Tips for a short distance move? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I've found some great moving tips on here but was wondering if anyone has any good tips on short distance moves? We're moving within 10 miles and I'm having a hard time figuring out what makes the most sense and will help us move in a timely semi organized fashion!

My big question is the kitchen/pantry- would it be best to just get some large tubs/boxes and place things in them- take them to the new place and unload them in the proper place? I'm thinking that really packing stuff would take me nearly twice as long- packing it up securely and then unpacking it with all the paper/wrap etc. If I just loaded things like the blender/toaster/can goods/etc into boxes it would allow me to put the things away without having to really unpack everything. seems too easy I must be missing something

I have already packed some of the things we didn't "need" for the last couple of months while we were getting ready to put our house on the market. But kept most of the stuff in the pantry/cabinets. The house is still on the market and someone could come to look at anytime so I have to do the packing pretty organized as well.

This is challenging for me- I welcome any suggestions!

Other areas...closets- maybe just put the clothing still on the hangers in trash bags, and tie the hangers together with hopes of it all staying together so it will be easy to rehang? Any other ideas?

As I said, I'm open to any suggestions! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to really pack the stuff that is already packed in a true organized fashion and I'm hoping to be able to move the rest of it in a more organized way.

Thanks in advance-
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#2 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 04:37 PM
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We moved 6.5 miles last month. For dishes, I packed each one in it's own paper into a box. I just didn't want to break it. And with the man handling my DH and FIL do (and then MIL did as well..), the word "FRAGILE" written on the side didn't mean much to them at times so I think wrapping everything well like I did really helped.

For clothes, DH and I hang most everything on hangers. I just took everything and threw into the back of our van. Then, I just backed the van up to the garage at the new place and carried everything in by the hangers and hung it all up in the closets!

For smaller appliances, I just put them into big boxes and didn't wrap. So my crockpot (minus the ceramic lid, which I did wrap), blender, rice steamer, breadmaker - all in a box. It was heavy but not too heavy.

We decluttered before packing/moving. But I found a big help would have been to unload the boxes in an orderly fashion. Instead, we unloaded things where ever we felt they fit.. bad idea. DH and I ended up going through the garage the following day and placing bedroom stuff in one area, living room stuff in another, etc.
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#3 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 04:38 PM
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After completeing many short-distance moves, I'll pass on some advice that some sage shared with me: "It's not the ride in the truck that makes moving miserable!" Good luck, and remember to label everything. I've had good luck with throwing clothes into trash bags, and I agree that kitchen things don't need to be packed super well, but other than that there aren't too many corners you can cut, IME.

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#4 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 05:28 PM
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I've had several, well many short distance moves. I've done it both ways, taking a bit at a time, putting it away at the new place and just packing everything up all at. I highly suggest the second. When you are doing a bit at a time, it feels like it goes on forever, it really is many car trips back and forth. Our last 2 moves, we just packed up everything up days, and weeks ahead of time, all stuff we didn't need right then. As time got closer I packed up more stuff, and that am of I did the last packing, those boxes, I made sure sure marked a certain way so I knew where that stuff was. Then we invited over anyone that we knew to come and help us move, everything was there in a day, so much better then many trips back and forth.

I like to be at the new house so I can start putting things away and supervise which boxes go where. Good luck.

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#5 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 06:15 PM
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I second what pp's have said about there not being too many shortcuts. We just moved 3 miles a couple of weeks ago, and packing in advance and putting most things in relatively organized boxes was a lifesaver.

We moved from a third-floor apartment to a house, so those trips up and down the apartment stairs almost did us in when it came to carrying the loose things that didn't really fit in boxes, like the mixer, the printer, etc. I wish we could have boxed those somehow, or I wish they weren't so oddly-shaped and were easier to box.

I have a friend who also moved the same weekend we did, and she has been doing the a-few-things-at-a-time in bags method. Although she rented a truck for the big things, she's still not finished, 10 days later. I think getting it over with as fast as possible is bets. It's just so painful either way, but better to rip off a bandage quickly!

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#6 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 06:30 PM
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If you have the time to do it in several trips and without fully packing, I'd do that. That's what I'm planning to do next week. I close on the 20th but don't have to be out of my apartment until mid-August. That's also what we did when I moved in here. I found it so much easier to put as much away as I could as it came in instead of pushing everything through the door just to get it off the truck. We'll be using our own vehicles and then borrowing my uncle's pickup for the bigger items (mattresses, couch, etc). I think it's a lot less overwhelming this way too.

eta: clothing will be left in dresser drawers and if necessary, I'll just pull the drawers out and transport them separately (ie: so the dresser isn't as heaving to lug out of the house). Clothes on hangers get laid in a neat pile on a comforter or blanket and the excess blanket folded over.

eta again: If you're having to move all in one day I'd do it in as few trips as possible. I can space mine over a few weeks and will be taking stuff as I go over to have the new carpet put in, counters installed, etc., not trips specific (for the most part) to actually moving.

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#7 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all the replies and great suggestions-

I think I will piece meal the kitchen and closets and pack the rest of it well.

I'm in the process of pricing movers to come move our furniture and packed boxes to save on time and backs- my DH can't take any time off work and with 2 little ones I know the unpacking will go pretty slow, especially if I want to get everything in "its" place so I can continue to declutter (need lots of work in that area ) I just want it all in the new place vs taking weeks to transport everything!!!

I agree with it feeling like its taking forever with a bunch of trips- I just want everything in the new place so that I can start getting it put away! The process to get to this point of decluttering/selling/packing has my head spinning : but the end is near-

I know it will take a long time to get everything put away, but I'm trying to use this move as a major purge and declutter event, I want everything to have a home and if it doesn't it's outta here! I did a lot as I was packing but there were those things that I thought, oh this might come in helpful in the new place, I didn't want to spend the $ on something new if I had something that would work- I did tell myself if it doesn't have the home I thought it might, it's just gotta go!

I hope to be all moved in and fully unpacked and decluttered by the holidays- I know it's months...but it's going to be a long process. I've gotta get over the "I want it perfect the first time" and just put stuff away in an organized way and then come back to it!

Thanks again, I knew I would find some more helpful tips :

Leaving clothing in the dresser...DH and I talked about that last night, I told him we should pack it in a box putting packing sheets inbetween any drawers so it would be easier to unpack- he was convinced that we should just leave it all in the drawers. After reading the replies I think we'll leave everything with the exception of my underwear/bra drawer...think I'll toss that in a box or bag and transport, something about family or strangers moving my underwear just creeps me out
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#8 of 16 Old 07-11-2007, 11:40 PM
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My biggest tip is:
Load the car full, go the the new place and unpack the load.
Repeat. Again and again.
If you can swing it, try doing it over about a week or so to spread it out.

If you have LOs, see if someone can watch them for the day while you unpack, so they don't "help". I find it goes much faster overall if I unpack as I get things in. That way I'm not living amongst boxes.

Ali, mama to my amazing Arabella 1/14/06
Newly married to Patrick love.gif Expecting someone new in April!
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#9 of 16 Old 07-12-2007, 12:06 AM
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For my short-distance moves (which have been most of them), I would leave clothes in the the dresser drawers.

I found it handy to use copy paper boxes or laundry baskets for back and forth. This is what I mean: I would fill the boxes with books and the laundry baskets with things like linens, pots, etc (unbreakables). Get to the new places, unload it all (even if on the floor) and go back for another load. It helps reduce the number of boxes you need. Plastic storage bins would be good for this, too. You could use your towels/wash cloths to wrap breakables.

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#10 of 16 Old 07-12-2007, 09:31 PM
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once we moved next door from one rental to was the toughest move ever. i thought we didn't need boxes since it was just about 6 yards from one house to the next-Big Mistake! It came down to the last minute and 2 of my frined came over to help so the 4 of us were carrying handsfuls of stuff over. It was a mess.

another mess was when i was a kid and we actually traded houses with a lady! we had to get our moving truck packed and she got her's packed and then we actually switched houses. that meant that there wasn't anytime when we could take over a few thing and move in at our own pace.

My suggestion is that u take a few packed boxes to the new place and unload them and then take those same boxes back and refill them and repeat. that will mean less boxes to aquire and things will get unpacked in a timely manner.

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#11 of 16 Old 07-13-2007, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Some more great tips- thank you!

I'm starting to pack up the things in the kitchen that are going to require a little extra cushioning, and the small stuff like spices/etc, and then I'll just load the cans/etc up in open boxes/tubs/laundry baskets and unpack when I get there!

Thanks again
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#12 of 16 Old 07-13-2007, 12:37 PM
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We have moved short distances a few times and never packed stuff up. Worked really well. Didnt even wrap up breakables and no nothing broke.

I also like it because I could do things piece meal and not one huge move which just wears me out
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#13 of 16 Old 07-13-2007, 02:00 PM
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We just did a short distance move in May, and while it still sucked, it was our best move yet (we've moved 5 times in 4 years!). This is what we did.

Packed away as much of the stuff that we don't use daily (or ever!) ahead of time.

Overlapped so that we had plenty of time: picked up the keys at the new place on the 3rd, but didn't have to be out of the old place until the 13th.

Took a day off work (the 4th) and did car trips back and forth all day to get as much little stuff out of the way as possible, and to get the stuff that we use every day (kitchen, especially) into the new place. We'd never done that before and it was a GREAT idea!

I packed the kitchen mostly in open top boxes (like the fruit boxes you can get at grocery stores) so that I could see stuff. I used towels and sheets as packing material so that fragile stuff wouldn't get broken.

On the 5th we got the moving truck and did one load of all the furniture (much easier with most of the small boxes out of the way). And then did a second load where we moved out EVERYTHING to avoid those endless trips after the move to get all the stuff that seems to continue spawning at the old place.

I put clothes on the hangers into those huge industrial trash bags and it worked great. Clothes in dressers stayed.

And then as we unpacked, we put the necessary daily stuff (as much as possible--it's hard when other people are helping you and they don't know where stuff is supposed to go) into the right room and unpacked it right away.

Everything else went into the garage and I've been slowly either bringing it into the house and putting it away or getting rid of it.

The only thing I would do differently is give myself another day or two between picking up keys and starting to move stuff in. We were told that the new place would be spotless. Well, it was far from it and we really needed more time to clean it before we started moving.

My main motto for a short move is pack stuff quickly, don't overpack stuff that will be okay where it is for the short haul, use open boxes for stuff you need to find and unpack right away, and try to keep that stuff separate from the stuff that you can take longer in unpacking, and try not to let the moving out drag on forever.

Good luck!
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#14 of 16 Old 07-13-2007, 05:44 PM
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We're getting ready to do a short distance move - only a couple of miles. There are some things that I'm actually packing, but as we have plenty of time to complete the move (our current lease isn't up until the end of October, but we're going to start moving into the new place next month, long story), my plan is to more or less do a room at a time so that I can organize as I go. With a 10 month old that likes to get into everything he can get his hands on, this makes the most sense for me, rather than trying to unpack everything all at once. I already have ton of those Rubbermaid tubs, so that saves me from having to get boxes, and I don't have to try and do last minute packing; I can keep everything that I need accessible until I'm ready to move it.
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#15 of 16 Old 07-14-2007, 10:37 AM
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We just did a short-distance move, and I'll second the advice others have given. Keep clothing on their hangers, and folded clothes in their drawers.

The nice thing about a short-distance move, in my experience, is that you can be sloppy about packing. We took posession of our condo a day or two before we needed to be out of the old house, so we brought over all of the awkward boxes in our car. That way, the friends helping us move didn't need to deal with the half-packed, or overflowing weird boxes that were holding paintings and other cumbersome items.

We had our moving truck from 7am to 7pm, and actually had it back at the rental depot by noon. Our move went very smoothly, because all we had left was the large furniture, and the nicely packed and easy-to-stack boxes.
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#16 of 16 Old 07-16-2007, 11:47 PM
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We just moved about 5 miles and I put my most necessary kitchen stuff into two big totes so I could easily see it and identify it. The other important kitchen stuff I packed into boxes and labeled open first.

Now, here's what I would have done if it would have been possible in my situation. I would have put the kitchen plates and stuff into totes or boxes, not wrapped carefully, and put them along with the necessities, toilet paper, cleaning rags, cleaning supplies, snacks and drinks into my car, and spent two days cleaning the new house before any boxes were moved in. I spent a good 8 hour day in my new house and I easily could have spent two more days cleaning and installing shelf liners in the kitchen. It's much easier when it's empty, and in our case, even though the house always looked clean, it was a good idea to vacuum all the crevices and get all the cobwebs down and get the shelf paper in before you unpack the kitchen.

My way of doing things is just to move stuff in whichever way is easiest, then take the time to organize everything when I got into the new house. This means that whatever was on hangers stayed on hangers and got put into a box, but folded clothes got packed in stages, so it was all mixed together, pants, t shirts, sweatshirts, etc. I just organized it as I unpacked it.
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