My dear friend Celeste has a lovely blog filled with an assortment of observations to enhance your modern life! She was kind enough to allow me to share her pearls of wisdom and Moving Advice for Gracious Living here with you…
From the desk of Celeste B.
Moving? A friend of my acquaintance is a master at it. She has undertaken and supervised 5 moves in 6 years in New York City as well as many others during her adult lifetime, including a recent one to the coast of Maine, of all places!
Anyhoo, I have managed to glean some very helpful tips from her as to how to maintain sanity and equilibrium in general during the process, without excessive medications. She also advises to save cocktail time until the end of the packing workday which I feel is entirely sensible given the chances for mishaps. Of course if you can afford to have your movers wrap, box and load all your worldly goods then this will not pertain to you and you may as well not upset your routine happy hour in any way.
The truck rental and movers have scads of boxes and material of all kinds. Bite the bullet and pay for them for a couple of reasons: the boxes are uniform in shape, they are in new condition, they are available in one place and they can be returned if not used.
If you must scavenge boxes elsewhere, be choosy about their condition. Set up a temporary area in every room for wrapping and boxing, preferably on a table of convenient height with good lighting. Gather your supplies: pens, stickers, wrapping paper and legal pad. That last is paramount. Make a list. Number every box (see above) and make a fairly detailed list of the contents of each box. If that sounds like a lot of work, I can only say that it will be worth it when you are trying to find the toaster and coffee maker among the jumble of everything. When you plainly number boxes, write it on at least four of the six sides, otherwise you will certainly be looking at stacks of boxes with a number only on top. You will be able to assign arrival rooms to boxes by number at any time if you haven’t stickered them with a color code scheme for the movers. And Ladies, protect your hands from the drying effect of wrapping paper by wearing gloves. That paper draws all the moisture from your skin!
Don’t fill a box beyond its limit and be mindful of weight. Using another box won’t hurt a thing and will safeguard against possible tragedies. Books are a good example. Just because a box will hold them all does not mean it is appropriate, that’s why there are mover-designated book boxes which are about the size of a liquor box, a perfect restraint against overloading. Use your blankets, towels and pillows to cushion items. Use that sticky paper tape to seal boxes, not the flimsy plastic type better used for mailing. Don’t be shy about sealing the bottom with two strips of tape.
Don’t feel that everything must be boxed. Movers deal with oddly shaped items all the time, but do wrap them if they are vulnerable.
Let us not forget that we have too much stuff in general and that de-accessioning as much as you can will allow you to be less of a slave to possessions. Grandmother wisely reminded me that the Latin word for possessions is impedimenta. Find a good consignment
shop and breathe easy.