Moving To Your Dream Home

Moving tips for do-it-yourself movesThe successful search for the house of your dreams is finally over. You've found the place you've been seeking, seemingly forever, an ideal combination of beauty, utility, location and karma that will serve your needs for years to come. And though your quest for perfection might have taken up months or more of your valuable time, it's been a fun and interesting journey. You've considered all the options, studied what others are doing to customize their residences and learned a lot about how to make a house into your one-of-a-kind home.

Now comes the hard part – getting everything you own from one home to the other. Keep in mind that the boxes and packing material you choose to use could make a huge difference. Will your experience be like a pleasant dream, or will it resemble a restless nightmare? Your possessions might arrive all in one piece, safe and sound and ready to adorn your new home – or you could be unpacking boxes of cracked dishes, chipped glassware and crumbling knickknacks.

A Better Option

You'll need a variety of items to pack your possessions properly, including markers, bubble wrap and packing paper, but your first – and probably most expensive step – is to obtain boxes. You will likely save money in the short term by visiting your local grocery store or liquor store and asking for whatever used boxes are available. They won't cost you anything, but they might be damaged, contaminated with bugs or stained by food residue. A better option is to purchase well-made boxes that are designed to carry specific items.

The most affordable and environmentally friendly way to pack your home is to acquire used boxes that are in good shape. Avoid boxes and packing materials that have been overused as they will not provide proper support and protection. Another eco-friendly option that may be available in your area is plastic box rentals. Learn more about alternatives to purchasing new packing supplies by reading our moving guide.

For instance, small boxes are meant for books, tools and small appliances such as toaster ovens and coffee makers. They won't be too heavy to lift and carry once you fill them up. You can cushion these items with bubble wrap or packing paper.

Medium-sized boxes are ideal for stereo equipment, kitchen items and toys. You should use large boxes to pack linens and bulky but not-too-heavy items such as pillows and comforters.

It's a good idea to use standard-sized boxes because they will be easier to stack, whether you have hired a moving company or you are relocating with the help a friend's pickup truck.

A Wise Decision

Now that you have located moving boxes and supplies, you should make sure you are placing your valuables in boxes that are made for specific purposes. Dish packs are designed to protect fragile items such as dishes, plates and glasses, while wardrobe boxes come with a steel bar for hanging and protecting clothes. A mirror box also can be used to transport framed pictures and glass table tops, while lamp boxes are tall enough and strong enough to protect your valuable lamps.

Keep Your Stuff Safe

Your next step is to find packing material that will keep your valuables safe during the move, whether you are relocating across town or across the country. Newspaper is an inexpensive but unacceptable option because the ink can rub off on your hands or, even worse, stain the items in your boxes. Better choices are plain butcher paper, high-quality paper towels or thin sheets of foam, while felt or bubble wrap works best for breakable items.

Here are some tips to help make your move a little easier:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to pack. You don't want to be throwing things into unmarked boxes and taping the boxes haphazardly as they are going out the door.
  • Use quality tape on the top and the bottom of all boxes. There's a chance that your boxes might be turned upside down during the move.
  • Fill your boxes – you don't want the stuff inside to be bouncing around during the move – but be careful not to overfill them. You can use packing peanuts, clothing, Styrofoam, tissue paper or towels to fill in the spaces.
  • Clearly mark what is inside each box. That way, when you begin the task of unpacking, you'll have the option of opening the boxes that contain the items you need right away first. You won't have to cut the tape on every box to rediscover what you packed inside.
  • Some things, such as brooms, mops, ski poles and baseball bats, won't fit nicely into boxes, no matter how hard you try. You can tape these items together into a nice, tight bundle though, which will make them much easier to move.

Once your move is complete, you can break your well-built boxes down and store them flat until you need them again, give them to a friend or relative who is contemplating a move or recycle them. You can post your used moving boxes on classified websites like Freecycle and Craigslist or sell them to a local used moving box company. In the event that you must dispose of your moving boxes please make sure you put them into a cardboard recycling dumpster.

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