immediately, I think this list would have helped me as I worked to organize our belongings in the new home.
Pack separate boxes with all the items you will need when you first arrive at your new home. Be sure to include any medications you will need, toiletries, cleaning supplies, tools, first aid supplies, bed linens, towels, coffee pot and coffee, etc. These should be packed in your car for the move so they will be immediately accessible.
6. Be prepared with perrsonal items and clothing.
Pack a suitcase as though you are going away for a week. It may take close to a week to get things organized in your new place, and you’ll be glad to have daily clothing, pajamas, etc. accessible without a major search.
7. Fill boxes as full as possible.
When packing boxes, try to fill all the space. Less empty space means items will shift less, and have a reduced chance of breakage. To maximize your packing, use towels to wrap items. This saves having to pack them separately and the towels serve as padding. Pillows can be stuffed in boxes around items like lamp bases and vases. Consider packing lampshades in a separate box and carrying that box in your car. Despite having a “fragile” sticker, a box of lampshades was damaged in our move when heavier boxes were stacked on top of it.
8. Plastic wrap is your friend.
Use plastic wrap to wrap furniture to protect it from scratches and/or damage. Wrap plastic around chests of drawers to prevent the drawers from falling out. Also wrap tape around drawers on the outside of the plastic wrap to add extra safety to drawers.
9. What comes apart must go back together.
When disassembling furniture, put the screws and other small parts into a ziploc bag and tape it to the furniture so the parts are immediately available to reassemble the furniture. Take photos of all the wires and cords on electronics before unplugging them. The photos should help when it’s time to set them up in the new location.
10. Remember to celebrate your hard work and ease your aches and pains after a hard day of packing.
Remember not to pack the pain relievers. You will likely want to use them at the end of a long day of packing.
My final word about moving is, “May the Force be with you.”
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