Moving. MOVING. That single word can strike fear into the hearts of the most intrepid homeowners. Even those who know the joy that a new home with special touches can bring still dread the actual act of packing every single thing they own and then unpacking it in their new abode. It’s understandable. It’s a huge act, one of life’s great stressors, but it’s something that must be done to get to that pot at the end of the rainbow. So, now that I’ve been all doom and gloom, let me offer a little glimmer of hope.
Moving doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It can be done – with a bit of forethought and planning – with little stress and little anxiety. Last week, we talked about packing and unpacking the kitchen… often the most challenging and daunting room to move. It’s the first room you want to tackle because it’s the room you really need the most. This week… the master bedroom. It’s the room you’ll really WANT the most, especially after long days of moving and unpacking!
So, you’re armed with supplies: boxes, packing tape, wrapping paper, and markers. Let’s get down to it. Just like in the kitchen, you’ll want to create an ESSENTIALS box. However, unlike the kitchen, you don’t have to wait till the last to pack it. In fact, it should be the first thing you pack and it should contain:
A full set of sheets for your bed and, if possible, a quilt or blanket. Another option is to pack the box first, but leave it unsealed so you can throw your comforter into the box on the last morning in your old house. A smart client of mine who moves often suggests buying, washing and packing a set of nice, new sheets as a little treat for your first night in your new home.
You’ll also need to pack your pillows the morning of your move. I suggest throwing them in a large plastic bag and moving them personally in your own vehicle. Do the same for secondary bedrooms to that you can quickly distribute pillows at bedtime in your new home.
A set of towels, washcloths and toiletries. Again, plan ahead and pack travel sized toiletries so they’re small and easily packed, but easy to access in the ESSENTIALS box.
An extra set of chargers for mobile phones – this is new age, but important. Today, so many of us use our cell phones as alarm clocks, handheld computers, white sound machines and more… if you buy an extra charger and stash it in the box, you won’t be tearing other boxes apart in a frenzy. Do it. You’ll thank me later.
Okay… now we’re ready to break down the bedroom. Most professional moving companies will move dressers and armoires with clothing still inside, so there is no need to box up that apparel. Use large wardrobe boxes for your hanging clothes. Shoes should be wrapped and packed in reinforced, smaller boxes.
Draperies and curtains can also be hung on hangers and moved in wardrobe boxes. Similarly, bedding can be folded and hung on padded hangers to keep it from being crushed in boxes or suitcases.
Jewelry and valuables should be packed and moved personally by you in your own vehicle. Consider buying a lock box prior to your move so that these items can be locked away. Even though you won’t send them on the moving van, there will still be a lot of unknown people coming and going during the packing and unpacking process.
Fragile items, like artwork, mirrors and even clocks should be professionally wrapped and packed in specialized glass cartons. Make sure you talk to your moving company about those items prior to the move, so they can be prepared with special materials for packing.
When packing toiletries, remember that you cannot pack or move aerosol cans, corrosive chemicals or perishable items. Just like in your kitchen, it is much safer and cheaper to toss those items and buy new ones for your new home. Tape plastic bottles closed to prevent leaking and pack them in small boxes. As an added protection, consider lining the box with a plastic bag.
If you have area rugs in your bedroom or bathroom, have them professionally cleaned just prior to the move, then roll them in brown paper for safe and easy transport. Make sure they’re loaded onto the van last so they can be unloaded first. That way your bedroom furniture can be placed directly on the rugs in just the right way and you won’t be playing tug of war later to place the rugs.
And of course, label everything. Make an inventory list for each box. Consider taking a digital picture of the contents of each box and then… exhale on the other side. Unpack that essentials box, dig out the bubble bath, the fluffy new towels and sheets and treat yourself to a luxurious first night in your new home.