Organization for moving day? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-04-2005, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
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We're not planning on moving for another 6 months, but when we do, I'd like to avoid a repeat of all the other times we've moved and the mess and disorganization that followed.

I don't know what we do wrong - before packing, we clean up and get rid of all the junk (we think) but then when we're all packed we have a bunch of boxes labeled "miscellaneous stuff" that sometimes never get unpacked, or that are full of a few things from each room, and then we find there is still enough junk left behind to fill several garbage bags. The first time we moved, we took out 12 hefty bags full of garbage from a place we thought was just cleaned! We had been living with that much garbage the whole time!

So, is there some sort of way to make moving more organized?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-04-2005, 03:44 AM
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I would say, start now. Declutter, organize, and evaluate everything you own. Make weekly trips to donate stuff, and work through the house in a systematic manner- one room per week or whatever works for you. When you have paired down as much as yout think you can, start your packing. Start with thigns that you can live without for a long time- books, memorobelia, artwork from the walls, etc. Label each box not only with what room it is from, but what it contains. Color code the boxes with a dot on each side (that way you will knwo what room it goes in no matter which way you're looking at it), and number the boxes starting at 1 and going up. When you are unpacking you will start with the very last boxes that you packed (which should be marked OPEN FIRST), leaving the smallest numbers to last. It's fine to pack linens, stuffed animals, cushions and pillows in plastic bags- but even those shoudl be labeled with a piece of tape.
This worked out very well for us this time.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-04-2005, 03:45 AM
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Toss/donate any items you know you haven't used in a year.

My favorite advice: Get color coded sticker/tags to put on boxes and color code areas of your home. Ex: Red stickers kitchen, blue bedroom 1, yellow bedroom 2, green livingroom... etc.

When you bring the boxes into the home they go right to the room. Make alittle chart with the stickers on it and what room they are assigned to. Put it by the front door so everyone knows when they help bring the boxes in.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-05-2005, 01:11 AM
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I have moved at least 23 times (NO EXAGGERATION) in my life. Seriously.

First, if you have boxes of "miscellaneous" then either you don't have a place for these things in your home (and they're causing clutter) or you're not keeping them in their place (or you'd have packed them with all the other stuff in that place). Words to live by: "Everything has a place and everything in it's place". Hard to do, but something to strive for.

As said before, boxes should be labelled by the room they go in and when you move, just put those boxes in the room they are labelled for.

The only boxes I mark any differently are food items that are used regularly (like the stuff you use within a week--breakfast foods, salt & pepper, etc.) and anything else you can't go 2 weeks without. Those I mark in red on all four sides of the box and the top because you have no clue what direction they will be set down in. I've gotten to marking all of my boxes that way now.

If you can, start packing now. Start with stuff you almost never use. If you're going to do that, keep a list. Mark the box with the room and a number and keep a list of what's in that box (generally speaking). Off-season clothes, books and knick-knacks are good place to start.

Also, be sure to pack stuff that can be stored in the basement/attic such that you can just pack it and stick it in it's place without going through it again. Things like holiday decorations and stuff.

Remember: similar/like items always together and never purchase a container for anything until you know how much of that thing you have. And don't unpack anything that you don't have a spot for.

Anything fabric should be packed in a garbage bag within the boxes in case it rains or in case your basement floods or attic roof leaks. At a minimum, it will eliminate the fabric picking up an odor from being stored. Sticking a fabric softener sheet in the bag will only make it smell nicer.

Good luck!

Heather - Wife 
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#5 of 6 Old 02-06-2005, 01:23 AM
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I don't know if you use FlyLady, but she has some really good info on moving...
Maybe you can take what you like from here HTH

Jenn<>< crunchy conservative mama to 6 fencing.gif reading.gif notes2.gif fly-by-nursing2.gif

knit.gifand sewmachine.gif my way through my stash.

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#6 of 6 Old 02-07-2005, 02:09 PM
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I have moved so many times in my life! It can be frustrating. The last few times though have each been better than the time before, and we're planing to move again in about 3 months. I'll tell oyu how I'm planning to manage it.

Like everyone says, I'm starting now. The less crap you have to move the more organized it can be. I have a bunch of good boxes left from last time. They are the small size from u-haul. Very sturdy. The size they recommend for books, dishes, heavy stuff like that. I like this size as it keeps the boxes manageable and uniform.

Also, about color coding hte boxes. This is so helpful, last move was the first time we did it. We bought a pack of moving tape at u-haul when we got hte boxes. They come in all differnt packs depending on how many rooms you have. It's the size of clear packing tape but in different colors with room names written on it. Like a roll of bright yellow tape that says kitchen-kitchen kitchen all the way. We used the stronger clear stuff to close the boxes then put a strip of this stuff around it. Very helpful, as it make sitself obvious. Your helpers won't be asking you every 2 seconds what room a box goes in, and they won't be wasting time reading the boxes. Just a glance and -oh, green and says master bedroom. Very easy.
This is in addition to marking the contents on all sides of hte box-that's to help you unpack.

I'm starting in my spare room-aka the pit of despair, lol. Always have bags or boxes handy, marked well, for donations. We know we are not having any more childres so all outgrown baby cloths, unneeded toys and things are all going out. Books are being packed by category(computer programming by language, scary novels, classics, craft/home reference, etc..) so that when we unpack they will have some sort of order(we are book freaks. It's disgusting really how many books we insist on keeping).

Any craft supplies I don't have a specific plan for are going away. All pictures and frames and albums are being packed together. Better to live with bare walls for a while and know exactly where it all is when we're in the new place.

As I'm still trying to lose some pregnancy weight, the second I notice something is too big it goes out. That way when my clothes get too tight I know I have to buckle down and get back into excercising-no back-up wardrobe in bigger sizes. I allow myself one duffel(sp?) bag of clothes that are still too small.

For ds's too big hand-me-downs(we get lots of handed down clothes), I only keep the best of the best that I really like and one box per season. The rest goes to charity to help other families.

When packing, like goes with like. All curtains together. All christmas specific decorations/wrapping stuff/etc.. in a box together. Dh's misc cord and computer parts together(he is a packrat geek extrordinaire!).

Set dates with yourself to get to the thrift shop or charity of your choice. Go at least twice amonth between now and moving day. Or schedule pick-ups. I always work better and faster and get rid of more when I have a deadline.

When decluttering ask yourself things like:
when did I use htis last?
does it make me smile?
why do I have more than one?
could another family need it more than we do?
do I actually wear it? doe sit fit? will it ever fit again? and still be in style then?
does it make me feel guilty?
do I really want it badly enough to bother moving it?

Someone around here has posted a better list, but if oyu can just get oyurself into that kind of a mindset it can work wonders. Like when I realized I had 3 can openers! Who on earth needs that? So I kept my favorite and freed the other two to charity where they will find new homes where they'll actually be used and help other families.

With 6 months to plan you've got plenty of time to do it really well and as organized as any move can be Just start now, go at a moderate pace so you don't burn yourself out and give up, and be ruthless. Good luck!

And watch for my freaking out thread in a bout 2.5 months about how ohmygod we're moving next week and nothing is ready and i have atoddler and I'm losing my mind and where did all this stuff come from who wants to join me in a bonfire and just go live in a tent

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