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Boxes, Boxes, and More boxes

Okay, I'm moving in 18 days.... the clock is ticking and I'm feeling like I need to take full advantage of every ounce of time that I have.  So, my question to all of you smart moms is HOW DO YOU MOVE?  
-Do you pack a few boxes a day or do it all in a couple days time?
-Do you organize your boxes per room or where they will go in the new place?
-When and how do you pack up your food? Get rid of as much as possible, or try to haul it in a cooler?
-What are your essential moving tools? Saran wrap stuff, box cutters, foam, paper, Peanut M&M's?
-Do you pack a box that you'll use right when you get to the new place? What do you put in it? Towels, toilet paper, sheets?
.......and finally
-do you think it is worth buying certain boxes (like wardrobe boxes) or specialty boxes for some of your stuff or do you just take it and go as is?

Any moving tips and suggestions would be very helpful! Now, I need to go start packing.


Christine Archibald said...

Moving...where do I begin. I have moved twice in the past 2 years and in 9 months will be moving again! Moving can be fun but it is so much work and planning ahead is so essential. I will tell you what works best for me. I prefer to pack everything in a few days. Just drop your cute little boy off at a friends house, recruit a few friends and pack like crazy, only leaving out the very basic needs. Make sure you label the boxes really well and if there is a box that you don't need to open at all (eg. christmas stuff) either label it as a do not open or put a different color tape on it. With this last move we had 3 different levels in the house (basement, main floor, and 2nd floor). I bought label stickers at Target that came in three different colors. One color was for the basement, the next for the main floor and so on. That way I could make sure that even if the box didn't make it into the right room, it made it to the right floor. (Sometimes the elder's quorum guys don't read the boxes!) I also like to eat as much of the food as possible and I use paper plates and plastic utensils so that I can pack away the dishes. I love that newsprint packing paper to pack the fragile stuff and it isn't very expensive. I have never bought one of those wardrobe boxes. Pack the truck so that the things you need right away are at the end. We had our mattresses, a box of sheets and towels, cleaning supplies stuff like that at the end of the truck. We arrived at the house in the evening and were able to get out the beds and had what we needed for the night since the truck wasn't going to be unloaded until the next day. I could go on forever! Good luck with the move and oh...if you are going to be hauling a car behind the truck, make sure you get the car dolly that has all four wheels on the dolly. We lost a car in our move from MN to VA using the two wheel kind. oops!!! We just laugh about that now, it was a learning experience.

Shalee said...

Oh man are brave to do it yourself! We were so spoiled when Mayo moved us that I don't know we will ever want to move ourselves...although I'm sure we will have to someday!

So, the thing that helped me the most when we did move ourselves was to schedule it I had a meeting with the boxes! I asked a friend to watch my kids and then I packed like crazy for 2 hours. I needed to do it in 2 hour increments or else I'd go crazy.

This is probably obvious to everyone else but it wasn't to me...pack heavy things (like grad school books) in smaller boxes so that the boxes aren't too heavy to lift. I wanted to put all of our books together in one big box and then realized it was ridiculously heavy.

The most important thing that I learned this last time was what to take in our actual car...not packed in the truck. I made the mistake of thinking that we would be in hotels or at family's houses and wouldn't need towels. As soon as we got to our new home and before we unpacked we needed them! I also wish I had taken in my car a small bottle of dish soap to have on hand immediately when we got here so I didn't have to go digging for it.

Jeremy was adamant about taking our food in a cooler...he's thrifty that way...even after I tried my hardest to use everything up before the move. I found it annoying that we had to worry about it...filling it up with ice at the hotels (even though I made him do it since it was his idea) and the result was that I had a lot of condiments without their labels in the fridge in my new home since they had gotten wet and come off in the cooler. It kept the peace though and moves are stressful so I know if he wanted to do it again then we would.

Oh and I love that Peanut M&Ms is on your possible essential moving tools in your post...YES-CHOCOLATE IS ESSENTIAL TO MINIMIZE THE STRESS!!

Good Luck!!

Janalee said...

Boxes: When we moved across country (New Mexico to New Hampshire) we rented a 12'X6' trailer to put our stuff in. So we did a crazy purge of all our stuff and we took only beds, clothing, dressers, and kitchen stuff. And since space was tight we used PAPER REAM BOXES. We gathered them for free from Kinkos, Staples, and Office Depot. We found that Kinkos was the kindest in giving them to us and there were like 12 on our side of the city so we gathered a lot.

This last move from NH to VA I did by myself (2 weeks ago). We moved out of our 4 level/ 4 bedroom house and put everything in storage since our new 1 bedroom apt is furnished and it's only for the summer. We discovered Borders boxes (the bookstore). They are the BEST boxes for moving! They are the perfect size for everything and since they are designed for books they are very sturdy!. And they also have these really cool notches that allows you to close the box without tape! And the best part--- We got them out of the cardboard recycling bin in the back of the store for FREE.

Labels: I had a friend tell me about her system for moving. She packed up everything in one day. On each box she wrote on a 8.5X11 sheet of paper a number that corresponded to a list of contents in a binder that she kept lists of all the stuff in. She did this so that she would see the number on the box, look up that list and know right where to put it in the new house. I thought "cool" she's so organized. Then I thought -she's a newly wed with no "STUFF" and no kids! So what did I do for each of my last 3 moves in 2 years? I used a sharpie. And wrote 2 things- 1. the room it was packed in, and 2. A general description of the contents. So "kids room/books" meant story books not cook books. Just make sure that you NEVER write Misc. on every box. Then you'll be moving in and have absolutely no idea where anything is!

As for food, pack any non perishables and give away your fridge and freezer stuff to those that helped you move. Do not stress about it. Make a quick trip to the store as soon as you get to your new home. Some ideas:
Ketchup and ranch dressing (if your kids dip everything) cheese, bread, PB&J, milk, chicken nuggets, and cold cereal. Simple foods to keep the kids busy while you unpack.

I packed a little everyday for the month before the big move. Everything we didn't need up to the day we left was thrown into boxes. We put that all in storage the week before we left, then I packed up everything else that week. One suggestion- ASK for help!!!!! It is so hard for me to ask someone to watch my kids. I can't stand to not have my kids around so I don't ask, then I get so mad at them for not letting me get things done. Then I look back and see that I should have asked someone to help. So get a sitter!!

Then when it's just you at home and all your stuff and a pile of empty boxes that don't pack themselves, you need to turn up the music and start throwing everything in! Oh, and keep the biggest boxes for garbage. If you can't find a box to put something in, it just doesn't seem to belong in any box -throw it away! If you find something that you just can't believe you've never used it- throw it away! It makes life so much more simple when you unpack if there aren't a lot of things to find places for.

And my last bit of advice- Take a deep breath and tell yourself that it will all be fine and work out in the end!


The Mortensens said...

Wow you guys, these comments have been SO helpful. I'm already feeling better about my move. I spent most of the day packing today and I'm ALMOST done. Now, once we are really done, I can relax and really enjoy my last few days in MN.... and enjoy just sitting in the sunshine at the playground with nothing to do!

Cassi said...

Wow! I'm SO glad you asked this question! I have no good answer but there has been some awesome advice given that I definitely plan to use as well!!