My parents just moved out of our family home, as in the only house we have ever lived in more than 5 years. I was 15 years old, just starting high school when we moved into this house. Through years of school, college semesters away, and summers home this house was my main storage unit for all of my childhood memorabilia. Its great because you never have to get rid of things, but horrible when you have to move it. The items you can’t bear to throw out, but don’t really know what to do with tends to pile up.
I had old textbooks, school pictures of all my friends, signed with curly letters and hearts from all my BBBBFF’s. My first pair of point shoes, my old journals, favorite childhood clothing and special hand made items I saved the daughter I will never have. It tears me up to think I saved these things for years and I can’t bear to get rid of them yet.
Moving this large home was indeed a family effort for all of us. My brother inherited his star trek phone (no call ID, wired to the wall) much to his wife’s chagrin he brought it home. After moving everything out, storing it, and then moving into the new place it felt like the move that would never end. We thought we were seasoned movers, but sadly discovered many mistakes after the fact.
Here are my sanity saving tips to save you from losing sleep over lost immigration paperwork, with products from The Home Depot.
- Start right away. Pack a little every day, one room at a time. Start with a room you don’t use often and box things up.
- Start eating the food from your pantry and freezer.
- Pack important documents such as passports, birth certificates, banking information, and put them in a safe place. We sadly found a misplaced box in a garbage pile months later with immigration documents and certificates in it we didn’t know we had lost yet.
- Pack books and other heavy items in small boxes. Don’t buy the biggest boxes. They get really heavy.
- If you can’t get boxes from a friend who just moved, bite the bullet and buy them. Unsturdy boxes just break and you will be frustrated when you are repacking.
- Label boxes on the sides and the top so you can see whether they are stacked or scattered.
- Store bedding and decorative pillows in a clear plastic bag. The bag is great for bulky items to store and to move. And mattress bags are something that make a world of difference but often overlooked. You will thank me later.
- Store packed boxes in one area, such as the garage or a storage unit.
- Wrap breakable kitchen items in towels, oven mits, and other kitchen items you would pack together regardless.
- Bubble wrap is your best friend. Use it.
- Keep a box to pack last, unpack first, of cleaning supplies, screw drivers, tap, plastic bags, and cell phone chargers. You don’t want to wait to assemble a bed until you find the box with the tools somewhere else.
For more tips on how to move without losing your sanity, check out this awesome resource guide from The Home Depot.