Need help! We're moving again.

marie26December 11, 2007

If things work out as planned, we will be moving at the end of January. It is a long distance move but this will be the first time I will be packing the unbreakables myself. The only "breakables" I'll be packing are the CD's and DVD's. I've moved about 23 times so far and have had many long distance moves so you'd think I'd be an expert.

The movers will be providing the boxes for me to use. I know to properly mark the boxes on all sides. They will also provide the wardrobe boxes on the day of the move for me to put the clothes into. I really need to weed out my closet. There are so many items I don't wear or have stains on them. It's time to think fresh. We'll be moving to a very large city (I'm in rural Montana now) so I'll want to make sure I'll look well put together when I go out of the house. I'll also be looking for a job so there's a new incentive to start with a new wardrobe.

I'd organized the DVD's by title so that I can put them in the boxes in somewhat of an order to make it easier on the other end. The CD's are all organized by the first letter of the alphabet they belong in. I wanted to organize the books as well just so it will still be organized on the other end.

The garage isn't bad and many things are in bins or boxes but there are lots of loose items such as shovels, etc.

The movers told me to take out the papers from the top 2 drawers of my 5-drawer filing cabinet. These papers are all mainly from the accounts we have open. I'll be putting most of these in a box for storage and start fresh with new folders on the other end. If I don't look at these folders in the next while, I'll just get rid of most of the stuff in them.

Since I'll be doing a lot of the packing, I need a game plan. Any advice you can give me on how to tackle this will be greatly appreciated.

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Wow moving is a chore! The only advice is 1 step at a time. When I have to move, I just do 1 room at a time. Starting with the rooms I use least. Pack everything and I mean everything that is not absolutly essential. Then pack the essentials last, and unpack them first. Then just 1 room at a time. Thats my game plan. Honestly, last time I moved I had a big garage sale and funny I replaced all of my furniture with the money I made from the garage sale. Funny how much junk I had accumulated! It was a fresh start and a really easy move.
Oh one more idea. As for those clothes you are planning to get rid of, check out the local battered womens shelter. Those women leave with only what they are wearing and they have to start completly over. They really appreciate clothes, even if they are out of style or have small stains! Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:18AM
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I was thinking of selling some furniture, including a practically new Lazy Boy recliner. DH gave it away. He thought he was helping me and was glad someone would take it. I was not a happy camper. I kept thinking that the money I'd make from it could have at least paid for a house cleaner. Since I know the person he gave it to (she gave it to someone else who needed it), I couldn't back down from his decision.

Following your advice, I should start with the library since I won't need anything in that room until after the move. And then do all my cookbooks which are in the kitchen. I'm going to offer some cookbooks to one of my dd's. If she wants them, I'll send them USPS book rate which isn't expensive to do. I have one box of books in the garage that I keep meaning to get rid of. I'll need to do that as well.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 12:17PM
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Wow! Where are you moving to?

If you are moving to someplace REALLY different, then you might want to weed yourself down to about two weeks' worth of clothes and some seasonal stuff (swimsuit, long underwear, heavy sweaters, coats).

Think of it this way: it's going to be a rough Christmas this year for a lot of people. What you donate can make the difference between an adult buying:

* appropriate winter clothing for themselves OR

* toys for their kids AND appropriate winter clothing for themselves.

If you donate now, you'll get a nice tax write-off for next year.

20/20 hindsight reminds me about the BHG arrange-a-room planner. You measure your furniture and then use the online planner to figure out what furniture will fit in the new location and what won't. We got rid of about 1/3 of the stuff in our old apartment... but, it wasn't nearly enough. We annoyed our friends who helped us move it, and then we had the gigantic chore of selling/donating it all off after our move. Aaargh. Never again.

Best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Arrange-a-Room

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 6:00PM
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We're moving to the west coast (northwest) and will be living with more rain in the winter than snow.

The Arrange-a-Room is a neat site. I have a list of measurements of all my furniture from previous moves and I just have to update it. I always go to an prospective home with my tape measure in hand. This time, my biggest problem will be to find a place that accepts my 8-lb. dog and cat.

Tomorrow, if I have the energy, I plan to go into the library and start making piles on the floor of the book categories. I'll also organize the fiction books by author. Then when I get the boxes, they will be easy to pack and I'll just mark the boxes accordingly as to what category or letter of the alphabet is in the box. Once the library is done, I think the rest will fall into place.

I'm trying to get my daughter to visit me and get her to take home cookbooks and other stuff I know she can use. She is a good judge of clothes so I know she'll force me to get rid of most of my closet.

Today, I was on the phone for most of the day setting things up. That, in itself, was very tiring.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 9:07PM
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Marie, best wishes on your move. Please, please forgive me for being a curmudgeon, and hyjacking your thread,but I wanted to respond to Jennifer's suggestion of giving away out of date and/or slightly stained clothing to a battered women's shelter because the women really appreciate clothes...I have worked at two different shelters in the past; one a family shelter, and one for battered women. While it is true that most of the woman really appreciated clothing and other donations, people in shelters -especially battered women - need and appreciate clothing and other items that help them feel better about themselves, and out-of-date or stained clothing etc. is not going to make anyone feel very good especially when they are experiencing difficult life circumstances. I am ashamed to say I used to donate clothing that was not in good condition, thinking that someone could repair this or fix that,or get some use out of this, but what I learned is that most shelters do not have sewing machines or space for them, and it frankly felt insulting to the shelter residents when people would drop off their "trash". I recommend that if you wouldn't wear it because of the condition or datedness, don't donate it to a shelter. Some shelters actually have to pay to have the donated junk (clothing, furniture, etc.) hauled away. I think it is very commendable to want to help others, and maybe in some areas any donations really are welcomed. I can only say that in my area of New England, the like-new and and NOT dated donations were hugely appreciated but not the glut of cast-offs (including old junk when people cleaned out deceased relative's homes etc.) that often made up the bulk of the "donations" dumped there. I hope this didn't sound too harsh- I don't mean to offend anyone.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:40PM
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I've moved my book collection a couple of times so since you're starting there, here are a few things I've learned:

Books are extremely heavy and dense, so you'll need very small boxes for them. The last time I moved books I used UHaul "cube" boxes which are 12" X 12" X 12". If I ever move again I'll use even smaller boxes since those were too big and heavy for easy lifting. I know you will have movers, but I you'll still need to shove the boxes around as you are packing.

I find empty liquor boxes particularly well-shaped for books, though not as efficient space-wise than other shapes of boxes. One can usually get them free at liquor stores.

One of the problems with boxes of books is that they rarely fill completely up; but if piled up they are so heavy they collapse any voids in the boxes below, so they should never be stacked more than two, or at most, three high.

In general, don't plan on more than 12-15 hardcovers in a single box, even fewer if the hardcovers are technical or law books. You can usually fill the spaces with paperbacks.
The best way to pack books is to pack them standing up, if at all possible. A very small box with books lying flat is an acceptable alternative. But do not risk packing books with their fore edges down; a bad jolt will rip the text block out of the covers. Sometimes you have to pack books with their spines down in order to fill the boxes; this is not as good as standing up, but it happens. Do not pack valuable books that way.

Set the books in the box so their spines are towards the outside edge of the box. Where you have intersecting rows of books and fore-edges would touch covers or spines, insert a piece of cardboard to keep from damaging the covers. Another good thing about liquor boxes is that they have a lot of useful pasteboard bottle dividers that can be taken apart and reused.

Valuable books should be over-wrapped in clean, unprinted newsprint in order to avoid the covers rubbing gainst each other. You can interleave a couple of books in one sheet of newsprint.

I put a folded piece of paper down on the bottom of the box, and then finish up with another over the books.

I don't tape seal the boxes until all the packing is done. It's fine to plan on sorting by topic, or genre, but in fact, good packing often requires a bit of mixing-up in order to get a good fit. I fill and label, but don't close unless the box is truly full; otherwise I leave it open and add things as I go along.

Never let the books sit on a concrete surface for more than a few hours (and never, even for a few minutes if there is any risk of moisture - garage floors where cars go in and out can be really bad as snow and rain drip off the cars and seem to be able to find every book box in the place.). The cardboard and books will wick up moisture from the concrete, ruining the books.

Let the books change temps and humidity slowly, if you can.

Never pack books in plastic wrappings. But you will have some places where a sheet or a sausage roll of small-sized bubble wrap will be just the thing to fill a void or make a pad. I recommend buying at least one big roll with tear-off perforations.

And of course, it's best if you can pack freshly cleaned books so as not to bring any hint of mildew spores from one house to another.

I have moved large quantities of books from continent to continent, using surface, air and truck shipping. The key to success is very careful packing, and I always do it myself. The last time my library was traveling I had more than 400 boxes containing only books on the inventory. They took up one entire truck to deliver.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 1:04AM
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I finished packing all the books that were in the library. There is a total of 25 book boxes. They are all organized by genre and the boxes are clearly marked with what's in the box and number 1-25 so it will be easy to unpack.

I have quite a few books that I'm going to try and sell and others that I don't think anyone would buy. I'll give these to the thrift store.

I also have 2004 British music magazines that I don't know what to do with. I'll give all my Newsweeks to the local hospital and I guess I could offer them the music magazines. They have very few magazines so maybe they'll be happy to take them. I still have to put all these books and magazines in boxes.

Then I need to start packing the DVD's and CD's. I'm going to put the DVD's into the boxes that are a bit bigger than the book boxes. Could the CD's go into these boxes as well or should I use book boxes for them?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Marie - I have to say something - get some perspective (a little anxiety is probably in the way). Your last sentence re packing CD's and DVD's just struck me as over the top... I mean people are starving and killing each other and being displaced from their huts 1,000's of miles away every day, and look at what you're fussing about (we all do it, don't we?). It just can't be that important that you end up putting this tiny thing into print here... just pack 'em!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 5:50AM
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The book boxes should be fine for your cd's; although you don't say how many you have. This might be a good time to buy a large binder and throw out the jewel cases.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 6:23AM
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I was formerly active on this group, and have been lurking for a while. Things are going well on the organizing front, and I don't have many questions on how to do things, I just need motivation once in a while to keep things going.

So what brought me out of lurkdom today? Lucy's post.

This is a message board for organizing. Therefore we post about organizing concerns and solutions. We do not post about our incontinent mother, our alcoholic brother-in-law, our kitchen remodel, our church mission, or our personal volunteer and charity work. We do not talk about the war, or the elections. We talk about organizing.

This does not mean we do not think about these things, or do what we can about them, it just means we do it elsewhere. We only see one side of each others multifaceted lives from viewing the messages on this board, and it unfair to chide anyone based on that very limited view.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 8:26AM
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lucy, in that case, none of us should be posting anything ever !!!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Lucy, I felt I should chime in. Packing and organizing for ourselves have nothing to do with what each of us think about or do for others in need. Every time I've moved long distance in the past, the movers had packed everything. Circumstances are different this time and I need to pack a lot of the items myself. Also, this is an international move which makes it more stressful. I am trying to do this properly; thus the questions, which are important to me.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 11:34AM
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I'm sorry, don't want to offend anyone and realize my post was a little over the top itself. It's just that it seemed to me that there's efficiency and then there's micro-managing to an extent that I couldn't see how it could possibly matter in the end how you packed CD's (apart from being neat, and keeping them safe). They are already in cases, small, square and light, and compared to the awkwardly shaped things with odd projections that seemed to make up the majority of what I had to deal with 3 mos ago for my move, are a dream to pack, not something to stress about. But I guess everyone's got their priorities. Sorry, Marie, just ignore me!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 6:27PM
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No problem, Lucy. I'm just trying to do this properly. I figure that since I'm packing 3/4 of this stuff myself and I'm not now working, I have the time to sort and organize. The movers never cared if anything was organized. They just packed whatever would fit into a box without a second thought. I just wanted to know if I could put the hundreds of CD's into a medium sized box instead of a book box.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 7:08PM
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This last move was my 23rd move also. I find I don't do well packing in advance. I go through and purge. Purge some more. And still end up purging while I'm packing, but I have to do it fast. We did our last house in 3 days. Just ripped through each room, keeping the stuff together by room. I found it much easier to have the items dumped into the new spaces like that. We tend to keep all of our living room stuff together no matter what the layout of the house we live in is like.

Good luck with this move (although I think you'll miss the snow. We sure could use some.)


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 12:22AM
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If you do find that you miss the snow, let me know, I have PLENTY!

Can you share where you are headed in the NW? I'm from Seattle and have some familiarity with surrounding areas.

Good luck on your move. I hope you find that all the hard work you have been doing sorting and 'lightening up' makes it easier than the previous moves.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 2:13PM
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Barbara, thank you for the offer. I wouldn't have minded moving to Seattle. It's a great city.

We're moving back to Canada to Vancouver, BC. We've been in the U.S. longer than we lived in Canada but for personal reasons, we decided that DH look in the U.S. and Canada for a new job. For us, it seemed there were more job opportunities in Canada. DS and his wife live in Vancouver and I have a daughter in Portland so it will be nice to be closer to some of my kids.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 3:27PM
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Marie, I think Vancouver is a great city also, with not quite as bad traffic as Seattle.

After we had spent 9 years in Sacramento, my husband asked how I'd like to move to Portland. Thinking how much closer it would be to family and friends in Seattle, I said 'Great, when do we go?"

Portland, MAINE is actually pretty nice. It is Seattle 50 years ago. Only we never owned a snow shovel or snowblower when we lived in Seattle!!!LOL


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:11PM
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I lived in Portland for 4 years. If you like the city, I think Portland is on the small size. Although I haven't lived in Seattle, only visited there, it seems like it would be a great city to live in. I'm really looking forward to city life again.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Marie - if you're still talking to me - Welcome home! I'm all the way in Nova Scotia though, so we're not likely to meet any time soon, but nice to have you back anyway.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Thank you, Lucy. Yes, I'm still talking to you. I've never been to the Maritimes having never gone further east than my home of Montreal. My son, though, went to school in Halifax.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 11:11PM
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What part of Mtl? NDG for me (born and raised). but from your name, I'd say a bit further east for you...

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 5:55AM
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Cote-des-Neiges, not East if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 11:44AM
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how interesting; I live downtown Montreal, lived in NDG 10 years before I married then bought first house on the west island.

My son went to UBC, I loved visiting him in Vancouver, a fun city, very diverse.
Good luck with your move.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 6:52AM
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Oh, my mother lived on CDN for years before going into her present nursing home, but she was down near Queen Mary, not up on the montagne. I was in Outremont before leaving long ago - a very funky place at the time.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 9:52AM
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DH lived in Outremont and I lived even further down from Queen Mary, more near the Van Horne area.

I am soooo glad that I had weeded through things these past couple of years. It really is making a differene in my life now. I'm finding that it's been pretty easy to pack. DH has even gone through some boxes of stuff that I didn't know what to do with and have been lugging around from place to place. All of his stuff is packed. So far, there are 43 boxes packed.

One thing that's helped me is when I get to the last of a set of boxes pertaining to a particular item, I've been leaving the last one open and putting things in there as I find the odd piece that goes in there. Then I repack it properly.

We will be going this weekend to find a new place. Then I'll be able to figure out if I'll have any storage room for some of these boxes.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 2:11AM
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Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 6:59AM
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What a great idea about leaving the last box open for the inevitable 'there's another one'. That will surely help in the unpacking process.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 4:56PM
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Hi Marie,

I realize this thread is seven years old but how are you doing?

I'm planning a 3000mile move in April/May 2015 from our current home in NJ to a rental (TBD) Blaine WA (a couple of miles from the CA border) while we build our new home in Blaine WA to be closer to our daughter who lives in Whistler BC. Three estimates later, we are looking at approximately 34500lbs and $30k-$40k for the move, excluding cost of moving our two SUVs and a sedan.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2015 at 8:06AM
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