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Old 04-07-2010, 10:02 AM
 
9,657 posts, read 15,784,643 times
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I feel like the gnome on that commercial "I've got to get out of here!"

Ok, we have a new job in another city, dh is there in an extended stay type place, and I'm trying to get packed up and move. We need to sell our home here, buy something there, and pack up all this crap!

Ok, while waiting for the financial end to turn around, we're starting to try to figure out how to pack up all this. I've moved many times before, I'm not a novice, but still, its overhwelming.

I spent the greater part of the past week sorting drawer by drawer, room by room, mainly getting rid of trash, old papers, clothes, etc, although tons of stuff have left, it doesn't seem to make a dent. Just more stuff slides into the vacumn left.

I've called a salvage dealer who will haul off anything for $60 a pickup load. We're ditching som old, ratty furniture that wouldn't sell at a garage sale (clawed by cats, kids stains, etc). I can't wait to see that gone!

We do plan to have a garage sale for stuff that has half a chance. Also, Salvation Army will pick stuff up. Right now I look at everything as is it worth the price to ship it? if not, get rid of it. But it just seems I'm aimlessly spinning my wheels, everyday I get rid of something, but still have a ton left over.

Perhaps rather than thinking in terms of clear out this room, I should think in categories. For example, one day concentrate on old books. then clothes, kitchen stuff, etc. Then make sure to put an end to one category before starting another. haul the old clothes off before starting to prune old books, etc. maybe that method would result in quicker accomplishments?

BTW, this move is partially reimbursed---we get $6000, better than nothing! We can rent a van for the more difficult stuff, but everything we do is that much less.

Perhaps rent a storage unit at the new location to store stuff so we can fix up this place and sell? That costs money, too, and we're on a tight budget. Perhaps DH can pitch a tent in the storage unit for awhile! I read about a guy who was living in his storage unit until they smelled food, he was cooking in there with a George Foreman grill---yeech!
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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So, I guess my question for you experienced movers out there, how to begin the sorting/packing? We haven't sold our home and haven't begun to buy another.

Right now I', jusat focusing on getting the clutter out. I was concentrating on one room at a time, but that isn't quite working. Instead I'm focusing on categories. For example---books, clothes, knick knacks, etc. As I prune books, I take them to the donation box. Same for clothes, etc. I find it goes faster if I just declare one day knick knack day, one day book day, etc. I kave boxes and bags lined up, as I go through a room I just concentrate on that category. I find it goes faster that way, I'm not mentally switching gears.

I've found the single most important thing, once you've sorted it---get rid of it! Even if it means a special trip to the trash, dump, Goodwill, wherever, get rid of it or you will second guess it. Or, someone else will. I hate sorting only to have someone come along and second guess it---why are you getting rid of this? You can do this and that with it. You can sell it on Craig's list, you can recycle it, yadda yadda................stick to your goal----you want to make it disappear, you're not concerned with making the optimal decision with every piece of junk.

I persuaded my dd to get rid of her collection of My Little Ponys. Sort through and take a picutre of them, then choose the one she wants to keep. No, they won't sell on Ebay, they only sell if you have the box and they're in mint condition. I convinced her to let some other little girl love them now--say bye bye!
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,389 posts, read 19,348,367 times
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Perhaps one room at a time? Or one "item" at a time (i.e. books, then CDs, then small furniture, etc?). The advantage of doing all of one item at a time is that not only is everything homogeneous to go through, but once you've gotten your "chuck it" pile, you can make ONE trip to take it (I would always suggest donating books to a library--they probably won't actually use most of them, but almost every public library has a yearly book sale and that's where they get the books to sell, to fundraiser for the library). CDs you could probably just sell a "one lot" on C'List; furniture would be something to call a place to come and get; clothes to GoodWill, etc.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 7,222,501 times
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MaryleeII, your post cracks me up, because your writing style reflects the way you're feeling about packing - it's all over the place - which is cute!

A few years ago I moved into a new house, and it was huge, and it took me forever to unpack! And after several days of feeling like I was getting no where, it occurred to me that I was unpacking one box at a time, and then running all over the house putting the items in that one box away - in other words, running up and down the stairs and across the house, all day long. Once I realized how much time I was spending going from room to room, to unpack one box, I changed my strategy. I decided to go room by room, instead of box by box. I just stayed in one room, until I'd done as much as I could - and everything that didn't go in that room, went into a new box, which I then moved to the next room on the list. Soooo much quicker! And easier!

Since you're not actually packing yet, your strategy of just doing books, or clothes, or whatever, is probably a good one. But if you can figure out how to conserve steps while doing it? That's a really good way to make the whole process more efficient!
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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I agree with bouncethelight. Your post, maryleeII, pretty much speaks of how overwhelmed you are right now. And reading it, I can't help but feel overwhelmed, too. I think your style would work and is good enough -- sort things out by category. The only thing you need is to relax a bit. In my opinion, decluttering should be a fun experience, as you scour through old items and do a little bit or reminiscing. You take one item and remember that memories that go along with it. Just enjoy, as I think you still have enough time. And one thing I have learned when packing is to not get sentimental over old stuff. Everything has memories attached to it, but no sense keeping stuff just because they have a sentimental value. Go for something you really can use.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:43 PM
 
9,657 posts, read 15,784,643 times
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Originally Posted by rickpugh View Post
I agree with bouncethelight. Your post, maryleeII, pretty much speaks of how overwhelmed you are right now. And reading it, I can't help but feel overwhelmed, too. I think your style would work and is good enough -- sort things out by category. The only thing you need is to relax a bit. In my opinion, decluttering should be a fun experience, as you scour through old items and do a little bit or reminiscing. You take one item and remember that memories that go along with it. Just enjoy, as I think you still have enough time. And one thing I have learned when packing is to not get sentimental over old stuff. Everything has memories attached to it, but no sense keeping stuff just because they have a sentimental value. Go for something you really can use.

You betcha I'm overwhelmed right now. Last Jan I tripped and fell and broke my lower pelvis. I had surgery to repair it in March. I'm just starting now to recover. Although the recovery is progressing quite well, it still put me behind 2-3 months. We planned to be packed, house fixed up and market ready for spring. Now we're thinking of postponing our move until Fall or later. I know, that's not the best selling time, but its the best I can do. I'm just one person with a bad back, my dh is already renting and living in his new city.

Here's a thought---he just found a little house today, 2 bdr, one bath, ~ 750 sq ft, for $32000. We could pay cash for that, instead of a down payment on a family home. He could continue to live there instead of paying rent, while we take more time to fix up and move. Its kinda cute, at least from the outside. Well..............an idea. Seems no matter what I do here I don't make any real progress, how can so many bags and boxes go out and we're still drowning in stuff?

Does anyone else feel buried alive in paper? I mean, it just piles up to the point of ridiculousness. Junk mail, old newspapers,etc. I try to sort every day, but it just keeps coming. If I don't sort the day's mail, in 2-3 days its a pile a foot high on the table. I will discontinue the paper, have put us on the no junk mail list, but it just keeps coming
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:04 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,224 posts, read 14,861,411 times
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Marylee - first, take a deep breath and have a cup of coffee. Just one.

The very first time I moved, nearly 38 years ago, I had been married 2 years, we had an apartment and a baby. Moving was simple. I packed, then moved. I'm sort of a crazy organized, perhaps OCD kind of person. Every box had a list - on the box and on an index card in a file box. I won't be doing that this time, I'm using the computer and have a database list!

First things first: plan

1. Get boxes from U-haul or a moving company. Why? because you can get them all the same size (with a few exceptions for specialty items). Same size boxes stack better and fit on handtrucks better. They also make it easier to strap them in to prevent damage to contents.

2. Label boxes. Not by specific content - keep a list for that - but by room. My last move before this one, I had every box labeled: K-series for Kitchen; L-series for Living room; B1 - Bedroom 1; MB - Master Bedroom; DR - Dining room; etc. Then there are groups within the room identification: 1-10 for IMMEDIATE; 20s for important/second; 50s for WHENEVER (shove in attic or cellar). 30s/40s for less important.

3. Sort/group. Into each room, take AT LEAST 4 boxes: To an open flap, tape a label - B1-1; B1-50; JUNK; DONATE. Tape a sheet of paper and write down specific items
(If it's clothing, just be general: otherwise write: crystal vase with roses, set of xyz - be detailed).

4. Leave drawers in dressers/furniture until LAST --you can ship dressers with all clothing still in it and I have added last minute items such as lamp from the dresser, jewelry box - just stuff them into the drawer protecting with the clothes and throw in the few things from a closet that are not packed in the need it now suitcase. Moving men throw a pad over the furniture then use tie-downs - drawers don't open.

5. Work on closets first. This is where most of the clutter and stuff you will be getting rid of has accumulated.

6. Do not let anyone look into the JUNK or DONATE boxes! Seal them up when you're done with that room/closet for the day.

7. Do not let the day's work get out of hand. Keep up with your daily sorting, especially the mail.

8. Set a daily schedule specifically for the packing/sorting. Use mornings because you have more energy. Set maybe 1 hour in daughter's room, and 1 hour in an easy room - kitchen. If you find extra energy, get a momentum going, etc. feel free to give it more time. But do not overwhelm yourself - it makes it 6 times more difficuilt to return to the task AND makes you work slower.

9. Take breaks. Especially since you're still recovering - don't hurt yourself. But set a timer to keep your breaks, a break and not a stop. 10 minutes is good. Have a glass of juice, water, and maybe some fruit or crackers and cheese; even cookies. Keep up your energy.

10. Be ruthless. Sounds like you're already trying to do that (my little pony story). The questions to ask: Do I use this daily, weekly, monthly, yearly? When was the last time? Can it be replaced? Can someone else use it? Craigslist, Freecycle and FreeShare/Freesharing are nice if it has value and it also means the item is GONE without dragging it to the place of donation. You can also put together small "boxes" to list - box of little girls books, age 4-7; box of board games, no small pieces, ages 5-10. When you are relaxing on the computer, you can type out what it is you have, list it, then next night you can decide who gets it and get it ready for pick-up.

11. When you're filled a box, on 3 sides in laundry marker, write the box identifier: K-1, K-12; DaughterR-1, etc. and on the 4th side, put a general list of contents. Take the paper list and type it into a computer list - excel if you have it; word document if you don't. The idea is that you can find anything you need and to help you decide which box to open next.

The beauty of this system - my moving men loved it! - is that it makes unpacking the moving truck and house sorting go smoother. The moving men get the idea real fast: K boxes go in the kitchen; MB boxes go in "that" room; Daughter boxes go in that room. I even went so far with my last few moves as to put a 5x8 index card label on each room: MB in big black letters; GR (Guest room), etc. It stopped all the: where does this one go? questions from the movers. The number in the 30s, 40s and 50s went into the storage area. 1 through 29 into the room where it was needed. Mind you, in the 1-19, I might have had 1, 2, 17, 18, 19; and 20, 21. I did my open first (1-19) with a priority in mind (1-2 open first day, higher open within the week).


I'm in the process of preparing for a move in 17 months. I started already. We have been in this house for 13 years (my longest time in any place) and we are downsizing from 3,000 sq ft - 4 bedrooms, attic, basement, storage, dining, living, family, laundry room and 3 garages to 800 sq ft -- 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen, no attic/basement/storage. Talk about dejunking and deciding what to keep/not keep!

You can do it. Keep your priorities in mind. And keep your boxes moving. Find a place (spare bedroom? wall of living room?) to store the completed boxes. Since your husband has already moved and you haven't finished your surgery recovery, it sounds as though you need someone to lift and move the packed boxes. If you don't have family/close friends nearby, contact the high school or a church to find a teen to help you move the boxes once a week. Fill 'em up in the room where they originate, then move to a staging area to store.

Good luck. When it seems the deadline for moving is upon you and you think you'll never finish; call a friend and treat yourself to some time off.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:25 AM
 
9,657 posts, read 15,784,643 times
Reputation: 15967
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
Marylee - first, take a deep breath and have a cup of coffee. Just one.

The very first time I moved, nearly 38 years ago, I had been married 2 years, we had an apartment and a baby. Moving was simple. I packed, then moved. I'm sort of a crazy organized, perhaps OCD kind of person. Every box had a list - on the box and on an index card in a file box. I won't be doing that this time, I'm using the computer and have a database list!

First things first: plan

1. Get boxes from U-haul or a moving company. Why? because you can get them all the same size (with a few exceptions for specialty items). Same size boxes stack better and fit on handtrucks better. They also make it easier to strap them in to prevent damage to contents.

2. Label boxes. Not by specific content - keep a list for that - but by room. My last move before this one, I had every box labeled: K-series for Kitchen; L-series for Living room; B1 - Bedroom 1; MB - Master Bedroom; DR - Dining room; etc. Then there are groups within the room identification: 1-10 for IMMEDIATE; 20s for important/second; 50s for WHENEVER (shove in attic or cellar). 30s/40s for less important.

3. Sort/group. Into each room, take AT LEAST 4 boxes: To an open flap, tape a label - B1-1; B1-50; JUNK; DONATE. Tape a sheet of paper and write down specific items
(If it's clothing, just be general: otherwise write: crystal vase with roses, set of xyz - be detailed).

4. Leave drawers in dressers/furniture until LAST --you can ship dressers with all clothing still in it and I have added last minute items such as lamp from the dresser, jewelry box - just stuff them into the drawer protecting with the clothes and throw in the few things from a closet that are not packed in the need it now suitcase. Moving men throw a pad over the furniture then use tie-downs - drawers don't open.

5. Work on closets first. This is where most of the clutter and stuff you will be getting rid of has accumulated.

6. Do not let anyone look into the JUNK or DONATE boxes! Seal them up when you're done with that room/closet for the day.

7. Do not let the day's work get out of hand. Keep up with your daily sorting, especially the mail.

8. Set a daily schedule specifically for the packing/sorting. Use mornings because you have more energy. Set maybe 1 hour in daughter's room, and 1 hour in an easy room - kitchen. If you find extra energy, get a momentum going, etc. feel free to give it more time. But do not overwhelm yourself - it makes it 6 times more difficuilt to return to the task AND makes you work slower.

9. Take breaks. Especially since you're still recovering - don't hurt yourself. But set a timer to keep your breaks, a break and not a stop. 10 minutes is good. Have a glass of juice, water, and maybe some fruit or crackers and cheese; even cookies. Keep up your energy.

10. Be ruthless. Sounds like you're already trying to do that (my little pony story). The questions to ask: Do I use this daily, weekly, monthly, yearly? When was the last time? Can it be replaced? Can someone else use it? Craigslist, Freecycle and FreeShare/Freesharing are nice if it has value and it also means the item is GONE without dragging it to the place of donation. You can also put together small "boxes" to list - box of little girls books, age 4-7; box of board games, no small pieces, ages 5-10. When you are relaxing on the computer, you can type out what it is you have, list it, then next night you can decide who gets it and get it ready for pick-up.

11. When you're filled a box, on 3 sides in laundry marker, write the box identifier: K-1, K-12; DaughterR-1, etc. and on the 4th side, put a general list of contents. Take the paper list and type it into a computer list - excel if you have it; word document if you don't. The idea is that you can find anything you need and to help you decide which box to open next.

The beauty of this system - my moving men loved it! - is that it makes unpacking the moving truck and house sorting go smoother. The moving men get the idea real fast: K boxes go in the kitchen; MB boxes go in "that" room; Daughter boxes go in that room. I even went so far with my last few moves as to put a 5x8 index card label on each room: MB in big black letters; GR (Guest room), etc. It stopped all the: where does this one go? questions from the movers. The number in the 30s, 40s and 50s went into the storage area. 1 through 29 into the room where it was needed. Mind you, in the 1-19, I might have had 1, 2, 17, 18, 19; and 20, 21. I did my open first (1-19) with a priority in mind (1-2 open first day, higher open within the week).


I'm in the process of preparing for a move in 17 months. I started already. We have been in this house for 13 years (my longest time in any place) and we are downsizing from 3,000 sq ft - 4 bedrooms, attic, basement, storage, dining, living, family, laundry room and 3 garages to 800 sq ft -- 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen, no attic/basement/storage. Talk about dejunking and deciding what to keep/not keep!

You can do it. Keep your priorities in mind. And keep your boxes moving. Find a place (spare bedroom? wall of living room?) to store the completed boxes. Since your husband has already moved and you haven't finished your surgery recovery, it sounds as though you need someone to lift and move the packed boxes. If you don't have family/close friends nearby, contact the high school or a church to find a teen to help you move the boxes once a week. Fill 'em up in the room where they originate, then move to a staging area to store.

Good luck. When it seems the deadline for moving is upon you and you think you'll never finish; call a friend and treat yourself to some time off.

I love your organization ideas!

Insofar as help with stuff, I found two college students with a truck they will move anything that fits in the truck for $50 a load, they provide the labor. Hey, its cheaper then renting a truck! Let them haul off the obvious junk, stuff to Goodwill, etc.I have to clear it our first, I'm in the process of emptying two old file cabinets. Once they're empty, they can haul them off.

What's so hard for me to make anyone understand, I don't have "stuff" I have trash. No, I'm not some sort of hoarder, its just that trash piles up around here like you wouldn't believe. By trash I mean old papers, packaging materials, half-used items etc. My mission right now it to go through every rincon and get rid of the obvious trash, then go back and concentrate on what to do with what's left over. Another trick of mine---once you've cleaned out a box or other container, get rid of the container. Otherwise it will just fill up again with more clutter.

I've been guilty of using the "big box" method for years. Whenever I need to make a quick clean, I shove everything into a container, box, whatever, clean the surface, and promise myself I will sort the junk later. Well, sometimes that's helped when unexpected company is on their way, but I now have years worth of "I'll sort it out later" boxes. Its painful going through that box by box. I decided today to just toss it, unseen

Also, I prune dd's room while she's at school. She doesn't even notice it missing. She will argue every little thing, including stuff that hasn't fit for years, books and games too young for yer, pure trash. I sort some everyday and make a special trip to Goodwill just to move it out, otherwise she will go through it and argue every little thing.

One more thing I've found with moving---don't, if at all possible, allow friends and family to help. Pay for professional help if at all possible. It usually takes 4-6 professional movers 3-4 days to pack and load, and that's people who know what they are doing. Friends seriously underscope the job, want to spend most of the time talking, try to make it into a sort of party. And they want everything explained to them and second guess it. After you've spent weeks sorting and pruning, you don't need someone analyzing some little item with a thousand suggestions---why are you getting rid of this? Why don't you have a garage sale? Why don't you put an ad in Craig's List? Hey, I'm trying to get out of here, not squeeze the last penny from my junk. Usually by then time is pressing, you usually have deadlines, closing, moving, loading, etc, you don't have time to take a lesiurely stroll through your junk.

Another thing about "firends and family" every time I've been "helped" they help themselves, if you KWIM. I've had stuff disappear, either broken or stolen. A licensed, bonded professional is far superior to some "friend" who just wants to get their nose in your business!

Also, here's another tip from past experiences moving. Before the move, rent a safety deposit box, one big enough for your important papers, and stash your credit cards, check books, etc there. In the confusion of moving, its easy to become seperated from such items, and I have had such items pinched. You can't be too careful!

Ok, through with the break, back to work! Actually, I am slowly getting somewhere!
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: NW. MO.
1,817 posts, read 5,944,554 times
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I'm trying to pack, clean and clear, oh and plan for a yard sale. I am totally overhwelmed too, to the point I don't want to move at all any more. I have stacks here and piles there and bags full of stuff until we do the sale and I have a big mess that I can't stand. I'd have the sale soon but the weather keeps going cold and snowy again so I have to keep waiting. We're moving the end of May, beginning of June and I feel like I'll never get this stuff done. I have to do the sale first and then what doesn't go there will go to donation or the dump. Then I can make some actual progress I think. In the meantime I am packing up the things I don't need right now but am keeping like pottery but then I have boxes of that stuff stacked too. We rent a small house here so I don't have extra room to put anything.

I feel for you, believe me I do!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:31 AM
 
9,657 posts, read 15,784,643 times
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Oh, whatever...maybe I'll move next year! This is too much crap! I'm outta here, going shopping, out to lunch, nice day, gotta clear my head!
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