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Moving can be an incredibly stressful experience, and it is that much more so if you are doing your own packing. Many householders choose to leave this aspect of the move to the pros, but certainly you can save quite a bit of money by doing your own packing. If you do choose the DIY approach to packing, these tips should help you to get it done with a minimum of stress.
You’re probably thinking “Why would it matter what I’m wearing?” The reasoning behind this is simple – it’s for your comfort and safety. You want to wear shoes with good arch supports, and ideally with steel toes to prevent injuries if you should drop something on your foot. Long sleeves and pants can also help to prevent abrasions.
Liquor stores are a great source of boxes for packing. Most moving companies can also sell you packing boxes in different sizes at a reasonable price. Be realistic about the number of boxes you will need – many a move has been put on hold thanks to the need to rush out and find more boxes.
The last thing you want when you’re trying to pack up your home is “help” from toddlers. If your kids aren’t old enough to really help, arrange for someone to look after them outside the home.
This goes without saying – it’s impossible to make a good job of packing if you’re constantly stepping around and over clutter.
Now, organize your space. Your move is the perfect opportunity to simplify your life, so identify an area for the boxes you are actually going to move, another for items that you are going to give away, and a third for things that you will try to sell. Mark the boxes clearly.
If you expect that packing will take you several days, then first, pack the things that you know you will not be using until you get to your new home. The last thing you pack should be a suitcase containing a change of clothes, and your grooming aids and toiletries. You don’t want to arrive at your destination and have to rummage for clean underwear and toothpaste! You should also pack a box marked “essentials” for other items, like toilet paper, a few kitchen utensils, and bed sheets that you will need right away.
As to grouping, you will find it much easier to set up your new home if you pack things that belong together – in other words, don’t pack toys in with laundry supplies. The most effective way to pack is room by room – after all, the things that belonged in your teenage son’s room at the old place are also going to belong in his room in the new place. If your boxes are clearly labeled “Kitchen,” “Living Room,” “Tony’s Room,” etc., then you’ll eliminate a lot of frustration. You can narrow it down even further with labels like “Pots Cupboard,” “Living Room Drapes and Pillows,” and “Tony’s Bedding.” This will determine in large measure the order in which you unpack – after all, there’s not much point in opening up Tony’s bedding and having it take up space if his bed is still in the moving van.
It can be very tempting to use trash bags for soft items like pillows and some articles of clothing. The danger, of course, is that you can end up inadvertently throwing out things that you intended to keep. If you are determined to pack in trash bags, select one color that you will use just for garbage.
Proper planning for packing day(s) will go a long way toward getting you through the process, and also make unpacking easier when you get to your new home.
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