May 27, 2013

Ten Tips for Planning a Big Move

Since I am moving a family of 6 to a whole new province, (and I have moved quite a number of times) I thought I would compile a list of tips I can come up with:
  1. Have a box marked "Open First".  Put in it all the things you will want that first day, instant coffee, paper plates, cups and plastic silverware, soap, face cloth and towel, toilet paper, a teakettle, a small pot, some cookies, a toaster, and liquid soap, etc. This will save you from rummaging around for basics and allow you to get on with the business of unpacking methodically.
  2. Clearly label the boxes, especially ones containing things you use on a regular basis.
  3. Set up a change of address at the post office so that you will continue to get mail from anybody you forgot to notify.
  4. Arrange for you utilities and services before you get there.  It is so nice to be able to let the kids sit down and watch a little tv while you unpack.  Arrange utilities to be turned off several days after you leave your old place, and turned on several days before you arrive at the new one.
  5. Empty the refrigerator the day before moving day. Eat up any leftovers, decide what you want to bring with you, and give the rest to neighbors. Unplug the refrigerator and leave the doors open overnight so the moisture can evaporate.
  6. Load the truck carefully. Use as much vertical space as you can: Stand sofas on end, load mattresses and box springs so their long sides are vertical, stand up armoires and tall dressers. Put tall things along the sides; moving trucks have bars or tracks onto which you can tie ropes to keep things vertical. Area rugs should go in after the furniture (so you can roll them out before putting the furniture down in the new place).
  7. Don't pay for packing supplies.  You can get them free at grocery stores, dollar stores and liquor stores.  Liquor store boxes are very strong and not too big so they are great for books and heavy items.  Sometimes come they with handy dividers which are great for vases, and glasses. 
  8. Take this as an opportunity to purge your home of unwanted or unneeded stuff you have poked away in closets, attics, and basements.  You will be surprised at how much stuff you have.
  9. Budget space on the truck and money you will spend.  Allow for the fact that you will need more of each than you think you will.  Always.
  10. Line up help, even if you have movers.  It is great to have help with the kids, with food, with finding things in the new town, and moving in general.

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