Moving Dos and Don'ts
Knox County — As Nanci and I were unpacking the dishes in our new apartment, she said to me, “the next time you decide to do this…don’t.” She was talking about the shredded paper and strips of paper I had prepared for weeks so we could pack our glassware safely. I shredded all extraneous paper so I wouldn’t have to pack it or lug it up to the dumpster; and I also cut the Sunday paper ads into strips to add to the garbage bag I labeled “packing materials.” Seemed like a good idea at the time, however, we are still picking up little pieces of paper around the place. So I guess it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Using what’s at hand for packing materials like old T-shirts, rugs, dish towels and the like are a better idea than all the shredded materials.
Moving is not fun, but it can be easier if you plan ahead. As you know, I have moved about 17 times or so since I left Maine and Connecticut years ago. I’ve learned a few things along the way and continue to add to my knowledge with each move. Here are a few suggestions for you if you are moving or for a reference for a later move. Put this blog somewhere on your computer so you’ll have it when you need it.
Throw Throw Throw
Throw as much stuff out as you can so you won’t have to move it. I keep a garbage bag right next to the box I’m packing. If I see an item that’s just been hanging around for a long time and which has no earthly use anymore, out it goes. Be sure to attach a big X with masking tape on the bag so you won’t throw something out by mistake.
Recycle and Donate
Keep another box or bag to put things in you’re going to donate to Goodwill or other such recycling place. When you go out the door on an errand take a full box with you and drop it off. That way you won’t have to lug it out all at once.
Keep packing supplies in a special place
I kept a small shallow box filled with packing tape, cutting blades, and sharpie pens in a central place so I’d know where they were. Be sure you buy plenty of supplies, you’ll need them. I also kept a small plastic container nearby that I could put picture hooks and nails in once I took the pictures off the wall in a room. They were easy to locate afterwards when I wanted to hang things back up.
You will need more boxes than you think you do. A good place to get them from is storage facilities or from the moving company if you are using them. They will deliver them to you ahead of time. As Nanci works for a grocery company, she was able to keep us in boxes.
Be sure the bottoms of each box are strong enough to hold what you are putting into them. Be careful also to watch the weight of each box so that you don’t end up with the contents dropping out of the bottom while you are moving them. Try to vary heavy items and light items in each box if possible. How much you pack into each box may depend on whether you are going to end up lifting them or a moving person is going to do it for you. Movers have ways to move heavy things easier than you do. Always tape the cover down if possible. Some items like big pictures may not fit. In that case, be sure they are buffered with plenty of newspaper etc.
As you are unpacking each box, put it by your door so you can take it out when you leave the next time. It’s possible, especially here in the South, boxes will carry bugs with them so it’s best to dispose of them as soon as possible.
To Hire a Mover or Not
I’ve learned over the years, especially as I get older, that hiring someone to lift, carry and transport your stuff to a new place is a good idea. Twice Nanci and I have used a company called “Two Men and a Truck.” You do the packing and they will come move it for you. They are inexpensive and efficient and I highly recommend them. This time we used a man and his co-worker who are movers and who lived next door to us at the old apartment. They also were very good at what they do and were inexpensive also.
A Few More Tips to Keep in Mind
- Pack those things you don’t need for daily living ahead of time so you won’t have to pack everything in just a couple days. Pictures, knick knacks, books, and the like are good candidates.
- Tape cords and fixtures together so they don’t flop around when you are moving them. Tape fixtures to the curtain rods you will use in the new place, for example, so they won’t get lost in all the mess. Generally speaking, tape up anything that is going to flop around when moving, like the book case I have that has shelves that flop down.
- Don’t carry dirt with you. Clean your kitchen appliances. Shake the crumbs out of the toaster, etc. so they will be nice and clean in the new place. Clean scatter rugs. Dust things that need to be dusted. Throw away things like old shower curtains.
- If you have a deposit and need to leave the old place clean, try to clean as much as you can ahead of time. Such places as drawers after you empty them, cupboards, the oven, etc. Vacuum those places you can as they become empty spaces. If possible, repair any damage pets may have done. I was able to sand down, fill in, and repaint several door frames my cat used as scratching posts. They are now as good as new.
- Use your suitcases to pack some clothes. Those clothes on hangers can go as they are with a good garbage bag over them.
Pack an overnight bag the night before you move.
The night before you move, pack your bathroom items and your medicines in a small bag or backpack where you will know where to find them after you’ve moved in the next day. If you take daily meds, it’s very important to pack them safely. If you have old medicines to dispose of don’t flush them down the toilet. It’s bad for the environment. Ask your pharmacist for special envelopes to send them to a safe place in.
More Tips Online
Go to this site for many more moving tips:
It’s Nice to Be Home Again
Nanci and I are happy to be resettled again. We hope to stay here till that day when we’ll make the trek north to Maine to relocate for the last time.
The only casualty of the move was two small juice glasses with roosters on them in which my mother used to give me my orange juice when I was small. I still have two left, but obviously the other two got lost somewhere in all that shredded paper. I have carried them with me for many years, but this time they didn’t make it. I promise to hang on to the last two.
Thanks for listening.