Moving Tips: Packing Box #1
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They say that every journey starts with a single step. Clearly, moving always starts with packing up your first box. That’s not quite the Box #1 I’m talking about though.
Our move is less than three days away and I’m getting a little nervous about the exhaustion and sweatiness that is Moving Day. I know I’m not the only one approaching a move so I wanted to share my favorite tip. After my first couple of post-college moves, I became a devotee to the idea of having a go-to container of all the things you need quick access to after moving into a new place. Creatively, I call it Box #1 and it should be the first one into your new place and likely the first one you crack open. Read on for a list of what I’m talking about and some tips for making your next move a smoother one.
First, get yourself a container. I prefer the large, plastic bins with the flip tops. The one pictured above is the 12 gallon size from Costco. They’re easy to get in and out of and it will stand out amongst the sea of brown cardboard boxes that will take over your new living space. Now to the contents:
-Scissors: For opening boxes, cutting through packing tape etc. Don’t use your new keys, silly.
-Trash Bags: opening boxes leads to trash. Be prepared. Bonus points if you pack a clear ones for recycling and an opaque ones for trash.
-Paper Towels, Dish Soap, a Sponge and All-Purpose Cleaning Spray: There’s nothing worse than finding some mess left behind by the former owners when all you want to do is unpack a cooler or load up a cabinet. Just as annoying, wanting a clean glass for a drink of water or realizing how dirty your hands are right before you dive into take-out pizza.
-Shower Curtain Liner and Rings: The cute fabric curtain can wait to be unpacked but being able to take a shower at the end of the day cannot.
-Marker or a pen: In the age of smartphones that you can store notes in, this may seem a little superfluous but just wait until the delivery guy shows up without a pen to sign your take-out receipt with. Also helps if you need to re-label a box before you relegate it to storage.
-Flat sheet: If it’s time for bed and you can’t find your linens or you need to cover up windows to block out the sun or a cozily situated neighbor, a sheet will get you through the first night at least.
-Container of Fasteners: The thing that usually makes me feel more at home after moving in is getting some pictures off of the floor and onto the walls. Also comes in handy with the afore-mentioned sheet-as-bedroom-curtain scenario.
-Hammer, Crescent Wrench and Screwdrivers (flat and philips head): I’m sure you have a whole toolkit somewhere but, when you just want to hang up a picture or reassemble your bed, these three should get you through the most immediate situations.
-Extension Cord or Power Strip: How many times have you moved into your new place on the hottest day of the year and just need to plug in a fan/air conditioner before you lose your mind? An extension cord will give you a little more flexibility until you get rid of all the piles in front of your outlets.
-Phone Charger: I usually stick this in my purse but let’s be honest, that gets stuffed with all of my last-minute detritus as I’m walking out the door of my last place and then shoved in a closet once I arrive at the new one.
-Plastic Utensils and Cups: For when you just can’t handle washing dishes.
-Toilet Paper: You know why.
-Extras: These are some of the things I add into the box once my crazy, worst-case-scenario brain takes over. I’ll spare you the justifications but you may want to consider them. Masking tape, notepad, tape measure, stick-on floor protectors for your furniture legs, batteries, flashlight, spackle and a putty knife, bottled water, and snacks.
Since some of these things are in use up to the last-minute, it’s usually one of the last boxes I close. If you’re using professional movers, (that’s probably my #2 tip and you should check it out. It’s not always as expensive as you think) ask them to pack it into the truck last so it’s off the truck first. Alternatively, take it with you in your own car.
When you get to your new place, open up the windows and air that sucker out! It’s your place now and it’s time to take over. Even if you’re renting, I think it’s really important to make your dwelling feel like your space no matter how long you plan on being there. Holes can always be patched and walls can always be repainted.
Any other good tips to share? Do you guys have a move in your future? I’ll share some in progress shots of our new house next week!