Free Your Space: Managing your move

Driving around the neighborhoods of Greater Philadelphia, I
notice moving trucks almost everywhere I turn. People are taking advantage of
warmer weather and low rates to make their move. Some will hire packers to get
them going and others will take on the task of doing the packing themselves.

For the people who will not be packing all their own items,
here are some hints to help your move go smoothly:

• Pack Your Personals - Although there are a lot of reliable
moving companies out there, there are still some items that you won’t want strangers
to pack for you. These include such things as jewelry and nightstand contents.
Think about your personal or precious items and go ahead and pack those
yourself. You might even pack them
in your suitcase to keep with you.

• Packing Day Safety Zone – When your packers arrive, decide
on a “Safety” zone. This is an
area or areas that you do not want them to touch. It could be the corner of one room, the kitchen table or, if
your family needs individual areas, try each person’s bed. Whatever the decision, make sure your
family is aware of the safety zone(s) and the fact that if it gets put down
elsewhere, they will be seeing it again in the new location.

For those of you who will be packing your own stuff, here
are some ideas of how to approach your move:

• Make a Moving Log - Use a fresh notepad (something bound
is best -tear away notepads can lose pages) and label it “My [Our] Move”. As
you pack a box, use a marker to number it & write the room it came from on
it. Immediately write the corresponding number into your notebook followed by a
description of what is in the box.
If people are packing in more than one room at the same time, everyone
must use only this one notebook. They will just use the next open number on the

• Pack Least-Used First – Moving in the summer? Then start
packing your fall/winter clothes since you can live without them until after
the move.

• Like with Like – While on a job helping people unpack and
set up their new home, I unpacked a box containing stereo & TV
equipment…and KITCHEN SPICES!
Packing like things together on this end will save time and frustration
on the other.

• Donate Now – Since you are already pulling out all your
earthly possessions, keep a bag available marked “Donate.” As you’re packing,
if you come across something you no longer want, toss it in the bag. Just because you’ve had it for years
doesn’t mean you have keep it. Pack only what you need & love.

Whether it’s you or someone else doing the packing, here are
a few more important tips to keep in mind:

• Keep your “Command Center” Separate – Things like your
address book, active important documents such as bills, invitations and real estate
documents, banking supplies, phone and laptop chargers, contracts related to
the move and your calendar/planner.

• Vital Medications Stay with You – Make sure you keep at
least a 5-day supply of any medications you require with you. If you are on daily
meds such as insulin, be sure to let the movers know that you want your
medications, and all their paraphernalia, packed in a separate small box marked
clearly as IMPORTANT MEDICATIONS. Trucks sometimes breakdown; things can get
lost. Keep all contact information
for your doctor and pharmacy in your wallet, purse or cell phone.

• Paper Goods – Have paper plates, cups, towels, and napkins
available in your kitchen safety zone. These will come in handy now AND later.

• Organization is key to smooth transitions. Relocation is one of those times that
allow us to appreciate its value.
If the home you live in now is not organized, this is a perfect
opportunity to start anew. And, as always, the best time to start is NOW.

* Annette Reyman is a member of the National
Association of Professional Organizers and its Philadelphia Chapter
View her Web site at
To contact Annette for organizing work or speaking engagements in the Greater
Philadelphia area call 908-361-7105 or email her at

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