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Moving Countdown: 10 days

Let’s pack it in!

• NOTE: packing always takes longer than you expect, so start more than a week ahead.

• Take inventory of your belongings before they’re packed, in the event you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or video tape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic equipment. Make a list of which boxes contain valuables.

• Keep the following supplies handy for packing: boxes, marking pen, bubble wrap, newspaper and tissue, packing tape and scissors, tape measure.

• Use strong boxes and containers that can be secured tightly. Purchase special boxes for dishes, wardrobe, and other special items. Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into one box. It may be a good time to invest in some plastic storage bins. Theyre useful for the move and to organize and store afterward.

• For kitchen and bath, create one or two LOAD THIS BOX LAST for: medicines, bathroom supplies such as toilet paper, shower curtains, soap and towels, kitchen supplies for those first few take-out meals, and snacks for you and your pets.

• Create a LOAD LAST MOVE-IN box with a few essential tools: screwdrivers, scissors, flashlights, picture hooks, hammer, level, tape measure, and duct tape.

When boxes are being loaded into the truck, make sure these few boxes are LOADED LAST so these 2-3 boxes will be UNLOADED FIRST.

• Label each box with (a) the room it will go in and (b) whether it is fragile. Pack audio-video equipment in their original boxes, if available. Label cables with colored tape and tighten transit screws. If removing screws, tape them to the objects they are removed from.

• Cushion contents with packing material such as bubble wrap, newspaper, or tissue. Save room by using towels and blankets to wrap fragile items.

• Pack books tightly in small boxes. If musty smelling, sprinkle talcum powder between the pages and wrap the book before packing.

• Have rugs and draperies cleaned before moving and leave them in wrappings for the move.

• If you will be flying or driving, carry only a few days-worth of medicines; pack the remainder in a leak-proof container and hide them in a numbered moving box. I prefer to use a divided container so I know exactly how many days I have to find that box. This one from amazon is big enough for all of my daily vitamins and medicines. I also have one for the kids with their vitamins.

• Carry all valuables such as jewelry with you; also, carry spare eye glasses or contact lenses.

• Have each family member pack one or two suitcases with essential clothing and personal items, including chargers for phones and other pocket electronics. Pack like youre going on a 10 day vacation.

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