Moving Made Easy

If you're among thousands of people who have picked up and moved their family to a new home or a new community, you can relate to the thrills and frustrations of moving. At first the whole process can be very overwhelming but here are a few ways to avoid some of the pitfalls and make your household move easier and a whole lot smoother.

Write everything down!

Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. A simple computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents will do. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You'll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Don't put the list down unless it's in a place you'll call Packing Central. This is where you'll find your packing labels, marking pens, packaging tape, and other moving supplies. You'll thank yourself later for this.

Stock up on packing supplies.

Boxes -- you'll need LOTS of moving boxes--probably more boxes than you think. (If you buy your boxes from a moving services company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund. If you got them free from the grocery, just toss any leftovers.) 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 moving boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you'll probably need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any unused supplies after the truck is packed.

How to make use of wardrobe boxes.

These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that need to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they'll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you'll need. You can also use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift wrap tubes.

Be careful not to make the boxes too heavy to lift. That last thing you want is the bottom to bust open and spew all over a wet or muddy driveway.

Be colorful.

Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. 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 at the destination. 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.