ImageQuestion: Mary, do you have anything on moving? We’re about to move and our place will be teeny so I know I need to organize well when I first put stuff away. 2 year old who loves to help and 5 month old won’t make it easy but if I don’t do it right off I’ll never do it. Pointers?

This young wife and mom is moving 5 miles and will be bringing lots of items that have been stored for 15 months into her home.

Roy was in the military when we married and we moved several times during the early years. Military and college moves will teach you, oh-so-much about moving.

Are you moving yourselves? What is your plan?

There are several areas to consider. Declutter your mind by making lists and checking them off as you go. Your cell phone reminder app can be useful for this because you usually have your cell phone on you. Make sure to keep it charged.

  • Turning off utilities at your current home. Turning them on at your new home. When do you want to do this in each place to spend the least amount of money with the  most convenience? I suggest turning the utilities on the day before the move at your new home and the day after your move at the old.
  • Change of address for everyone you regularly deal with—Businesses, family friends. Useful site –the post office’s online  change of address site.
  • What kind of support do you have from friends and family? Do you have the support of others who can help with your children so you can have a few days to focus on putting things in order? Having responsible helpers, paid or volunteer, for heavy lifting, food, childcare, and packing/unpacking can make the move so much easier. Consider carefully who you ask to do what.


  • ImageAssemble your supplies. Boxes, tape, markers, plastic bags, tool kit to take beds and other furniture apart when needed. If you use newspaper to pack items—caution-the ink may rub off.
  • Use blankets to cover furniture surfaces. Use two fitted sheets to cover each mattress—one on each side of the mattress. Sheets and blankets are easier to clean than mattresses or other furnishings.
  • Pack like with like.
  • Wrap small items in colored tissue to keep them from being lost in packing materials.
  • Pack heavier items in smaller boxes and light items in larger boxes for easier handling. Pack heavier items in the bottom of boxes and lighter items on the top. Pack boxes snugly so items don’t shift around.
  • Wrap each item of stoneware, glass, or china separately.
  • As you pack the truck remember –first on, last off.
  • Pack some boxes labeled “Open Me First.”
    • Pack a box of the things that are most important to your children. Familiar toys and books will make the transition easier
    • Make sure you have sheets for the beds and make the beds so everyone has a place to sleep
    • Make sure you have towels, soap, and toilet paper for the bathroom
    • Make sure you have what you need for your favorite beverages and snacks as well as snacks and food for your little ones, as you unpack.
    • Pack a tool kit for putting items back together.
    • Make sure chargers and cables for electronics are readily accessible. Use original boxes (if you have them) to transport your electronics.
    • One of the other women on the page where this question was posed had a great idea of color coding boxes by room to make it easier to know which room each box needs to go into. Good idea. Use her tape idea or use colored markers.
    • Take the time to clearly label what is in each box. The time it takes is far less than the time it will take you to dig through multiple boxes searching for things you need.
    • Don’t move anything you don’t want. I know you mentioned that you had purged before you packed and stored the other boxes. Be selective.
    • Pack the items you don’t use regularly first—they won’t be missed.
    • Ideally if you can set up your bedroom, bathrooms, and kitchen first it will make life easier as you deal with the rest of your stuff.
    • Try to set up your children’s room(s) in the same way their rooms are now set up. The familiarity will make them more comfortable. If you want to transition to a different way of arranging their rooms, do it gradually over the coming weeks.
    • A great place to get boxes for fragile items is a liquor store. The divided boxes make packing breakables easier. Check ahead to ask if they will save some boxes for you. Label the outside of the boxes—FRAGILE!
    • Wardrobe boxes may be a little pricier but will save lots of work. Wardrobe boxes hold about two feet of closet space. You can transfer one area of closet at a time, unpack at your new home and then go back for the next load. Because nothing has to come off the hanger you can simply hang clothes in the same order as in your closets from one closet and unload in the new closet. Use the bottom of the wardrobe boxes for shoes.
    • Pack opened boxes and bottles in plastic bags to avoid spills.
    • When you take your furniture apart, put the hardware into a plastic bag and tape it to the back of the piece of furniture so you will have what you need to put it back together. When you take pictures off the wall, tape the hooks or whatever you need to rehang them to the back of the picture.Image

This is probably more than you can absorb at one sitting. I will do another rare Saturday post tomorrow.




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