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The Dos and Don'ts When Moving Your Home

Aug 17, 2007
Moving involves the excitement of a new place and yet offers the real dilemma of packing. How can we pack a lifetime of memories into cardboard boxes? As human beings we tend to gather and hoard a whole host of clutter and bric-a-brac, family heirlooms and nostalgic milestones. Some are treasured while others are tolerated. When the time comes to choose between what to pack and what to chuck the dilemma is heart rending. One has to be practical of course in such matters. There are a few dos and don'ts, which if followed, will take the trauma out of moving house and make the experience exciting and worthwhile.

First of all find out the floor space of your new home. Then decide what you MUST take with you. Put all the rest in storage and have an auction or garage sale. Put aside things you wish to give to charity. Disconnect, clean and repair appliances a week before the packers arrive. Plants and pets have to be transported separately either by train or plane or by car. They cannot go with the rest of the items.

Fine china, breakable antiques, silver ware all have to be handled with care. It's best if you hire professionals to handle them. Even furniture and heavy appliances can be professionally packed and the consignments can be insured. If you wish to save on expenses, the bulk of the packing can be handled by yourself. Books, clothes, linen, shoes and kitchenware can be put into boxes and can be neatly labeled. Several small boxes not more than 15 to 20 kilos can be used for this.

Jewelry and other valuable items should be packed in bubble wrap and transported personally. Wardrobe boxes are good for expensive clothing and padded dish boxes for chinaware. Everyday clothes and non-fragile items like shoes, toys, cups and mugs, can be put into free boxes obtained from the supermarket.

Old newspapers, sheets, bubble wrap, pillowcases and towels can be used as buffers. Wrap each item individually before putting them in the boxes. Fill the empty spaces between items with torn paper bits so that things don't rattle around while transporting. Plates and glass items should be packed vertically instead of flat. And finally seal the boxes with duct tape or plastic strapping.

As you pack the things in boxes, mark each box clearly with a number code that corresponds with the one in your master list. Fragile items should be clearly marked as 'FRAGILE' with an arrow showing the right side up. Each box must have a label with your name, address, contact number and destination pasted on it. It is best to use pre-printed labels or an indelible marker. Make a master plan wherein you draw the map of your new place. Make a detailed list of the boxes which go into the individual rooms - for instance the crockery, cutlery and plates go into the kitchen, the books and toys into the children's room and so on.

Make a timetable. Start weeks before you move. Plan to pack a few boxes daily and go about it at a steady pace. And most important of all keep your box of emergencies handy at all times. Happy shifting!
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