A long time ago I was shocked to suddenly find out that the house I was renting had been sold. I looked and looked but couldn’t find just the right house. Either the price on a home I liked was too high or a house I could afford just wasn’t one I liked. Getting down to the wire, I was barely able to move in time, as agreed upon between the landlord and myself. In the nick of time, though, I found a home I liked and could afford but that caused another problem: how could I possibly pack everything and move in just a couple of days? Well, getting a few people to help me move wasn’t the real problem; packing everything and getting it loaded onto the trucks was the real challenge.
I realized right away that I would not have time to clean, wrap everything in bubble wrap, carefully package breakables and further move in the traditional ways. Most people dust or clean each item, carefully wrap and package it, then arrange it neatly in a box. Okay, that’s going to take days upon days! There’s no time! If you need to move right now there are a few less-than-traditional tips I can give you to get done in a hurry. Of course, it might be a little harder to unpack, but you’ll have plenty of time for that when you get into your new house!
You have a list of best friends when it comes to packing quickly. One of those friends happens to be a pillowcase. There is no limit to the items you can shove into pillowcases: skillets, pots and pans, plastic wares, unbreakable dishes, stacked picture frames, photo albums and books, shoes, toiletries – hundreds of things. Color-code each person by designating solid-colored pillowcases for one person, stripes or other patterns for the other family members.
Color-coding is a great idea to replace the traditional writings on the boxes. Lots of people label the packed boxes by using markers to write “kitchen”, “bedroom”, “bath”, etc. This makes it easy to locate items later. Since you won’t be using all boxes there are other techniques you can try. One is to use colored tape. A strip of colored tape on a pillowcase or other object can let you know immediately whose stuff it is. The tape can be wrapped around the top of the pillowcase to secure it.
In bedrooms, remove the drawers from the dressers. This will make it easier to carry the dresser and you can tuck all sorts of things into the drawers. Gather breakable items from the same room and place them amongst the clothing in a particular drawer. This way, you can move glass frames, small mirrors, wall hangings, and even unbreakable items at once. The drawers can be stacked on the truck with a folded sheet or curtain between each one.
Worry about washing bedding later. For now, remove the fitted sheet from the bed. Place it on top of the quilt then pile pillows or even entire closet contents on the bed. Clothing on hangers, shoes (in grocery bags if you want), coats, additional bedding, towels, wash cloths – all of these can be piled on top of the quilt. Now take one bottom corner of the flat sheet, and the adjacent top corner, and tie them in a tight knot across the pile. Take the two remaining corners and tie them across the top, crossing over the first knot. This bundle can be set in the new bedroom and makes it easy to unpack and put everything away.
Use large coolers to hold not only the food from the fridge but other items as well. Pack the coolers full of tools from the garage. Fill them full of silverware and other kitchen implements. Even small appliances, like an electric can opener, can fit. Coolers can hold bathroom items, toys, laundry supplies, “junk drawer” stuff, and even clothing. Simply wash the cooler after unpacking.
Another handy holder is a laundry basket. Use it to pack pans, dishes, and much more. Stuff grocery bags between breakable items but not each individual thing. For example, if you aren’t moving too far you can place a stack of plates in the basket, then stuff bags or towels around them. Place smaller items, like cups and bowls, on the towel around the plates.
Large, empty plant pots, clothes hampers, diaper pails, trash cans and similar items can all be used to help you move large amounts of little things quickly. Place a trash bag inside first and you’ll be able to fill trash cans to the max with bags of Christmas decorations, cd’s and movies, shoes, books and much more.
Obviously, if you’re moving miles and miles away, you’ll want to pack carefully and wrap each individual breakable. But if you’re in a hurry and there’s no time for all of that, you’ll find lots of ways to make the job easier with the least amount of risk to your belongings. Stuff soft things around breakables when possible, pack things tightly, and take care when you position the items on the truck. If you follow these tips you’ll be settled in your new home real soon!