When you’re moving, everything you have to consider, from how to pack to whether you need storage, can make the task overwhelming. There were many lessons I learned when I moved from Arizona to Illinois. Here are the four that I consider the most important.
Create a detailed inventory list while you pack. Label and number all your boxes and other items so they correspond to the inventory list. Check them off as you unpack.
Things do disappear when moving. With a detailed inventory, you not only know where everything should be, but you know immediately if something’s missing. You don’t want to worry about replacing your interview clothes or your saucepans in a hurry if you don’t have to. That happened to me with my interview outfit. Looking for an open store the night before a job interview made everything much harder for me than it needed to be.
Make sure to use the right boxes.
If you have a ton of books, DVDs, or other small but heavy items, it’s easy to want to pack them all into a few big boxes. However, it’s best to pack these things into small boxes so they’re manageable. The first time I ever moved on my own, I packed all my books into one huge box. It took two of us to actually get it into and out of the truck, and we had to put it on the dolly to move it around.
There are also special boxes for kitchenware. These boxes are the best for protecting fragile glasses and dishes from jolts and impacts. The truck we took to Illinois had bad shocks, and several things got knocked around and broken. However, our dishes came through with flying colors.
Pack things inside other things where you can.
If you have a lot of little, miscellaneous fragile things from your kitchen that don’t fit in anywhere, wrap them in bubble wrap or paper, and pack them as tightly as possible inside your cookware. The heavy-duty metal of your cookware will help protect these things from almost all damage, even if the box is dropped.
Likewise, if you have other small, fragile things, but not enough of them to pack in their own box, wrap them in clothing or linens, and put them in the middle of those boxes or suitcases.
If you need a storage facility, make sure you get it reserved before you leave.
This is more important for long-haul moves where house- or apartment-hunting ahead of time isn’t feasible. Our first home in Illinois was a friend’s apartment, and having the storage room already reserved was a great help. With the Internet, finding a good storage facility to hold your stuff while you’re looking for your new home is easy, so take advantage of it. This way, you don’t have to pay for extra days on the moving truck or the moving company.