I dislike moving. I hate it actually. Not really sure why but I do. To make it even more fun, I do not know when we are moving. We are thinking some time this week, but we are not for sure. So how do I pack to move a family of six people without driving myself nuts?
I think the key is answering two questions…
What can we live without (possibly for several weeks)?
How can I pack so that I will know where everything is?
First question…What can we live without? That is fairly simple. You know your family and what would be best for them. For example, my youngest is a type 1 diabetic. Her supplies will not be “packed” into a box and then sealed with tape. She must have her supplies available all the time. So that stuff is in its regular spot on the shelf. The day we actually move and are ready to sleep in our new home, on that day, I will load her supplies into a box. Then I will take them directly over to a new spot that I have created in our new home.
But I also know the things that we do not have to have. Like towels. We can get away with one for every family member and a couple sets of dish towels till moving day. My girls and I can go without our curling irons that we do not use everyday. Usually we only use them when going somewhere nice. We do not need every book or board game we own. We can survive without things like this, so that is what is getting packed. We are going to pack everything we can live without for a little while.
Second question…(and I think the more important one!), How can I pack so that I know where everything is? It always happens. You are getting ready to move and packing things away when you realize you packed item xyz away and you desperately need it. Your choices are to run to the store for said item or to start guessing which box it is in. This is always a pain. So why not plan for it?
I am sure there are a million different ways to do this, but I will show you the way I am doing it…and YES…I have already had to reopen a couple of boxes.
I start with index cards, highlighter, pen, tape and boxes. I load items into a box. Before I tape it shut, I do a couple things. I decide what room the box needs to go to in the new house and write that in BOLD at the top of the index card. That way, whoever is carrying boxes into the next home will know exactly where to put them. I also write down all the items in the box. Now, you can be as detailed as you want. I try to use common sense. I do not list every medicine that is in the box of medicines but I do list things like medicine, blood pressure cuff, band aids, rubbing alcohol, etc.
I also do not label a box just bathroom stuff. We have a pretty good size family so we have a lot of boxes, even for rooms like the bathroom. The boxes I use are pretty small so that every family member can help with moving. With four girls in our family, we have a ton of hair “stuff”, beauty stuff and hygiene stuff. I might have one box that has hair stuff in it and another box with lotion, feminine products, shampoos, conditioners and body washes. I just label so that I know what it all is. Once I have the index card finished, I tape it to the end of the box and because the location is on each label, we know they all go to the bathroom.
Every box we have has an index card. Everything is labeled to be easily moved to the correct room in the new house. One other thing I do is use the high lighter. I high light anything that cannot be frozen or is fragile. That way those boxes are handled with care and are also not left in the garage where they can freeze.
Moving is exciting but also a lot of work. I am hoping that these few things will make our move easier. I guess I am going to find out. I will be sure to let you know how the move goes and also post about any lessons I learned along the way.