What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

The unfortunate thing of moving is it does involve at best organized chaos, a feeling of being unsettled and of course the dreaded packing. The biggest hurdle is where to start because at first it does seem overwhelming. The way to approach packing will very much depend on the type of move and the type of help you will have. Some prep work can be omitted for short distance moves or if you are using a moving service for part or all of the move. I'm going to break down my packing method into three sections.

Declutter: The very moment there is even a hint of moving start the decluttering process. There is no point moving things you aren't using and likely won't use again. The general rule of thumb is if you haven't used something in the past year, you likely won't use it so either donate or toss. Be honest and brutal when doing the declutter process. To keep this from being an overwhelming task, break the process into daily 15 minute sessions and focus on one room at a time. It is surprising how much can be accomplished in that time frame. It is also encouraging to see stuff you aren't using going out the door before you even start packing. This is all stuff you won't have to move.

So I've been declutter right from spring cleaning to when the house was listed. I started with the 15 minute daily sessions and thanks to my kids had a huge declutter weekend. All the stuff we are keeping is already packed and in the garage. On moving day the truck can back up to the garage, load up and will be ready to go without much effort. Daily decluttering is continuing inside as well. I am focusing on preparing meals from the freezers, canning rack and cupboards. Not only will this reduce what food we have to move it will bring out a little creativity. Some of the creations will be posted on my cooking blog if you are interested. This will also curb any desire for take-out foods saving us money.

Our moving date is June 28 and because of prior commitments couple with renovations on a specific time line once moved I want everything packed and ready to go by June 15th. The exception will of course be some of the food. A rough layout of the new house will get things where I want them with minimal fuss. A moving company is moving all the furniture, appliances and likely the contents of the garage. Family and friends are helping us move the remainder.

Packing: I think it is extremely important for a smooth move to be very organized with the packing. For this you need good containers and some type of labelling system.

  1. containers - By far the most popular containers are boxes. They are usually easy to obtain and generally free. I like the boxes from the liquor store as they are sturdy and have removable dividers that come in handy for protecting items. My next favourite containers for packing are plastic totes with lids. These keep water out something really appreciated if you've ever had any type of flooding problem. Plastic totes are also great if you are using uncover pick-up trucks for the move and it decides to rain. Your things stay dry. They won't go moldy like cardboard can either. Unlike cardboard, plastic totes are an investment that will serve you well in your new home and for future moves. Of what we are packing for this move about 80% is in some type of plastic tote.
  2. packing - Packing should be done methodically, room by room but before you start this process take the time to pack a weekend bag that includes everything you would need for a weekend away. This will go in your vehicle with you so when you arrive at your new place you have things right handy. Add a second bag with all your important papers and another one with pet essentials if you have pets. Once these are packed, I go through and pack room by room, labelling each box or tote with their destination at the new house. Some have pictures of the contents but others don't
Centralization - Early in the packing process, I set two areas of the current house to put the boxes and totes. This is what I refer to as centralization. As each room is packed the boxes are moved to the central area leaving the room stripped to furniture only. It helps streamline things going out the door for moving and eliminates a lot of unnecessary steps during the moving process.

I hope some of these tips can help you in your next move.

Garden Gnome
© 2007