Moving Furniture: Valuable Safety Tips

Fact: Furniture is one of the hardest and most dreaded things to move. It’s big, heavy, awkwardly-shaped, and can also become damaged or cause personal injury if moved incorrectly. Your best bet when moving furniture is to hire professional movers to handle the job for you. But if you are faced with a do-it-yourself move, you will need to know how to do it safely and successfully. Here are our most valuable safety tips for moving furniture:

Disassemble Furniture

When moving large furniture, it probably seems easiest to move the entire piece at once. But in truth, doing so will likely lead to problems. Furniture is one of the most difficult items to move, due to extra-large dimensions, serious weight, awkward shape, and often fragility and high value (e.g., antique furniture). To make the task easier, it is best to take the time to disassemble your furniture. Here’s why:

  • Certain furniture pieces are too big to fit through standard doorways and narrow hallways.
  • Some furniture pieces are too heavy and awkwardly-shaped to be carried up or down stairs.
  • Some furniture pieces are too fragile – especially those with breakable glass or frail ornamentations.

Identify and Eliminate Moving Dangers

No matter what you are moving, safety is always of utmost importance. Ignore major moving safety tips and you could end up with broken belongings or personal injuries. There are many safety tips to consider when moving large furniture items. The number one safety goal is to keep exit paths and outdoor pathways clear of potential dangers. Random obstacles, packed cardboard boxes or any disorganized clutter inside or outside your home can lead to bad accidents. Another thing to remove is any dust, mud, snow, and especially ice, which can create slippery surfaces and serious injuries.

Get Help

The stress and burden of moving house is much too great for a single person to handle all on their own. This includes handling very heavy and oversized pieces of furniture. Before you try to move furniture by yourself, remember that moving house is a team effort, not a solo performance. Not only is it difficult – often impossible – to move furniture by yourself, but it is also dangerous. So be smart. Gather a team of friends to help you, or opt for professional movers who can do the job for you.

Use Proper Equipment

The bigger and heavier an object is, the harder, trickier and riskier it will be to move it. To prevent accidents and injury while moving large furniture, it’s vital to have the proper tools and equipment. To make your move easier and safer, rent or purchase the following moving equipment:

  • Furniture Dolly. A furniture dolly is an L-shaped, two-wheeled handcart that is useful and efficient when lifting or moving heavy objects. You can rent a dolly from a local moving company or can purchase one if you feel you will get good use out of owning one.
  • Furniture Slides. A furniture slider is another important piece of equipment to obtain when moving heavy items, like furniture. Slides feature durable plastic on one side and hard rubber on the other. Providing a frictionless slide, furniture can be positioned on top of it in order to be moved a short distance or all the way across a room.
  • Moving Straps. Moving straps are a very useful tool when moving heavy furniture. This is why professional movers often use them! When secured in place around your body, the weight of heavy items is redirected away from your back to a stronger muscle group. As a result, the object is easier to move and will not cause bodily harm.

Use Correct Lifting Techniques

When moving heavy objects, your body will be forced to do a lot of awkward and uncommon movements – bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and lifting. The problem is that you or one of your helpers are put at a high risk of injury. This is why it is crucial to use correct lifting techniques when moving furniture. Here are some safe lifting techniques to know and use:

  • Always lift with your legs. To do this, bend your knees, keep your back straight and use the strength of your lower limbs when lifting. This will spare your back from strains, pulls and other potential problems.
  • Avoid pulling heavy furniture. Instead, push these items whenever possible. Be sure to have furniture sliders underneath for an easier slide.
  • When turning sideways or around while holding big, heavy furniture, do so with your legs, not your hips.
  • Hold furniture you are moving as close to your body as possible and in the relative center of your body.
  • To avoid injury from poor footing, make slow, smooth movements and take small steps.
  • Keep your eyes and attention focused in front of you – especially if moving something by yourself.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing the wrong clothes or footwear can lead to unsafe moving conditions. This brings us to our final safety tip for moving furniture: dress appropriately. To achieve the level of safety you seek, here are some things to consider:

  • Wear comfortable clothes that let you move freely. Ideally, they should be made of material that is flexible and breathable.
  • Avoid clothes that you will be sorry to see get dirty or ruined.
  • Avoid baggy clothes that can become easily hooked on a piece of furniture, get caught in a door, etc.
  • Wear shoes that are closed and have rubber, anti-slip soles. Footwear should also provide good support, especially around the ankles.
  • Wear high-quality work gloves to improve your grip and to protect your hands.

For more ways to make your move easier, click here.

How to Spot a Bad Moving Company

Moving house requires many things, but planning and preparing are two of the biggest. These tasks help make a relocation easy and more successful, and you do want that, don’t you? Sure you do! Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into orchestrating a move that is flawless, certain events can occur that are simply out of your control. One thing, in particular, is to hire a bad moving company. After putting so much time and effort into planning and preparing a good local or long-distance move, it can be truly disheartening to have a poor moving company ruin it all. Though there are some movers out there who are dishonest, disreputable and fraudulent, let it be known that there are also many good and respectable moving companies that strive to make your relocation a success. So how do you bypass the “bad” movers and end up with a “good” one? The first step is by learning how to spot a bad moving company.

Bad Online Reputation

When on the search for a moving company to help with your relocation, one of the first things to research online are reviews and testimonials left by former customers. Good, reliable movers care about their reputation and work hard to keep their online record clean by providing excellent service and handling any claims, disputes and issues with clients in a quick and fair manner. Yes, there will also be a few bad reviews every now and again no matter what the business, but if a moving company is followed by mostly bad reviews, proceed with caution because you may be next to leave a bad review.

Not Licensed

All legit businesses must be registered with and licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes interstate movers. Before hiring a moving company, you should check out the FMCSA’s website and ensure they have the required licensing information. If they do not, run the other way because you may be dealing with scammers.

Refuse to Insure Your Belongings

Just as moving companies are required to have the proper licensing, they must also assume proper liability for the value of items they relocate. As a consumer, it is your right to ask a moving company for proof of insurance, request any additional information about insurance options they offer, and what their process is for filing a claim in case of lost or damaged items.

If a mover refuses to provide you with the proper moving coverage for your items, this is a big warning sign that something’s not right and you should take your business elsewhere.

Phone or Internet Estimates Only

Getting a moving estimate via the phone or internet is incredibly easy. But consider this – how will a mover be trusted to provide you with a precise moving estimate without performing a detailed, in-home inspection of all the items you have to move? Obviously, they can’t.

In order to get a detailed and accurate moving estimate, it is important to request an in-home inspection by a qualified representative from the company. The primary job of a moving expert is to determine exactly how many items a person has to move, along with any special circumstances there may be (e.g., an item is too heavy, awkwardly shaped, fragile, etc.). They are also responsible for noting any details that will affect the final cost of the move, such as special packing requirements, long flights of stairs, narrow hallways or doors, and so on.

With all of this said, to ensure you are not handed an alarming bill after your move, never accept moving estimates solely over the phone or internet. Also make sure you get an in-home estimate from several reputable moving companies (not just one!) before making your final decision in who to hire for your relocation needs.

Other Red Flags to Watch Out For

We have already discussed several things you should do to ensure you don’t hire a bad moving company for your relocation, but there are some additional red flags to be aware of. If you experience any of these things during your search for a moving company, don’t hire them.

  • They do not answer the phone with their company name.
  • They do not have a website, or their website does not provide licensing information, insurance options, nor an address.
  • The mover does not provide flexible payment options, but instead demands a large deposit or cash-only payment.
  • On moving day, your movers show up in an unmarked moving truck, seem unprofessional, bring dirty or damaged packing materials, or behave in a rude manner.

For more moving tips and tricks, we’ve got ’em!

Moving: Top Reasons It’s So Stressful

When a move is ahead, the first word that comes to mind for many is stress. In fact, moving ranks among one of the most stressful events in one’s life. It’s really no surprise, considering it’s such a costly, laborious and nerve-wracking endeavor. But what really makes moving so stressful? Several specific factors cause the tension and anxiety typically associated with the moving process. Here is a breakdown of the top reasons why moving is so stressful.

Breaking the News

Breaking the news to family and friends of your life-changing decision to move can be one of the toughest parts of an impending relocation. Though this requires neither strenuous effort nor time or money, the news may come as a shock and even cause conflicts and tension in the home – especially if you have children. Because of this, you need to be very careful, positive and patient when discussing your upcoming move with your kids. Kids, especially those that are young in age, are unable to fully understand what moving is all about, and are not as able to process their thoughts and feelings as well as you. They may get upset, scared or confused by the prospect of leaving their safe and familiar world behind. After all, the unknown can be a very scary concept. If you have school-aged children and teenagers, be prepared for some grumbling, shouting, angry retorts, and bitter tears, and a loud door slam or two.

Finding a Suitable Home

One of the first steps in the relocation process is finding a suitable home for you and your family. This task alone is extremely difficult, as well as time-consuming, especially if you’re moving to an area you are unfamiliar with. To help make the process easier, it is a good idea to visit your new city in person several months before the move to get a good understanding of your new location. This way, you will be able to find:

  • Safe and pleasant neighborhood: Exploring different neighborhoods in your soon-to-be town will help you find one that will meet all of your specific requirements in terms of safety, agreeable surroundings, and friendly community;
  • Appropriate residence: Whether you need a small apartment or a large house with a spacious backyard, you will want to ensure that wherever your new residence is, that it is in excellent condition and will provide you with all the comfort and coziness you desire. It should also come at an affordable price.
  • Convenient location: Your new home should be conveniently located to all of the necessities – work, children’s school, local amenities, medical facilities, etc. Your new location should also meet your lifestyle and personal preferences.

Finding Reliable Movers

As soon as you know when and where you will be moving, as well as pin down a suitable home, you will need to figure out how to get all of your belongings there safely and efficiently. Unless you have decided on a self-move (which is best for short-distance moves), you will need to find trustworthy, reliable movers to ship your belongings to your new home. Due to the large volume of moving companies out there, finding movers won’t be a problem. However, finding movers that are experienced, dependable, and affordable will be a much harder task. Your final decision will define the kind of moving experience you will have. This being said, the process of finding a solid moving company adds stress to your move. In order to find good movers, you will need to do careful research and pay meticulous attention to details. This way, your relocation will be successful and stress-free.

Organizing Your Belongings

A little organizing here and there isn’t all that bad. But organizing your belongings for a move is a serious and challenging task. You’ll have to clean out closets, kitchen cabinets, a basement or garage, etc. All of these areas will take time, strength and lots of decision making. Here are two essential reasons it’s an important step in the moving process:

  1. The fewer items you relocate, the less you will pay in moving costs. This is because your final moving costs depend on the weight of your shipment.
  2. The better organized your belongings are, the easier it will be to pack, unpack and transport them.

Packing Safely

The safety of your belongings will be one of your primary concerns when moving to a new home. In order to ensure your things get from Point A to Point B safe and sound, you will need to pack properly. This means using quality packing materials and knowing how to best pack, arrange and secure your belongings in moving boxes and in a moving truck.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

Essential Tips to Pack Your Shoes for a Move

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. It will require a number of things to ensure you are well-equipped for the adventure ahead – a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills, sufficient savings, reliable moving assistance and quality packing supplies. But there’s one more thing needed to conquer the rocky steps to come … a good pair of shoes. As you already know, shoes are a necessity – every day and in every situation. This being said, you will need a reliable pair of shoes before, during and after your relocation. And just as you need to wear good shoes while moving, you also need to pack all of your shoes correctly so they will stay in good condition. To avoid smashing, tearing, breaking or deforming your footwear during your move, here are some essential tips to pack your soles the right way.

Tip 1: Sort your shoes
Before you can pack your shoes, you must first sort through them. This way you will know which pairs should be taken with you and which ones should be left behind.

  • First, put aside any worn out/damaged shoes that you can no longer wear. These shoes can be thrown away prior to your move.
  • Next, set aside any shoes that are in good condition but that you no longer wear, like shoes you have outgrown, formal shoes you no longer have a need for, outdated shoes, uncomfortable shoes, etc. There is no point in moving impractical footwear to your new home. The fewer items you relocate, the less time, packing materials and money will be wasted in the end.
  • Lastly, group all shoes you intend to take with you, according to their type – boots, flip-flops, high heels, sneakers, etc.

Tip 2: Prepare your shoes for packing
Once you have decided which shoes you intend to take with you, you will need to prepare them for packing.

Check for minor repairs. Before packing your shoes, you should inspect each pair for minor repairs. Minor repairs range from replacing zippers or soles to sewing up torn or loose sections. Then, go ahead and have them repaired. There are a few reasons why taking your shoes to a repair shop prior to your move is a good idea, but the main reason is because you may learn that a pair of shoes is not worth fixing. As a result, you may decide not to relocate them after all.

Clean your shoes. Cleaning each pair of shoes you intend to relocate is another good way to prepare them for a move. To do this, remove all dirt and dust. Also, remove any pebbles embedded in the soles, a problem that can harm delicate footwear.

Dry shoes. Packing shoes that contain moisture inside a moving box can lead to a moldy, smelly situation. To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to air out your shoes for a few hours before packing them. For shoes that are especially vulnerable to humidity (sports shoes, work shoes, leather shoes), you may also want to place crumpled paper inside each shoe to help fully absorb any moisture. You can also add powder to the insides to help draw moisture out of leather and other fabrics.

Stuff shoes with paper. Many believe that simply throwing your shoes into a moving box is an efficient packing method, but this can lead to damage. To help your shoes keep their shape and avoid being crushed during transportation, stuff them with paper. While packing paper is the ideal choice, you can also use any clean paper or soft fabric, like socks. Avoid messy items, like newspaper, which will leave behind ink stains.

For shoes/boots that go above the ankle, be sure to stuff them all the way to the top. For high heels, wrap the heels in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking.

Use proper packing materials. For some, shoes may just be shoes, but for many, they are an investment – especially those with designer names. To preserve your investment during the moving process, you should provide your shoes with the best protection possible by using quality packing materials. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes may be fine for certain things, but for more expensive or valuable items, like pairs of shoes, you will need sturdy boxes, packing paper and quality packing tape.

Tip 3: How to pack shoes
Once you have accomplished the previous tips, you can now focus on how to pack your shoes. When packing shoes for a move, you should focus on two things: safety and efficiency. Here are some ways to make the packing process easier.

Set aside a pair of shoes for moving day. While packing your shoes, be sure to set aside a pair of shoes to wear on moving day. Be sure they have non-slip soles, will protect your feet, and also ensure safety and comfort.

Separately pack footwear you’ll need within the first few days post-move. They should be season-appropriate, good for running around town, and also provide comfort when unpacking your belongings.

Use boxes. The ideal way to pack is to wrap your shoes in packing paper and place them inside their original boxes. But if these boxes have long been thrown away, use small- to medium-sized boxes that are clean and strong enough to provide adequate protection. Once shoes are inside the appropriate box, seal the box with packing tape.

Another idea is to pack your shoes inside plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic containers will provide excellent protection from dust, dirt and external moisture.

Pack in pairs. To avoid a maddening hunt to locate a single shoe, always pack your shoes together as a pair.

Pack heavy shoes first. If packing several pairs of shoes in one box, be sure to place heavier ones on the bottom. Cover them with a protective layer of packing paper, then place lighter shoes on top.

Don’t overpack boxes. When piled together, shoes are quite heavy, so it’s important not to put too many pairs together in one box. Overpacked boxes will be too heavy and difficult to lift and carry, and may even crush under their own weight.

For more packing tips, click here.

Prepare for Your Upcoming Move with This Week-by-Week Timeline

moving checklist - PHOTO (ABC)When preparing for something as big as moving house, it is important to be as organized as possible. One way is by creating a week-by-week moving checklist and sticking to it. Check out the following guide for help creating your own personal moving timeline – from eight weeks to one week prior to moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 8

  • Decision time! Eight weeks prior to moving day is the optimal time to make that important decision – opt for a self-move or hire movers.
  • If you are currently renting, inform your landlord that you will soon be leaving the property, and begin your search for a new place in the city you are moving to.
  • Confirm with your current employer that you will be moving, and arrange your first day of work at your new job. Or, if you do not yet have a job in your new area, begin your search as soon as possible.
  • Create a moving budget so you will know roughly how much money you will need to organize and execute your upcoming move.
  • If you decide to use professional movers, being your search for a top-rated moving company that is affordable and professional.
  • Contact several moving companies and request an in-house estimation of your future relocation costs.
  • Inventory your home by making a detailed room-by-room list of all your possessions.
  • Review your home inventory list and decide which items you will take with you and which ones will be left behind.
  • Create a special binder to keep all of your moving-related paperwork.
  • Begin thinking about how you are going to pack your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 6

  • If you have opted for a self-move, begin strategizing your plans for renting a moving truck. Contact truck rental companies and compare prices and conditions.
  • Collect all medical records from your doctor and also from your pet’s vet. If you have school-aged children, now is the time to also obtain their school records. This is also a good time to take your pet(s) to the vet for a complete check-up, required vaccinations, and advice on the upcoming relocation.
  • Start looking for a new healthcare provider and a new school for your kid(s) in your future city. Be sure to ask around for suggestions and recommendations before the move takes place.
  • If your move is local, visit your soon-to-be home, and measure the dimensions of rooms and doorways. This will eliminate potential problems come moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 4

  • If you will be having a self-move, four weeks prior to moving day is a good time to go ahead and contact your friends and family to ask them if they can help you move.
  • Begin collecting moving boxes of various sizes. Also, gather packing supplies, such as:
    • Bubble wrap
    • Tape
    • Markers
    • Packing paper
  • Learn what items your moving company forbids being transported due to their hazardous nature.
  • Cancel any subscriptions for delivery services and memberships to clubs/organizations.
  • Driving to your new home? Now is the optimal time to have your car serviced so your upcoming road trip goes smoothly.
  • If you are flying to your new home, you will need to find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
  • Arrange travel plans – book flights and hotels, collect important documents, etc.
  • Begin packing, being sure to label all of your boxes. This will make unpacking much faster and more efficient.
  • While packing, prepare one or two boxes/containers with all of the absolute essentials you will need during the time when you won’t have easy access to your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 2

  • Contact your chosen professional mover to ensure all plans are still in order.
  • If moving with kids, make a point to talk with them about the upcoming move. Discuss with them what is expected from them, and also use this time to calm down any fears they may have of the unknown ahead.
  • Contact your current utility companies to inform them of the date your services will need to be disconnected. Also, contact service providers in your new area, and arrange a connection date.
  • Consider how you will pack and ship any fragile or valuable items – artwork, paintings, antique furniture, and jewelry. For optimal protection, use appropriate packing techniques with materials that provide good cushion and padding, like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 1

  • Pay any remaining bills before your scheduled move-out date.
  • Begin disassembling large furniture – dressers, beds, desks, etc. Keep in mind, you may need help handling these tasks, so you will need to have enough time to find helpers.
  • If you have fallen behind in your moving schedule, seek aid from friends or professional movers.
  • Make a move-out cleaning checklist, and prepare all cleaning materials in advance.
  • Finish any last-minute organizing, packing and preparing for the big day ahead.

For all the moving tips and tricks you need to know, click here.

Important Documents to Collect Prior to Your Move

Considering the magnitude of the moving process, it can be a challenge to effectively plan and organize all of the complicated aspects of your approaching relocation, along with handling all of the laborious moving-related tasks. Along with key issues to take care of, like these, you also need to gather all of the necessary paperwork. All things considered, paperwork may seem like the simplest task to complete on your moving checklist, but it often proves to be more time-consuming and nerve-wracking than originally anticipated. Not only does collecting and organizing all records and papers need prior, during, and immediately after your relocation take time, effort and diligence, but you also need to keep it safe. It is important to keep in mind that procedures for issuing and/or updating documents can take a long time to complete, so preparing paperwork as early as possible is your best bet to eliminate any potential problems when moving day arrives.

Documents to Collect Pre-Move

While some of the documents you need to take with you when moving are already in your possession, some will need to be retrieved from different institutions. Here is a list of the documents you will need:

Personal IDs. Personal IDs include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security cards
  • Marriage/divorce certificates
  • Military documents (I/A)

Be sure to gather all personal IDs for yourself as well as for each member of your family. Some of these documents will be needed during your relocation, so be sure to keep them on hand at all times.

Moving Documents. If your relocation includes hiring a moving company to transport your belongings, you will be provided with important moving documents. These include a signed contract, along with a binding estimate, inventory list, moving-guide pamphlets, etc. These documents will be needed frequently throughout the moving process, so keep them secure and easily accessible during your relocation until moving day. When moving day arrives, place all moving-related paperwork in a secure spot, such as a lockbox – just don’t leave it behind by mistake!

Financial Documents. Financial documents include:

  • Credit cards
  • Bank statements
  • Savings account statements
  • Bank transaction statements
  • Income tax papers
  • Tax receipts
  • Tax deduction bills
  • Loan papers

Be sure to keep all financial documents in a designated folder and away from potential prying eyes. Also, keep track of all moving receipts because moving-related expenses can be used for tax deductions at the end of the year.

Property Documents. If you are moving into a home you purchased and/or out of one you sold, you will have a mountain of property-related documents to keep up with, such as:

  • Selling and buying agreements
  • Lease copies
  • Mortgage documents for new and old homes
  • Property insurance policies
  • Auto insurance cards
  • Registration documents of motor vehicles

Medical Records. To keep everyone healthy, it’s important to visit your doctor shortly before your move so you can obtain all medical documents needed post-move Also, be sure to transfer all prescription medications, and obtain dental records from your dentist’s office. If you have pets, you’ll also need to retrieve copies of veterinary records and vaccination certificates.

School Records. If you have kids, don’t forget to collect their school records. This is important because you will need them to enroll your kids into new school systems after the move. If your child is applying for college, be sure to request certified copies of his/her school transcripts.

Documents Needed When Moving Abroad

If you are moving abroad, you will need to gather a somewhat different set of documents. They include:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa and work permit
  • International health insurance policy
  • Immunization records
  • Pet information and vaccination certificates
  • Emergency contact list, including the address and contact details of the U.S. embassy in your new country

It is also a good idea to obtain an apostille stamp on all important documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, degree certificates, professional licenses, etc.) when moving abroad. This will assure foreign officials and government agencies that your documents are legit.

For everything you need to know about your upcoming move, ABC Movers can help. Click here to visit our blog or contact us at 800.771.0151.

Moving Checklist: One Month Prior to Move

 

One-Month Moving Checklist - Blog PHOTOIt’s T-minus one month to moving day. You may think that is plenty of time to get everything done, it will fly by at warp speed. To accomplish all moving-related tasks before the moving truck arrives, follow our useful checklist below.

Select Mover / Confirm Arrangements. There may be several moving companies in your area, but there are even more people who need to move. Trucks run out and movers get booked, so don’t delay. One month prior to your move, select your moving company and get written confirmation of the date, time, costs, and so on of your move.

Begin Packing. Hopefully, you have already started gathering supplies before the one-month marker hits, because now is the time to begin packing. With a house full of things, it can be difficult figuring out where exactly to start the packing process, so try this. Begin by packing all things that are seldom used – muffin makers, waffle irons, etc. You won’t miss the things that you rarely use, so go ahead and get them packed up and out of the way.

Plan, Organize, Label. Packing and moving can become disastrous really quickly. Mountains of boxes everywhere, piles of things to pack strewn around, trash that continues to build up – the list goes on and on. To avoid moving mayhem, opt for the more efficient route by planning, organizing and labeling everything. It may take longer than just throwing everything into boxes, but the pay-off will be huge – pre- and post move.

Separate Valuable Items. Before everything gets lost in the shuffle of moving boxes, packing paper and piles upon piles of to-save and to-donate items, go ahead and collect any small valuable items first. Jewelry, important documents, etc. should be placed in a safe box, and if possible, personally transported to your new home. This way you keep valuables separate and in your possession.

Change Your Address. To keep everyone informed of your soon-to-be location, go ahead and change your address by visiting the post office, or go online at usps.gov. This way you won’t risk missing any important bills or surprise packages getting “lost in the mail”.

Other important parties that should be notified of your change of address, include:

  • banks
  • employer
  • credit card, insurance and utility companies

For more ways to make your move a success, click here.

Food: what to keep and how to pack it

From awkward-shaped pans to breakable dishes, heavy appliances to cabinets full of uneaten food – boxing up a kitchen is one of the most challenging parts of the packing process. Before you throw in the towel and decide to dump all food items in the trash, read the following checklist to learn what to take with you and what to leave behind, plus many other handy tips.

Consider Your New Space. An important thing to consider during the packing process is the amount of storage available in new space. Will you have more or less pantry space? If you will be downsizing in storage capacity then minimize the collection of food you plan to move with you, too.

Box Size. When packing, always think in terms of weight. For example, when packing heavy canned goods, opt for small boxes so they are easier to carry and move.

Label Boxes Accordingly. Organizing and labeling moving boxes is a great way to pack up your home. This includes food items. Separate all food into categories, such as: perishables, canned goods and spices. Then label all boxes accordingly. This will help you prioritize which boxes need to be opened first after you move.

Pack Heavy to Light. Once you have narrowed down what food items you’ll be bringing to your new home, you can then start packing. The best method is to pack heavy to light. Place all heavy items (canned goods, peanut butter) on the bottom of your moving boxes first, then layer all light items (crackers, cookies) on top.

Near-Expired Foods. When deciding which food you should keep or toss, first look at expiration dates. If something will only last a mere few weeks after your move, go ahead and toss it. Chances are you won’t eat it after you move anyway, so free up some space and ditch any near-expired foods.

If you don’t want to waste food by throwing it in the trash, donate items to others, such as family, friends, neighbors, homeless shelters and others in need.

Fragile Items. Fragile food items include basics like flour and sugar. Before you pack these things, be sure to place them in more secure packaging first. Invest in some heavy-duty, sealable containers that will stop any spills from happening. Another option is to put these items inside large ziplock bags so anything spills will be contained.

Spices. Salt, pepper and other spices are another fragile item that can lead to spills during a move. To avoid salting everything with spilled salt shakers or opening a box covered in paprika and oregano, here’s a tip: cover the tops of each shaker with a piece of masking tape. With a simple piece of tape, you will stop any spills from happening.

Pack a Cooler. If there are certain items that need to be kept cold that you weren’t able to use in time – or throw/give away – be sure you remember to pack a cooler the morning of your move. If you are moving a few hours away, a cooler will keep your items from going bad until you can hook up your fridge at your new place. Just be sure you don’t forget to unpack the cooler!

Defrost Fridge. One of the most common things people forget to do before the moving van shows up is defrost their fridge – a situation that is somewhat problematic if you are taking your fridge with you. Be sure to unplug your fridge at least 24 hours before your move so the freezer will have time to defrost.

Important Tip. When moving day finally arrives, you’ll want to be well rested and well fed for the big day. Be sure to set aside some pre-made meals and snacks that are easy to grab and won’t take long to eat. Think granola bars and PB&J sandwiches which will keep your energy up during a long day of hustle, bustle and heavy lifting.

For more helpful packing tips, check out our Blog.