You are a Packing Pro Now
Now that you've used a huge pile of boxes and tape, your garage is overflowing with packed boxes, and you are dining on paper plates with forks leftover from your last fast food meal, the easy part is over. Now that you're almost there, a day or two prior to the move itself, it's time to get the final tasks accomplished.
You'll probably need to have a ladder for this part, along with the tools outlined in our last post. If you have had heavy window coverings you might need some wood filler, in addition. If you're DIY moving, you'll need moving blankets, baggies or small containers, and plastic wrap on a large roll for furniture, mirrors, art and lighting.
Be Flexible and Plan Ahead
Packing for a relocation takes a long time, and you need to plan for that if you're going to do it yourself. A large dry-erase calendar should help keep you on track, and you can edit it as changes occur. There are three stages of a move--purging, packing, and the move itself--and managing your progress with steps 1 and 2 will make step 3 a lot less tense.
One of the biggest blunders you can make as a pack-it-yourselfer is overloading boxes. Books are the worst culprit; they're relatively small in size but they are heavy. Four or five hardbacks is sufficient for a small box, so fill in the rest of the box with lighter weight accessories--coasters, photos, magazines--that will go back in the same room or bookcase with the books themselves.
The Day Prior to M-Day in Little Rock
Since the big day is tomorrow, it's time to tackle the pantry and the fridge. Unless you are moving locally, you should probably take all the unopened non-perishables to a food pantry, and toss the rest. For a short trip, you can pack perishables in coolers containing dry ice, but food is a lot like your other stuff--is unpacking those half-empty jelly jars worth your time?
Movers most of the time want the art and mirrors protected in bubble wrap or crated before they load them. If not, you still need to pad each piece (flannel sheets, beach towels, etc. work great between pieces) and move them in your car instead of the moving van. You can secure lighting with a seatbelt if you are moving yourself.
If you assembled any of your furniture, now's when you should take it apart. Most furniture can be dismantled with a slot or Phillips head screwdriver and a small hammer. Keep the bolts, screws, and other hardware in a baggie or container and label it, and affix it to the inside of a bed rail or a drawer so you can put it all back together again without having to go to the hardware store around the corner. It is a smart idea to take photos of the hardware in case something gets lost--and it will.
Box up your cleaning supplies and plan on taking them to the new residence in your automobile--the chemicals can't go on the truck.
Cover furniture with the moving blankets and make sure the blankets stay put with the shrink wrap. The wrap won't scratch finishes and keeps drawers in place when chests are moving around.
Moving Day in Little Rock
If you have spent the last night in your residence, you probably slept on mattresses on the floor, since your beds have been disassembled. You've also packed a small suitcase with necessities for the day since all your clothes are in boxes. Toss your linens and towels in a big box or bag, and away you go. Movers schedule their days in blocks, so a bigger move could take multiple days. They will likely be at your house bright and early and ready to get going—the clock starts when they get there, not after you've had your coffee. It is going to be a long day, so respect their time and expertise by being prepared for them.
Follow these tips for proper packing and you'll be very pleased with your new home—particularly when you can find the coffee pot.