Moving day. Why is it called moving day as if it was just one when every military move takes at least several? There’s packing day (or two), loading day, days to months of transition, unloading day, and unpacking day/week/however long it takes you. At any rate, there are ways you can reduce at least some of the attendant stress on one or both sides of the move. Today I’ll tell you about my three favorites.
In my experience, peace of mind related to expensive electronics and small appliances goes a long way. Organizing your shoes is another way to make things easier on both ends. And keeping things you need during the transition out of movers’ hands will save your sanity. Here’s what to do:
- Use original boxes for electronics and small appliances.
- Box up your shoes.
- Designate an off-limits area.
USE ORIGINAL BOXES FOR ELECTRONICS AND SMALL APPLIANCES
I am a big believer in keeping original packaging – boxes plus styrofoam and cardboard inserts – whenever we buy a new machine, small appliance, or electronic device that’s not meant to be portable. Manufacturers do a good job of figuring out how to protect their goods from damage in transit so no need for movers to have to reinvent the wheel. I also don’t want them touching my sewing machines but that’s a whole another ball of wax. I always pack these items myself and keep the boxes unsealed in case the movers want to see them. I’ve never had any takers yet. Also, when I tape these boxes shut, I use clear tape. After all these moves, I now hate, with a passion, that brown packing tape and so I do everything to avoid having it plastered over anything that will stay in the new house after the movers and their debris are gone.
Also, don’t let movers write all over your original boxes. I usually tell them this but there was one time when I either forgot or wasn’t completely clear because that crew marked several of my sewing and knitting machine boxes with 1. our last name, 2. reference number for the move, and 3. contents of the box in their own words. Yeah, no. I put a stop to that quickly enough once I realized what was happening. These days, I just tell each crew if they want to write on a box, they will have to either use their own box or wrap mine in their paper completely. I don’t care if they think I’m crazy, I’ll never see them again. But I do care that my boxes look nice in case I want to sell the item later.
BOX UP YOUR SHOES
Have you seen how movers pack shoes? They just throw them willy-nilly into a box and it’s a hot mess when you’re unpacking. Yikes! I like to keep the original boxes (are you sensing a trend here?) when I buy shoes. Out-of-season shoes stay in their boxes in the closet and the empty boxes sit on top of them. Then when it’s time to put away winter boots and pull out flip-flops or vice versa, it’s an easy swap. And when it’s time to move, it’s easy for the movers to drop the shoeboxes in a large moving box, and it’s just as easy to unpack at the next place.
If you don’t keep the boxes when you buy new shoes, you may want to consider plastic shoeboxes. They’ll do the same job – keep your closet organized and your shoes from getting dusty or damaged, and they’ll make packing and unpacking easy. Also, imagine if you were a mover – do you want to be touching other people’s worn shoes? Ewwww…
DESIGNATE AN OFF-LIMITS AREA
This is where you’ll keep everything that you need with you between moving day and when you household goods arrive. It could be a closet or a room or a corner of one. Or you may have multiple off-limits areas, maybe a closet and a section of the basement and a corner of the garage. That’s fine. The main thing is to mark them clearly and let the movers know during the walk-through not to pack (or even touch) anything there.
I learned this tip from a good friend during our first move. I say ours but my husband had to get to Germany three or four months before I could leave Florida which meant I was supervising the move on my own, never having been through one before. Lots of fun, that. But luckily for me, my friend didn’t ask if I needed help; she knew I did so she just came over and helped.
There are different ways to do this. You can write OFF LIMITS on a sheet of printer paper in permanent marker (use one that’s black and not too fine) and tape it to the door you don’t want movers to open. Or you can use masking tape around your stack of suitcases. Masking tape is also useful if you want to keep things in a cabinet, like open cleaning supplies under the sink or open packages of food in your kitchen. Just tape it shut or use the tape to make a large X on the cabinet door.
Keeping your sanity intact during a move is
difficult imperative. Make it easier on yourself by using original packaging for your expensive electronics and small appliances, box up your shoes, and designate an off-limits area to keep things you need during the transition from getting packed with your household goods. Check back next week for more tips to make your next move easier.