How to plan and pack items when moving?


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”?

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

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

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 

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

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

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.