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Tips for packing up the house

TheWanderer

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2006
I guess as kind of a follow-up thread to the "did you sell your home" thread in the Around the World forum.

Moving date is March 27. I'm starting to freak out! I only have a one bedroom condo to pack up, so it's not a whole house (thank goodness!). I'm kind of getting at it slowly, little pieces at a time.

How about some tips for those of us who haven't done this a whole lot?
A couple that I've learned so far - pack your kitchen glassware/bakeware (or other fragile items) with your clothes - evens out the weights of the boxes (so you don't have really heavy boxes and really light boxes), and saves on packing material. long as you don't mind that the clothes will be wrinkled when you take them out (probably would be however you pack them)

When my parents moved, their movers suggested the large yard bins on wheels - then it doesn't really matter how heavy they are (unless there are stairs to negotiate), and they are relatively easy for the movers to handle.

what about things that shouldn't be stored in unheated/un-AC'd spaces? obviously any kind of liquid/chemical...

please offer whatever tips you may have, whether ingenious or unorthodox, or "why didn't I think of that"

thanks!

gonorth

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2006
Seeing as you're only a week away you ought to survive on Subway or whatever for this last week so all you have left in the way of kitchen gear is whatever you use for Breke each morning or even go to Maccas for that.
Have all your pack and leaving gear sorted down to even your final set of clothes you have on when you'll be leaving.
If you've got any knock down furniture, like beds with ends that need to be unscrewed etc., get that done and just use the matress on the floor if need be.
And then just get all the rest done as you seem to be doing, and re the chemical stuff, have you really got so much in a condo! that needs to be especially stored? or cannot you just make it a going away gift to neighbours.
Finally, just set yourself little milestones for a target of Mar 25 so you can feel relaxed at the end.
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Madhu

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2006
Make sure you throw, give away stuff you can! its oppurtunity to take that time to reduce the possesions in general.Give to Charity, ask friends if they want something that you really don't need to store away. If you have time have a garage sale.

Make sure you have some labels so that you can write on them what's where..will help unpacking or storage. Don't rely on memory.

Pack Fragile items and keep them aside in one corner.

Pack things in order..don't mix and match...like living room decorating items with Kitchen stuf.Mark the boxes with the room they belong in.

If furtuniture has screws after you dismantle them...either put them all in one box in enevelopes for each or tape them to the item they belong. Use the heavy duck tape.

Try to pack things in Jars or things that are hollow so that you maximize the space. Ex: I put small knick kancks in Kitchen storage jars.

Buy tape, black marker and labels today...as you are packing tape em up, mark em,,don't leave to the last min.

Keep newspaper handy to pack between kitchen items.

Buy some platic wrap/bubble wrap for anything you want to avoid scratches on.

If all this is going in Storage then don't pack chemicals or any canned items etc. Even though they might stay but might attract rodents.

Make sure you put some moth balls in your clothes or cedar chips.

When packing your storage units. Put all your boxes to the front and big items behind.
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KPG

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
Our move was last Friday. Everything moved into the in-laws house now.

My tips are:

1) freecyle stuff

2) get a big skip

3) get your partner to do all the unloading and go for a massage.

Worked for me...

KG
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TheWanderer

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
wow, thanks for the tips!
(though I really have to say - PACKING SUCKS!)

couple of questions - what is 'maccas'? is that oz for McDonald's?
and a big skip?

and freecycle rocks! (though I got frustrated after a while because people who said they were going to come by for stuff never did, or got delaying, and I don't have the patience for that kind of dilly-dallying)
will definitely be freecycling some stuff though. hmm... since I'm out on Monday, I should probably do that soon.

and mothballs - ewww. I think I'll take my chances. we used to put mothballs in the drawers at the cabin, and that smell takes forever to come out.
I'll just ask the movers (who also happen to be storing) to put some mouse traps in the area.

lazyjayn

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
I've always been a fan of numbering boxes myself- you know, 1 of 20, because the movers stickers usually get lost, or they "missplace" something. I also keep a list of about what's in each box, so if they lose it, I at least know what kinda stuff's missing. I've moved a couple times...

Other than that- I don't store anything that hasn't got sentemental value, unless it's much cheaper to store than replace. At the moment, I've got about 2 boxes of "stuff" with my mother- one is important papers, one is "stuff" I don't want to give up- oh, and a nice set of golf clubs and shoes (coming over next time I get back...). Oh, yeah, and two big rubbermade boxes in my fathers storage full of old books and first editions. Easier by far to keep than replace.

So yeah- Other than that, I give stuff away like mad, or else freecycle, trash, or recycle it.

Oh- yeah- things you don't want to leave in non-temp controled storage- computers and computer parts- esp. LCD monitors, floppys, anything prone to rust, books (which should usually be wrapped in acid free tissue paper first), anything made of fabric- you don't want to try to make midew go away. If you aren't taking it, it's going to be waaaay out of fashion when you get back, and it's cheaper to buy replacement stuff anyway. Anything really important made of fabric (great grandmothers veil, or whatever) should be boxed by a service, usually in acid free paper, and an achival-type bag in a box. Any art you have that's sensitive to climatic change (paintings, drawings, wood carving) should be stored in a controlled environment. Basically, anything that can/ will rot easily probably shouldn't just be stuck in a storage unit.

But if you do, try to store in air-tight containers, and toss in some of that dessicant stuff. Extremes of hot and cold will do some dammage, but moisture will really kill most stuff.

j.
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TheWanderer

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
wow, are you storing stuff that's made of money?

geepers, I just toss all my books into cardboard boxes, never mind about fancy wrap and stuff. None of it is worth anything other than Chapter's value.

And Alberta is dry dry dry - mildew would never even have occured to me here.

clothes going out of fashion... teehee... my clothes are already out of fashion, and I can't imagine having the money to replace an entire wardrobe, not unless I win a shopping spree.

neat ideas though - it seems really fancy.

gonorth

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
Yep, maccas is that Golden Arches place
And a big skip is like a big steel squarish bin that gets brought to your place by a truck that is especially built to carry them - you might pay a hundred or two h dollars or so for the service, but maybe it's not so applicable to a condo.
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lazyjayn

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2006
well, you didn't say what you had, so I went with the "everything of value anyone in the family had ever owned" model.

replacing a wardrobe is expensive? I didn't know that- Mine only runs to about 3 pair of jeans, and half a dozen shirts or so, plus two or thre pair of shoes, and assorted undergarments.

Oh, I take that back- I also have a sweater and a jacket, and gave away a scarf, two winter hats and mittens when I moved from wyoming. Total replacement cost ~us$300. It'd be less, but the GAP is the only place that sells jeans that fit me.

I think I come from the extream end of moving- I've done about 4 cross country moves with my family, and another 6 by myself, and now one overseas. If I know I'm never going to look at it again, and it doesn't have big personal value (like my great grandmothers books...) I dump it. books I just re-home. Some people don't mind worrying about that kind of thing, and packing it up and moving it, and unpacking it again when they get to their new home. I will never be one of those people.

j.
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KPG

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  • Added on: March 22nd, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by gonorth:
And a big skip is like a big steel squarish bin that gets brought to your place by a truck that is especially built to carry them.


Spot on. Though actually, we didn't hire a skip in the end - after we'd freecycled a lot of stuff we just took a couple of car loads to the tip (rubbish dump).

The massage bit is true though.

Freecycle is indeed great. We've had one or two no-shows in the past too, which is very rude of them.

However, when time was of the essence and stuff had to be out of the house by a certain date because we were moving I made this abundantly clear in the ad.

I also had a waiting list of two or three people and took their phone numbers and called them if an item became available at short notice.

Even best laid plans can go wring though. We had a frustrating day when we had to cancel a pick up of a bed because there was a freak snowfall and nothing could get down the road.

Good luck

KG
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Woody

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  • Added on: March 22nd, 2006
Hey Wanderer,

I am moving too--I have to be out of my place by March 31. And since it is a Friday, am hoping to get most everything moved out on the 26th or 27th. Looks like we will be moving almost the same day! These are things that work/worked for me--feel free to take em or leave em.

One trick I do is to go to the liquor/wine store and get free boxes. The boxes are smaller but sturdy--a good size for books, since you dont want each box o books weighing fifty pounds. I also sort my books my genre before storing--so if I want something when I am back, I dont have to tear apart 10 boxes. Ok, so I think I have a lot of books--quite possibly too many.

Like another poster said, packing up your clothes is a good time to make charitable donations. If I havent worn it in the last year, I give it away (which, for me, is mostly clothes that have been too small for years. I dont know how they hang around). I wouldnt recommend just pitching everything though--clothes are inexpensive to store and if you plan on wearing them again when you come back, it is a waste of money to get rid of them and buy them again. Not to criticize another poster, but I can hear my mom going into an apoplectic fit about that one.

Don't forget to live in your cupboard the last week or two. I try to shop to compliement what is already residing in my cabinets so there isnt too much that goes to waste. And if it is canned, you can donate it to charity.

Someone mentioned freecycle. I use craigslist for getting rid of unimportant stuff--I dont know if it is very active in the great white north, but it is a good way to quickly move stuff.

Oh, and the last thing, pack your backpack first. Especially useful if you are packing with a SO or someone else, so none of the stuff you need ends up in the Uhaul.

Have a good trip!

TheWanderer

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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2006
wow, who would have thought a one bedroom condo could have THAT MUCH STUFF?!

I guess I like to be prepared for everything - clothes - I have jeans/t-shirts, business casual (a fair bit of that since I tend to work in offices) and little bit of formal/business non-cas.

yeah, I'm not good at living on just the very basics - I also worry, what if I need this or that? I better be prepared. I think I over-do it a little. it will be an adventure in packing the travel gear, that's for sure.

HeHe

thanks for all the tips - I currently have piles of stuff, for parents, for sister, for best friend, for Freecycle, for charity... and I'm only about half done!

oh, and I've found that upbeat music helps to keep me motivated.

amhran

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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2006
All this talk about not storing clothes, paintings, etc in an un-climate controlled environment got me very worried. I have several of my own oil paintings that I like very much and a few vintage clothing items and a few costumes (Victorian / Renaissance Faire type stuff). But then I realized--I *live* in a environment that is not particularly climate controlled as in no air-conditioning in the summer. And I don't think dry cold weather will ruin anything.

I've decided not to worry about it.

Also, I go with the theroy of packing kitchen stuff in with my bathroom stuff (wrapping dishes and such in towels, sheets, etc.) I hate handling all that newspaper (you get black hands from it).

Flackattack

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  • Added on: March 24th, 2006
Went to the liquor store this morning for 5 empty boxes. Took 5 full boxes of cheap kitchen stuff and assorted knick-knacks to goodwill this afternoon.
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KPG

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  • Added on: March 25th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by Flackattack:
Went to the liquor store this morning for 5 empty boxes...


Surely it's more fun to get 5 full boxes from the liquor store...

OKay - you then have the empties to get rid of and it's maybe not great for the travel budget, but it sure makes packing a lot more fun!

Big Grin

KG
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'Even if you're on the right road, you will get run over if you just stand there'. - Will Rogers
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