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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, April 09, 2010

Moving Tips

My nephew is moving his wife into our house while he's gone to Iraq (he's in the Air Force). They are busy packing right now. I got to thinking about all the things you need to know when moving. So I've done some homework and found some videos and tips for a successful move.

In her case, she is going to be living with us in a guest suite that is pretty much furnished so she doesn't need to bring much other than personal items. They are going to rent a pod for their stuff. But I still wanted to share the moving tips I found for everyone.

VancouverMovers on YouTube had some great packing videos. They are short and sweet but give you some good ideas. You can buy boxes and unprinted newspaper paper (called newsprint paper) from any moving and storage company. I hate using regular newspapers as the ink gets on everything and I'm a big fan of the newsprint paper used in packing. I used it for my last two moves. I didn't have to use a single piece of bubble wrap although it's good stuff too. I did get a handled tape dispenser and lots and lots of tape. For unpacking, be sure you have a good box cutter to cut all that tape.

*NOTE* Just because the paper looks clean and the boxes look clean does NOT mean they are clean. Bugs, especially roaches, love cardboard cartons and stacks of paper so it's possible that there is bug detritus that you can't see. Think about it, cardboard boxes make excellent bug homes in all those little "hallways". I always wash everything after unpacking and before use. Or you could bunch cutlery in ziploc baggies before wrapping them up. When we arrived, I had a good portion of the boxes stacked in the garage and then would take one box at a time inside to unpack and put away. After unpacking the box, I take the box and paper back to the garage. You can break down and stack the used boxes in the garage. And get rid of it as soon as possible so you aren't bringing in bugs or attracting bugs. Take them to the recycling center ASAP. We did this every couple of days until we were finished unpacking. Personally, I don't use cardboard boxes for storing anything inside the house. I use plastic boxes.

How to pack your dishes.

How to pack glasses.

How to pack cutlery.

How to pack pots and pans.

How to pack clothing.

How to pack dresser drawers of clothes.

How to pack shoes.

How to pack lampshades.

How to pack pictures and mirrors. Always wrap separate and pack so they are standing as they hang. DO NOT LAY FLAT!

How to pack books (remember, books are very heavy so use smaller boxes).

If you can, make some lists about your new home. You will want to know the how many windows and approximate window sizes (for curtains), room sizes for new carpet or to see if your furniture will fit in it, closet sizes for closet systems, etc.

Use a digital or cell phone camera to take pictures of how complicated wiring (computer cords, speaker wires) is hooked up. Be sure to use plenty of light and careful focus so the pictures will be clear. Print each picture and put it in the top of the box holding the item. This will make hooking up the items in your new place much easier. I label both ends of cables too. "Cable Modem, this end in wall".

Don't make the boxes too heavy to lift.

Keep like things together. For instance, keep all your clothes in boxes marked clothes and don't distribute them as fillers in other boxes. Clearly mark your boxes with the contents and the room they go in. Clearly mark boxes as Fragile if they contain breakable items.

Make a "Moving Day Box" or two. Fill it with the things you will need for at least 24hours and keep that box close to you. Things like your coffee maker, coffee cups, cream/sugar, bowls, spoons, cereal, a carton of drinks, clean clothes and underwear, towels and washclothes, cell phone charger, dog food, medicines, bed linens, pillows, etc. This will be your go-to box for survival over the next 24 hours or more. Keep this box with you, don't send it with the movers if you can help it.

Consolidate your cleaning supplies and rags/sponges. You will be needing them at the new home.

You can use your luggage to pack in.

If you have too many valuable items to take with you on your person or in your car, then you need to pre-pack them, mislabel them, and make sure you have insurance coverage. For instance, hide them in a box labeled "Pantry items" or "Basement Items". Make sure your moving company is insured and check with your homeowner's insurance to make sure these items are covered. Once you are in your new place find those boxes and make sure everything is there before the movers leave. Keep important papers with you on your person or in your car so that there is no chance of identity theft.

Make a list of all the people and companies you need to notify of your move and new address. Have business (or calling) cards made with the new address and phone number. Just put it in an envelope and mail to notify people of your new address. For businesses, be sure to include your account number. Credit card companies usually have a place on their statements that you can fill out with a change of address. Use that instead of a calling card. If you use local banks, then go to them in person to make doubly sure they have your new information.

Get copies of your existing records (transcripts from schools, medical records from doctors, etc.)

Go to the Post Office and fill out the "Change of Address" forms so they will forward mail to you at your new address until everyone gets the new address right.

Call your utilities and have them schedule the cut off dates and the cut on dates at your old and new residence. While you are at it, call your newspaper and make those arrangements too.

Within a day or two of being in your new place, take the time to go to the local Dept of Motor Vehicles and get your license changed. It's aggravating but worth it. When I did that, I also went to the Voter's Registration Board and the local County Public Library to get those taken care of too. Doing those three things right away will take a lot of pressure off of you. Procrastinating only makes it worse. You will keep forgetting about it.

Everyone has to eat on moving days. Plan takeout, simple meals, crockpot dinner, whatever. If someone offers to help then take them up on it and ask for a meal. It doesn't have to be elaborate: fried chicken from takeout, homemade hotdogs and chips, bags of burgers, sandwiches, crockpot of homemade vegetable soup with cornbread, etc. In fact, if you know of someone moving and want to help... offer to make them a meal and take it to them. That is such a ministry.

First things first. Once you get to your new place, have the beds set up as soon as possible and make the beds. Make sure utilities are on. Make sure your appliances are hooked up and working. Clean the bathrooms. Do this before you start anything else because these are the things you need for survival over the next few days. If someone has offered to help, take them up on it and give them the jobs of making the beds or cleaning the bathrooms.

Wipe out all shelves and drawers before you begin putting things away in them. I'm a big fan of lining all my shelves and drawers which takes time. But I like it. I make sure I have a lot of shelf liner and tacks and my scissors before I tackle the shelves/drawers. You can vacuum and/or wipe them off, then line them and put things away. This is another job for a volunteer. Set them to vacuuming and wiping off the shelves and drawers. Then you can unpack and go back later to line them.

Before packing, take all draperies, curtains, bedspreads, rugs, etc to be cleaned. They will be ready to put to use at the new house.

Before you move, remember to pick up all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (for example, dry cleaning, shoes, watches, etc.). Also, remember to return library books, movie rentals and anything else you may have checked out.

Don't forget to take the electric garage door opener out of your car before leaving. Leave the opener for the new residents. Also leave any extra, spare sets of keys to the house and outbuildings. Leave any manuals for appliances that are left behind for the new owners.

Have the locks changed in your new home. You don't know who may have keys so it's safest to have them re-keyed or changed. So call a locksmith.

If you have pets, make arrangements for your pets before moving day. Movers usually won't move your pets. You will have to take them yourself or ship them via airplane so know what you need to know and make arrangements. Once you are in your new place, you will want to set up a room for your pets that becomes their safe place. Otherwise they will be a nervous wreck with all the strangers in and out of the house and the new surroundings.

Moving is a great time to purge and de-clutter. Take items to a charity or landfill. Some charities have trucks and can pick up items for you. You can toss throw-away items in the garage and, when you are through, rent a U-Haul truck for one day, fill it with the garbage and take it to the landfill. This is much cheaper than renting a garbage dumpster for a week.

Here are items that movers don't want to move because they are hazardouse or can spoil.
Hazardous Materials – items that are flammable, corrosive or explosive.
Examples include:
Sterno, Fire Extinguisher, Household Batteries
Matches, Aerosol,s Chemistry Sets
Kerosene, Cleaning Solvents, Darkroom Chemicals
Gasoline, Ammonia, Pool Chemicals
Propane/Propane Tanks, Nail Polish, Motor Oil
Fireworks, Nail Polish Remover, Car Batteries
Charcoal, Liquid Bleach, Fertilizer
Charcoal Lighter, Paints (latex & oil-based), Pesticides
Ammunition, Paint Thinner, Poisons (such as weed killer)
Lamp Oils

Perishables – Food, plants or living things that may die or spoil in transit.
Examples include:
Frozen Food, Refrigerated Food Produce, Plants, Open or half-used foods, or food without adequate preservation

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