Let’s Get Packing!

By: Brenda Spagnola-Wilson

Okay! By now everyone should have all of their moving supplies ready and their packing schedule done. (Yeah, right!) During all this packing there are a few other things that need to be taken care of. Most of these are common sense, but there are actually quite a few I ran across that I hadn't thought of before. Below, I have another schedule of sorts (I'm really getting into this planning thing!) I have listed a time frame in which to do things, but of course you can change it around to fit your needs.

4-6 Weeks Before You Move

Start calling moving companies to get estimates. Be sure to get them in writing in case there are problems later. You will want to get prices on both moving and packing. If you plan on moving a long distance, it may be worth it to have the movers pack your home for you. While the mover is liable for the breakage of anything they packed, they are not for items that you have packed yourself.

If you are moving to a new town, call the local Chamber of Commerce to get information on schools, parks, maps and community events.

Keep a file for moving expenses and information. This way all of your paperwork stays in one place. Receipts are particularly important if you are moving for job or business related reasons. You may be entitles to tax deductions, but you will need all of your receipts.

4 Weeks Before You Move

Give your 30-day notice where you currently live. Make sure it is in writing and that you have a copy for your records.

If you know the floor plan of your new place, you might want to begin thinking about the placement of furniture. Knowing where you are going to put everything will make things easier when moving day arrives.

Notify the post office, family, friends, magazines, credit cards, etc. of your new address. You can get a kit for this at any post office. But remember that you will need one kit for each last name in your household. For example, I have retained my maiden name. So my husband and I need two separate kits.

Contact utilities (gas, water, electric, cable, phone) to schedule disconnection of services at the old place the day after your move. Plan to have them turned on in the new place the day before you will move in.

3 Weeks Before You Move

Take an inventory of your belongings and decided what you want to keep and what to discard. As FLY Lady says "If you don't need it, use it or love it, get rid of it!" Why move something you don't have to?

Start your serious packing. Be sure to label each box as to the contents and the room it is intended for. As best you can, pack essential items together. Write "Open First/Load Last" on these boxes. Then when you get to your new home, it will be easy to find the things you really need.

Contact doctors, dentists, vets and schools to get any necessary records you will need to take with you.

Try not to purchase any food items you don't absolutely need. Use up as much frozen and perishable items as possible.

If you plan on having a garage sale, now is the time to do it. Donate what you don't see. (Be sure to get a receipt for all donations for tax deductions!)

2 Weeks Before You Move

Call your insurance company to transfer coverage on homes, cars, etc, if needed.

Make arrangements to transfer banks or bank branches.

Transfer current prescriptions to a new pharmacy.

Cancel or transfer newspaper deliveries.

1 Week Before You Move

Dispose of toxic of flammable items. Remember, these cannot be moved! Not only is it dangerous, it is illegal. Check with family, friends and neighbors to see if they can use them. If they can't, contact your local recycling center, fire station, of EPA office to find out how to correctly dispose of these items. This would include things like oil, gas from your grill or lawn appliances, paint, solvents, etc.

If you have small children, try to line up a babysitter for the day of the move. Not only will this keep them out of your hair, but being away from the turmoil of moving makes it easier on them.

1-2 Days Before You Move

Arrange for payment if you are using movers

Defrost fridge and freezer, wipe dry and place baking soda or charcoal inside to control any odors.

Write out directions to the new home for the movers or friends who will helping you move. Any written direction and/or maps should include phone numbers for both the old and the new place, as well as any cell phone number (if you have them).

Finally, pack a box or two of things you may need immediately when you arrive at your new home. Here is a quick list of ideas. (These boxes should be marked "Open First/Load Last")

As you can see, there are quite a few items to take care of all while you are trying to get packed. Luckily, many of them can be handled by phone. Most importantly, don't let it overwhelm you. Do a little at a time and don't be shy about enlisting the help of a few friends to help out if you need it.

Now that we have our packing schedule, our packing supplies and a list of miscellaneous things to do, we can concentrate of the actual packing. Next weeks we will go over some of the best ways to pack your belongings to keep them from getting broken, the actual move and getting settled in. As always. I want to hear from you! No matter how much research I do, I find some of the best ideas come from those who have been there / done that!

Until then, Happy Packing!

Brenda Spagnola-Wilson is a moderator and community leader at www.BabyUniversity.com and lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics, with her main focuses being home improvement & decorating, saving money, being a SAHM and general home care. Currently she is the Co-Editor of the At Home with Baby University Newsletter. Feel free to contact her at bspagnola@ev1.net with any comments.

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