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Thread: Packing Tips

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    Default Packing Tips

    This was in the Real Estate section of yesterday's SF Chron. I trimmed it to the helpful hints, and left out the professional organizer stuff.

    Loading and unloading the truck is easy; it's a good packing job that makes for a ...SMOOTH MOVE
    Lew Sichelman, Special to The Chronicle
    Sunday, November 5, 2006

    Obviously, whether the battle is won or lost on moving day depends a great deal on preparation. "There's lots of things you can do at one end that will make life easier on the other," Thurley said.

    A "great believer in sorting," Thurley says zippered plastic storage bags are an absolute essential. "It's quicker and less messy to unpack items that have been 'containerized.' "

    Zippered bags can be used for pens, pencils and loose junk-drawer items; small packets and open pantry items; soaps, make-up and bathroom-drawer items; small toys, crayons and puzzles; costume jewelry; even parts of beds, computers and electronic equipment.

    She also recommends small plastic organizers for packing pantry, bathroom and laundry items. "They're easier and quicker to pack and unpack than a bunch of loose bottles," she said.

    Most people label boxes by room, but Luther suggests going beyond that by cataloging what's in each box. That way, when you get to your destination, you'll know the toaster oven is in Box 27 and the guest-room linens are in Box 54.

    "Labels are good enough to get the right box to the right room," she said. "But after that, a log helps you keep track of everything until the boxes are unpacked."

    Here are some other move-in tips:

    -- Have the utilities, including the telephone, turned on, preferably before you arrive but certainly on moving day. Otherwise, you could be without power or unable to communicate with the outside world.

    Similarly, don't have the utilities cut off at the old place too quickly. It's better to spend a few extra dollars than put up with the hassle.

    -- Pack "sanity" boxes containing everything you'll need to function immediately in the new residence -- address book, pen and paper, extension cords, basic tools, coffee pot, pet supplies, paper towels, toilet tissue, bed linen and pillows, sleep wear and whatever else you need to survive the first night without tearing the place apart.

    -- It could take up to two weeks before the post office begins forwarding mail, so send in your change-of-address forms early. You have from 30 to 45 days in most places to register your vehicles and obtain new driver's licenses. But you might want to alert your insurance companies early.

    Open a checking account early, too. Some merchants won't take out-of-town checks. Some don't take credit cards, either, so carry a few hundred dollars in traveler's checks with you on moving day.

    -- Attach a floor plan at the front door so the movers will be able to see at a glance where they are going. Then, at the entrance to each room, hang a floor plan of that space so they'll know precisely where each piece of furniture belongs.

    Don't worry if you're not sure exactly where you want something. You can always move it later. The idea is to get things put away as quickly as possible.

    -- Have some laundry baskets on hand for toys and other items for which you don't have storage space.

    -- As you unpack, have large trash bags ready for the paper you stuffed around boxed items. You'll have a lot if it. By the way, you are better off investing in heavy, white recycled newsprint because newspaper can be messy and might even leave permanent stains.

    Use packing tape to seal boxes; masking tape isn't strong enough. And have a razor-blade knife handy to cut the tape when you are ready to open your boxes.

    -- Break down boxes as you go. The less clutter, the less stress. Also, it's better to go to the added expense of using professional packing boxes because they make for the safest load. Throw-away boxes are more difficult to stack because they are not uniform.

    -- Once the beds are set up, take a few minutes to make them and set out some towels. It's amazing how relieved you'll feel when you can shower and have a place to sleep at day's end.

    -- Unpack and set up the rooms most important to you first. Usually, that's the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. But if you work at home or have a home-based business, it could be your office.

    -- Be sure you have lamps for each room where there is no overhead light. You should have marked each lamp base, bulb and shade with matching stickers so putting them back together will be easier.

    -- Your television set, electronic equipment and even some major appliances should have been turned off 24 hours before the move to prevent internal damage. If you didn't do that, don't turn them on until 24 hours after the move to allow them to adjust to room temperature.

    -- Don't let the movers unpack nonessential boxes. They'll just put the contents onto whatever flat surface they can find, including the floor.

    It's important to keep a sense of organization. Otherwise, you'll not only feel overwhelmed, you're liable to find your underwear in a heap by the dresser, your shoes on the floor by the closet, and your new home resembling the aftermath of an earthquake.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    selchie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Packing Tips

    After reading Maggiemoo's report of having fifty boxes misplaced by the shippers, I recommend that each box has a label with your name and contact information on it. There are probably all kinds of software available for printing out labels.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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