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Make Your Move: Stay Organized During the Packing Process

Feb 10, 2008
Moving and relocation can be an exciting time. It can also be a time fraught with worry and apprehension. Placing your entire life inside a bunch of boxes is no easy task. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Tackle some of the stress head-on with these tips on how to stay organized during the packing process.

In the long run, it pays to purchase appropriate moving supplies. Sturdy moving boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts can purchased at moving companies and truck-rental firms. In addition, clothing, blankets, and pillows can be used as buffers between breakable objects.

Approach your move with a plan. Pack up one room at a time, and include any essential information on the box that you may want to remember once you reach your new home.
Keep track of your valuables with an inventory list to help organize all the items you're moving. Have a copy on hand as you're packing up your belongings and then place it in a safe place during the move. Once you begin the process of unpacking, use the inventory list to help account for your belongings.

As you begin the process of packing your belongings into boxes, place heavy items in small boxes and light items in big boxes. Keep boxes to 50 pounds or less. Your back will thank you later! Use clean newsprint to wrap items and bubble wrap for padding. Breakables should be placed loosely in plastic storage bins, surrounded by lots of bubble wrap.

Mark each box by room, so you know exactly where everything goes; color coding or using a number system works well (i.e. red stickers for the master bedroom or the number 1 for bathroom). Pack breakables such as dishes on edge, surrounded by bubble wrap. They will have a better chance of being unharmed in the bed of a bouncing truck. Write "Fragile" on boxes with breakables and stack them on top of the box of encyclopedias - not the other way around. On cartons containing essential items such as cooking utensils and toiletries, write "Open First."

Before the move, plan ahead for what you will need for the first night and day by packing essential items in a separate bag or suitcase and carry it with you. This might include a change of clothes, a towel, prescription drugs, a toothbrush and other personal items. In separate bags store plastic utensils, paper plates and cups, toilet paper, trash bags, snacks and beverages, a box cutter or utility knife, and anything else you might want.

With millions of Americans moving each year, odds are that even the most organized person may forget something. Those "out of sight, out of mind" objects are at the highest risk of being left behind. According to Mayflower Transit, these 10 additional points should be added to every mover's preparation list:

1. Obtain copies of family records, including dental and health information, as well as veterinarian records. Think ahead and transfer any current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.
2. Be sure to collect any valuables that have been hidden away in the house before leaving. Place these in a safe deposit box instead of packing them on the moving van.
3. Pack phone books from your existing residence to take with you.
4. Remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored, or repaired. Make sure to return any library books or movie rentals.
5. Keep your new address handy in your wallet or purse.
6. Leave out cleaning supplies for the final "once over" before closing the door to your old home.
7. Take the electric garage door opener out of your car before leaving town.
8. Plan ahead for the safe transfer of your pets and/or plants.
9. It's a good idea to open a checking account in your new town prior to your move so that you will have immediate access to your funds.
10. Remember to retrieve all of your spare sets of house keys and leave for the new homeowners before you depart.

Once you arrive at your destination and begin to unpack, sort boxes by content labels and identify one or two boxes in each room to open immediately. As you unpack the boxes, note any damaged or lost items and check the condition of each item. Empty boxes should be broken down and recycled along with packing materials.
About the Author
Safecutters Inc., provides an online store of utility knife box cutters for opening shipping boxes and shipping packages, as well as safety knives to open moving boxes and packages. For more information about Klever Kutter and other Safecutters products contact us!
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