Are you moving into a new cabin or new home? The whole process of moving can seem formidable, but it doesn’t have to be. It can actually be enjoyable and freeing! The secret is viewing this as an opportunity to purge your home of the things that are no longer useful or valuable to you, and to downsize to a more manageable level. You can hire a professional mover, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer these tips may be helpful to make that move as painless as possible!
Don’t wait until the last minute. When rushing a move, things can be thrown into a packing box without much care or thought, which can make unpacking on the other end an even bigger nightmare. Valuables get broken and finding stuff is difficult. You will be wishing you had taken more time on the front end, so start early.
Make piles in each room you are packing. The first is the ‘To Throw Pile’, the second the ‘To Give Pile,’ and the third the ‘To Pack Pile.’ If something is broken (yes even if you have the intention of fixing it SOMEDAY!!); throw it! Likewise, if you haven’t used something in 3 years and it won’t be appreciated by anyone you know, (even if you gave it away), then put it in the ‘To Throw Pile.’ If it’s something that could be of use to someone and in fairly good shape, but you don’t want it anymore because it’s lost its value or usefulness, then put it in the ‘To Give Pile.’
Packing your home up is a great opportunity to discern if you truly need those duplicates… really need that extra toaster, coffee pot or ironing board? Put these in the ‘To Give Pile’ too! There are plenty of thrift stores in most communities which would gladly receive your give-aways.
Finally if an item is something you are using regularly and/or truly love, then put in the ‘To Pack Pile.’
One Room at a Time
Plan on packing one room at a time. It can be tempting to flit from one room to another with the plan to pack all vases together, all lamps together, all pictures together, etc, but this is a time-wasting distraction. Focus on just one room. Start with the room where your belongings are least used on a regular basis, like the den or guest room. The kitchen and bath are probably the last rooms to pack since most things in these rooms are needed right up until you are ready to hit the road.
So, when you are packing up your bedroom; pack the bedroom lamp in your blankets, the vase between the pillows, and those pictures in the sheets. Large pictures can be wrapped in sheets and blankets, then in large heavy duty garbage bags.
By packing one room at a time and clearly marking your boxes with ‘bedroom,’ ‘living room,’ etc; unpacking and setting up each room in your new home is a breeze!
Packing Fragiles and Sentimentals
I like to pack these things in plastic totes or Rubbermaid totes. Wrap your fragiles in sheets, towels, table linens, pillow cases, etc. This cuts down on the expense of paper towels, packing materials and that inky, dirty newsprint. Layer and wrap your fragiles. Always put the heaviest of belongings on the bottom, and the lighter, most fragile on top. I typically top off the box with a couple of fabric place mats or dish towels for padding. Mark ‘Fragile’ on these boxes and totes. Be sure that they are stacked on the TOP of your pile of boxes and not on the bottom of stacks for best protection.
Boxes with dividers for individual crystal and dinnerware are available at moving companies if you’d like to go that route. This way individual pieces have their own spot for optimum safety.
What do you do with those sentimental things? This is the hardest issue to face when preparing for a move. I’ve discerned that some things are non-negotiables; like Grandma’s china, or special treasures that really must be passed down from generation to generation. My plan is to save a few treasures which will be housed in my china buffet in the next residence. When the grandchildren come for special visits, they will be permitted to choose one item to take home with them as a reminder of their time with me. Thinking like that has kept me from giving away some special items that will I hope, be cherished by my grandchildren someday!
Label your totes and boxes with permanent ink, listing the general contents and the room name where you plan to do the unpacking at your new home. This way if you have help with unpacking, anyone will know where to put the tote or box when that truck, trailer or car get’s emptied.
Again use totes if possible… this will keep out moisture. Pack seasonal clothing together. Shoes and boots should be packed separately to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Layer your more delicate clothing, and more easily wrinkled clothing closer to the top of your pile in each tote. Label by season, person and room. Dresses, suits and formal wear may be packed in zipped garment bags… not a bad investment to protect those expensive items.
Pack in heavy duty open crates available at hardware stores. You can get a good grip on the sides of crates for safety purposes. You probably don’t have to label or cover these if your move is a simple one across state.
Finally solicit help from family and friends well in advance. This will alleviate stress, and make your move to your new home a freeing and joyful event.