Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moving like Martha Stewart

Right, so in a few days I’m moving into my new home. It’s been on the cards for awhile but somehow time has snuck up on me and now I’m packing like a crazy woman. In an effort to calm down I have enlisted the help of a few friends and the one woman I know has a plan for everything. Yep, you guessed it Martha Stewart.

I’ve always considered; or at least tried to be, the rockabilly Martha Stewart. Like Martha crafty, homemade but with my rockabilly style and without the prison sentence. So here are a few tips to help move according to Martha and me.

PLANNING – obliviously an essential step. Know where and when you are moving, when you get keys, how much you have and the size space your moving into. You need to stay organized so dedicate a ring binder to move-related paperwork, such as to-do lists, contracts, receipts, checklists, and phone numbers. Print an information sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions, and your cell phone number.

LABELS - I’m also a big fan of printed labels, just because this way you do know what’s in the box and movers don’t have to keep asking you where you want things. For this move I have labels for the boxes (of course) and A4 room labels for the new house – hence the reduction of questions for people helping me.

COLOR CODE HELPS – if you don’t want to write up labels you can color code rooms. Simply assign a color to each room, and mark boxes and furniture (be mindful of delicate surfaces) with coordinating stickers to ensure the movers will know at a glance where everything should go.

MOVE/SELL/GIVE/DITCH – When packing up your home you can suddenly discover you have way more than you think. What seemed like a neat, tidy and small room suddenly is overflowing with bits and pieces. So be honest do you really need to take it with you? When was the last time you looked for/at or used the items? So divide into items your taking with you (MOVE), which ones you can SELL or GIVE away and which ones are rubbish. Remember by doing this you not only end up with less clutter, you may help someone else and the move will cost you less.

ASK - Ask friends for recommendations, and get quotes from three licensed moving companies. On-site estimates tend to be more accurate, whether pricing is by weight and distance or a flat or hourly rate. Decide if the movers or you will pack (regardless, you may want to wrap fragile or costly items yourself). Ask if the quote is binding or nonbinding, what charges could arise, and what insurance is included. If necessary, contact your insurance company for additional coverage. Request a copy of the signed contract.
DOCUMENT -Have items such as artwork and antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph & upload the images to your computer, then save them to a CD. Be sure to store the CD it with your small valuables and give a copy to a trusted friends, just in case.

GATHER - Stock up on moving supplies, including boxes, tape (packing, masking), wrapping material (bubble, plastic, and tissue paper), and labels. Keep your eyes peeled for used boxes from places such as bookstores, which are built to carry compact but heavy loads, are excellent for most other items.

START – if you don’t start you’ll never finish, so box infrequently used items. Try to limit each box's weight to enable easy lifting. Fill large boxes with pillows and other light things, and reserve smaller boxes for your heavier possessions. Always reinforce the bottoms with packing tape. Secure fragile objects with cushioned packaging material and painters' tape, which releases easily. Pack electronics and small appliances in their original packaging or in snugly fitting boxes.

NOTIFY - Request that your utilities and phone and Internet service be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the day before you arrive. Arrange to have the locks in your new home changed on moving day, or earlier if convenient. To have your mail forwarded at the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and notify banks and credit card companies.

LAST OUT / FIRST IN - Pack your day-to-day necessities so that they're together in one place, including bedding, towels, toiletries, toilet paper, basic tools, cleaning supplies, medications, a camera (to document anything broken in transit), snacks, a few dishes and utensils, and a coffeepot -- plus coffee and mugs. Take the box with you in your car.

WRAP & PROTECT- When transporting anything with doors or drawers, such as bureaus, cabinets, or large appliances, wind a few layers of plastic wrap around the item to secure it. This eliminates the need for tape, which can damage delicate surfaces, and helps safeguard against scratches. Plastic wrap can also protect upholstered furniture against dirt. Make a masking-tape X across mirrors and framed artwork. While this technique won't prevent shattering, it will help absorb shock and hold the glass in the frame should the item be dropped. Pack objects in a tightly fitting box clearly marked "fragile" on all sides. Make sure the corners are well-padded, so the objects won't slide around.

Get to it, the sooner you start the sooner your in your new home

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