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We are in to prepping for the move full force now (I also have Billy Joel stuck in my head). I am so behind on my blog reading and I really miss being on here.  I thought that since I am working on moving, I might as well share with you my personal moving tips. The very sad truth is that I have packed up and moved myself 15 times since 1998. So, I know a little bit about moving and packing and what you should and should not do. Here are my tips.

Don't ever get rid of all your boxes. Keep the really good sturdy ones for the next go round.  Put them under your house, in the attic, garage, or basement - you never know when you will need em!

Pack up your decorative stuff first, since that will take some of the most prep work to keep it safe and intact.  This is also the stuff you don't "need" to live day in and day out in your home. Next, pack the books, DVD's, CDs, off season clothes, and other things that you don't need every day. I also pack up non necessary kitchen appliances, cookware, baking dishes, and serving dishes that aren't part of the regular rotation.

Make sure you have an extra roll of packing tape, extra packing paper and extra moving boxes.  Great free box sources that I have used include Chick-fil-a Waffle Fry Boxes (very sturdy and perfect "moving" size), Avon boxes (with the lid - oh these are the BOMB!), and boxes from the Liquor store. The little wine bottle inserts are great for keeping your glassware safe or creating little cubbies to manage packing small stuff.

Buy LOTS of Magic Erasers! These bad boys are fantastic for buffing out scratches and scuffs on your walls. Also, assess your cleaning supplies to see if you need some extra to use on your post move clean out. (No one offered to give me anything to say that - I just love em!)

Don't put it in the box if you aren't going to use it when you unpack it. Start a Goodwill box that you can toss that stuff in as you go.

Invest in some decent disposable plates, bowls, cups and flatware to use once you packed up your regular kitchen dishes. I also pickup a couple quick microwave meals to cook those last couple nights to ease your prep and clean up while you are taping up boxes.

Pack a "open me" first box. Mine includes the following
- Coffee pot and coffee (Priorities people!)
- A mug (Yep - made that mistake ONCE.)
- Trash bags
- A shower curtain liner, set of towels, and a bath mat
- Toilet Paper
- A roll of paper towels
- A set of sheets and a blanket
- Food bowels for the pets
- Basic toiletries

Use your luggage to pack your clothes! Don't ever move luggage empty - that is a huge waste of easily rollable space! Also pack things in trash cans and laundry baskets.

Scope out your rooms before the move and ensure you have a lamp ready for any room that doesn't have an overhead light.

As you pack your electronics, use file labels or masking tape to wrap around the cord and write what it goes to on it. This is a great way for making sure you don't misplace them or get them mixed up.

Try to plan your move so you have time built in at the end to be able to clean your old place. I like to plan a weekend to move and a weekend to clean.

Label your boxes in whatever system helps you manage where they go in the new place and how urgently you need to open them. Typically I write what is in the box and if it is FRAGILE or not.  I try to be as descriptive as possible.

So those are my tips. Do have any moving tips you swear by? Trust me - I would love to hear them if you do!

6 frugal friends said ...

Jan @ bobbypinsboardwalk said... @ March 7, 2010 at 1:38 AM

Excellent post. I think that you about covered it. I haven't moved that many times (twice in the last 30 years). It's probably the most exhausted I've ever been. We had several people helping us, so the other thing I did was make arrangements for food and drinks to be delivered ahead of time so everyone could take a well-deserved break. I live in the midwest, so keeping boxes in the house is something I try to avoid--they tend to bring encourage brown recluse spiders...at least that's what my bug man said. He said in a very authoritative voice, "Keep those boxes and paper bags and anything paper in the trash can. Get rid of it. Those spiders love those things." So, I don't keep too many boxes around, and those that I do keep, I clean around often.

I hope your move goes well and everyone gets where they're suppose to be, when they're suppose to be there safe and sound.

Mommy said... @ March 7, 2010 at 6:09 AM

You are the expert, hands down. The last time I moved, it was afer being in the same place for over 25 years, and included stuff that my ex and grown child (you, sweetie) had left, so I had more cleaning out than moving to do. First I decided to move only what I loved. Then I filled lots of construction-sized trash bags with obvious junk. Next,I invited Goodwill to come with a truck (which they did gladly and for free) to take whatever else they wanted. For a small fee, my trash company made an extra run to get all the trash and Goodwill-rejects. This move became one of the most cleansing, freeing experiences of my life, and I got to make a fresh start. Good luck to you!

Karen H said... @ March 7, 2010 at 6:59 AM

From one multi-mover to another - right on! You've got the secrets sewn up! The only other one I discovered over the years was to never use newspaper to wrap dishes or glassware in. The ink gets all over them and then it becomes a major dish washing event in the new place and Lord knows, there's already enough to do! So instead I use linens - tablecloths, cloth napkins, dishtowels, etc to wrap breakables in. And/or paper towel which is excellent because then as you unwrap, you can still use it all to clean with in the new place. Best of luck on the big day(s)!! I, too will be lean in my postings and comments as I am starting a new job. Once I get into some kind of routine with that, I'll be back!

Amy said... @ March 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Ugh, I hate moving! We've moved nearly as much as you and you'd think I'd have it down, but I still hate it.

Found your blog through SITS and love it! I'm definitely going to be stopping by again :)

Marilyn Holeman said... @ March 7, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I read a posting recently from someone who was moving that I thought had a great idea (maybe from "320 * Sycamore"???) Anyway, the suggestion was that you make copies of the layout of your new place, and tape one to each box, with an X marks the spot where that box goes. Then anyone can take it directly where it goes with no questions. Another suggestion was that you color-code each new room with colored paper on the door, and then that color of marker on the box. Hope your move goes well.

Tran said... @ March 7, 2010 at 6:05 PM

I find it very helpful to label what room the boxes need to end up in. Then you can tackle unpacking room by room. I also pack fragiles in plastic grocery bags, they're free and everyone's got a ton lying around. I like to pack fragile kitchen items with oven mitts and kitchen towels. I'm also a big fan of plastic storage bins with lids (like Rubbermaid) because they're sturdy and stack well. And for plastic storage drawer units, I fill them with stuff and wrap with plastic wrap (that's made for moving). I also pack in the 'unpack first' box, a box cutter. And look on craigslist for free moving boxes!

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