Friday, June 30, 2006

Ten Tips for a Sane Move

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 43 million people move every year, with almost half packing up and relocating between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Moving is considered one of the top three most stressful life transitions. The following tips can help tame the chaos.

1. If you don't use it, leave it.
Packing time is a blessing in disguise. It's the perfect time to get rid of items that have collected in your home. Look at each item and think to yourself: "Do I use this? Do I need it?" Be honest. If you don't use or need an item give it away, sell it, or throw it away. PS: Some charities will pick up your donations.

2. Consider hiring help.
Sometimes it's best to leave the job to those who do it best: the professionals. Interview and get bids from several moving companies. PS: Your best bet is to get recommendations from friends.

3. Order plenty of packing supplies.
Don't skimp on packing materials. Be sure to have plenty of boxes, tape guns, tape, marking pens, bubble wrap, etc. PS: Moving companies will often let you return what you don't use.

4. Mark boxes clearly.
Don't overfill boxes. Keep the weight of each box manageable so that one person can easily carry it without help. Mark boxes "HEAVY: BOOKS" to warn the box lifter. To avoid spills and breakage, write "FRAGILE" and "THIS END UP." Write the destination room and contents to make unpacking easier. PS: Pad items well, and consider drawing a diagram of the new house for the movers.

5. Take photos.
Take pictures of your cabinets and drawers in the old house so you will be able to put things back the identical way when you unpack.

6. Locate a central zone.
Designate a place in the new house for the immediate necessities you need while you set up the other rooms.

7. Keep snacks and beverages ready for break time.
Keep your workers happy and well fueled. Be sure to have plenty of beverages on hand, especially in warm weather. PS: Turn on heat or air conditioning to keep movers comfortable.

8. Clear paths in the house and yard.
Make it easy for the movers to maneuver. If necessary, take down stairwell handrails, trim bushes and trees, and prop open gates to aid access. Make sure to tie up the dog, and keep the kids and toys clear of the movers' path.

9. Vacuum furniture before moving day.
It's more pleasant to move a chair or couch that isn't overly dusty or covered with animal hair.

10. Check the nooks and crannies.
Take one last look through the drawers and cabinets. Wipe all surfaces and clean out crumbs as a courtesy to the people moving in, and be sure you haven't left anything of value behind.

Yes, moving can certainly be hectic but, hopefully, these tips will help make it a little less so!

Source: Organizing Expert Rosemary Chieppo for


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