When I was in the middle of the packing process I received a comment from a reader. She asked if I would please share my moving system once we got settled in.
Well, I think we're relatively settled (for now) so here goes!
This was going to be a tricky move . . . . pack it all up, put 90% into storage for an unknown period of time, and move the necessities into an apartment. Packing it all up into random boxes and having the movers throw it onto the truck just wasn't going to work. There needed to be some order if I was ever going to find my pots & pans or my pedi kit ever again.
I found this article -- The Type A Guide to Moving - and it set me in the direction I wanted to go.
Step 1: Get some Avery 8160 labels. Print the name of each room in your house and a number below it (1, 2, 3, . . . ). I wanted to eliminate the thinking (and estimating) factor so I just printed an entire sheet of labels for each room. Bonus room 1-30, Master bedroom 1-30, Kitchen 1-30, Kids Bathroom 1-30, etc. Yep, I had a lot of labels. But this also ensured that I was stocked and didn't have to go back to my messy computer room for reprints.
Step 2: Print a moving log for each room (see below). Label the page with the name of each room, and number the rows 1-30. Yep, this meant I had 3 pages for each room. Punch holes and throw it in a binder.
Download a blank moving log here: Download Moving
Step 3: Pack your stuff. Put a label sticker on the box and write the contents of the box onto your moving log.
When your movers show up they will be so so impressed. I know.
Now that storage unit . . . .
I knew there were many things I would want in the apartment, but we would not be able to fit them into the van for the drive down (kitchen appliances, food, clothing, shoes, etc.). And there were other things that I could foresee us needing in the future which would be nice to access without climbing over walls of boxes (the kids' scooters & helmets, picnic chairs, scrapbooks, etc.)
So after packing & sealing those boxes I taped them again with bright orange duct tape.
And, in the moving log I highlighted those box numbers with an orange highlighter.
When the moving truck showed up to our empty 10x30 storage unit, we let them know that anything with orange tape should be set aside. When the unit was loaded, the orange boxes went in the front of the unit for easy access.
It was a brilliant idea! And it worked out perfectly.
Additionally, I stood there with my trusty binder and crossed off the orange boxes as they appeared off the truck, to ensure everything was accounted for.
*On the moving log, make a little note of the size of the box (small, medium, large, kitchen, wardrobe, plastic tub, etc.) That way when you need the ping pong paddles & balls, and you're searching through a sea of boxes for Bonus Room 7, at least you will know that you're looking for a medium box.
*Feed your movers. Packing day and unloading day. It's a good idea to keep the guys who are hauling your stuff across state lines happy.
*Packing paper is the way to go. Forget the bubble wrap. I think I went through 400 sheets or so.
*Shrink wrap is also super cool. The movers use it to wrap all the furniture. We used smaller rolls to wrap up bundles of curtain rods, elfa shelves & rods, garden tools (shovels, rakes, etc.), and Rock Band guitars.
*Buy good packing tape. The cheap stuff is just cheap.
I think that's about it! Pretty straight forward. It does create a few extra (small) steps in the packing process but it pays off 100 fold later on. If I ever need my Uggs again I know that they are in Master Bedroom 14 (medium). Or if I'm desperate for my laminator it is in Craft Room 21 (also medium).
I hope this helps! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. Happy moving!