I will say that when it comes to putting your “life” in storage there is a right/wrong/best/better way to store things. Here are some of the things I learned that comes in handy when moving, even from just one place to another.
- Invest in a tape gun! It is well worth the extra money. I didn’t think I would need it for so many moves. I’ve used it helping friends move, re-taping or taping boxes for school projects.
- Vacuum/space saver bags. There may be something with those! I think next time I’m planning on putting things in storage I’m going to give those a try. Especially for the thousands of blankets we have accumulated and love, and the clothes I’m still planning on handing down to the younger boys.
- Label your boxes well. I like to use colored index cards and sharpies. The great thing about using these is that you don’t have to look all over the box trying to figure out which “label” is the current one. I know there are other ways to organize your boxes like colored tape with room names on it. I like this way and I think it’s a lot cheaper. Besides index cards are something that can always be used at my house, especially with high school kids and tests.
- DON’T MIX ROOMS!!! When boxing things up stick to one room and put like items in the same box. If you find you are at the end of that room and the box still has room; find a smaller box, you’ll be grateful later.
- DON’T PACK CLOTHES FIRST!!!! I know it is tempting to pack the clothes that you aren’t currently wearing or using first. But from experience you will need those before you know it. I’m just grateful that the first time I did that I knew where they were and was able to get to them and get them out. Second time I didn’t know where anything was in the unit and lost all hope of getting the clothes out which resulted in not being able to use the hand-me-downs. If you feel the need to pack them first put them closest to the door so you can get to them if needs be.
- Don’t LOVE it, don’t pack it. Another thing that I have learned recently (yes after many, many, many moves I finally learned this) Even if it is something someone gave you and expects you to have it or use it. IT’S OK to let someone else that would like it, have it.
- Don’t pack things you aren’t going to be using in the new place. I try to go by the “put away, give away, throw away” theory. If it’s still in good shape and can be used by someone I usually will contact people I know or donate it to a Good Will type place in the area (it’s a great write off too).
- Don’t pack garbage. Yes, I said garbage. This last year I decided to go through the boxes we had in the storage room and see what I still had that either needed a new home or kept for the new house. I found some boxes from our original move up here that still hadn’t been opened and sorted. Several of them were from my office and were things I thought we would need, but not really. I realized I “hoard” paper, I’m afraid I will need something. I need to find a way to “keep” everything but not physically but electronically. I’ll let you know if and when I figure out the perfect system. I did find several boxes from my kid’s rooms that were considered “junk drawer boxes” that contained actual garbage: candy wrappers, shreds of paper, broken items. Some of this happened because we were trying to move quickly and I got tired of sorting and fighting the kids.
- Don’t rush packing! If you rush you will get burned out quicker and either give in a pack EVERYTHING and ANYTHING or you will end up throwing/giving away things you wished later you hadn’t
- Keep a Path. In the storage unit I wished we had kept a path open down the middle. There were things that I needed to get to, but in order to do that it required me or someone else to climb over things to get to it. That resulted in many squished boxes, but thankfully nothing broke.
- Keep like boxes organized. When putting things in the storage unit (or even the truck) try to keep the boxes that go to one room together. Like all your kitchen stuff with the kitchen stuff. It also helps if you can remember where in the unit you put them for later retrieval if necessary.
Good luck in packing and moving. I hope it is enjoyable and non-stressful for you.
Coming up next I’ll be back to talking about designing your home! Leave your comments below about your moving tips.
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