We’ve learned a lot from helping many military families prepare for their many moves. Often they have professional help and here are some of the tips for packing that we’ve learned.
8 Tips For Packing
1. SORT AND WEED: Before you start thinking about whether or not you will use a moving company, the entire family may want to engage in a “Sort & Weed Party”. The goal is to reduce the potential load as much as possible. The entire family can objectively decide what they REALLY will have a need for at the new address.
2. DESIGNATED AREA: An area in the garage or basement can be designated as the one location where everyone can slowly store unnecessary items. When the process is complete, you can
plan and conduct a garage sale. Anything not sold may be disposed of by inviting friends and family to stop by and take anything they can use. Finally, any items still remaining can be given to a charitable organization.
3. DECIDING ON A PROFESSIONAL: It is really a pleasure to have an experienced, professional mover perform the entire task. It can also be interesting to watch. However, it can also be quite expensive. There is a charge for each box provided, as well as a separate charge for labor, usually based on the size of each container and/or the weight. Do you really want that piano?
4. DOING-IT-YOURSELF: Moving yourself does not have to be a difficult chore. However, it requires proper supplies, prior planning, and a lot of your time. At least one month ahead of time begin packing a few boxes a day. Designate an area in the garage, basement, or spare room to store the packed boxes so that they’ll be out of the way for possible showings.
5. ALL THE BOXES YOU NEED: Obtaining free, sturdy boxes can be accomplished if you plan ahead. The easiest place to find them is at the local supermarket or liquor store. These boxes are perfect since they are constructed for the purpose of carrying heavy loads. Prior arrangements can and should be made at the stores because usually as soon as the contents go on the shelves, these boxes are cut and thrown away. Glassware fits into wine cartons and vegetable cartons are sturdy with air vents.
6. OTHER ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES: You may want to designate a kitchen table or card table as your work area. Newspaper can be used as an effective packing material; however, certain precautions must be made since the ink will smudge. I’m a big fan of bubble wrap. Any items that you wish to protect from the ink may be placed in various sized plastic bags. Other essential items that you will want to keep handy at your work area are: twist ties, 2’ x 3’ plastic tape, a razor blade knife, and a felt-tip marker.
7. ORGANIZING THE BOXES: As each box is packed, use your felt-tip marker to indicate in which room the box will be placed in your next home…. then itemize the contents. If a professional mover is used you will want to work along with them to be sure the contents of each box can be identified. Remember to itemize on the side of each box (not the top), since during the moving process they will be stacked on top of each other.
8. MOVING YOUR VALUABLES: It is not a good idea to include your valuables in the shipment of your household goods. It will be much safer to pack valuables in a suit case or “special” box which will accompany you. Do not leave the container unattended. You will probably wish to include the following items: bank account books, currency of any kind, jewelry, precious metals and stones, valuable documents, coin or stamp collections, insurance policies, medical and dental records, and school records. Be sure to allow room for the kids, pets, and plants too!