Spring is the season to move.
So whether it’s to downsize, upsize or change places, you’re planning on a big move into a new home.
You’ve started the planning process, strategized on movers and now it’s time to get ready for the big move.
• It’s time to seize the opportunity to purge: This is a great time to organize your belongings and to throw out, sell, or donate items you no longer use. If you’ve got the time, plan and hold a yard sale. You can even invite neighbours to take part.
You can donate gently older, less-worn clothing, books and other items to charity, put furniture up for sale on Internet sites like Craigslist, recycle old magazines and catalogues and shred old documents.
• Prepare for packing: If more than one person is packing, stay organized by establishing a workable system. You can have blank inventory sheets prepared so specific people can tackle different areas or rooms. Prepare for each packer a kit that includes a pen, black marker, packing materials (like newspaper, bubble wrap, bubble plastic, or popcorn), a packing tape dispenser and boxes. You might also consider using older linens to wrap breakables.
• Prearrange packing materials: Moving can generate a lot of waste such as cardboard, bubble wrap and newspaper. For items you’ll be storing even after you’ve moved into your new home, consider using reusable plastic bins. They can be labeled to go directly into closets until you’re ready to deal with the contents. They store in an organized fashion and protect your items. These bins can purchase at large retail stores like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Superstore and elsewhere.
You may need some cardboard boxes to help with packing. So a few weeks before you start packing, grab a few extra boxes each time you visit the grocery store, the liquor store or pharmacy. Smaller boxes are easier to carry when facing stairs and narrow pathways. Try to avoid packing things in garbage bags as friends, family or movers could accidentally throw them out on moving day.
• Take inventory: This is very important if you’re hiring a moving company. Having a record of your household items is useful if something goes missing. A spreadsheet, with the contents of each box, is a great way to keep track of the stuff you’re moving. Assign each box a number and write that number on each box side. You can also write the appropriate room for the box as well. Label all sides of the box where possible so you can easily find what you need in a stack.
• Prepare a moving day kit: Keep aside a box or backpack of essentials you’ll need on moving day — cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, garbage bags, a change of clothes, your toiletry bag, etc. This will come in handy on moving day.
• Protect your files and valuables: Find a safe place to store your valuables on moving day and insure anything that’s valuable or breakable if you happen to be using a moving company. If you’re moving a computer, do a quick backup of important files just in case something happens to the computer during the move.
• Prepare the new home for move in: Ensure you understand how utility bills (gas, water, electricity) will be transferred to your new home and that they are in place when you get there. Arrange to have your phone line, cable and Internet working if necessary.
If you are moving into a condo, be sure to check the moving policy before scheduling your moving day. Some condos may not allow move-ins on Sunday or you may need to book a service elevator and a time frame for moving in.
• Take care of everyone: If you have a pet that could be traumatized by a move, arrange to have them stay somewhere, or with someone during moving day. You can make nice with your new neighbours by informing them that you’ll be moving in and what kind of moving vehicles you’re using. If you’re moving on a weekday, make sure your truck isn’t blocking anyone’s exit. And whether you’ve hired movers or enlisted friends and family, be sure to have food and drinks readily available for everyone.
And don’t forget to get that change of address form from the post office so mail gets forwarded to your new address.
– By Kevin Gillies, a freelance writer for Black Press.