How to plan and pack items when moving?

A family ready to move.

Do you dread the thought of moving?

Even under the best of circumstances, a household move can be an ordeal.

It can cost more than you expect in time, energy and resources.

Are there ways to lessen the hardships?

For instance, what about the expense?

Most of these moves were due to job requirements and in many cases the expense was borne by employers.

But as the economy worsens, costs mount and jobs terminate, you might have to bear the moving expenses alone.

In that event, undoubtedly you would want to move as inexpensively as possible.

So, at the outset you might wonder, How much of what I have is worth moving?

What about a “garage sale”?

Garage sale items to be sold.

Some families sell household possessions along with the house.

Others hold a “garage sale.”

If you plan on this, however, check to see if there are applicable laws or taxes in your community.

One public service agency, says:

A good sale is hard to pass up, there is something irresistible about a child’s dress for fifty cents, a sweater for a dollar or a platter for a dime.”

Incidentally, visiting antique shops and secondhand stores before your sale may help you to arrive at realistic pricing.

You might put an ad in the newspaper.

Local supermarkets, barbershops, service stations and the like may let you place signs in their windows.

You could contact acquaintances or have your children distribute typed or announcements through social media.

Posting a sign on your property is another way to announce the date of your sale.

Before that day arrives, you have work to do.

First, you might take a notebook in hand and list every item you would like to sell.

Then, except perhaps for such things as bulky furniture, you could assemble all these articles in the garage, basement or other convenient place.

Keep shoes together in pairs and put sizes on items of clothing.

Group articles that are similar.

Place small things on tables or in boxes within easy reach.

Hang or fold clothing neatly.

Place books in orderly rows, perhaps on a table.

Put houseplants together in one area.

In short, use the department-store technique.

In fact, you might even make a sign for each section.

And, of course, price tags should be put on the articles that are for sale.

Let your family help on “garage sale” day.

Have plenty of coins on hand for changing bills.

After an item has been sold, check it off your list.

Toward the end of the sale, if it appears that there will be leftovers, you may wish to reduce prices.

A choice of conveyance

A truck for moving customers.

If you decide to move the bulk of your household items, shop for the best means of conveyance.

If expense is no particular problem, it is easy to call a moving company and have it send out a crew and a van.

Within a day or two they will have packed and loaded your belongings.

Since expense usually is a problem, however, savings might be realized by renting a trailer, truck or van and moving yourself.

Compare what the moving company will charge with the cost of renting a vehicle.

Take into account insurance costs, driver availability and how much help you would have if you did the moving personally.

But even if you hire movers, you can still cut costs by doing your own packing.

Organize for Packing

Labeling cartons.

If you do the packing, the moving company or the rental agency can help you with advice, printed packing and checking guides, packing materials and moving equipment such as hand trucks and dollies.

With these things available, organize for the job.

First, allow yourself plenty of time—weeks, if possible.

Establish a working headquarters, such as a spare room, where you can work as often as you like and for as long as you like.

If you wish, a moving company can furnish specially made cartons of various sizes and degrees of sturdiness.

You will also need cushioning paper (plain newsprint), white paper, tissue paper, paper toweling, gummed labels and tape.

Other essentials include scissors, felt marker, notebook and pencil.

A word of caution: Newspaper is very handy, but ink rubs off and can become imbedded in some delicate article of value.

So, it may be wise to use newspaper just for outer wrappings and filler; and wash your hands frequently to prevent ink smudges.

Basic Principles of Packing Professional packers follow these simple rules:

(1) Wrap items individually;

(2) provide plenty of cushioning;

(3) pack a carton firmly, but allow for the lid to close easily.

Make yourself a checklist to follow.

Pack small, fragile articles in several little boxes and place these in one larger box filled in with crushed paper.

Keep similar items together.

And remember that packing a delicate clock in among cast-iron frying pans can be disastrous!

Keep together all parts or pairs of things.

Curtain-rod hangers, mirror bolts and the like can be put in plastic bags and taped or tied to the articles with which they belong.

Empty drawers are good places for things that can break, spill or damage other items.

Lightweight goods, such as lingerie and sweaters, might be left in drawers, but heavier blankets, quilts, sheets and tablecloths could be used for padding.

Make sure that each carton is sturdy enough for its purpose and that it has a lid that will close securely.

Cushion the bottom of the box with two or three inches of crushed paper.

Pack the heaviest items on the bottom, the lightest ones on top.

Cushion each layer and fill in all empty spaces with crushed paper.

Seal and label each carton on the top and sides, identifying the contents as “cookware,” and so forth. Mark each carton with a delivery destination such as “Kitchen,” “Living Room.”

Why move everything from room to room again at your new home?

Packing some specific items .

Packing books.

Clocks, as well as small radios and appliances, should be wrapped separately.

Place these in a carton cushioned with crushed paper.

Moving companies furnish heavy cardboard wardrobes in which clothing can be hung full length. These are fine for curtains and draperies, too.

But if wardrobes are not used, remove garments from hangers, fold them and place them in suitcases or cartons.

Perishables and combustibles

Packing foods.

Before moving, use up as much of your stored food as possible.

Seal boxes of dried or powdered foods and tape the holes of shaker-type containers.

Gather containers of herbs, spices and the like in a small box that can then be packed in a larger carton.

Remove oil and gasoline from any machinery you may have to pack.

Professional movers will advise you to dispose of furniture polish, aerosol cans of any kind, liquids such as bleach that could leak, and perishables that may be affected by extreme heat or cold.

If you must pack a liquid—perhaps some medicine—it would be wise to fasten the cap securely, tape it, and then place the container in a plastic bag that can be well sealed.

It might be helpful to label a special carton “Last Minute Items.”

This can be used for necessities such as toilet articles, soap, towels and facial tissue.

In this carton, or another one, you might pack snacks, instant coffee, powdered milk, sugar, cans of soup, a can opener, a small pan, paper plates and cups, plastic eating utensils, a first-aid kit, hammer, screwdriver, light bulb and tape—things you may need immediately upon arrival.

Some things not to pack

A child in carton.

There are some articles that should not be packed with your other items.

These include cash, deeds, personal documents, evidence of debt, securities or any negotiable items.

Transfer these safely by some other means.

Remember that if you do your own packing, you assume responsibility for the condition and safety of everything packed.

A commercial mover doubtless will impress this point upon you.

If there is damage, it may be hard to pin responsibility upon him.

It is wise, therefore, to cooperate with the mover or the insurance company in every way you can.

So, if you must pack up and move, these are some points that can lighten the task.

At least, they should take some of the “dread” out of moving.

Read more…

Reading the signals of stress in your child

Picture of a depressed girl.
Feelings of stress are rarely free-floating: They are usually reactions to particular events or circumstances.” —Dr. Lilian G. Katz.

Flying an airplane on a dark, foggy night, how can the pilot see where he is going?

From takeoff to landing, he relies upon signals.

Well over a hundred instruments occupy the panels on the flight deck of a large airplane, each conveying vital information and alerting the pilot to potential problems.

Growing up in our stress-filled world is like flying through a storm.

How can parents foster a smooth flight from infancy to adulthood?

Since many children do not talk about their stresses, parents must learn to read signals.

The body “speaks”

Picture of a thoughtful boy.

A child’s stress is often communicated through the body.

Psychosomatic reactions, including stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, sleep disorders, and problems with elimination, may be signals that something is wrong.

Sharon’s hearing loss was the climax of a period of intense loneliness.

When Amy went to school, her stomach cramps were induced by a fear of being separated from her mother.

John’s constipation resulted from the tension of witnessing violent fighting between his parents.
Sexual molestation had physical consequences for ten-year-old Ashley.

“I remember not going to school for a week [following the rape] because I was sick,” she recalls.

The book When Your Child Has Been Molested explains:

The burden of carrying the molestation can stress the child into being unhealthy.” 

Among the possible physical signals of such trauma are lesions, pain during elimination, recurring stomachaches, headaches, and bone or muscle pains that have no apparent cause.

When illness seems psychosomatic, parents should take the signal seriously.

“Whether the child is faking or not doesn’t matter,” says Dr. Alice S. Honig.

“What’s important is the underlying problem.”

Actions speak louder than words

Picture of a sad girl.

A sudden change in behavior is often a call for help.

The book Giving Sorrow Words notes:

When a good student starts getting F’s, that deserves attention, and the same is true when a child who was previously a troublemaker turns into an angel.”

Seven-year-old Timmy’s sudden pattern of lying began when his mother became totally consumed with her job.

Six-year-old Adam’s sudden rude behavior was rooted in feelings of inadequacy at school.

Seven-year-old Carl’s regression to bed-wetting displayed his craving for parental acceptance, which now seemed diverted toward his younger sister.

Self-destructive behavior is especially disturbing.

Twelve-year-old Sara’s frequent accidents could not be attributed to mere clumsiness.

Since her parents’ divorce, hurting herself was the way she unconsciously used to try to recapture her absent father’s affection.

Whether as simple as minor self-inflicted wounds or as serious as a suicide attempt, aggression turned inward through self-destructive behavior is a signal of intense stress.

A heart that is dominated by negative feelings is usually revealed by what the child says.

“Children who come home saying ‘Nobody likes me’ really are telling you that they don’t like themselves,” says Dr. Loraine Stern.

The same might be true of bragging.

Though seemingly expressing the opposite of low self-esteem, boasting about real or imagined accomplishments may be an effort to overcome deep feelings of inadequacy.

True, all children get sick, occasionally misbehave, and experience periodic disappointment with themselves.

But when such problems form a pattern and no immediate cause is evident, parents should weigh the meaning of the signals.

After examining the patterns of childhood behavior of six teenagers who were the perpetrators of an extremely violent attack, Mary Susan Miller noted:

All the signs were there. The boys had been scrawling them across their lives for years, but no one paid any attention. Adults saw, but they shrugged their shoulders.”

Read more…

Coping with life—Dealing with suicide feelings

A teen who is depressed.

ARE you finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the problems surrounding you?

You, too, can cope.

However, the facts show that a growing number of people feel unable to cope with life.

Worldwide the suicide rate has reached alarming proportions.

Both the wealthy and the poor are involved—and the numbers keep increasing.

Why do some choose suicide?

A teen wanting to commit suicide.

Why are so many people deciding that they can’t cope with life?


“The three H’s: haplessness, helplessness, and hopelessness,” answers Dr. Calvin J. Frederick, chief of emergency mental health and disaster assistance at the National Institute of Mental Health. 

Thus to the suicidal person one thing after another seems to go wrong.

He feels unable to cope with the present and sees nothing good happening in the future to change things. But what causes a person to sink to such depths of despair?

The reasons are varied.

Extreme poverty drives some to the point of desperation.

For many people poverty means a question of survival—a struggle to obtain enough food to feed them and their family.

And some, feeling unable to cope with watching their family suffer from want, choose the alternative—suicide.

Many others find it difficult to cope with a chronic, painful illness.

Faced with a future of living every day in pain, some plan to end their lives and thus end the misery.

In fact, to help such persons, recently a book was published that is described as “the world’s first guide on how to commit suicide effectively.”

Pointing to another factor is the comment by a spokeswoman for the Samaritans, an organization in England that specializes in helping suicidal persons.

She said:

“It seems that depression is increasing and one factor in this may be unemployment.”

To illustrate:

Young people leaving school and unable to get a job share with older persons, who have been made redundant, a common feeling of rejection.

Frustration can soon lead to acute depression.

Social welfare or unemployment payments do not solve that problem.

And, what about the man who loses the job that for a number of years has enabled him to provide well for his family?

Now he searches the want ads every day.

He goes on one job interview after another, but he can’t get a job.

Meanwhile, the family still needs to eat.

The bills are piling up.

Clearly, not an easy situation to cope with either, is it?

Loneliness is something with which many others feel unable to cope.

Perhaps one loses a mate in death after many years of happy marriage.

To some the thought of life without their mate is unbearable.

Some researchers feel that suicide among the elderly is a reaction to a series of losses: their mate dies; their children have moved away from home; they retire or are forced to retire; they must live on a fixed income while prices keep rising; their memory begins to fail; their health slowly deteriorates; self-respect is lost as they find themselves becoming more dependent on others.

Thus suicide can be viewed as a way to avoid burdening others or as an alternative to spending the rest of their days in a nursing home.

It is important to realize that how we treat those around us—our family and friends—can have a significant effect on whether they find life worth living.

As one 16-year-old girl who had thought of suicide wrote:

Maybe if parents and kids were kinder to each other, if teachers were more understanding, if we didn’t feel so much competition with one another, if our minds weren’t so open to sex and closed to true relationships, we would all be better off.” 

Where to get help?

A desperate man asking for help.

But when a person feels that life is not worth living, where can he get help?

Help for young people should logically come from their parents.

Older people who are feeling unable to cope also need to be able to turn to someone they know will care, someone who will offer sound, practical counsel.

What should you look for so as to know if a loved one is thinking about giving up on life?

Authorities list a variety of warning signals: suicidal threats; isolation from others; abrupt changes in behavior, such as an outgoing person’s becoming withdrawn; giving away “prized possessions”; severe depression.

Even loss of sleep, loss of appetite and decline in attention to schoolwork, where such changes are sudden, prolonged and uncharacteristic of the person, should not be ignored.

What can you do to help?

“Just being a friend, sitting down and letting the [person] talk it out” can help, says suicidologist Dr. Mark Solomon. 

Be sympathetic.

Don’t say, “Oh, come on, your problems can’t be that serious.”

Be willing to listen.

Offer alternatives; help him to see that things can change.

Don’t be afraid to speak frankly.

This may help him to open up and talk about his problems.

Many, unable to find a hearing ear among loved ones, turn for help to suicide-prevention and crisis-intervention centers.

A number of these are equipped with 24-hour telephone hot lines.

Such facilities not only try to save the life at the other end of the telephone line but may also provide referral information to help the person to cope with ongoing problems.

These referrals may include mental health and medical services, perhaps even assistance in obtaining child care and employment.

You can cope with life! 

A black lady in positive spirit.

Are you weighed down and depressed by one or more of the problems mentioned earlier?

Have you ever felt unable to cope, that there’s no use in going on?

True, you may have reason for a measure of sorrow.

But do not despair—you can cope! 


Try to think positively.

Most problems have a solution.

If you don’t know what it could be in your case, why not try to confide in someone you know and whose advice you respect?

An older, sympathetic friend may well have faced, and overcome, a similar difficulty.

A solution can be simple.

Sometimes what is needed is a change in attitude.

For example, is unemployment the cause of your depression?

Have you been trying, without success, to get another job?

Well, what kind of job are you looking for?

One that offers the same position and salary as the job you lost?

Perhaps it would be wiser to ‘swallow your pride’ and settle for a job that pays a little less, or, if necessary, much less.

After all, something is better than nothing!

Is loneliness your problem?

Then don’t isolate yourself.

Fight against self-pity.

One of the best things to combat loneliness is doing a kindness for someone else.

‘But I need help,’ you say. ‘How can I give help?’ 

Why not try it?

You’ll find that giving to others will lift your spirits.

True, it will not remove your problem but can help you to cope with it.

Read more…