Load ’em Up and Move ’em Out

love packingPacking…..it’s exhausting just thinking about it.  No one likes it.  It’s as bad as when you were a kid and your mom told you to clean your room.  Packing can bring a lot of stress to your family and also a lot of emotions (particularly if you have only lived in one house).  And really, packing can make you go crazy – literally – especially with kids.  I have, however, found one positive to it – you rid yourself of lots of JUNK!  There.  You can’t be a pack rat and move a lot.

We have been blessed to have professional movers for all our moves.  Some of you out there are quitting now because you think nothing I can say will help you.  However, I do know some tips for both professional and DIY moves.
garagesaleFirst thing you can do with either scenario is start going through all your stuff and getting rid of the things you can live without.  It will be tough, but seriously do you really need to pack that sweater you haven’t worn since 1998?  Besides, you could make some extra fast cash having a garage sale with all that stuff.  Sifting through all the junk on this end is so much better than the other end of a move – you got a lot going on once you move in a new place.  Another quick tip is to get all your stuff decluttered and in it’s right place.  For example – put all those toys strewn all over your house into one cohesive place.  This will ensure they all get packed together.  This goes for all those other items that get taken to places they don’t belong all over the house (oh wait that might just be me living with all these boys!).

Alrighty, now that you have that initial junk cleaning done, let’s get down to packing business.  I’ll start with the professional moving tips (hang in there with me DIYers).  If you think there are no tips for having professionals move you – you are dead wrong.  There are still lots of things to do to prepare for the movers.
fragile1.  First off – DO NOT pack anything yourself!  I know you will be tempted to pack that beautiful heirloom crystal bowl from your great great grandmother yourself so you know it will be safe.  However, if you pack it yourself, movers take note of it and if it ends up breaking, guess what – they aren’t responsible because you packed it.  I’ve had something break almost every move but guess what – the moving company has paid for the amount of the item broken and life goes on.  Don’t sweat the small stuff in life.
file box2.  Put all your important paperwork in a little file box to take with you.  You will more than likely need this when you get to your new destination and it’s better that you know exactly where it is.  This includes birth certificates, marriage licenses (you will need this in order to get a drivers license just about any state ladies!), social security cards, etc.
donotmove3.  We always clean out one closet before the movers come.  In this closet we put anything we do not want the movers taking – in other words the stuff we plan to take in our car.  We have had to pack for temporary housing most moves so we have had lots of luggage and other stuff.  On the closet door we simply put a note “Do Not Pack This Closet”.  This clears up any communication between you and all the movers in your house.  And your luggage doesn’t accidentally get packed up in the truck way in the back before you notice.
movers food4.  It’s always nice to appreciate the packers and loaders of your moving crew.  We always treat them to lunch.  Just something simple like a subway sandwich or pizza.  They certainly don’t expect it BUT remember they are handling your stuff and doing all the work.  It’s just a nice gesture.  We also have a fridge or ice chest full of water for them to grab when they need it (especially those moves where it was 100 degrees!)  We’ve had many movers tell us how much they appreciate these little things and don’t get treated that nice most of the time.

Ok DIYers, I don’t have a lot of tips but here’s a couple that make sense to me.
1.  Look on Craigslist for anyone selling boxes.  We have sold our boxes online after we have unloaded.  Paying $50 for professional sturdy moving boxes is WAY better than looking for diaper boxes wherever you can find them.  Plus you can’t beat the garment boxes pros use to move clothing!
duct tape2.  Get some colored duct tape and coordinate each room with a particular color.  Put a small piece on the box that corresponds with the room.  That way when you unload the truck at your new place, it’s easy to glance at the box and know where it belongs.

Ok all you who have packed and moved, share your moving tips.  I know a lot of you out there have some great ideas.