Sunday, May 13, 2012

Military Monday- Prepping Tips for Moving

I have been complimented on my extensive PCS lists and articles numerous times and it is something that I pride myself in.  But just the other day I was looking through my list and noticed a pretty big hole in my "extensive list".  Although I included checklists and such I never included a tip list of things that should be done prior and during the packing process.  Below are 10 tips and thoughts of things that you should always do when prepping for the movers.  If you choose not to use movers and do the work yourself, some of these things will not apply to you but most should be a beneficial thought.

Good luck with your move!  The more you prep, the smoother it will be!

1. Start early- The second you get your orders, start organizing to make the actual packing a million times easier.

2. Ziploc everything- Everything that is comprised of small pieces should be zip-locked to keep it all together (legos, writing utensils, etc.)

3. Ziploc hardware and attach to furniture- One of the biggest complaints people have about movers, besides them breaking and stealing objects, is their unnatural ability to lose the hardware required for your furniture.  Save yourself the hassle and ziploc all the screws and bolts in a baggie and attach it to the furniture itself.  If you want to leave the dis-assembly for the movers, give them a ziploc bag and tell them what you want.

4. Either create a box for remotes or ensure remotes are put in the same box as electronics via taping- While unpacking you'll find that no matter how much you prep for the movers, items make their way into random boxes.  Unless you have very little, it'll probably take you awhile to unpack all your goodies.  It would be such a pain to unpack your tv and dvd player but not have a clue where the movers placed your remotes.  Either bundle all the remotes together and put them in a box all on their own or attach them to the electronics themselves so there isn't much searching involved.

5. Use up products that can't be moved- No one wants to throw away money.  Make sure to look ahead and figure out which products can and cannot be shipped.  Most of these products include aerosal cans, perishable foods, and opened liquid products.  Use up all you can before the move date to lessen how much hits the dumpster.

6. Downsize- While going through your house organizing and cleaning, be sure to downsize.  I'm not saying you should throw out all your furniture and start over when you get to your new duty station; but if there is an end table that is on it's last leg that you've been planning to replace anyway, get rid of it.  It probably wont make it through the move anyway and won't take up unnecessary room or weight.   Get rid of all the clothes that your children had grown out of or the toys they no longer play with.

7. Serial Number list- You should always keep a running list of your electronics' serial numbers.  Even before and after the move you should have a list on tabs in case something gets stolen from your home and you need to report it to your insurance.  The serial numbers for the move ensures that the movers know you have electronics on board and are aware that they are being tracked.  Just think of it as an additional insurance policy on your belongings to deter sticky fingers from stealing your things.

8. Video of products (especially electronics-including small kitchen appliances)- Just like your serial number list, the government needs proof that you own the products that you say and that they are in working order so if something does come up missing or damaged you can get a full refund to replace the object.  A great way of doing this is going room by room and taking a video recording of everything you own.  In regards to electronics, you should turn on the object and video record it being in working order.  Do the same for all kitchen appliances especially if you have anything fancy like a kitchen aid.

9. Separate "need" and "use"- Especially if you are moving overseas and doing multiple shipments of your belongings, separate all things that you can temporarily live without and those that you absolutely must keep at an arms reach.  Those that you can live without can be shipped right away while the things that you need will stay behind with you.  If you're not moving overseas the separation can still be useful for you.  The more organized your items are on the shelf and put away, the easier and more efficient the movers will be.  Put away the items that you don't really need so that when pack time comes, it is quick and relatively painless.

10.  Clean before packing- I really cannot stress this one enough.  The last thing you want is for dirty, moldy, objects to be put in a box with other things and sit there for anywhere between 2 weeks and a couple of months.  Next thing you know, when you open the box the mold has spread to the fabrics or the smell of the dirt is impenetrable by numerous washings.  As you go through your rooms and organize, be sure to clean as well.  Make sure there isn't anything on your belongings that could cause a problem when stuffed in a box for an extended period of time (food, mold, moisture, etc.).  Also, right before the movers come be sure that you house is fairly clean and that your trash cans are empty.  If you have trash in any of your cans one of two things will happen: A) they pack your cans trash and all  B) they wont even touch your cans.  Do yourself a favor and clean.

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