MOVING – HOW TO DO IT WITHOUT A HEADACHE
May is National Moving Month. It seems to be the best month to move, unless you have children still in school. Many schools don’t get out until sometime in June. But, you are moving and you’re not quite confident about how to do it, or where to start.
Much of what you do depends on whether you are packing and moving yourself, or you are having movers do the packing, loading, hauling and unloading at the destination. Some people start out thinking they will do it themselves, only to discover that it’s a real headache. Money seems to be the dividing line for most people. After many moves, some across the country, I have come up with some solutions to help ease the process somewhat. None of it is magic, but all of it is useful.
The first step in your moving process is to determine whether you will hire help, or do it yourself. If you are doing it yourself, there are other steps that you have to take:
Immediately determine how much stuff you can give away, throw away, garage sale, or do an estate sale. (This step also applies if you’re using movers.) Just because something fits into your current home doesn’t necessarily mean that it will fit into your new one. You may even need to buy more furniture because you are moving into a larger space, or getting rid of furniture because you’re down-sizing.
- Start in the kitchen:
- Go into every cupboard and remove broken, chipped, dish and glass items. Determine if you need duplicates, or if you can keep the better ones.
- Check all the china (you really only need one complete set), and all the wine and drinking glasses.
- Check every single appliance that you have – only take those things that you actually use at least once a week.
- Look at all the big utensils you use. Check for duplicates here also.
- Look at all the canned and packaged items in your cupboard and pantry. Can you use them up before the move, or will you be moving them? Be sure to check their expiration dates.
- Go through all of your pots and pans, selecting the best to take with you.
- Go through all the dishcloths and dish towels, removing worn and torn ones.
- What else is in your kitchen? Decorative wall items? Floral things above your cupboards? Take them all down and put the ones you want to take with you in a box. Place the box(es) in a room out of your way.
- Next are the bathrooms:
- Open the cupboards and remove and place into a box all the items you do not use daily or within a week.
- Open the medicine cabinet and do the same.
- Remove any decorations you have on the walls or counter, and place in a box.
- Place the open boxes in another room, out of your way. Keep all boxes open in case you need to retrieve something you forgot you needed, or want to put more in.
- Check out all the hallways:
- Remove all wall items and put into an open box.
- If you have large pictures in the hallway, take them down and put them into the room with the open boxes, propped against a wall.
- Check out all the walls in every room:
- Like the hallway items, remove everything from all the walls and either place them into open boxes, or place into the room where the boxes are.
- Make a note to repair all holes or marks left on the walls.
- Time to look at the bedrooms:
- Into the closet! This could take a while, so start with removing clothing that no longer fits. No point in packing and dragging things you’re not going to wear.
- Look at the clothing that is left and make some hard decisions about them: do you like wearing them? Are they comfortable? Are they free of old stains?
- Next are your shoes, belts, ties, and scarves. Sometimes we keep things just because there’s a spot in the closet for it. Be brutal!
- What else is in the bedroom? Decorative items? Collections? Kid’s toys? Everything must be gone through, decided upon, and put into open boxes in another room.
- Linen cabinets:
- Remove worn, torn and stained towels and washcloths.
- If you’re storing blankets and it’s not the season to use them, remove them and place into open boxes in another room.
- What else are you storing in here? Medicine? First-aid supplies? Pillows? Go through it all and box up what you don’t immediately need.
- Hall closets:
- Are there just coats, scarves, mittens, and boots in here? If you’re in winter season, let them stay, if not, box them up.
- What else resides in hall closets? Games? Sports Equipment? The same applies here as elsewhere. Go through and determine what you need now and what can be put into boxes or on the floor in another room.
If you have attics or basements, follow the same method. Box up what you can. No need to carry basement items upstairs, but you will need to bring down those items that are stored in the attic because too many times something is left behind.
The last area that causes fainting spells is the garage. Heaven only knows what is lurking there! Do a little bit at a time, but realize that everything you move is going to cost you money if you hire movers, or a bigger moving truck if you do it yourself.
Get yourself a clipboard and a yellow pad. Go into the room where the open boxes are, and for every box, put a number on it with a black marker, and write the contents of the box on the yellow pad – giving the page the same number as the box. Even if you have movers, you will know what is in the box. You can also say what room you want it in. Just tell the movers to pack what’s in the box. Tip – leave room for all the paper they use when packing. Let the movers know that you have already placed items into their packing boxes and that is how you want it packed. No matter how you move, never write the contents on the box. Too many items wind up missing when that is done. We had an entire collection of vinyl records stolen because the outside of the box had been marked as such. It taught us a valuable lesson!
Whether you’re moving yourselves, or having movers, start early. Do not wait until the week before the move to figure out what you want to take and what will be discarded.
The last item to get together is the “emergency” box. Definitely label the outside of this box with “emergency” on it – all over it. You want to be able to find this box. If you’re driving to your new location, take it with you. In this box, or boxes, you will need:
Plastic dishes, forks, knives, & spoons
Any other items you must have at all times – maybe even clothes and toys for the kids
Have a great move! If you need unpacking and putting away service at your destination, contact an organizer in your new area – just do so about a month in advance. We organizers get busy!
© 5/2012 clutter STOP® Sheila G. McCurdy 520-572-2244 520-822-4036