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  Make Moving Easier - Back
When your home is being offered for sale, that’s pretty much all that’s on your mind. Once you accept an offer and then close on the sale, the business of moving becomes your primary focus.

Because selling demands a lot of time, energy and attention, moving can sometimes end up a hit-or-miss affair. By the time you arrive at your new place, you’ll be too tired to care if a couple of salad plates are chipped, or if the kids’ dresser is scratched.

Don’t despair, and certainly don’t give in. A little planning will get your goods into your new house in the same great shape they left your former residence. Planning and care can ease the transition and lessen the stress for everyone. A little common sense helps to eliminate problems as well.

The expense of the right kind of packing materials is money well spent. Your china will travel safely snuggled in bubble wrap, cushioned with crumpled newsprint, secure in a sturdy box held together with the proper kind of tape. Conversely, a stack of dinner plates bouncing around in a flimsy carton recycled from the grocery store may result in the expense of an entire set of new dishes.

Pack with care, and make sure your helpers do too. Children love to help with packing, but may not realize that your crystal isn’t going to fare well layered under your pots and pans. Give clear instructions to everyone. Assign small helpers to packing up plastic food storage containers, or the contents of the utensil drawers (glass thermometers and knives removed first, of course.)

If you do have lots of helpers, make sure each has access to a marker, a roll of tape, and a pair of scissors if the tape doesn’t have a cutter. Nothing is so frustrating as having to shout out for the tape or a marker each time you’ve finished packing a box. Make sure that everyone knows to fold over a bit of the tape on the roll after cutting a piece to avoid having to locate the end each time.

Don’t forget that you can use blankets, linens, towels, pillows, and even clothing to cushion items. You can pack several framed items safely by standing them on end with a bath towel in the bottom of the box, and a folded towel between each. The glass in a frame is often set back from the frame itself. A thick towel will fill the space and cushion the ride.

Pack one room at a time. Once the room is completely packed, check closets, cupboards, and any place else that stored items may be hiding. Arrange the sealed, labeled boxes in one part of the room, and then put a post-it note on the door or entry to indicate that packing is complete in that room or area. When you’re ready to load the truck, you won’t have to run from room to room to do a final check.

Mark each box or item with its destination in the new house. Boxes should be marked “kitchen” or “living room” and should have a brief description, if you like, of the contents. Some highly organized movers even number the boxes, and then keep an inventory in a notebook of what’s in each box.

Don’t use tape on painted or wood surfaces. If you need to mark pieces of furniture, use hang tags that attach with a string or elastic to a leg or drawer pull. Packing tape is likely to damage finished surfaces, and/or leave a residue that’s very difficult to remove.

Don’t pack boxes so that they’re too heavy to lift. If you have a lot of books, use special book cartons that are particularly sturdy and smaller, to limit the weight. If you have items that are especially heavy, pack them separately, and indicate on the carton that it may need two people to move it. Make sure that heavy items are packed first and that lighter items go on top. You don’t want your complete set of Great Books riding on top of the Tiffany lamp.

If you have particularly fragile items, you can pack them separately in a smaller carton with bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts. Then, pack the smaller carton into a larger carton with a cushion of Styrofoam peanuts all around, including in the bottom of the larger box. If you have a precious item, like a valuable vase or important heirloom, consider taking it along with you in the car.

Arrange the moving truck by loading the least important items on first, and finish with the things you’ll need first at the new house. Most people want beds, mattresses and linens loaded last. Beds then come off the truck first, and can be set up for a cozy first night’s sleep at the new address.

Make sure that everyone packs a bag with a change of clothes, toothbrush, personal items, and any prescription drugs. Make a “first night” kit for the house by packing toilet paper, paper towels, pencil, paper, headache medicine (aspirin and non-aspirin), trash bags, a flashlight, instant coffee with cream and sugar packets, or your coffee maker and all the fixings. Include paper plates, cups, disposable flatware, and snacks.

The most important thing you can take along in the move is unfortunately the one item too often left behind: your sense of humor. Make the move an adventure. Have fun. Maintain your priorities. Remember that everyone is stressed, and that flaring tempers will only make it worse. Focus on the good news, your new home, your good fortune, your health--whatever it takes to keep things in perspective.

Perspective and a little planning are all you need to lighten the load for all.

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