Organizing And Moving Tips
I was organizing yesterday and remembered some things that I thought might help you, whether you’re thinking about moving or are just trying to organize your homes.
Keep similar things together.
Keeping like objects stored in several different places is one of the main causes of a disorganized home. It also makes things so much harder to unpack and find when you are moving.
For example, if you are packing board games put them all in one box or store them all in one cabinet. Don’t store one or two games in this closet or drawer and then tuck one in this box and two more in another box. This same thinking applies to everything. I know that sometimes when you’re moving you find a little space you need to fill with something but, as much as possible, keep similar things together.
Use cords to tie things together.
You can use rope or bungee cords to tie things together but I run out of those quickly. You can use tape but, to me, that is a waste and it’s such a sticky mess to get tape off of everything later.
Use Torn Fabric Strips To Make Moving Easier
My favorite thing to use to tie things is 1-2 inch strips of old sheets. I tie smaller items with the salvage edges I have cut off of my fabric.
Keep a bag of these strips handy as you start packing. I also keep a few in my rag drawer for everyday use.
Here’s an example of some items to tie with fabric strips:
We rolled up the crib bumper pads with the bed skirt and mattress pad (like things together) and then tied them together with a cord. This makes it easier to pack into a box. We usually slide things like this into a plastic trash bag and, on moving day, they will slide into those extra holes that are difficult to fill when you are trying to pack the moving truck tightly. As a bonus, when you arrive at your new home, you have a trash bag to use, and you always seem to need a lot of trash bags when you move into a new home.
Once you start using fabric strips or cords to tie things, you will wonder how you ever lived without them.
Also, if you are short of boxes when you’re moving, think about packing things like linens, material, pillows, stuffed animals, curtains, plasticware, winter coats and clothing in large strong plastic bags. Like I said before, you can use the bags after you arrive and they are easy to pack and squeeze into all kinds of places in the moving van.
Our last long distance move was 10 hours through the bush roads, to a place I had never seen and my husband was there for a day. So we didn’t know what to expect.
Well it turned out that I had to pack up the 3 bedroom apt. by myself since my husband was in a fly in camp for a week of work. I had the help of a 3 year old and a 5 year old.
We went to the liquor store and got small boxes which were easy to pack and not too heavy to carry.
I marked each box with a number and on a sheet of paper wrote what was in the box. That way when we carried things down to the Uhaul trailer and suburban things were not listed on the box. So easy for us but not so easy for thieves.
That week I kept out one kettle, one sauce pan and one fry pan. cups and glasses for everyone and we used paper plates. Who has any energy for cooking and cleaning dishes at a time like that.
The day my husband got home we took all the furniture and stuff we were not taking down to the road. It was clean up week in the city so it was a good way not to have to take stuff to the thrift store or the dump. We did this about 12 midnight and when we left at 5am all the stuff was gone.
I use old panty hose and knee highs for tying things, my husband likes bungy cords. but anything will work.
Since it was just my husband and I doing the moving having the small boxes worked great. The boys took the bags with their toys and linens and we took the boxes and the furniture.
The only thing we had a hard time with was the tool box of my husbands that we had to take from the new apt. to the suburban so he could take it to the new job site.
Being a welder millwright means you have a lot of tools and it was heavy. But we managed and made our move in less than 2 weeks.
The one thing I missed on that move was our special meal when we arrived. There was and still is no Kentucky Fried Chicken in the area. So we had hot dogs for dinner but we went out for breakfast to a restaurant in town.
But I agree keep like with like. And mark the box with the things you need as soon as you arrive in special marking. It will save digging through all the boxes when all you want to do is sit down have a hot drink or a glass of wine and the little ones can have their favourite things to make them feel at home.
Good luck on the move and new environment. I love moving well at least I used to. Will probably have to do it again in a year or two since mines don’t last forever.
One of the hardest tasks on this earth is moving. That’s one reason I don’t do it too often. Once it’s all done though, you will all feel happier, I’m sure. Thanks for the tips. Last night Jill, I was reading the book you put out about being a penny pinching mama and I always find inspiration in it. You have one creative mind, let me tell you. The wisdom only God can give to a woman that loves Him. God Bless you all in your efforts to get ready to move. It’s Holy Week, so for the new Easter season coming, may God give you all a fresh, new life in your new homes.
But what about you Jill? Are you planning a move too? Or are you staying behind?
Judy (inquiring mind)
Well I usually follow Tawra and since all my family except my son and his family live in Colorado I had just planned on moving too but for some weird reason for as many things which are falling in place for Tawra and Mike to move equally as many seem to be hindering me so I’m not sure what is going on.
The week we decided to move they started major construction across the street from me which is making a big mess. Then all of the major streets have been tore up and it is almost impossible to get to my house. My house would be a realtor’s nightmare.
I was going to look at house’s in Colorado on the Internet in spite of that and I can’t get the website I have been using to work. Mike and my son (who knows everything there is to know about computers) can’t get it figured out. So now I can’t even look for a house.
I’m not panicking yet. I know now God has His own time about things so will have to just see what happens. I will eventually move there because of the business but even more important the grandkids. I may be will have to wait a few months.
I’m still sorting through closets and things and slowly preparing. I do have my son and his family here but he is looking for a job in Denver so there is a slight chance they will move. My son’s kid’s are older and I am not as worried about leaving them because my grandson is getting his license so every holiday etc. they will be able to drive out and stay with me where Tawra’s kids are younger.
Hopefully things will work out for me to get out there as soon after them as I can.
Just like grandma (above), my mother has been using old pantyhose and stockings to tie things up for as long as i can remember. They stretch, you can cut them to any length… and they’re also GREAT for tying up plants! They don’t dig into the stems like a thin string or twine, and once again they stretch a little. I’ve used them for years in my gardens.
Grizzly Bear Mom
Since you soon may be having a garage sale to get rid of items, consider having the kids sell hot dogs from an electric frying pan, bronwies, and sodas so they can make money and stay out of your hair.
As for Jill not being able to move at this time, remember that rejection is God’s protection. I now thank God for sparing me from blessings for which I prayed.
jill, it does sound like GOD has a plan for you and well, i too would just pray and let HIM decide what is best for you and when you should move… i think its awesome tawra is selling hte house and moving to colorado… i would love to move too… but i want to move closer to the beach but right at the moment it wouldnt be feasible… we are thinking of buying the store where my daughter works… but so far, this hasnt happened… and then there is the paper route (which the contract is in my name) … hubby says we should just stay put bc the move would just kill me! … so i, too, am leaving this up to GOD and i know HE will direct me to where i need to be … :D
well, the heat is on its way here in florida… ugh! … i do prefer the cold but its hot here… i told hubby i miss the ocean breeze so much i need to a small vacation to be near the beach… he said maybe in the summer i can take a few days adn just vegetate on the beach adn stay in a hotel/motel when the prices are really cheap … i told him that would be wonderful… :D … maybe even take my mom too… i know she would just love it! … (i grew up near the beach so i think that is why i miss it so much! … one house we lived in was right on the beach and then another house was a block away from the beach… and when i stayed at my sister’s house, her house was 1 block from the beach and the house she is in now (senior housing) it faces the beach… i told her i am going to move in with her and she said “i know what you mean! when you cant see or smell the ocean and its a bit part of your life, you do miss it…” … i think that is why my brother became a sailor too… he LOVES the ocean as much as he loves chocolate and believe me, that’s alot!)…
I always save the twisters from bread bags, etc. and use those to tie cords together behind my computer, etc. so there is not a bunch of cords in a pile. I fold them to make them neater and if the cord is too big for one twister, I tie two together.
This may be obvious, but I just discovered this a while back when I decided to really, truly get organized *and* save more money than I had been doing so far. (These concepts overlap so much more than I had imagined.) Kind of relates to moving to a new place, too.
When I had made a conscious choice to save money by actually *using* what I had instead of just thinking I had saved money on a 70% off deal and stuffing the item into the depths of my closet, I was shocked at the amount of unused or half-used purchases I “discovered” lying around, especially in our bathroom. I had never realized just how many multiple tubes of toothpaste (all half used – ???), jars of moisturizer, bottles of perfume and deodorant and bars of hand soap we had. We have now barred buying any of these things until we are done with the ones we have accumulated, since this is a LOT. (Now, I know most “experts” on home organizing would tell you to start by throwing away all the expired stuff. Honestly, I don’t buy this if the item is still usable. But if it’s really, really old or clearly gone off, you should get rid of it.)
The great thing about making an inventory of the items you own and “shopping your home” like this is that you slowly get rid of stuff that you bought to use in the first place, meaning that you will have less stuff taking your closet space, less items to pack with you when you are moving (I think you could easily do the same with your pantry – start emptying it on purpose a couple of months before you are due to move so that you don’t pay for moving ten cans of tomato sauce) and more money to spend for the time being since you know not to buy any more deodorant for a while.
I do see the point of buying something in bulk when it is cheap, but just as you have advocated it is just as important to get around to actually using it. I discovered this the hard way and it did definitely cost us a bit in the really old stuff that we had to toss out. On the other hand, I feel happy each time I finish a moisturizer now, knowing that I did not just let it go bad.
To help us with our resolve to buy less and use more as well as to *stay* organized permanently and with less effort, I also decided to have only one piece of each item at hand until it is finished. This means keeping out only one tube of toothpaste in total for the both of us and only one bottle of perfume per person (this is one thing I think you can’t share with your husband :-)) as well as all other hygiene items. It makes cleaning the bathroom area so much easier and I feel more relaxed not walking into a maze of different lotions out on the shelves in our bathroom (we have only one closed cabinet where I now stock the extra items). When the toothpaste is gone, I throw the tube out and take another one from the cabinet instead of having two at hand permanently in case I wanted a different flavor of toothpaste one morning (oh, seriously).
One of the things I don’t know how to use are shampoos. I have been thinking of going no-poo – but considering how many bottles of shampoo I have left, it would take me two years to move on to baking soda since I don’t want to waste the mountains of shampoo!
You can use your shampoo for many other things here are a few;
~ To wash dedicates like undies or sweaters
~ Wash brushes and combs
~ Clean your tub and bath with it. It does a great job getting rid of soap scum.
~ Use it as a spot clean on your clothes like ring around the collar. If you think about it shampoo is made to remove human body oil from hair so it works great on body oil on clothes.
~ You can use it for cleaning woodwork, leather, carpet stains and almost anything you would use to soap on.
~It is a great degreaser so it works really good in a kitchen
~ It works good on paint brushes too
~ Use it to shave your legs or as a body wash
~ Use it for bubble bath
~ Washing the dog
~ Great soap for washing your car with
Great tips! Thanks for the prompt reply. Soon I will have less unused shampoo lurking around.
I actually happen to be running out of kitchen cleaner. Thankfully I have not yet purchased a replacement, and now I think I’ll try shampoo instead!
We did this in our kitchen the other day. My husband and I made a pact that we would not buy anything from the grocery store or resturants (except milk, butter, cheekse, produce) until we truly felt like there was nothing else in the house to eat. We thought it might take about to weeks to go through the food we already had, at the end of two weeks we started getting creative and we were shocked that we made it almost a whole month! Now we have a monthly meal plan and when we go to the store we try to stick to the list, then about every two months we skip a week of grocery shopping just to clear out what seems to start cluttering up again!
Thanks for the tips. Moving soon, can use all the help I can get.
Several months before you move, save toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. I used them to pack stemware. Cut the rolls to the length of the glassware stem, cut lengthwise, please on the stem and tape the paper roll together or you could use rubber bands. Obviously you still need to wrap the glassware. The paper rolls simply give more strength to the stem. I also packed the kitchen well ahead of time keeping only the basics out (One place setting for each person, one pot, one skillet, and basic cooking utensils, coffee pot, toaster. Once these items were packed in a box, we had the basics in the new kitchen readily available until the other boxes were unpacked. I saved the paper from our shredder to use for packing material. I also used the method mentioned above of simply numbering boxes and keeping a separate list of the contents. It made it much simpler to know which boxes needed to be unpacked and which could wait or simply go directly to storage, like holiday decorations. I kept the list for future reference for the storage boxes. To keep chains in your jewelry box from tangling during a move, thread them through a drinking straw and then fasten the clasp. If the straw is too long, simply cut it. The bendable straws take up less space. They also stretch if you need a little more length.
I learned this tip somewhere recently (maybe even this website), and it is worth repeating. Save the elastic waistband of men’s underwear, old sweat pants or leggings, or other wide elastic, when the item is past it’s prime, but the elastic is still good. Just cut it off of the top of the garment, in it’s circular form. No need to even take it out of it’s casing, if it has one. The wide elastic works wonders to wrap or secure things. It works like a large hair scrunchie. These large elastic bands take up very little room, but can help secure a rolled up mat to make a door draft stopper, or wrap around a small box, etc. Very handy, washable, soft, and free for the taking from stuff that is about to be tossed.
Yes you heard it here Mary Jane but you are right it does bear repeating especially here talking about moving because they work great when moving. When we are packing to move I keep a chunk of old sheet with me too that way if something needs to be tied quickly I can tear a piece of sheet to tie things together. The sheet is softer then rope on things and won’t leave a rub mark as easily as a rope or be sticky like tape. I do tie it in a bow and that way when I unpack it I only have to pull the bow and it comes undone where with rope you have to sometimes struggle with the knot you had to put in it to keep it tied or have to go get a pair of scissors or knife to uncut it.
I would be very interested in your advise to older people who are down sizing. It is a very emotional time in their lives, and it is easy to get confused as how to get started and make good decisions with all the stress of leaving your home of 40 years. I am sure that I am not the only senior faced with this problem.
June it is emotional, confusing and hard to pack up and move but the older you get the harder it seems to get but here is a list of things that may help. You can try all of them or just one or two.
1. Get someone to help you. A friend or family member who is not as emotionally attached to your things as you are and can be a loving voice of reason. Don’t hesitate to ask either if you need help. I know I am bad at not asking for help but so many people don’t mind helping at all and we keep them from receiving a blessing sometimes by not asking.
2, Looking at a whole house that needs to be sorted through can be daunting so it is best to do one small section at a time. Start with one closet, one corner of boxes or shelves. It helps me to tell myself things like I will sort through 3 boxes an hour or 6 boxes a day.
3. This tip will help you release the things that you are very emotionally attached too which can be the hardest to release.
I don’t know your circumstances but if you have children or grandchildren now is the time to get them over to pick out the family heirlooms they want. Unless you are wearing a piece of jewelry or using an item on a regular basis let your kids have it. Do this especially with things you have kept packed away. I know I gave my daughter a bunch of her great grandmothers things I had kept packed away when she got married and she actually loves using them and it gives me lots of pleasure to see them out. This will save squabbles later down the line.
4. This next tip will be the hardest but your really must get your emotions under control for this. Go through your personal memory things and get rid of as much as you can if your children don’t want it. I had lived in a house for 25 years myself and had to down size and it was at this point I pulled out a scrap book I had kept in 5th grade. It had dried flowers, ticket stubs to a play that I didn’t remember even going too or what the name of it was. It had no meaning to me 50 years later. If it had no meaning to me why would it have meaning to my kids and even more why in the world was I keeping it. I became ruthless and got rid of it all. The only think I felt was a relief that I had several less boxes I had to pack, haul or clean and deal with.
5. Really get ruthless with your household items and get rid of them. Donate them or something. Do you really need to keep those 12 platters you used for entertaining – are you going to be doing that much entertaining? For the rare occasions you might need an extra platter you can go to Dollar Tree and get one for $1. I had a full place setting of dishes. I found out I really could only have 4-5 people at a time so I got rid of all but 4 dinner plates and 4 salad plates. If something comes up I can always get some cute paper plates if I need to.
If you only are going to have 1-2 bedrooms then only keep enough bedding for each bed you have and maybe 3-4 extra blankets. Get rid of the rest. Same goes with all of your linens. Par down craft items and don’t buy more until you use what you have already. If you have a ton of unfinished things get rid of them. Get your clothes down to the basics.
It is just stuff and you need to think of it that way. You may think it is giving you pleasure and you need it emotionally but seriously look at what clinging to it is doing to you. Stressing you out.It is robbing you of being in a relaxed happy frame of mind. It is robbing your children, grandchildren and friends of a happy and stable mom, grandma and friend. Is anything worth that? Things can be like a drug making us believe we can’t live with out them, controlling our mind and emotions and robbing us of our time having to deal with and take care of it. I say this so you can look at things in a new light and release some of it.
6. Have the right attitude. When my kids left home or got married I didn’t sit with a tissue sobbing. I was grinning from ear to ear and so happy because I didn’t look at it as I was losing my kids and I wouldn’t have them any more I was excited and happy for them that they had found someone they loved, were starting a new life and I would be some day getting grand kids. It was a new fresh and wonderful beginning of another phase of life for them and myself so I was happy for them. I would have made myself and my children miserable if I had clung to the past and not wanted to let things go and change.
Where to start? Just start. One box, corner, closet at a time. Slowly, steady, and ruthlessly.