An Organized Move

12 Tips for a Successful Move

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By: Debbie Ginsberg (View more of Debbie’s Article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times)
1. Start Planning Early
Organizing a move reduces the stress associated with a move. Give yourself three months before a move to begin your plan of action.
2. Keep or Toss
Making decisions are a huge stumbling block for many. Ask for a friend or a family member to help you choose the items that will serve you well in your new home. Although decision making is the hardest of the tasks, it’s the best way to begin. Once the decision is made, downsizing, donating and discarding techniques can be easily used to rid the home of the extras.
Use a space planning board to help you accurately lay out your furniture in your new space. Better to take only what fits well or you may face downsizing again, which can be timely, expensive and often not as easy as downsizing furniture from your home.
Measuring the width of hanging rods in clothes closets and the width of pantries, utility and storage cabinets to help provide guidelines to how much your new closets can hold. Keeping the measurements in mind, you can then pare down the extras and keep the clothing that you wear more often or items that are used the most.
3. Getting Movers’ Estimates
Wait to call in movers until step two is complete. This will give you the most accurate price for the move.
Ask friends and family for referrals of Moving Companies. Beware, not all are alike. Have your questions ready. Does the mover charge extra for steps? Does the Mover assemble and disassemble furniture? There are many questions you should ask, but another major question is regarding their insurance coverage. Most of the time, consumers must buy extra outside insurance to properly cover their possessions since Movers only give pennies on the dollar. Keep this in mind for long distance moves. Ask yourself if something breaks how much will it cost you to replace it. This will best help you determine how much insurance you should get.
Make sure that the moving company you choose is properly insured for their business. Do they have workman’s comp? Are their men bonded? Who comes on the job? The Owner? A Foreman?
Book early since the first, fifteenth and last day of the month are the busiest days for a moving company.
4. Create A Moving Folder
Place estimates, business cards and notes in this folder. Keep the folder in a place for easy access as you will be adding other notes and information about your move in this folder.
Make a task list for yourself. Include transferring prescriptions, arrange for refunds on last month deposits, start using up your food and cleaning supplies. Create a list of your bank, credit card, car and investment companies, etc. to inform them of your move. Make a date when you will fill out your move forwarding cards at the post office.
Arrange to stop your gardener and utilities.
Forward your phone number to your new address.
5. Create a Vital Records Keeper
This is a very important task. Gather up your birth certificate, copy of your driver’s license, passport, titles of cars, insurance papers and cards, marriage license, ketubah, burial plot records, medical records, family death certificates, bank accounts together with the name, phone number, email address of your lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc.
Preferably you will put these items in a waterproof tote and have this ready to take with you personally when you move. These papers are too important to pack in a box. If possible, have this information scanned into your computer, saved in a cloud for safe keeping.
6. Buy Your Packing Supplies
A good rule of thumb is to pack heavier items in smaller size boxes. I recommend Home Depot heavy duty boxes. You can order your supplies on line and have them delivered to you. Always ask for inside delivery as supplies can be too heavy to carry in from the outside.
Order newspaper print without the ink. This can be purchased at Amazon.
When ordering bubble wrap, choose the smaller size bubble when wrapping most items. The larger bubble is good for cushioning the bottom of a box.
Permanent markers help mark boxes with numbers and box contents.
When you buy packing tape, don’t go cheap. Buy the 3M/ Scotch products. The heavy-duty tape will stick best and won’t rip during use.
Don’t forget to buy different bag colors to help you recognize garbage from donations. If you are also distributing items to family/friends, then use a third color bag. We often use black, clear and blue 3 mil bags.
7. How to pack well
The more effort you put into packing will help you expedite the unpacking. Keep a notebook handy as you pack and make a list of every item you place in the box. Mark down the box number, both on the box and in the notebook to help create an accurate spreadsheet. When all the boxes are complete, create three spreadsheets. One spreadsheet should have the list of boxes and their contents. Spreadsheet two should have all the contents in alphabetical order and showing the box they can be found in. The third spreadsheet tells you the room the contents came from and in which room the moving company should place the box. Make sure the boxes are clearly labeled with where it is to be left in your new home. There are preprinted color labels to place on the outside of boxes for easy recognition.
When packing, pack everything next to one another, not allowing for space gaps. The goal is not to let any item have room to move around in a box. When possible use three pieces of the non-print newspaper to wrap the item and if its’ fragile, we recommend placing bubble wrap around the paper.
Cushion the bottom of the box with crushed paper, large bubble wrap or newspaper. We don’t like using newspaper as the ink gets on your hands and that can get on your items. Many people use it because it’s the least expensive paper. Cushion where there are gaps or fill in with paper.
When packing dishes, make sure you are packing them on their spine, not flat. This creates less pressure on the plate.
If you would like to see how professionals pack, look it up on you tube. You will be pleasantly surprised by the tips you pick up. No, this isn’t rocket science, but there are smarter ways to pack to assure your items don’t break.
8. Gather Up Your Valuables
Prepare your valuables by taking inventory of what you have and pictures of each item for insurance purposes. Plan on taking these with you and don’t pack these in a box. By the way, most movers now know the word silver in Hebrew, so don’t use Hebrew for code words.
9. Review Your Task List
We can’t rely on our memory during a move process to be certain that we have completed everything on the task list. Read over your task list and check off what has been done and highlight what has yet to be done. Use a printed calendar or your calendar on line to remind you of each task that needs to be completed. Assign days and times to complete these tasks. This will assure you that everything is done on time.
10. Hire a Clean Out Crew
Houses don’t get cleaned out on their own. Even after you’ve donated, distributed or discarded many items, there are always things used during the days leading up to a move. There may be beds and dressers, kitchen tables and other items that couldn’t be thrown away before the move. You may need a clean out crew to help you rid of the balance of the items in the house and broom sweep (as mentioned in your contract). Have peace of mind and use a reliable company to take care of this for you.
11. Moving Day
Ask a family member or neighbor to be with you on moving day. If possible ask two people. You should be the one directing the movers in each room. One person should use spreadsheet one, and mark off each box number that is taken to the truck. Someone else should be at the truck making sure that each box goes into the truck.
If there are multiple stops, be clear as to what is getting off the truck first so that the boxes are placed into the truck in the correct order.
When you arrive at your new home, have friends and family with you. Mark off each box that comes into the home. You will know right away if something is missing since you created a clear spreadsheet. Go to the truck before it leaves and inspect it for missing table leaves, drawers or for other items that are easily missed in a move.
Use your third spreadsheet to tell the movers where each box should be placed. This eliminates the need to schlep boxes from one room to another.
12. Unpacking and Settling In
If you were diligent and followed these steps the unpack should be relatively easy since all the boxes are in the right places. Have garbage bags with you to collect all the paper wrappings. Be sure to have scissors near you as you will need to cut open the well wrapped boxes.
Arrange for someone to come and help you make your bed, hang up your pictures and put some items away for you. There is no better feeling then having all the boxes put away, garbage taken out, pictures hung and a fresh, clean bed ready for you to fall into after your hard day.
Mazel Tov! You did it!
Debbie Ginsberg is the Owner of Uncluttered Domain Inc., a Professional Organizers and Senior Move Managers company. Debbie and her team have been assisting the 55+ in Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn since 2010. “An Organized Move” is an original article written in 2017.
View more of Debbie’s Article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times


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