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Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Jan-20-2008

Packing Tips

A few general things you need to know about packing:

Keep boxes to 50 lbs or less. Put heavy items in small boxes and light items in big boxes.
Pack non-breakables tightly in smaller boxes, so they’re not too heavy.
Buy clean newsprint to wrap items, and bubble wrap for padding.
Pack breakables loosely in plastic storage bins with lots of bubble wrap.
Rent furniture pads.
Mark your boxes by room, so you know exactly where everything goes. Color coding or using a number system works great (i.e., red stickers for bedroom or 1 for bathroom.)
Write “FRAGILE” on all boxes with breakables and stack these boxes on top.

Packing the big things

Beds: Tie bed frames together with tape or rope. Then label the pieces so they’re easy to reassemble.
Bureaus: Fill drawers with clothes or fragile, well-wrapped items. Cover with a blanket or furniture pads and rope securely.
Tables: Remove legs, pad and tie together. Put nuts and bolts in a bag and tape under tabletop.
Big appliances: Empty, defrost and drain the fridge, freezer and dishwasher. Clean the interiors and put accessories in bags. Stuff towels between washer sides to prevent rotating and tape down moveable parts. Cover with blankets and tie.
Computers, TVs, & Electronics: Use original packaging, or buy electronic-specific boxes.

Packing the small (but still important) things

Small appliances: Put your microwave, VCR, etc. into boxes, and cushion with wadded paper.
Books: Pack them flat in small cartons, alternating bindings. Try to keep each box under 30 lbs.
Clothing: Pack hanging items, including drapes, in wardrobe boxes. Leave small items in drawers.
Collectibles: Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and tape securely.
CDs: Pack upright and cushion with newspaper.
Kitchenware: Stack pots & pans, and cushion with paper. Put a few of these items in the “open first” box.
Dishes: Never stack them flat. Wrap each piece in bubble wrap. Pack plates & saucers on edge, with cups & bowls placed around them.

Packing the awkward things

Chairs: Wrap arms & legs with bubble wrap. Leave slipcovers on or buy chair bags for protection.
Bicycles: Loosen the handlebars and turn them sideways. Cover chains and pedals to keep grease off other items.
Mirrors, artwork & frames: Wrap small pieces in newsprint and pack in mirror boxes. Cover larger pieces with cardboard, tape securely and stand them along the truck’s sides or inside wardrobe boxes.
Lawn furniture: If heavy or bulky, disassemble. Put nuts and bolts in a bag and tie together.
Rugs: Roll up and secure with rope or tape.
Plants: Put in plastic bags with air holes, then in boxes. Water before you leave.
Power and garden tools: Wrap all sharp edges and use plenty of cushioning to prevent injury. Tape long-handled tools together and place small ones in boxes.
Lawn mowers/yard edgers: Empty gasoline from all tanks, and check for oil leaks.
Garage & attic stuff: Use medium-sized boxes for spray paints, brushes, car waxes, etc. Throw away oily rags or anything combustible.
Pets: Always keep them in a pet carrier up front with you. Ask your vet how to make their, and your, move less traumatic.

Posted under Moving
Jan-20-2008

Moving Checklist

Two months prior to Moving Day

If you will use a mover, get a few estimates from moving companies.

If you will move yourself, get costs from at least two truck rental companies.

Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture and appliance placement.

Make an inventory of your household goods and begin to remove clutter (start with the basement, attic, garage, and other storage areas).

Start a file for all your moving paperwork (estimates, receipts, etc.).

Arrange to transfer school records.

Choose a mover (or truck rental company).

Get your new home ready – Contact painters, carpenters, plumbers, roofers etc., so your home is ready when you arrive. Remember to change the locks on all the doors in your new home.

Visit Smoothmoves.com for tips on moving with children.

Six weeks prior to Moving Day

Obtain and fill out post office change-of-address cards.

Subscribe to the paper in your new hometown to learn more about your new community Make arrangements for storage if necessary.

Make arrangements for storage if necessary.

Ask your doctor or health plan provider for referrals, and obtain all medical records.

Have antiques, pieces of art, and other valuables appraised.

Clean all closets and drawers.

Start using foods and cleaning supplies that cannot be moved.

Four weeks prior to Moving Day

Schedule disconnection of all utility services at your old home, and connection of them at your new one. Be sure to disconnect the day after you leave and connect the day before you arrive. If you have “last month” deposits with services, such as the telephone company, request your refund.

If you are moving yourself, reserve a rental truck.

If you are packing yourself, obtain packing materials and start packing items you won’t need until after you arrive at your new house.

Arrange for cleaning and repair of furniture, drapes, and carpeting.

Arrange for special transportation of your pets and plants if necessary.

Check with your insurance company to see how your possessions are covered during transit.

Make any travel plans necessary for your move.

Check to see if you need any moving permits.

Plan your moving sale. Remember to check with local authorities about restrictions.

Collect your important records — Gather personal and family records, including medical and dental, veterinary and school records; legal and financial documents; birth certificates, passports and insurance documents.

Three weeks prior to Moving Day

Properly dispose of items that cannot be moved, such as flammable liquids.

Prepare auto registration for transfer (if moving to another state).

If you are moving in or out of an apartment, arrange for use of the elevator.

Make child-care arrangements for moving day.

Hold your moving sale.

Two weeks prior to Moving Day

Arrange for disposal of anything not sold at your moving sale.

Service your car in preparation for the move. If you’re moving from a warm climate to a cold one, check your antifreeze.

Return any borrowed items (including library books) and retrieve any loaned items.

Cancel newspaper delivery.

Notify any creditors of your move.

Transfer prescriptions and be sure you have an adequate supply of medications on hand.

Assemble a file folder of information to leave for the new owner of your home.

Change your address – One week before your move, send change-of-address cards to everyone who will need to contact you.

Pick up laundry — Laundry tickets are easy to misplace, so ask for your things by name and not just by the receipts you have.

Pack a travel kit:
Put aside critical items like a checkbook, credit cards, personal phone book, ID, flashlight, keys, toiletries, tools, paper plates, cups, towels, travel alarm clock, aspirin, bandages and games for the kids. Also, pack a suitcase with clothing and other personal items.

One day prior to Moving Day

Transfer your bank accounts.

Take animals to vet for immunization, if necessary.

Close and empty your safe-deposit box.

Settle any bills with local businesses.

Drain power equipment of oil and gas. Drain water hoses.

Find new homes for plants that will not be moved.

Confirm any travel reservations.

Drain your waterbed.

Defrost refrigerator and freezer, propping doors open.

Let movers pack your belongings (unless it’s a do-it-yourself move).

Disconnect and prepare major appliances for move.

Set aside anything that will travel in your car so it will not be loaded on the truck.

Pack a box of items that will be needed first at the new house. Clearly mark this box “Load Last.”

Obtain cash or traveler’s checks for the trip and to pay the movers.

Confirm arrival time of your moving van/truck.

If moving yourself, dismantle beds and other large furniture.

Moving Day

If using a mover, be sure someone is at the old house to answer questions.

Note all utility meter readings.

Read your bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep this paperwork in a safe place.

Delivery Day – Again, be on hand to answer any questions.

Check your belongings carefully and note on the inventory paperwork any damaged items.

On an interstate move, be prepared to pay the driver before your possessions are unloaded.

Supervise unloading and unpacking.

Be prepared to pay your mover with cash, certified check, or traveler’s checks unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

Posted under Moving
Jan-20-2008

Moving Tips

Make a list.
Write everything down! You’ll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You’ll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Don’t put the list down unless it’s in a place you’ll call Packing Central. This is where you’ll find your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies.

When describing the box contents, be specific — “A-D files” is better than “files”, and “Tulip dishes” rather than “misc. kitchen”.

Keep things together.
Insist on keeping things together when you or the movers are packing boxes. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. Small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes — to keep picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench and bolts with the wall unit. Keep larger corresponding items (such as a cable TV cord) in Ziplock bags, and tape these to the underside or back of the item. As a backup, have a “Parts Box” open on the kitchen counter and fill it with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Keep this box with you, or mark it well with a rainbow of colored stickers so it can be easily located on move-in day.

Pack ahead.
Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. If it’s summer, get your winter clothes out of the way. You don’t really need 5 radios or TV’s around your house for the last few days there. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed (put things in them!) while you switch to using plastic grocery bags (hang them on a cabinet door or door handle to collect trash.)

Consolidate cleaning supplies.
If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.

Use your luggage.
Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you’ll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas “Box #189” might remain elusive for days.

Safeguard valued items.
It’s a good idea to keep valuable possessions, such as silverware, collections, or antiques, with you. If you have a long move and no room in your car, bury the items in a box titled “Misc. from kitchen pantry”. Either way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork (receipts, appraisals, and photos) you might need to file a claim in case of loss.

Keep important papers with you.
Your list of “important” papers might include: birth certificates, school records, mover estimates, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Don’t leave these with the mover. Keep them with you!

Personal boxes.
Use brightly colored storage tote boxes, one for each person. Let each family member fill theirs with items they’ll want ‘right away’ in the new home — a set of sheets, a towel, a couple of extension cords, a phone, nightlights, address book, pens and paper, keys, kleenex, and travel cosmetic case, and so on.

Have plenty of supplies.
Don’t make me say this twice– you’ll need LOTS of boxes–probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier! (If you buy your boxes from a moving company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund. If you got them free from the grocery, just toss any leftovers.) Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any unused supplies after the truck is packed.

Utilize wardrobe boxes.
These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that need to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they’ll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you’ll need. You can also use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift wrap tubes.

Don’t make the boxes too heavy to lift, however. One mover told the story of someone who put a bowling ball in a wardrobe box! When the box was lifted off the truck the bottom gave way, sending the bowling ball on a wild ride down the ramp, across the street to the gutter, then down a hill where it finally came to rest in a roadside ditch. (Is that a strike or a spare?)

Strategize wardrobe box use.
Moving companies will be happy to deliver boxes ahead of your moving day. Or if you’re doing the move yourself, get things organized as early as possible. A few days before your move, fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags, then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items tightly so things won’t move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You’ll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together. Also, the shopping bags will make it easier to retrieve your belongings from the bottoms of a tall wardrobe box.

Color coordinate.
Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home. Put a matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the desitination. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.

Posted under Moving