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Old 01-29-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
798 posts, read 3,084,280 times
Reputation: 294

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Hi everyone.

Having moved over 20 times in my lifetime, I think it's time I passed on a few "musts" about packing for a move. Some of it is obvious, some not.

First, you will want to draw two diagrams: one is off your current basic floorplan and the second is the new floorplan (apartments, houses, condos, whatever you got). What I do, is kinda draw in my furniture on the first floorplan. When I am on my new floorplan I draw it in PENCIL and I draw it fair big, at least taking up one whole printer-sized piece of paper (for each floor, okay). With your pencil over a few hours or days, put your furniture into place on the new floorplan. Work out any problems in your head.

Now, when you start packing boxes, you will pack knowing which room this stuff is going into. There are different categories of importance:

--- 1) Immediate stuff - toiletries, etc. I even pack my Need-It-Now kitchen separately. This is moved first!

--- 2) For the Move

--- 3) For Storage.


As I do each box, say a box of decorative items like special candles, scultpures, etc, I will title the box on TOP and an abridged version on the SHORT and LONG sides:
"Move.
Living Room (or DR or storage)
Sculptures:
*African mask
*Mexican Vases
*Italian Pottery (cups)
*Hallmark
"

On those short and long sides, I just put "Move. Living Room. Sculptures" You only need the "hint list" on top for when you are ready to start searching for items.

DO THIS FOR EVERY ROOM AND EVERY BOX. I cannot stress this enough.
Use Fat Sharpies! Write in large caps, and then small for hint list items.
You don't want to search into tens of boxes to find that one frying pan or computer cable. It saves so much time.

My most recent success story: We moved our stuff into a 2BR apartment (really 3+BR of stuff) in just a 4 hours. We were 8 people altogether. We ordered like 7 pizzas and 4 liters of coke and everything got eaten. When we moved, everything was so well organized we had time and energy to spare. The apartment was SET UP that night and we all sat around drinking beer and playing video games as some of us started putting pictures on the wall.

*** When TITLING your boxes, write on each box:
"Room 3" (or 2,3,1, according to your floorplan). TAPE on each door of the new house/apartment a sheet of paper that says "Room 3" on it, so the movers/helpers know right where the put stuff.

*** Hang your new floorplan sketch of furniture near the entrance so people can see it when they arrive with a box or piece of furniture.

*** Move the furniture in FIRST, before boxes. This is essential. So when you pack up your Penske or U-haul truck, carry the boxes to the truck FIRST and then all your furniture, so when you unpack the truck, the furniture comes into the house first. Also, packing your heaviest boxes near the frontmost part of the truck will ensure the best center of gravity for the truck and reduce gas consumption. It will also be a little easier to maneuver.

*** Heavy boxes should be as small as possible. Do not load up full a box of books that is large enough for all your clothes. No one will appreciate having to carry it. Make your book boxes SMALL! It will help keep the pace of your movers/helpers going.

*** Know in advance where to order your pizza from. Have a few other flyers handy like Chinese or BBQ, just in case.

*** Have a case of water bottles handy.

*** Have a total of 8 or more people helping with the move.
That results in no one single person becoming completely exhausted and with that many people it ends up being more fun than work, in a sense. Even if 4 people are taking a smoke or thirst break, you still have 4 people going. The amount of people you have will have an effect of the quality of the move in measures of time, cost, and damage reduction. If something is too heave for 2 people, 2 more can easily jump in and help without anyone else feeling bad for not doing so. It just gets the job done faster and better. If you don't know anyone in the area, you can ask your realtor or company to help you locate willing bodies who will do it for cheap (college kids, etc).

*** Before the move unpacks, make sure your new place has:

1. Toilet paper in every bathroom, more than one roll!
2. Paper towels, sponge, Windex
3. The fridge has been on all night the night before, or turned on as soon as get there. If that's not possible, arrange for a cooler with ice and drinks. Put out of the way, such as bathroom, balcony or pantry.
4. make sure all your lightbulbs work, in case it starts getting dark.
5. A radio, music. Oddly important and very motivating.
6. Temporary cups,
7. plates, (napkins: see paper towels)
8. spoons, knives and forks,
9. a bottle opener
10. and a can opener
11. 3 towels, and 2-3 handtowels.
12. handsoap, small overnight shampoo
13. Coffee Machine, with coffee, creamer and filters

*** pay a couple extra bucks extra and use tarp or plastic carpet covering on the high traffic areas, paths to and from each room. If it starts to rain, you will be SO GLAD you did! They didn't forecast it for us, but it happened to us. Drizzle, but enough to make shoes muddy and carpet!

That's pretty much it. I will add more if I remember anything else off the top of my head.

Remember to be generous and supportive of your helpers. It's hard work whether they are getting paid or are just helping out. Be sure to drink alot, take breaks, and give lots of praise to your helpers! Make sure to have fun.

~ Angela
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:29 PM
 
109 posts, read 380,085 times
Reputation: 33
Great advice Angela!

I have a couple other tips (moved too often for any reasonable person):

- Number each box and keep a notebook where you can detail what's in each box (can be easier than writing it all in marker on the box)
- U-haul sells special tape that's color-coded and has room names on it so it's a great visual cue for the movers without having to read too much.

- Declutter!!!! You'd be amazed how many things you have laying around that you never use or really don't need. Why pay someone to move it or have to toss it later?

- Donate! I've been working on clearing out a lot in preparation of a cross-country move and have made several donations to charities and food banks. It made a HUGE difference on my tax returns, since it's all deductible!
- Sell it! I've put a lot of items on Craig's list and am saving the proceeds for moving costs. I figure much of it is cheaper to replace when I get there than it would be if I paid per pound to ship it. I also did some heavy weeding of my books, cds and dvds and have made some quick cash at the used book store (I hear they have libraries in California, after all).
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,526 posts, read 36,594,023 times
Reputation: 9610
Put Heavy stuff like books into small boxes...light stuff like bedding in big boxes...save your back [movers backs too!!]
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:45 AM
 
2,015 posts, read 4,982,723 times
Reputation: 1876
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeg4sushi View Post
Hi everyone.

Having moved over 20 times in my lifetime, I think it's time I passed on a few "musts" about packing for a move. Some of it is obvious, some not.

First, you will want to draw two diagrams: one is off your current basic floorplan and the second is the new floorplan (apartments, houses, condos, whatever you got). What I do, is kinda draw in my furniture on the first floorplan. When I am on my new floorplan I draw it in PENCIL and I draw it fair big, at least taking up one whole printer-sized piece of paper (for each floor, okay). With your pencil over a few hours or days, put your furniture into place on the new floorplan. Work out any problems in your head.

Now, when you start packing boxes, you will pack knowing which room this stuff is going into. There are different categories of importance:

--- 1) Immediate stuff - toiletries, etc. I even pack my Need-It-Now kitchen separately. This is moved first!

--- 2) For the Move

--- 3) For Storage.


As I do each box, say a box of decorative items like special candles, scultpures, etc, I will title the box on TOP and an abridged version on the SHORT and LONG sides:
"Move.
Living Room (or DR or storage)
Sculptures:
*African mask
*Mexican Vases
*Italian Pottery (cups)
*Hallmark
"

On those short and long sides, I just put "Move. Living Room. Sculptures" You only need the "hint list" on top for when you are ready to start searching for items.

DO THIS FOR EVERY ROOM AND EVERY BOX. I cannot stress this enough.
Use Fat Sharpies! Write in large caps, and then small for hint list items.
You don't want to search into tens of boxes to find that one frying pan or computer cable. It saves so much time.

My most recent success story: We moved our stuff into a 2BR apartment (really 3+BR of stuff) in just a 4 hours. We were 8 people altogether. We ordered like 7 pizzas and 4 liters of coke and everything got eaten. When we moved, everything was so well organized we had time and energy to spare. The apartment was SET UP that night and we all sat around drinking beer and playing video games as some of us started putting pictures on the wall.

*** When TITLING your boxes, write on each box:
"Room 3" (or 2,3,1, according to your floorplan). TAPE on each door of the new house/apartment a sheet of paper that says "Room 3" on it, so the movers/helpers know right where the put stuff.

*** Hang your new floorplan sketch of furniture near the entrance so people can see it when they arrive with a box or piece of furniture.

*** Move the furniture in FIRST, before boxes. This is essential. So when you pack up your Penske or U-haul truck, carry the boxes to the truck FIRST and then all your furniture, so when you unpack the truck, the furniture comes into the house first. Also, packing your heaviest boxes near the frontmost part of the truck will ensure the best center of gravity for the truck and reduce gas consumption. It will also be a little easier to maneuver.

*** Heavy boxes should be as small as possible. Do not load up full a box of books that is large enough for all your clothes. No one will appreciate having to carry it. Make your book boxes SMALL! It will help keep the pace of your movers/helpers going.

*** Know in advance where to order your pizza from. Have a few other flyers handy like Chinese or BBQ, just in case.

*** Have a case of water bottles handy.

*** Have a total of 8 or more people helping with the move.
That results in no one single person becoming completely exhausted and with that many people it ends up being more fun than work, in a sense. Even if 4 people are taking a smoke or thirst break, you still have 4 people going. The amount of people you have will have an effect of the quality of the move in measures of time, cost, and damage reduction. If something is too heave for 2 people, 2 more can easily jump in and help without anyone else feeling bad for not doing so. It just gets the job done faster and better. If you don't know anyone in the area, you can ask your realtor or company to help you locate willing bodies who will do it for cheap (college kids, etc).

*** Before the move unpacks, make sure your new place has:

1. Toilet paper in every bathroom, more than one roll!
2. Paper towels, sponge, Windex
3. The fridge has been on all night the night before, or turned on as soon as get there. If that's not possible, arrange for a cooler with ice and drinks. Put out of the way, such as bathroom, balcony or pantry.
4. make sure all your lightbulbs work, in case it starts getting dark.
5. A radio, music. Oddly important and very motivating.
6. Temporary cups,
7. plates, (napkins: see paper towels)
8. spoons, knives and forks,
9. a bottle opener
10. and a can opener
11. 3 towels, and 2-3 handtowels.
12. handsoap, small overnight shampoo
13. Coffee Machine, with coffee, creamer and filters

*** pay a couple extra bucks extra and use tarp or plastic carpet covering on the high traffic areas, paths to and from each room. If it starts to rain, you will be SO GLAD you did! They didn't forecast it for us, but it happened to us. Drizzle, but enough to make shoes muddy and carpet!

That's pretty much it. I will add more if I remember anything else off the top of my head.

Remember to be generous and supportive of your helpers. It's hard work whether they are getting paid or are just helping out. Be sure to drink alot, take breaks, and give lots of praise to your helpers! Make sure to have fun.

~ Angela

Wow! Angela, I am printing your post and saving it when we do relocate. We have A LOT to move; thank you again!
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:04 AM
 
12,867 posts, read 14,150,518 times
Reputation: 4453
thank you all for taking the time to give some ideas that i hadn't even considered about moving preparation!
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
798 posts, read 3,084,280 times
Reputation: 294
Thank you Donna and Florida! I appreciate it! I felt compelled to post it, since when I was first doing it on my own I could only think "Gosh, where do I start?"

Funnily, we might be moving in a few weeks here instead of 6-8 months! I'll be doing it, too!!!
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Eastern TN
415 posts, read 1,437,064 times
Reputation: 207
How about some advice for when a moving company is doing the moving for you? Any suggestions for how to make this process easier for all?

I've never had this much help in the past!
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
798 posts, read 3,084,280 times
Reputation: 294
I don't know as much about the companies as I do about self-moving; however, I can say this. National Van Lines are good! GET the insurance. Something always gets broken, that's very normal.

As a very important rule: treat your movers with respect and friendliness!! I cannot stress this enough. People are moving your stuff, if you **** them off, don't be surprised if your stuff isn't handled with the utmost of care. Don't think "professional" think "human."
FEED your movers, and offer them drinks on their drinks. If you like, have a cooler of sodas and water in the garage for them to take whatever they want.

TIP your movers. About $20 each at the end of the move is acceptable. Some people do more. It's hard work and just remember, nobody retires doing this kind of work. It's hard on your body.

Pack your true valuables separately and under your care. This includes jewelry and other such valuables.

If it is on the mover's moving OUT list, it needs to be on the moving IN list. Make SURE everything is on your moving OUT list! A day or two before, go thorugh your house and make a separate list for yourself"

Master Bedroom
Dresser
Armoire
King bed
2 nightstands
standing lamp
2 nightstand lamps
floral rug
cedar chest
....

Have a quick look-over over your furniture. Do you really rememmber all the marks and scratches? Put ths info into your brain now. When your stuff arrives and you see that nightstand has a long scratch across the top, you will know *with confidence* it wasn't there before.

** Be prepared for any delays in arrival to your new home if you moving far away (several states). It can happen that folks get lost, detours, blown our tires, and so on. MAke sure your new home can accomodate you at least sparingly - bring lots of pillows and blankets, flashlights, cooler, etc in case you need to sleep on the floor! In which case...the kitchen and pre-move list I provided in the original list is something you should pretty much always follow.

Your moving company will put little colored stickers on all your furniture and stuff. Leave the stickers on things for about a week if you like, to make sure that Ethan Allen bookcase doesn't fall apart and might need to make a claim. Anything that looks solid though, take them off ASAP! They can get gluey if you forget some...

Same rule applies to your moving INmovers - courtesy and refreshments! And Tips.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Sunny Naples Florida :)
1,451 posts, read 2,236,604 times
Reputation: 513
This is a wonderful threat my husband and I just decided yesterday to move back to Fla (I just moved to NH in June of 07!) and I didn't hardly unpack my stuff the first time but I wanted to organize it more and you guys gave me great tips for repacking..Thank you
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
28,227 posts, read 20,855,715 times
Reputation: 2000000963
We found the Rubbermaid containers invaluable. We had (and still have) so many-my husband's sisters got some, s-i-l, and we sold some.
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