Moving is an experience most people get to have two or three times their entire lives, but as a preacher's wife, I have moved more times than years I have been married--and I'm a grandmother! So, today's post is about moving tips. First, if you have to move yourself, I personally prefer using U-Haul trucks over Budget trucks. The trucks are lower to the ground and easier to load stuff into. You don't realize how important that is until the 100th time you trudge up the ramp to load another box!
The second thing is to find good boxes without costing enough to feed your family for a month. The way to do this is to go to retail businesses and ask them to hold boxes for you. Or, alternatively, you can go dumpster diving to find boxes businesses have thrown away. However, be careful of using boxes that once stored pesticides or other poisons to box up food items.
The best boxes are small to medium sized. It takes more of them, but they do not get so heavy you can't lift them. Large boxes should be reserved for bedding, pillows, comforters, kitchen plastic, and other items that are large but don't weigh much. However, consistently sized boxes will load much easier and pack much tighter in the back of the moving truck, giving you more space for furniture.
Food items, such as boxes of baking soda and cocoa, should be taped shut, unless you like the idea of cleaning up a huge mess. Cold items from the refrigerator should be transported in a large ice chest, or even two, if necessary. If you don't have an ice chest, make your own with blankets and boxes of different sizes. Be sure to put a plastic liner, such as a trash bag, in the middle box so that if anything leaks, it is contained. Loose ice can be poured over the top of the perishables. Another idea is to create your own ice bags using zipping bags, and putting them down under, around, and over the food items. Ziplock bags aren't cheap, but you can get a couple of boxes cheaper than you can buy ice if you are using more than one ice chest.
Clothes have always been a problem for us. For years, we would take them off closet bars, fold them over and lay them into a large box. As we have gotten (gracefully) older, though, these boxes have gotten much too heavy. Instead, we lay a clean sheet over the back seat of our personal vehicle, lay the clothes on top, then tie the corners together to keep the clothes from sliding out the doors when they are opened.
Furniture items with glass doors and shelves, such as china cabinets or curio cabinets, should have the shelves removed, wrapped in blankets, and be placed between mattresses to protect them. The cabinet itself should also be wrapped carefully in blankets, and tied to the side of the truck to keep it from turning over and breaking the glass. If the glass front is flat instead of rounded, place the glass front toward the truck side to prevent other items from falling into the glass and breaking it.
One of the most important things in packing to move is to mark everything! If it is in the box, it should be listed on the outside of the box. In addition, the room the box should go into should also be written on the outside. This way, you can easily locate the box with the toilet paper in it when you get to your new home, and kitchen appliances and utensils don't wind up in the bathroom closet.
I hope these tips will be helpful if you should find yourself in the position of having to move. We have decided that the next time we move, we are selling everything and buying all new stuff when we get there. Moving is just too much work!