What's the big deal about Young Living

Moving/Packing Tips?

That's right! There is a lot of excitement going on at Smockityville. I'll be sure to post more details about how God has blessed our family, but for now I need any tips y'all have for me.

What is your best advice for packing up a household? Where is the best place to get boxes, preferably free ones? Any tips for staying organized in the chaos?

Come on, now. Give it your best shot! I need all the help I can get!

And don't forget to head on over to Rocks In My Dryer to give out loads of your best advice for the backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday!

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  1. TransitionGirl says:

    Well, having packed and unpacked my life so many times, I’ve found some useful strategies.
    1. Pack each room individually. Don’t mix it’s stuff and if possible, color code or make some unique marking so everyone knows what stuff belongs in what rooms. This way, when moving into the new house, everyone knows where stuff goes without someone having to yell it out.
    2. Use smaller sized boxes. You’ll end up with more boxes, but it’s much easier to carry. Easier on your backs too.
    3. Best place to find these boxes, at the dumpster/recycling areas of big grocery stores.

  2. Best advice for moving?
    Kidding. Anyway, U-haul’s website has a box give-away/get message board, another good place woudl be if your area has a freecycle website.
    When packing kids’s stuff, especially toys, large ziplock bags are your very best friend. They keeps all the pieces together and you can see what’s in it at a glance.

  3. You can almost always get free boxes from someone on Craigslist. You can then get rid of them on Craigslist after you’ve moved. I also save on packing materials by wrapping everything in dish cloths, clothes, and blankets. Things aren’t quite as organized that way, but there is a lot less clean up!

    You may be interested in joining us over at the Green Baby Guide for our Thifty Green Thursday blog carnival. Please stop by!

  4. we got boxes at the liquor store. they happily give them away and they are very strong.
    I agree with not mixing rooms. Also, when you pack the bedrooms, put a sheet set in the top drawer of every room that has a bed. That way, when you get to your new place, you can make the beds right away. They always say to do the bedrooms of the kids first.

  5. We’ve done this a bunch and usually end up buying boxes for long distance moves because they stack easier. A friend of mine goes to the liquor store too. I had to laugh when I walked into her family room and their were stacks of liquor boxes. I told her her new neighbors were going to think they had an alcohol problem!

  6. Banana boxes! They are great because they have lids!! Oh and it is a great time to clean out stuff you don’t use or need anymore! We have moved 7 times in 12 years! God Bless!! E

  7. Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae says:

    If you go to a 24 hour walmart around 10 pm when they’re re-stocking, you can take the boxes off their hands as they put things on shelves. Takes a couple of trips, but they don’t mind you taking them. Liquor stores are good, too.

  8. April in CT says:

    My first tip is get rid of what you don’t need! It’s tough, but take a long hard look at the things around your house and donate things you aren’t using any longer.

    For junk drawers or loose small items put them in ziploc bags to make it easier to pack/unpack. Try to keep in mind how heavy the box will be when you’re done so mix books in with lighter items. If you have larger boxes wrap delicate items in sheets, towels etc so the boxes won’t be too heavy. Make sure to label those boxes well so things don’t get broken during unpacking.

    If you’re traveling a long distance for the move pack up a box of essentials for when you get to your destination. Things like sheets, toilet paper, shower curtain, towels etc and an airbed if you won’t have access to your bed right away. Save things you know you’ll need right away for the back of the truck like the essentials box and airbed.

    My husband is in the military and each time we move I realize something new I should have done. Don’t stress, enjoy the adventure and make the best of it. I find THAT to be the best advice. :o) Stay safe and I wish you the best.

  9. We have lots of books. I like to collect paper cartons (you know, the ones reams come in…you can get them at copy centers). They are small enough so your books won’t be wicked heavy, they have lids, you can label them.

    However! (This is a big however!) The glue holding the box together is pretty cheap. If you go this route for your books, be sure to reinforce the ends of all your paper cartons with tape!

    Bonus for using these boxes: you can tape the lids on. They stack well because they are all (generally) the same size and shape. Lids keep most of the moving dust out.

  10. I always pack linens and neatly folded bedding and pillows in heavy-duty trash bags. That way, they can cushion the load, or just get crammed in the back seat or the trunk. They will fit just about anywhere. And ANYBODY can unload them. If it’s a short move, just leave everything in the dresser drawers, pull them out, move the dresser, then put the drawers back in.
    Sooz in NV

  11. the best boxes for glassware and collectible type stuff is the liquor boxes. i totally agree with the commenter who said pack a particular box of essentials…
    include everything you can dream of needing in one or two boxes, sheets towels, outfits for family for 3 days minimum, meds if necessary, give kids their own small box for their urgent necessities….
    we moved a dozen times or so growing up…at least twice we arrived at new home destination to find moving truck not coming to us for at least 3 days…
    good luck and it will all work in the end…steff

  12. I agree with the packing each room seperately. I marked each room with a different color tape. When we get to a new home it is easy for anyone helping to know what goes where because I mark the rooms with the color tape that goes in that room. For example black tape boxes went to the Master bedroom. I put a big black X on a piece of paper and hung it on the outside of the master bedroom so everyone knew where to put the boxes with black tape.

    I also have a few main boxes that contain essentials for the first few days. Paper plates, pots & pans, toilet paper, towels, sheets and the like. I wrap them up in wraping paper so they are easy to find amidst all the other boxes.

  13. Melanie @ This Ain't New York says:

    I’ve found great, clean boxes at Dollar General. Check out my post from last wed. for more tips.

  14. If you need nice, unstained boxes and a lot of them… call your local hospital! I used to work at a children’s hospital and all the IV tubing and saline bags, etc… come in nice, sturdy boxes and they are very willing to give them away! When you call as for the shipping/receiving area and ask to speak to a manager. I will be shocked if they can’t/aren’t willing to load you up.

  15. I agree with transitiongirl. Those are all the tips I was going to give. I have one addition though. I called all my local grocery stores and asked to speak with produce. Apple boxes are the best due to size, etc. They will hold them instead of breaking them down if they know they are going to be picked up.

  16. I always pick the least used room and claim it as the packing room. I pack that room up first – completely packed. Then as other boxes get packed I add them to that room so they stay out of my way. CONGRATS on the move!

  17. Wow! Lots of great advice! I don’t really have much to add…

    We’ll be sad that you aren’t our neighbors anymore! Where are you headed??

  18. Where are you going?!!! I can’t wait to here the details:) My advice don’t let your husband pack a trailer of your valuables and not double check all is secure because then you might find yourself picking up those treasures along HWY 60! And WHERE are you going???????

  19. i bought a box of white wrapping papers at UPS to wrap my dishes in; it was much better than newspaper–no black fingerprints everywhere! i think it cost less than $10 and was worth it for me

  20. Put small items that could get lost in ziploc bags.

  21. Jon and Sarah says:

    I see boxes for free all the time on craig’s list. just go to craigslist.org and click on your city. Hope everything goes well!

  22. The kids each get one small box to pack any trinkety stuff, paper, junky toys, and “treasures”. Everything else is either tossed or donated. This is also a good time to weed through the toys and books and donate or toss things that are broken, not played with, etc. Same goes for your closet and dresser drawers.

    Craigslist is awesome for listing things to sell as well as finding free packing supplies and then giving them away at your destination. (As others pointed out.)

    Good luck with the move.

    God Bless!

  23. Apple and citrus boxes are THE BEST for heavy things like books. We got to be friends with our produce guy and he’d stack them up for us each week!

    Also, not only should you label boxes well room-wise, but NUMBER them in order of PRIORITY (1 to 5). In other words, #1 boxes mean “Carry in your car — totally necessary!”, #2 means “Open first once you get to the new house!”….and #5 means, “Can go straight up into the attic.”

    This helped us tremendously on all our moves — we’re semi-experienced in this area — we’ve moved five times in 8 years of marriage!

  24. I have found that packing the kitchen takes the longest so I start with that first . . . AFTER I’ve made very simple meals ahead of time that can be reheated in the oven in disposable pans. Plus we used paper plates, etc. Nothing which requires clean up.

    If I ever move again I will also get a heap o’ packing tape from Costco so that I won’t run out (plus whatever is left over makes a wonderful mender for our books).

    Mary Beth

  25. Depending on when you’re moving, this is what worked for my mother. (She packed up our largish family no less than 8 times in about 10 years.) Put a box in each room and just leave it there. As you go through the house, pack up what you aren’t using. When the box is full, seal it, label it, and set it aside…and put out a new box. Also, PURGE. Use Freecycle, have a garage sale, make up piles of kids clothes and let your friends pick through them, or drop them off at Goodwill – just GET RID OF IT. I recently relocated, with my new little family, from one coast to the other. I can’t tell you how disheartening it was to get to our brand new house…and unpack trash that I hadn’t intended to keep. (Literally – we had professional movers pack us (part of the relocation deal) and if there was trash in the wastebaskets, it got packed up and moved across the country!)

  26. oops, i got that white paper at u-haul, not ups; also, if you do have to buy boxes, you can get bundles of 20 at u-haul; they will also give you a refund for any you return unused

  27. Look at you! WOW! 27 comments! :)

    Lots of good advice!

  28. 3 for school says:

    We used liquor boxes in previous moves, but after being moved by the professionals, I can see the advantage of same-sized boxes. It is amazing how much more and how much easier you can pack it all into the van when the boxes stack on top of each other without tipping.

    That said, they charge for the new boxes, but they might give you used ones for free. It’s worth an ask!

    I agree with the posters who said clean out as you pack. You don’t want to get to your new home and have to unpack junk. That’s discouraging. I also had some open boxes for similar things around the house (and often for toys that I knew pieces were scattered around.)

    Put fragile furniture in your own car if possible. Those don’t do well in a moving van. I brought an antique end table in my minivan along with my sewing and serger machines.

    Good luck! Remember, “this too shall pass.”

  29. Threeundertwo says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but there are often free boxes listed on craigslist.com, if it serves your area.

    Good luck!!

  30. lots of good advice. here’s my 2 cents. it’s never too early to start packing, you think you might need something, but you won’t! later you will wish it was already in a box. label everything, keep a sharpie on a key lanyard around your neck. write down everything that is is that box. you may think you will remember that the dictionary is in the box marked “office supplies” but that is too general. pack an actual suitcase for each family member as if you were going on vacation; clothes, shoes, jewelry, toiletries, medicine. this is easier than dumping out several boxes on the third day after the move looking for all the parts to an outfit.
    good luck

  31. April in CT says:

    Something else I thought of.. Even though we had movers packing a majority of our stuff, there were some items we packed ourselves. I took a small box and put sharpie, scissors, ziploc bags (for the small stuff in drawers), rubber bands and packing tape in it. I would take this with me from room to room so it was all in one place instead of setting the tape down and spending 45 minutes in a pile of mess looking for it.

  32. I get my boxes from Barnes & Nobel. Call in the morning, let them know you need them. Then around here they usually say to come get 'em around 2-3pm and I can usually fill my trunk with enough good sturdy SMALL-MEDIUM boxes to get me along quite a ways. And the great thing about a bookshop like B&N is that they're always getting more books, so they have boxes and boxes. I think I've only called once that they didn't have any for me. Plus they're sturdy and they're big enough to be useful yet small enough to be liftable once they're packed. Since we have a sizable collection of books that need to be packed when we move that becomes a consideration. But even in the kitchen, stuff gets heavy & I like the smaller size boxes.

    As far as actual packing tips, we always look for a room that we can completely pack and clean. Then that space can either be packed, cleaned, and closed up entirely, or it can be used as a staging area to put stuff as you pull it out of other areas.

  33. Now that I read the comments, I'm going to comment again & add a different suggestion, rather than color-coding the boxes, which would make my head explode. I pack them in non-color coded boxes, but I label them on at least 3 sides, which takes all of 30 seconds: KITCHEN, BATHROOM, BASEMENT, ect. Then, since we always have help from church (you are planning to ask for help packing & unpacking, right?) we typically have a bunch of guys that are carrying and I'll stand in a strategic location as the guys come in & tell them where to take it: "basement" "upstairs, blue carpet" "kitchen" ect. Usually the basement ends up being the dumping spot for anything that I can't tell immediately where it's supposed to go, but since I'll have packed with this moment in mind things mostly end up pretty well sorted as they come in the house.

  34. Mama Martin says:

    Pray for peace!
    -We got free white newspaper roll ends from the local printer – same as newspaper but it wasn’t printed yet.
    -Apple and orange boxes are great because of the lids.
    -Label, label, label.
    God bless!

  35. My tip is more of a sanity tip than a moving tip. Pack a “survival box”: put in a roll of tp, box of granola bars, cleaning wipes, outfit for each family member, bar of soap,shampoo, toothpaste and brushes, hand towel and a few bath towels. Then when you get there everyone can clean up, use the bathroom,and get dressed the next day.Keep this with you during the trip, don’t pack it.You might want to put in any meds you take and baby stuff you need too,$20 for pizza would also be nice.

  36. Well, I’ll say first I’ve learned a lot just by reading these comments. We have a family of 7 and have just put our house on the market. If you have to live in the house you’re selling while its on the market, ITS HARD. Especially with 5 kiddos! So I have been trying to get the house de-cluttered (I’m not staying very motivated, though…) and then go through and pack the rarely-used things.

    One tip I CAN give is that if you know anyone that sells AVON, like I do.. they can LOAD YOU UP with nice, same-sized boxes THAT HAVE GOOD LIDS!

    Thanks for the help ladies! =)

  37. Another thing I found useful as labeling each box with a number and then making a master list of what was in each box. (ex: box 1 -kitchen plates, box 2- office supplies) Why? well I had a mover once label all 70 of my boxes “kitchen” but thanks to my secret list I was able to look at the number on the box and know what was really in the box and know that some had gone missing.