April 12, 2010,
S.C. asks from Columbus, OH on April 11, 2010
Moving - Columbus,OH
I know this is a silly question, but I'm stressed and extremely overwhelmed!!!! We are making a sudden move, will be moving in two weeks and I'm having a very difficult time packing everything up. Maybe part of the problem is that I have a couple kids under my feet all day, everyday and as I type this the DH is taking a nap instead of helping!!! Does anyone have any great moving tips to help me get organized? So far I've only been able to sort through the kids toy boxes and box up all of them up EXCEPT for the everyday favorites. I've packed a couple small boxes from the kitchen, but everytime I go to do more it seems like I'm going to need something, so I get stressed. As far as anything else, well I've taken pictures off the walls and cleaned the tops of closets, but don't know where to go next!!!! Help...... TIA
R.J. answers from San Diego on April 11, 2010
Yup. I've moved 34 times in 30 years.
Pack in reverse:
1 - Pack the suitcases you'll be living out of. These include clothes, toys, toiletries, everything you'll ACTUALLY NOT PACK AT ALL.
2 - Time for plastic plates & silverware & *2* pots/pans & coffee pot.
3 - THEN each and everything else in the house gets packed.
Room by room. Easy as cake. (Well, pain in the keister, really). BUT you have what you'll be using set aside, so you PACK EVERYTHING. Start in one room and finish it. Label each box as you go with ROOM & CONTENTS. You'll be amazed at how fast the packing goes, and the sense of completion you get as each room gets checked off.
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C.H. answers from Dallas on April 11, 2010
Your moving company may supply you with free boxes if you pick them up. They may bring you wardrobe boxes when they come on moving day so you can load your hanging clothes in them. (space at the bottom for shoes, pillows, spreads).
First, buy your supplies: Packing tape on a wheel thing, 3" white labels, permanent black marker, small bubble wrap, stack of old newspapers. (check out Sam's Club or Costco or Walmart)
Make a list of the rooms in your new house, starting with downstairs, and number them in some sort of orderly fashion. Example:
1. Living Room
2. Dining room
4. Utility room
For upstairs, add an "up arrow" sign on the label.
They don't know "Annie's room" so use things like:
10. Bigger bedroom
11. Smaller bedroom
12 Blue bath
13. Tan bath
Can you do labels by your computer/printer? Make a sheet of each room with that same label. If not, hand write them.
Keep boxes in the garage or out of the way. To get started, just put together several boxes. Haul them to a room. Have a bag to carry all the other supplies. Focus on one room at a time. Fill the boxes, label them. Write below the label the main things in the box (bedding, clothes). Seal um up. Either shove them against the wall or ask your husband to carry them to an unused room or garage. Doesn't matter if they get mixed up.
Oh yes, when doing the kitchen, bubble wrap those fragile items, tape around them if really fragile and throw in crunched up newspapers. Don't pack boxed items, seasonings, cans, etc that are out of date. You'll be surprised how fast some items have already gone out of date.
Don't pack anything you don't want to really keep and find space for. Toss out, give to Good Will, give away whatever you can.
Don't pack the things you need to use the days before the move like toiletries, change of clothes, plastic and paperware to eat on).
Set aside those boxes of things that are too hard to pack with the lid down (big pictures) or too sentimental to risk it getting stolen or broken (personal, framed pictures, CD/DVD collection, ceramic knick knacks, lamps with shades. Move these yourself. Before the move if you can.
Most importantly, ask your mover if they can assure you that they will focus on moving your boxes to the rooms they are marked for. Tell them that you aren't interested in paying them for time to move them to the right rooms. Supervise them and if you see them about to put down a box in the garage that belongs up in the Master, bring that to their attention. They will learn after only a few times that your eyes are on them. Tip them nicely if they are careful and do a good job that way. Just take one day at a time and get everyone involved that you can.
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D.T. answers from Philadelphia on April 11, 2010
SC, I got overwhelmed for you as I read your question!! First and foremost, I'm all for naps but NOT when you are moving in 2 weeks!! Kindly (or not so kindly) nudge your husband awake and tell him you'd appreciate his help b/c the next 2 weeks will fly by. ;o)
Is there anyone, a friend, neighbor, or relative besides your husband who can take your kids for you even for 3 SOLID hours? Then the two of you could make a plan of attack, gather moving boxes, tape, permanent marker, etc. Start with one room and pack it up completely, or as completely as you possibly can. You'll then feel a sense of accomplishment and be ready to tackle the next room! Create a plan and try to stick to it, maybe you could even find a way to incorporate the kids to help you! ha ha right?!
Best of luck! Wish I could help you because I would!
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J.P. answers from Pittsburgh on April 11, 2010
One bit of advice is don't take the stuff you don't use now to your new house! When we moved I had boxes of stuff that sat in the basement for a couple years b/f we even unpacked it. It was stuff we never used at the old house that we moved to the new. Use this as a time to purge. Give it away free if you have to.
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K.Z. answers from Cleveland on April 11, 2010
No, it is not a silly question! It stinks that you have to move this fast, you have my sympathy, moving is not fun even when you have lots of time to prepare. And yes, you can't get more done because you have two little ones around who still need all their everyday needs met--and maybe more, because they may pick up on the stress and need extra reassurance!
BTW I think you have done very well so far. If DH can't/won't help, maybe you should hire help? like movers? a neighborhood teen? even if this person just plays with your kids or takes them to the park while you pack it would help.
I admit I am biased, because our moves were mostly due to DH getting a new job out of town so we had movers pack us but not unpack us at the other end. i don't know if I could have done what you are doing.
I was going to say "Pack up all the out-of-season clothes" but being in Ohio (I am in Ashtabula) I realize that at this time of year you don't really know which season to pack and which season to keep out --lol! So...what you might want to do is pack one or two weeks worth of clothes for each person into a suitcase, and box up the rest. Then live out of the suitcase until you are moved into your new place..
One time-saver when I was getting ready for my wedding and a subsequent move from Columbus to Long Island, was to have the nice people at the laundromat wash, dry, and fold my laundry. Worth every penny!
Eat off paper plates the last few days so you can pack your dishes. Maybe keep the kids' favorite sippy cups or plates out if you think that will make them feel more secure. Try to use up all your perishable foods from your freezer and fridge. don't go to the grocery unless you absolutely have to. If you are moving boxed foods, tape the tops shut with masking or scotch tape, saves potential spills. Same with salt and pepper shakers.
Don't pack your cleaning supplies, you will want to have them out so you can quick-clean your current home on your way out (especially if you are renting, you will want to get all your deposit back). Also, you'll need them first thing in your new place. Or consider hiring someone to clean either or both places.
Someone suggested purging as you pack. This is a good idea if you can manage it, I rarely could. So if you can't, don't beat yourself up over it. You can also purge as you unpack (and if your new closets are smaller than the old, you'll have to!).
Sorry I don't have any better suggestions. Good luck!
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M.B. answers from Dayton on April 12, 2010
What I realized after I moved was how much I left to the last minute b/c I might need it - you don't need it. Pack up everything to the bare bones; you can always go back and take it out of the box if you do realize it is needed.
Also, I got a bunch of different colored post-it notes and assigned one color to every room at the new house. That way with a quick look it was easy to see what goes where when you are moving the boxes. Have a sign at the new house where it goes and the coordinating post-it on the door of each room.
Don't think "I'm going to pack up the bathroom today" - it can get overwhelming and you will get distracted. Instead, set a timer for 15 minutes and just work until the timer goes off. You'll be amazed how much you get done in 15 minutes. Then give yourself a goal of maybe 4 or 5 15 minute intervals in a day. Good luck!
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C.W. answers from Columbus on April 12, 2010
Not a silly question at all! On the list of top stressors in life moving is right after death of a family member! Just completed a quick move (two weeks notice with three kids under the age of 4) and my husband napped as well! First major fight in our marriage; just sharing so you know that yes, this is so stressful and that you will survive.
15 minute timer idea that was already mentioned was my life saver. Even with small kids I could usually get several 15 minute increments done. Designate a spot to put the completed boxes. While purging while packing is great when you have more time, I found it to be slowing me down. You already have a good amount done; it can be really hard to do more before the last week.
When we had professional packers help with a different move they really taught me alot. Because they aren't emotionally tied to the stuff they just open a drawer/cupboard and pack everything in and move on to the next. Had the entire house done in three hours. When I reached the last week that was my approach. Packed up like we were on vacation with clothes, toys, food we needed for that week and everything else went in boxes. Yes, we moved alot we didn't need but I was able to sort it out on the other end with more time and thought.
Many moving companies offer packing services. Was totally worth the money when it hit crunch time. Also, no matter how well you have things done, moving day always has alot of surprises (who knew the media wires and equipment would take an additional 6 boxes!) but it will all get moved.
And treat yourself to a nice massage or something when you are done. Moving with kids was the single biggest stressor in my married life thusfar!
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J.G. answers from Cleveland on April 12, 2010
Your best bet is to do the kitchen & bathroom last. Work first on boxing up all the "pretties" in the house, movies, extra clothes and bedding stuff (even if you just put them in white trash bags & write who's they are on the side). When it comes to hubby's stuff - things that are just his... leave them lay. If he wants them - he will box them up.
My hubby lookes at most of the stuff in the house as my "junk" and when we move I end up packing up and un-packing almost everything. But I won't touch his desk, his dresser or any of his stuff... he won't help me - I'm not going to help him. He does however help load and unload the truck/van w/ the packed boxes & furnature... but then so do I. We have moved 8 times in our 15 years of marriage... lol, but we have been at our current location for 7 years (well it will be in July) now as it is finaly our house.
Also, try not to add to what you have to pack... only buy what you have to (milk, bread, ect) at the grocery store. Try to use up what you already have, so that you don't have to pack it, move it & unpack it... I was always suprised at how much room & boxes the food took when we moved.
It's also a good time to get ride of anything your not sure of... either when you are packing or when you are unpacking. With this being a quick move it makes it harder for you to sort stuff now, you might have to do it more once you are at your new place & you can take your time unpacking stuff.
Good luck w/ the move!
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