A good friend is packing up this week, and I wanted to devote a post to this huge job that so overwhelmed me 9 years ago when DH and I made our first move. Like my friend, I was pregnant, 7 months along. We survived.
She’s probably already done most of this, but I took bits and pieces of advice from places online and compiled it all here. Some of it we did ourselves, some of it I wish I’d thought of doing!
- Purchase moving supplies: tape, markers, scissors, pocketknife, newspaper, blankets, moving pads, plastic storage bins, rope and a moving dolly. Free boxes can usually be obtained at a local supermarket. Suitcases and storage bins should be utilized.
- Keep a detailed record of all moving expenses. Your costs may be tax deductible depending on the reasons for your move.
- Have tools handy for breaking down beds and appliances.
- Wrap toaster and other small appliances in inkless newsprint (end rolls are usually free from newspaper offices).
- Wrap dishes with the same and/or your kitchen towels.
- Stuff your washer and dryer with rolled clothing, towels, sheets, etc. Not heavy items.
- Waste baskets and trash cans can also be packed full.
- Keep things together. Have small baggies and tape handy to keep picture hooks with pictures, screws and bedframe legs with the frames, etc.
- Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, blue for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box. In your new home, put a matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know where to put everything when they arrive. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.
- Create an “Open First” box with all the things you need upon arrival (medications, toiletries, linens, first aid kit, garbage bags, phone, light bulbs, flashlight, phone books, towels, food for pets, a leash, etc.) Make sure it is the last item packed so it will be easy to retrieve. Also make sure that tools are handy for reassembling beds and other items.
- If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.
And once you’ve arrived:
- Let the local post office know
- Create an emergency phone list for your new community and post it on the fridge
- Change batteries in smoke detectors, plan fire escapes
- Think about changing the house locks
- Register to vote
Last but not least, keep in touch with the friends you left behind…
And in the words of Dr. Suess,
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”