Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Pack It Up, Pack It In

on January 7, 2011
Moving Cupcakes

Image by clevercupcakes via Flickr

Okay, now I have Jump Around stuck in my head and I hope you do too.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have done plenty of moving in my lifetime.  Some have been miserable experiences (okay, most of them) and some have been rather successful.  I have discovered, however, that the most important part of the process is packing.  It’s the first thing you do and the last thing you figure out if you did well.  How many times have you thought you packed something well, only to find pieces of it at the bottom of a box? So, I’ve decided to share some of my tips that I have learned in my adventures (some the hard way.)

  • Invest in good containers. My preference is the Rubbermaid Roughneck 18 gallon bins. These durable, easy to carry bins can hold quite a bit of stuff. Each year, I buy a few. At this point, I have well over twenty of these containers. They stack together well and protect your belongings inside.  One recommendation: put the heavy stuff at the bottom and pack lighter stuff toward the top.  It is very easy to overpack these, so take care to balance each one.
  • Books are the only thing that work in cardboard boxes.  I worked in a bookstore for two years and our receiving manager gave me about 10 decent sized book boxes.  These were perfect for packing up my library – sturdy enough to hold my books, but not too big that I couldn’t carry them.  Ask around at local book stores – we regularly gave ours away to patrons who asked.  It was that or recycling them.
  • Soft stuff like bed linens and pillows go great in plastic trash bags.  Tie them shut and then toss on the top of everything else once the truck is loaded.
  • Wardrobe boxes are great for moving clothing on hangers, but they are also really useful for moving odd sized objects – ironing boards, brooms, golf/beach umbrellas, and other weird shaped objects that aren’t box-able.
  • If you can afford it, hire professional movers, but make sure you budget about 10-15% more than they quote you.  When I moved across country, they gave me an estimate based on some information I gave them. It was a little low (I kinda thought it would be) and I ended up paying about $400 more than the estimate.  Also, make sure you tip the movers who pick up your stuff – they are the ones that will make sure your stuff gets where it needs to go safely.
  • If you are doing it by yourself, make sure you have a monkey.  This is a person who is not afraid to climb across furniture and haul boxes up to the small little spots. Inevitably, unless you want to make multiple trips, you will probably need every inch you can get.  I was always the monkey – I’m small and strong and was able to fit into spaces most people couldn’t while hauling heavy boxes.  A tip though – if you are moving in the heat of August, remember that the rough of the moving truck is metal and it is inadvisable to place the palm of your hand on the underside of that rough. I did so once and had a slightly burnt palm to show for it.
  • Beer, soda, pizza, and/or ice cream is the least you can offer your non-professional crew. Actually, I even bought my professional crew a couple of sodas when they were unloading my truck on one of the hottest days of the summer. They were quite appreciative.

Well, that’s all I’ve got.  Within the next two months, I will be undertaking this process yet again. We’ll see how well I did with my packing three years ago when I open up those Rubbermaid containers and other boxes!

Word to your moms….


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