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For Sale by Owner Articles • - Relocation and Moving

Taking The Stress Out of Packing

By Marcie Geffner
Let's face it, there is no "moving fairy." No matter how long you procrastinate, no twinkling spirit is going to show up, wave a magic wand and instantly transport all your household goods from your current home to your new one. If you're going to move, you have to pack. With that in mind, here are six tips to help you get through this chore with a minimum of aggravation:
  1. Start early. Packing always takes longer than you expected. The sooner you start, the more momentum you'll generate and the more likely you'll be able to finish on time, maybe even with a few spare moments to say good-bye to your neighbors. Another advantage of starting early is that you'll have more time to round up other people's reusable moving boxes. If you have a large home, keep yourself and your helpers on track by making a packing schedule that shows a start date and a deadline for packing each room.
  2. Ask your mover for advice. Moving companies naturally have a lot of experience with packing. Ask your representative for how-to-pack tip sheets, moving timelines, information about the latest packing materials, the availablilty of odd-size boxes and so on.
  3. Clear out the clutter. There's no sense packing items you should give away or will probably throw out after you move. Before you start packing, go through your entire home, including the basement, the attic, the garage and any other storage areas. The opportunity to reduce clutter and eliminate a lot of unused stuff from your life should be one of the benefits of moving to a new home.
  4. Dispose of hazardous materials. Motor oil, paint, solvents, fireworks, insecticides, household chemicals and the like definitely shouldn't be packed or moved with your household goods. Be smart. If you suspect something might be dangerous, dispose of it properly before you move. Many communities have designated sites or events for the collection of hazardous materials. Go through your home and remove these unpackables ahead of time, so they won't accidentally end up in your moving boxes.
  5. Mark your boxes. Few people have the time or inclination to itemize every item in every box, but that doesn't mean you should ignore organization altogether. Use colored markers or labels to indicate which boxes belong in which rooms of your new home. Make an inventory of your valuables. Pack an essentials kit containing paper plates, plastic cutlery, toilet paper, soap, aspirin, flashlights, telephone numbers, prescription medicines, snacks, pet food and other must-have comforts. Mark this box "OPEN FIRST" in large letters.
  6. Tie your cords. Packing and unpacking are tricky enough without having to untangle (and potentially trip over) dangling and out of control electrical cords. Wrap each cord around your hand or forearm, then use rubber bands or baggie twist-ties to secure the wrapped cords. If you're packing a system with complicated wiring, (e.g., a stereo or a computer) color code the electrical cords and sketch a quick diagram so you'll be able to reassemble the system in your new home.

Copyright Marcie Geffner. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.

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