Organizing to move

kiana-2010July 21, 2011

Help!!!

What is the best way to organize a move? I am doing all of the packing and have put like items together in same area and labeled boxes. I have boxes and furniture on three floors and am running around in circles. Movers will be moving furniture, and the perfectionist in me wants it to go as smoothly as possible, especially since they are charging by the hour. Please share any organizing as you prepare to move tips. Thanks!

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lazy_gardens

I found it easiest if I had them line the boxes up in the new place in a long row in the largest room so I could pick out what I wanted to unpack next. They NEVER manage to put the boxes in the right rooms anyway

Be sure to have the "first night" box with you with enough stuff to live with until you get the rest of the stuff unpacked.

BEFORE YOU PACK: toss all the broken, doesn't fit, needs repair, needs mending stuff. You' don't need to move that too.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:05PM
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colorcrazy

Use lots of bubble wrap and pack the heavier things on the bottom of the box, with clear markings on all four sides showing which end is up. I helped a friend unpack and she had not packed properly, so a lot of stuff was broken. It was so sad. Bubble wrap is cheap compared to having things broken.

Lazygardens is right - toss or donate as much as you can. We ended up getting rid of stuff after the move, which feels idiotic.

Make sure the movers put the first boxes against the far wall. Ours set them down at the bottom of the stairs and things piled up quickly. Enlist some friends so that you have someone directing the movers in each room or at least on each floor.

Inspect the moving truck before they drive off. We never got our footstool back. (They were so bad, I stopped payment on the check.)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:42PM
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westvillager

The perfectionist in you should go whole hog b/c you'll be happier on the other side of the move - when it really counts. I guess I'm more anal than perfectionist but I like to be specific using labels, arrows and quick bullets of box contents.

The four guys doing my last move couldn't read or speak English. I didn't care but nothing was going to the correct room, so I had to direct that for a while instead of placing furniture. Next time I'll use pics instead of words.

I found that lighter boxes speed the process versus fewer heavy ones. Good idea to move them together on each of the three floors if you can.

Don't be afraid to be "the boss". Sometimes people get weird about managing for some reason. You can be nice and make sure everything's moving along. Have cash for tips!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:04AM
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justgotabme

Color Code! Give each room of your home a color and label all boxes for each room in it's color. Use painters tape to place a sheet of colored paper on or beside the door of each room. Even non English speaking/reading folks can follow color coding.

If you have the time record every single item in every single box. Number the boxes and use notebook paper for the list. Place all lists in three ring binder with dividers for each room. Place each list behind it's divider for easy access later. I could go into more detail but I think you get the idea.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:27PM
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cross_stitch

Avoid the temptation to toss something in a box solely because there is space even if it doesn't come from the same place as the other items in the box... you'll never find that item when you want it. When organizing a big move from Europe to California, I knew my my things could have been on a ship or in storage for 12 weeks. I numbered each box (thick marker and huge numbers on each side of the boxes), made a 1-line inventory of each box, kept that inventory on my laptop and printed a copy I kept in my purse. That list was invaluable in several ways when the boxes were delivered. We knew right away that all boxes were delivered (how else could one know?), which ones were missing and we knew exactly where to look for the bike helmets and kitchen towels. Just "sports" or "kitchen" or "towels" would not have helped enough. If you have the discipline to do this fast inventory it will more than pay off at the other end.

One tip that has helped me with many moves over 40+ years: Pack a large, clean pail or plastic tub with rags, all-purpose cleanser, window cleaner, sponges, paper towels, several full rolls of TP, hand soap, several hand towels, hand cream, diapers and wipes if you have a baby. You will need this right away and won't want to run out and buy things you KNOW you have but can't find. Where does one buy rags, anyway? Make sure this pail leaves the old place last and arrives at the new place first. Keep it in your car if you are moving a drivable distance. Same deal with your vacuum cleaner. Stash half-rolls of TP, half-used used soap and junky towels to used at the old place on moving day. Won't it be nice to wash your hands before you drive away? On moving day, don't let anyone remove these or someone is bound to regret it!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:56AM
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camlan

I don't organize stuff together, like with like, when packing. I pack by room. But if it works for you to get all of one thing together, then go for it.

My key steps (I'm moving at the end of August, so I'm doing this now) are:

1. Toss as much as possible. Or donate it. I have a few things up on Craigslist right now, but if they don't sell, I'm giving them to Goodwill.

2. Use things up. Burn all the candles, eat the food, color with the crayons, etc.

3. Start packing the less necessary stuff--books, the good china, out of season clothing, holiday decorations and the like.

4. Label the boxes. I use a code for each room, and then just a short reminder--desk drawers, file cabinet, etc. For bookcases, I number each bookcase. The code is "BC" and then the number. I don't box the books by shelves, but by the bookcase, so anything in a box labeled BC2 will go in the tall bookcase in the study, for example.

4. Continue tossing and donating as you pack. If you know the house you will be moving to, see if you can measure the rooms, so that you will know if rugs and curtains and things will fit. If they won't, don't move them--get rid of them.

5. Determine what few things you will need the last couple of days. Set them aside and start packing like a madwomen.

6. Ditto to the "useful" box as my mom, veteran of over 20 military moves, called it. Toilet paper, soap, a few lightbulbs, wipes, basic cleaners, bandaids, paper towels, saftey pins, aspirin, pen and paper and the like. Either bring it in the car with you, or make sure it is the last thing on the moving truck, so that it will be the first thing off.

I always leave the TP that is in the bathrooms, just in case the people moving in after me aren't prepared.

A handy tip a mover taught me--when packing dinner plates, it seems logical to stack them one on top of the other. However, they are more likely to break when packed this way. The best way to pack them is to stand them on the edge. There's some reason a physicist could give for why this works, which I don't know. But I haven't had a broken plate since I started doing this.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:53AM
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dreamgarden

"Lazygardens is right - toss or donate as much as you can. We ended up getting rid of stuff after the move, which feels idiotic."

Many people have yard sales in order to get rid of unwanted items before they move. Sometimes they arrange to have an organization pick up what didn't sell.

Sometimes there will be items that didn't sell. This stuff can be taken to the Goodwill/Salvation Army/etc, or left out on the lawn for lawn shoppers to pick up (if your community allows).

Other folks place ads in Craigslist or Freecycle so they don't have to bother with a yard sale or deliver these items someplace else.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:28PM
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mellyc123

Every mover we have had has gone over by several hours including the ones that come out and do a walk thru. Ask for some type of guarantee on the estimate and also what they are responsible for before move day. They put some major dents in my new maytag washer/dryer and also nicked or dinged at least one large item in every room. He noted everthing on the invoice as I had asked, however the company considered it all MINOR in their opinion, same for the huge gouges in my stair wall and since their invoice said not responsible for minor dings/dents they did nothing.

Another thing I will do next time is disassemble all furniture so I can put all the parts in ziplocs and be responsible for them. They did not seal the bags and managed to lose a few pieces from each bag in the truck so we had to order from the manufacturer and have mattresses on the floor for awhile after the move .

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:17PM
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kiana-2010

Thank you. These are great suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:38AM
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westvillager

Looks like the OP is set, but I thought mellyc123 made an interesting point. Two actually. After my first move (post-college) I've only used moving co's that charge a flat rate instead of hourly. On my last one, it benefited me well given the extra time it took to put stuff in the correct location once I noticed nothing was. There were a lot of added trips up and down stairs for those guys unfortunately.

I've never read a moving contract before signing it and that post proved how foolish I was not to do so. I even read both my credit card contracts before signing them! I'll definitely ask for a definition of "minor" before hiring them. :\

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 9:52AM
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minnie_tx

What justgotabm sid is good info (Color Code! Give each room of your home a color and label all boxes for each room in it's color. Use painters tape to place a sheet of colored paper on or beside the door of each room. Even non English speaking/reading folks can follow color coding.
If you have the time record every single item in every single box. Number the boxes and use notebook paper for the list. Place all lists in three ring binder with dividers for each room. Place each list behind it's divider for easy access later. I could go into more detail but I think you get the idea. (end of quote)
WhatI did when I moved from Florida I put this info in my computer. It was easy then to sort I think I had 47 boxes of books !!!
and the suggestion for small Liquor boxes for books is a good one

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:41PM
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jannie

Hopefully you will be able to drive from old to new location. Take plants, clothing and jewelry and valuables in your car. I remember, when we moved 13 miles back in the sixties, Dad made several trips in our car. He did part of the move (smaller things and necessities like kitchen stuff) and the movers only had to take the big furniture items.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:31AM
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