Some Solid All-round Advice on Moving House

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Here we’ve got some excellent, sound advice, grounded in common sense, gleaned from the experiences of two much-moved Researchers:
I have moved four times over the last 17 years. Each time we moved it was to a house as opposed to an apartment so some of my tips may be a little grand for those changing apartments but the psychology is the same. I must also note that these moves involved pets, four children, and up to the last move, a husband.

• Boxes: Getting boxes is the real commitment to moving. You may have signed a lease or mortgage, but until you get the boxes, your not really moving. The best places for boxes are small clothing stores (deliveries are pretty regular, they are clean, and these retailers love to free up space delegated to recycling) and fruit and vegetable packers. For $1 a piece you can get brand new strong boxes that are perfect for books, dishes and other heavy stuff.

• Rubbish Removal: Unless you are a very organised person or have a lot of time, don’t kid yourself about the garage sale. If you have anything an antiques dealer might be interested in, call them and have them stop by. If one isn’t interested, try another. If none are interested give the items away or put them at the curb with a sign, ‘Inquire’. If no one inquires by the time the garbage men come, remove the sign and let it go. For those moving from a house, a small four-yard container (dumps) that is emptied at least once a week for a term of a month should work out nicely. These companies are less picky about what’s in there. (More on this later.)

• Initial Packing: Start with books, records and video tapes. They pack nicely; usually make a nice, neat stack that you can be proud of, and it looks to others in the family like you have really got things going and they need to catch up. Remember not to seal the videos yet. You will want to watch them for company when you’re packing alone later. In the kitchen, just plan to eat simply till you move and leave two pots, two pans and a few cooking utensils. If everyone works or attends school, pack the dishes, glassware and silverware. Invest in cheap plastic dishes, cups, and ‘silverware’ that you will discard after your last meal in that home. Get just enough for everyone to have one of everything (leaves counters free for packing).
• Bedrooms: Free style your own room, but get children packing early. Give them ample boxes and ask regularly if they have finished. When they say yes, or ‘I’m down to necessities!’, wait till they go to school and ‘finish’. This usually requires many garbage bags. Quickly pick through for family heirlooms, baby pictures, etc, then toss the rest. Have it all tightly tied in black trash bags and in the dumpster before they get home.

• Those Boxes You Never Unpacked from the Last Move: One would think, just count them as packed. No. Unless you know it’s Aunt Clara’s china, open the boxes and see what’s there. Truly, if you haven’t touched it in five years, many things are outdated, broken, moldy, or you only humoured a family member by packing it the last time. You will probably reduce the number of boxes by half.(Remember all this stuff has to fit into a moving truck and you pay by the foot.) You can reuse some of the boxes by simply dumping the contents into the dumpster, and blacking out the previous notations.