Thursday, March 20, 2014

47 UHeart Organizing: Easy Tips for An Organized Move

The last time we moved I was a whopping 19 years old.  The moving process consisted of piling things into laundry baskets and tossing them into the back of our car; cruising between our apartment and new home with the windows down, music blasting and only exciting times ahead.    Oh to be young and free again.....

At that age, we didn't have a lot of belongings and we had the help of our parents to get the larger things from point A to point B.  The move was a total of twenty miles one way and there was not an ounce of organization to be seen.  We were basically starting from scratch.

I get asked quite frequently about tips and tricks for moving, and in my mind I know exactly how I would do it, however, until it really happens it is hard to offer any type of real life advice.

That is where my amazing contributor, Casey from Pretty Organized, comes in!   She is here to share her top tips for moving and staying organized while doing it!



Hi, IHeart Organizers!!  I'm excited to share some big news with you guys: we bought a house!! While we're getting prepared for the big move, I figured I'd share a few tips with you, too.  Here are my top five tips for staying sane & organized during this overwhelming {and exciting!} process.


Moving Tip #1: Start packing WAY in advance

We all tend to underestimate how much "stuff" we really have. At least a month before you move, start packing up the non-essentials.  Start with out-of-season clothing, decorations, spare linens, and tools & small appliances that you won't be using regularly.  As your moving date gets closer, you can start packing up the items you can live without short-term as you continue to pack & pare things down to the bare essentials.  Packing always takes longer than you think, and you definitely DON'T want to be the person who's still packing when your friends arrive to help on moving day!



Moving Tip #2: Don't move junk

Don't just mindlessly pack up all of your junk & move it to the next house.  Take the opportunity to declutter as much as you can with a "take no prisoners" approach!  If you don't love it or use it, don't waste your time & money packing, shipping, and unpacking it.  There are a bunch of charities that will actually come pick up your donations for you.  Habitat for Humanity for example.  Just place it in a "giveaway" box & let them do the rest of the work!


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Moving Tip #3: Stock up on good storage boxes & supplies

As far as free boxes, I prefer getting them from liquor stores instead of the grocery store.  Liquor store boxes are awesome because they usually have a bunch of sizes, handy dividers, sturdy sides, & built-in handles.  They are also less likely to contain rotten produce or scary bugs!

Specialty moving boxes can be helpful, too.  Wardrobe boxes are a convenient way to store, move, and organize clothing without taking it off the hanger, and shrink wrap is fantastic for covering the tops of drawers so that you can keep the contents inside without worrying about spills.  {It's great for covering silverware organizers, too!}

Don't forget to use containers you already have!  Everything from the crockpot to your suitcases can hold items when you move.

Also, use your stuff to help cushion delicate items.  Clean clothes & towels work really well and can save you a bunch of money on bubble wrap. You're also pulling double-duty in the packing department!




Moving Tip #4: Label, label, color code, and label!

Whether you get specialty labels or use color-coded Sharpies & duct tape, labeling your boxes will help everyone stay organized when you move.  Be specific & keep like items together.  Try not to have fifty boxes labeled "Miscellaneous" -- you won't enjoy digging through them later!  If you have a big house, you may want to put a sign up on each room so people can easily figure out where everything goes & deliver boxes to the correct area without having to ask you for help.  Oh, and when you label your boxes, make sure you label all of the sides so that you don't have to dig & turn everything to see what goes where!



Moving Tip #5: Have a "First Night Survival" box

Pack at least one box with the basics you'll need to survive the first day or two.  Label it in a different color & pack it last so that it's easy to find.  It can include an overnight bag with clothes & toiletries, basic cooking utensils, some toilet paper, shower supplies, phone chargers, etc.  Nothing is more frustrating than having to look through thirty boxes trying to find your toothbrush!


What are your favorite tips & tricks to help make moving easier?

We are getting close to our move-in date & I'd love to hear your ideas -- please share in the comments below!



"My name is Casey, and I live in a sweet, tiny little house in Delaware with my hubby & our two adorable rescue dogs. As a longtime fan of Jen's phenomenal organizing skills, I am absolutely THRILLED to be a contributor for IHeart Organizing! I used to be a total mess, but after I let go of the idea of “perfect,” I found freedom. I stopped trying to fit the mold & learned how to make organization work with my natural habits, and I have become obsessed with creative organizing solutions ever since! When I'm not drooling over the latest amazing project features over here, you can find me happily tinkering away on my own blog, Pretty Organized, where I share my addiction to aesthetics, small space storage ideas, DIY projects, and all things aqua!"


*header image found here

47 comments:

  1. FABULOUS! We just sold our house and are preparing to move for the first time as a married couple!! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I can not describe how perfect the timing is :)

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  2. What great timing! I'm getting ready to move in the next couple of months. And while I'm not ready for the packing stages yet, I want to have a game plan for when I am.

    Last time I moved (about a year ago), I used Disney Princess stickers to code my boxes! Anything with Cinderella went to my room, Ariel to the laundry, Rapunzel to the kitchen, etc. And I got those stickers from Dollar Tree :D

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  3. I haven't moved in over 20 years and don't see it happening anytime soon but these are great ideas. I used most of them in the last move! If I had to do it again, I would pack as if I was going on a two-week vacation then add school/work stuff needed and pack up everything else! Well, after the decluttering of course. It is horrible to find a box five years after the move that hadn't been unpacked or missed.

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  4. My secret for moving boxes is bookstores. Your bookstore gets about 3x as many boxes as they need for returning books, and a bunch go in the recycling bin. The boxes usually come from a central distribution facility (even if it's an independent store, the books often come from Ingram) and therefore, they're completely uniform in size. Sturdy, clean, uniform *and* since they're designed to sized to hold a manageable quantity of heavy books, they're almost impossible to accidentally fill to the point you can't lift them.

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    1. That's a really good tip! Before, I was going to Costco and getting any box...mostly Washington Apple boxes!

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  5. Is your grout sealed? I was expecting the sealant to prevent the dirt from accumulating.
    Also, you could change the colour of your grout slightly. A light grey instead of white would probably be more forgiving. A product available at Home Depot Canada that I am sure must be available in US as well is Grout Renew by Polyblend:
    http://www.homedepot.ca/product/180-sandstone-grout-renew/921790
    Daria

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  6. I used colored duct tape with each color representing a certain room. Then I only have to write what is in it on the top of the box!

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    1. That's really organized! That's a really good tip!

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  7. We will be moving this summer and I'm so glad to read this now! Thanks for the tips!

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  8. I used circle labels, color coded them and printed the first initial of the room it belonged in. Made it really easy to tell the movers: red K? goes in the kitchen; green M? up to the master bedroom; purple B? goes in the second bedroom on the right, etc.

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    1. oooh, quick, simple and genius!!! love this idea!

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  9. I just moved over the summer and made use of the resuable storage bins that seem to be coming on the market now. Companies will essentially "rent" you plastic bins for a two week period of time. They are so easy because they don't require any set up/tape and the company will drop them off at your current location and pick them up for your new one. Definitely check them out. The company I used was Bin-It

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  10. My family moved roughly every two years while being constantly relocated with our company. We were able to use a moving company. We found designating a closet labeled DO NOT PACK was a great help. This kept the packers from packing up items we would need on our cross country moves. I was shocked that they will pack everything, including dryer lint found on the floor and even trash cans with trash in them. We were blessed to have movers, but a little planning ahead avoided searching for dear child's favorite stuffed animal, car keys, etc...

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  11. Great ideas; wish I'd thought of colored duct tape! When I moved last year I was heading in one direction and 85% of my belongings were heading to storage. Because I knew I would need to access the storage unit to find items, I followed a friend's example and inventoried my boxes as I packed them. I kept a small spiral notebook and pen on hand. Each room got a letter and each box got a number...yes, a bit more time up front (and not ideal for a last-minute packer). Then I entered in the notebook what was in the box (i.e. "winter sweaters, turtlenecks, scarves, hats, gloves"). When I had to go to the storage unit six months later to find my winter clothes, boots, and accessories, I knew I was looking for box C12, C14 ... and my winter shoes/boots were in C23. LOTS of time saved on the searching-end.

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  12. I did a big move about 7 years ago. We had to pack up some stuff to move into the place we were renting while our home was being built & some stuff that we didn't need until we moved into the completed home. I put the name of each room that the items belonged in & a number. Then I had a notebook that had each box number & everything that was inside that box. During our renting time if I needed a certain item I would look in the notebook to see which box it was in and since the boxes were in numerical order everything was so simple to find. It made unpacking go so fast.

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  13. During our last move, I labeled each box like "LR-1" for Living Room #1. Then I had kept a running list of box numbers and what was in each box. It really helped to not only ensure that every single box made the move, but then to place boxes in appropriate rooms and find things easily. Like I knew to not open dining room boxes 5-8 right away, since they had the china and crystal.

    It really wasn't even that much extra work. I think the rooms were color coded, too.

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  14. When we moved last year, I did a few things to help. First I labeled each box according to the room and assigned it a number like "LR-1" for living room box #1. This way I knew where each box went and how many boxes there were. I also kept a running list of the box numbers and general contents of each box. This way I could check and make sure that each box made the move and could find things easily. Like I knew that I didn't have to open dining room boxes 5-8 right away, since they were the china and crystal.

    It sounds like a lot of work, but it really wasn't. Made unpacking a lot easier.

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  15. Great tips! I used all of these when I moved 3 months ago. I can't stress how important it is to start the packing process as EARLY as possible. Also, donating and throwing away junk will save you tons of time and space.

    The only additional tip I have is to label multiple boxes for the same area "1 of 3" so you can keep track of your stuff. This is especially helpful if you hire movers or have a lot of additional help.

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  16. My boyfriend and I are currently packing up and moving to a new space next month, this post was perfect. Thanks a bunch!

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  17. I actually disagree about liquor boxes - buying ones that are all the same size makes it so much easier to pack the truck!

    My other two tips: Get the truck one size bigger than you think you need, and pack EVERYTHING. Don't trick yourself into thinking "it's only a few more things", because it inevitably ends up being like 5 more car loads and is a huge pain!

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  18. Make use of your furniture and the versatility of pallet wrap! Especially for things that are light and will be going right back into where they were before. We have 4 2x4 expedits that are filled with kasset storage boxes (because we have a total lack of storage)... our last move we moved the boxes and the expedits separately, so that was a ton of trips especially when you think about taking them out of the old place and into the new one (48 total). Most of those things are light enough that it didn't add a huge amount of weight to the unit (especially if you have pro movers who can throw couches around like feathers) and I could have easily used painters tape to secure the lids and then pallet wrap the whole thing. The added weight would have been less tiring than all of those individual trips!

    Other things, like nightstands or carts of craft supplies or any of those sorts of things can be pallet wrapped quite securely (and will be anyway if you have pro movers and they have drawers). Just be careful of packing them super heavy (especially if you have crappy hardboard bottom drawers) and packing fragile items in something that might be moved around a bit (or wrap it well and mark it fragile).

    You save time on all sides, because the packing & unpacking process is so easy, but also because it means less trips + more room in the truck. And, frankly, things are a bit more protected in something like a nightstand or expedit than just surrounded by a moving box.

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  19. I wish I would have known these things when we moved halfway across the country. When we moved we really didn't have anything that was worth any money, so we spend more on the moving truck than what any of our belongings on the truck were worth. I would like to go back and get rid of everything, but what fit in the car. The "don't move junk" is my FAVORITE tip!

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  20. If you have a moving company do the move for you, draw a map of your house and post it as you enter the house, by stairs, where ever they might see it. Then label your boxes as "Bedroom #1" or "Family Room". Movers can quickly look at your map and they will not be asking you all the time where the rooms are.

    Secondly, if you find that you are donating a lot, do not do it all in one trip. You will need an appraisal if the items you are donating are over a certain amount of money - line $5000. I don't remember the exact amount so you might want to check it.

    Storage units are fairly cheap and usually you get one month free. We rented one for two months and paid for just one month. As we were packing, we moved boxes to the unit to get them out of the house so we could still move around. Our moving van went to the storage unit to pick up our boxes, and other items that we put there. I always felt good when we had a totally empty room.

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  21. Those are great tips. I also found that using Styrofoam plates in between each of my plates kept them from rattling around in the box. Also used the foam plates between baking dishes, pans, etc. Also picked up a roll of "end of roll" white paper from our local newspaper. I wrapped everything in that paper instead of newspaper, paper towels or tissue paper. I would also stuff the paper around an already packed box to prevent things from moving around. Also, for all my kitchen boxes, I labeled each box "Kitchen" and then listed everything packed in that box on top of that box. That way as I was unpacking I didn't have to upack an entire box to find out what all was in it. For the other rooms, I would list more general items that were packed in the box (i.e. books, DVDs, etc..) I made sure my boxes were labeled really well to make unpacking really easy (and so I wouldn't have to keep up with a notebook with everything written in it).

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    1. I used the Duct grip shelf liner, cut into squares between our dishes. It works great.

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  22. If just moving nearby, leave your clothes on a hanger and put a garbage bag around them. It's super easy to move and you don't have to rehang!

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  23. Love this! I especially love the tip to pack for the first night. You can't imagine how many moves I've done where I would pack all my essentials and immediately regret it the first night.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

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  24. This is great! Her advice is spot on. We just moved and instead of writing rooms or contents on the boxes I wrote numbers. Each box had a number that coordinated to an index card with the contents. As the movers walked stuff in I had the index cards and I would flip through it and tell them what room to go to. We didn't know where we were moving when we moved out of our old house (our stuff sat in storage for 5 months) so we had no way of knowing that we'd have a basement, or a playroom. I also labeled the doors since they didn't know whose room was whose. It was quite the process (with 2 kids in tow) but it was fairly seamless! And I knew what was in every box (since it takes almost a month to completely unpack).

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  25. As with you I also have packed a survival box and recommend that friends do to. I tell them to put in paper towels, paper and plastic plates, cups and cutlery. Sauce pan, fry pan (or crock pot). Easy foods like peanut butter and jelly, bread, mac and cheese, crackers, cereal that can double for snacks like fruit loops. Toiletries such as tooth brushes, paste, toilet paper, deodorant. Chargers for phones etc. Good to pack a clothing survival box too, with a couple days change of clothes for each family member, diapers etc.
    Another thing I have always done and recommend to friends is that if I have young children the first room to unpack and organize was always their room. I tried to make it as similar as the old one with their pictures and beds, dressers etc. in approximately the same layout (it can always be redone in a few weeks). It makes them feel secure and they know where to find their things. It will help to keep them occupied playing in their rooms while you have more time to unpack the rest of the house.

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  26. Thanks for the great tips! I have to share one of the best moving tips I came across a few years ago before my husband and I moved into our first home. It was so simple and so smart! Essentially, you assign a color to each room in your new home or space and then color code your boxes and other items with a small square of coordinating colored paper.

    We cut out 3x3 inch or so squares of paper and taped a square to each box/lamp/whatever. Then, at our new home, we taped a large red piece of paper on the master bedroom door, a green piece on the office door, etc. We also had a master color key on the front door, so people knew where to head with their box. This simple way of marking boxes meant that everything ended up in the room where it needed to be without us having to answer 100 questions from those helping us. I still did some labeling of the boxes so I knew what was in each box, but this made the unloading process a breeze! I highly recommend it!

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  27. Definitely start packing and decluttering as soon as you know you're moving! And start the extra cleaning (if you're not hiring a cleaner). Things like windows, walls, exhaust fan covers etc. can be cleaned well in advance and then just wiped over if needed when you move.
    My other tip is, if someone offers to help book them in for a day and time on the spot! Or, if you have some awesome friends, plan a cleaning or packing party where you all get together and do some cleaning and/or packing, then provide an easy lunch (simple BBQ, party pies and sausage rolls, a tray of sandwiches from Subway or something similar). It's always more fun to do this kind of stuff with a friend or three :-)
    Here's a link to a blog post I wrote during our most recent move: http://scootershell.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/my-top-10-tips-for-moving.html

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  28. Great (and simple) ideas. Sometime I use copy paper boxes. They are uniform in size (stackable), have a lid, and are easy to carry.

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  29. Fill up your suitcases with your clothes, toiletries, medicines etc that you need for a couple of days for each family member. (As if you were going on holiday). Don't forget a suitcase or box with all the bedding that you need so you can make your bed first up. If you have spare sheets, use them so you can climb into nice clean sheets after a busy day. One of the first things I like to do is make up the beds... it's nice to be able to walk into a room and see progress and that it starts to look like home. Also, don't forget plastic plates, bowls etc so you have something to eat off. Disposable is great for the first day... who feels like washing up amongst the chaos? Also, don't fill up boxes solely with books as it makes them too heavy... your friends and family will curse you if they hurt their back trying to lift it! Put some books in the bottom of the box, then add light things on top, like cushions/pillows etc. Make sure your cleaning supplies are the first thing out of the truck, as you'll probably discover that some things will need cleaning before you start putting things away. (Wipe out drawers etc). Make sure that the things that you need first (food, utensils, coffee and kettle, cleaning supplies, some toys for the kids etc) are the LAST thing to go in the truck so that they are FIRST out at the new place. I always carry a bag of essentials with me (not in the truck) of food, medicines, waterbottles, change of clothes for kids and toilet paper!

    If you have any canvas prints, don't wrap them in paper. The dye from the paper will rub off onto the canvas. (We had black edges on our canvases and they were wrapped in white paper... we now have white marks on all the corners.) Canvases and oil paintings are meant to be wrapped in bubble wrap.

    Good luck to anyone that's moving! We've moved 8 times in the last 10 years, with the last being an international move. I'm ready to stay put for awhile! :-)

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  30. Great tips! I sat and wrote them all down, but I'd love to have a post just cataloging everyone's tips so I know right where to come when I move next year. My question is, how do you get your movers (when they are family...namely husband) to agree to follow all your organization? Mine thinks it's dumb and refuses to 1) pack his stuff that way, which is okay, and 2) put anything in the coordinating room!

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  31. Yay Casey - a new home! That's amazing new! I'm so happy for you.

    And great tips too! Hopefully I don't have to use them for a very long time. :)

    Annie XO

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  32. During our last move, I went a bit over the edge and created a chart, labeled every box with a number (it's crazy how many boxes you'll need for a small city apartment) and in my chart I wrote what was inside. I also marked the boxes with which room to put the box in. I can not tell you how little time it took me to unpack because I knew where everything was going. This really helps while you are putting furniture in their new spot, it allows you to keep the boxes of books, etc. in a corner until you are ready to put them back where they belong.
    -Shirly F.

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  33. I am a frequent mover and I have a system that works great. I have color coded avery labels and a master list for each room. As each box is packed, we write the contents on the master list. Then tape the box close, and affix labels to all sides. Each box is consecutively numbered. That way I can check off each box number as it comes off the truck as well as knowing the contents of each box, helping me to know which boxes I need to unpack first. Works wonderfully!

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  34. instead of labeling my boxes with the stuff inside of them i labeled them with numbers and put everything else that's inside of them in a excel spreadsheet. that way the movers weren't checking out all the items that i had! may be paranoid, but i like my privacy and safety! also this helped because then i didnt have 10 boxes labeled generic "kitchen". i could specify the exact contents in excel.

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  35. Love the ideas… Don't pack junk is a great idea but also remember that you don't have to keep it just cause it got past the first junk box. Keep a donate or junk box near by when you are unpacking too. Especially if you had help to pack so didn't get to go through everything before it made it to the truck.
    If you have kids a designated child carer is great too. someone who makes sandwiches, takes them to the park, wipes bottoms whatever they need. Mum and Dad tend to be pretty busy and can get cranky with too many disruptions. (they might even take them before move day… if your lucky)

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  36. How to move: (and I know how to move, I have been from the UK to NZ and back twice with full containers in 4 years and have moved about 25 times in my life.)
    Get rid of any stuff you don't need. Give it to friends or to charity. Recycle it. Put the rest of your stuff in boxes.Wrap fragile stuff in newspaper. Write on box with a thick pen which room it came from. Take it to new house (either carry it all yourself or pay someone else to do it.)
    If you have a spare room put all the boxes in there and unpack them one at a time.
    Either give the boxes away or keep them if you think you are moving soon.
    Easy. No need to mess about with stickers, or spreadsheets. The stuff goes from one home to another and sooner or later it will be sorted.
    By the way the movers really don't care about your stuff, they do this every day. They don't even look at your things. I have had professional packers export wrap everything twice and I saw them pack. So no need to stress about your privacy.

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  37. Light bulbs and paper towels, a flashlight, and make sure you know where the breaker panel is--good things to have and to know when you move :)

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  38. We wrapped a band of colored painters tape around all "fragile" boxes so they were easily identified.

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  39. Casey these tips are the simplest and you will always remember this in your checklist! I would like to suggest, that instead of using a box, you can also use a clear plastic bin. The clear bin allows you to see inside; it also separates itself from the myriad of cardboard boxes. It also helps the staff of a moving company to see what' inside and take good care of it.

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  40. Excellent tips. Moving can be a very stressful for any person if don't make a proper planning. These tips are really a good to follow for excellent and hassle free moving deal.

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  41. Packing a box just for the first night is such a smart idea! Especially with littles ones, I don't want to be searching through all of our boxes to try get them ready for bed. Such a smart idea! I also really like what you said about labeling every box, on every side. That way you don't have to look for where that box goes.

    http://www.aaawildcats.com

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