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Aethelwine's avatar

Do you have any packing and moving tips for someone moving a short distance?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) June 14th, 2015

We are moving to a new home 3 miles from our current residence in two weeks. We aren’t using professional movers.

Have any helpful tips for us?

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10 Answers

ucme's avatar

Don’t forget the kids.

longgone's avatar

If you can, get heaps of helpers. I had about 15 people there. We were done in three hours, and no-one felt exhausted.

On a piece of paper, write down the contents of every box. Every single one. I made the mistake of leaving a couple un-labeled, and it annoyed me a lot.

marinelife's avatar

Can you get in early? If so take a few carfuls over early.

Pack a box with medications, the coffemaker, coffee, etc. alarm clock, other things you will need right away the first night or morning. Label it Necessities of Life and keep it with you.

canidmajor's avatar

Plastic garbage bags make great garment bags. Leave everything on the hangars and poke them through the bottom of the bag. Hangarless clothes (from dressers and such) can be dumped into garbage bags as well, reusable and quick and easy.
Smaller liquor boxes are perfect for books, they’re heavy, but not too heavy.
Shoeboxes for everybody’s toiletries.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

- Get a dolly
– Offer beer to the helpers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Hope we are up to speed now? ;-| Had I made the title longer, who knows, it might have gotten modded as not being clear enough.
Moving and packing basics:

• Do not pack old blankets and sleeping bags as they can be used as moving blankets, buffers, or protection for furniture against bumps and scratches.
• Empty the drawers into boxes and label the boxes at to which drawer or cabinet they came from (makes it a lot lighter to carry)
• Any drawer not removed, tape them shut.
• If you do not have bubble wrap or wish to avoid it, if using storage tubes or stout boxes wrap clothes around breakable things with enough of a buffer so no jiggling and cause them to settle and knock each other.
• Stack furniture that is angular and flat-topped first.
• Fill the moving van, etc. from the back of the cab to the door, using stout bases you can stack on having the lightest and fragile things on top, small glass framed pictures that won’t fit in boxes, lamps, lamp shades, etc.
• Don’t get zealous and pack all of the tools away. Make sure you keep out hammers, screw drills, pry bars, etc.
• When putting large glass frames in the van face the glass outward.
• If there are no stairs or flat ground, put heavy stuff on furniture dollies, which will save on people’s back.
• Park as close as you can absolutely get, after 2–3 hours, you will thank yourself.
• Get coolers and ice to put stuff in the fridge in to keep them from spoiling during the move (—which indicates, move the fridge in the 1st load and get it plugged in as soon as possible.
• Have labels or very wide masking tape handy and a fat, black, felt marker handy.
• Have zip lock bags or small storage containers to keep hardware in of items you might have to dismantle slightly.
• As you load, fill in spaces between furniture with pillows, cushions, stuff toys, etc.

I am sure I am forgetting something, but….

JLeslie's avatar

I often see on freecycle.com people asking for moving boxes. I would gladly give my moving boxes to someone else, because it would help them and trash collectors often won’t take them in the regular trash. If you need boxes you might try posting there. Also, you can ask grocery stores or a department store for boxes. It might take two trips, because they might have all boxes broken down when you get there. You need to know when they get inntheir shipments and see if someone will hold some aside for you. If you know the people in your local market they will hopefully help you.

Books and papers need to go in very small boxes. That stuff gets heavy very fast.

Are you renting a uhaul for your furniture? Or, trying to do it with just a van or pick up truck? Use old towels to help pad at least the corners of furniture, and you want to put things right up next to each other so things can’t shift around when you drive.

I use towels and t-shirts in with dishes, glass baking dishes, and other breakables along with packing paper in one box.

Use trash bags to cover hanging items if you don’t have a few wardrobe boxes (recommend them if you can get them and they fit in your moving van) and just lay them in the trunk and back seat of the car.

Anything extremely important trinkets with sentimental value pack well and sit right by it and make an extra trip if you have to.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Assuming you have lots of trunk space… those big plastic, stackable bins are good, provided you have things that you can pack and unpack quickly on the day.

I am full of advice for long-distance moves using movers, but I guess the trick with a short-distance move that you’re doing yourself is to keep your energy and spirits high, do everything as quickly as possible (while still keeping things as organized as possible at the endpoint), and stay safe. Don’t take shortcuts with things like making sure things are tied down securely, etc. just because you’re going a short distance.

Some good tips above about packing things in clothing, etc. Just remember that there will be a trade-off when you unpack and organize things at the other end. You probably don’t want to spend six months figuring out where every little thing went.

ibstubro's avatar

Go to the groceries and ask them to save you all the berry boxes possible. Like strawberry flats with the tabs on top that anchor into the bottom of the next box?

They’re great for anything large enough to not fall out the holes and small enough to lay flush in the box. Things like drinking glasses are perfect, and you don’t have to wrap them as long as you put enough stuff in the box that they can’t roll more than an inch. You can pack a lot of the kitchen that way, and just lock the boxes on top of each other. Unpacking is just as easy. If the stuff is fragile or precious to you, lay ½ a bath towel in the bottom, fill, and flip the other half over the top. Shoes. Most anything that will fit in a drawer.

It might not seem like a lot fits in a box, but consider you can stack the boxes securely as high as space allows, and there’s no wrapping, unwrapping or sorting.

If you were just a little closer I’d tell you to swing by – we have over 100 Rubbermaid totes at the auction house that all stack together and have interchangeable lids.

A note on using garbage bags for softgoods: they’re great if you’re using cars and pick-ups to move. If you have a moving van, you might want to use banana boxes so you can stack and optimize your space.

One of our local newspapers gives clean newspaper end-rolls away for free. Free unprinted newspaper. Doesn’t get any better for wrapping breakables.

Look for a local source of identical cardboard boxes of a manageable size you can get for free. It’s amazing how much easier the stack/unstack, stack/unstack process is if most of the cartons are the same. The less candlepower (more beer?) involved in moving, the better.

Hey. This is what I do. If you have specific questions about specific things, just ask. Here or PM.

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