Great Tips for a Smooth Move
Moving your family to a new home or a new community can be just as frustrating as it is exciting. There are lots of ways to help the move go smoother. Gathered here are several ideas that should help you keep control of the situation and keep your possessions organized throughout the move.
Make a list.
Write everything down! You'll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Get yourself a spiral-bound notebook and a pen and you can do the job. Place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Create a place in your home designated as Packing Central. This is where you'll find your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies.
When describing the box contents, be specific -- "green every day dishes" rather than "misc. kitchen".
Have plenty of supplies.
You'll need LOTS of boxes--probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier! Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You'll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items), packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you'll need a lot more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly.
Label your boxes.
Clearly label EVERY box with a room name in your new home - dining room, bedroom 1, downstairs bathroom, etc. If necessary, post the name of the room in your new house on the door or doorway. This is helpful for bedrooms and bathrooms so that all helpers will know where to put the boxes and you don't end up with a big pile.
Anything that you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. If it's summer, get your winter clothes out of the way. You don't really need 5 radios or TV's around your house for the last few days there. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed (put things in them!) while you switch to using plastic grocery bags (hang them on a cabinet door or door handle to collect trash.)
Consolidate cleaning supplies.
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.
This is where wardrobe boxes come in handy. You can move clothing on hangers straight from your closet to the wardrobe boxes. Clothing in drawers should be packed in suitcases or boxes. Get wardrobe boxes to use for your closet packing if possible. These tall boxes are wonderful for packing coats and clothing. Get things organized as early as possible.
A few days before your move, fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags, then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items tightly so things won't move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You'll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together. Also, the shopping bags will make it easier to retrieve your belongings from the bottoms of a tall wardrobe box.
Use your luggage.
Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you'll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas "Box #189" might remain elusive for days.
Keep important papers with you.
Your list of "important" papers might include: birth certificates, school records, mover estimates, new job contacts, utility co