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The Reinhart Blog

Moving Mistakes That May Cost You

Moving can be challenging and expensive. Watch out for these moving mistakes that could cost you!

Not Making a Plan
Whether you are moving across the country or across Washtenaw County, moving takes a lot of work and planning. To alleviate the stress of last minute planning and packing, create a schedule with a moving checklist. Real Simple has a great moving checklist.

Moving Things You No Longer Need
Not only do you waste money moving things you no longer need, you also waste time and energy. Before you begin packing, get rid of everything you don’t use or won’t need in your new home. Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley’s ReStore is a great place to donate what you no longer need.

Packing Poorly
Safely and securely pack your belongings. Invest in quality boxes, specifically designed for moving to ensure that your belongs will be safe. Be sure to accurately label boxes to save time when you are unpacking. Don’t wait until the last minute; begin by packing a few boxes a day so the process isn’t so overwhelming.

> Click here for 9 tips for packing up a household.

Hiring the Wrong Moving Company
A quality moving company can save you time, as well as the stress and energy of moving on your own.

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Book Basics: How to Pack Your Volumes Safely

If you thought all those hours of Tetris were a waste of time, think about packing a box of books. You’re highly trained!

Before the launch of the school year, lots of folks are moving or shipping books. It may sound like a no-brainer, but there are dos and don’ts when it comes to packing them safely.

If you’re moving out of state, cull your books before packing, as you’ll be paying by weight. Ask yourself, am I likely to read this again, and if so, could I easily get it from a library? Even paperbacks are heavy and can contribute considerably.

Once you’ve scaled your library down, it’s time to pack.

  • Use small boxes, as medium or large will be too heavy and more apt to be dropped, damaging toes or the books inside, or landing on other boxes.
  • Always start by lining the box with plain newsprint paper.
  • Group the books by size.
  • If you’re packing books out of a bookcase, pack from the bottom shelf up and have your boxes nearby. After you fill the first box, place the second box on top of the first. That way you are working from bottom to top from your bookcase into the boxes.

Books can be packed any of these three ways:

  • Flat on their backs
  • Standing upright
  • Sideways, with their spines downward and pages facing up

You’ll probably find using a mix of these methods works best, to fill in odd pockets of space. This is where your Tetris skills come in! And the best part: the books don’t have to speed up as they go in the box!

There will invariably be some leftover space in each box. Use crumpled packing paper, peanuts or bubble wrap to snugly fill the gaps.

Never pack books with pages facing down, as this stresses the spines and can bend the covers and pages.

Magazines are best stacked flat.

There is some disagreement about whether, when books are standing upright, their spines or their open edges should be touching the side of the box. The Betty Brigade believes it’s safest to touch the open edge of the book to the side of the box, and then pack another section of books “spine-to-spine” against the first section.

Pages should never be touching pages, whether the books are hardback or paperback. If you start another row next to an outward facing row of books, place paper between the rows, and turn the books sideways to the open-faced books.

When pages must face pages, separate them with packing paper.

Don’t pack books too tightly together, or you may damage them when unpacking later. For fragile books, photo albums or first editions, line the box with bubble wrap first. Wrap these volumes in craft or packing paper (not newspaper) and separate them with cardboard to keep them from damaging each other.

Before sealing a box, always cover the top layer with a sheet or two of packing paper.

If you’ll be storing the books for awhile, try to get a climate-controlled storage unit, so the books aren’t subject to high heat or moisture. Also if you have precious books in storage, wrap them with acid-free paper, which won’t rot or discolor over time.

Okay, now we just have to figure out how to use of your World of Warcraft skills…

Judy DiForte is a professional organizer for The Betty Brigade, an Ann Arbor-based concierge company specializing in move coordination, organizing, event planning and pet care. Leave a comment below or email her at judy@bettybrigade.com.

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9 Tips for Packing Up A Household

You’ve sold your home and found a new one! The hard part is over!

Or is it?

There’s still the matter of getting a houseful of stuff from point A to point B. It’s enough to interfere with your Zzzzz’s…
But the truth is, with some planning, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming – even if you’re packing your own possessions.

Here are some tips to make the process a little easier:

    • If possible, allow six weeks for packing up the average household.

 

    • Get all your supplies together. You’ll need sturdy boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, a good tape gun, labels, markers and a notebook. You’ll also need some basic tools for taking items apart and a tape measure for planning furniture placement in your new place.

 

    • Enlist some help. This makes packing go faster and can even become a pleasurable activity as you chat about the items you’re packing and talk about your plans.

 

    • Label each box and give it a number, as you pack. In your notebook, by the number, list what’s in the box. On the label, say which room it’s going to at the other end. This takes seconds per box but can save hours and headaches at the other end.

 

    • When packing the contents of a storage cabinet that you’ll be moving, create a diagram of the cabinet and give each drawer and cubby a letter. As you pack each space, put that letter on the box containing the contents. Tape the diagram inside the cabinet so it’s handy when you unpack.

 

    • Use clothing, towels, pillows and blankets to cushion extra fragile items.

 

    • Pad each box of breakables with 2” of padding material on all six sides. Pack items snugly, so that after you’ve sealed the box, you can press your hand against any side, and it will “push back.” You should be able to gently shake the box and not hear anything moving. If packed well, a box of fragile items could be dropped from 4 or 5 feet without breakage.

 

    • Contrary to popular belief, plates, mirrors, picture frames are safest when packed on their edges – not flat in a box. They can absorb any impact much more safely this way, reducing chances of breakage.

 

    • To prevent injury when lifting, don’t make boxes too heavy. Maximum weight should be 50 lbs., with 40 lbs. or less being ideal. Clearly mark any extra heavy boxes to warn movers and to make sure those aren’t stacked on top of lighter boxes.

 

Before you know it, you will be in your new home surrounded by all the boxes you just packed. The good news? Unpacking goes much faster than packing! Good luck in your new home!

About the Author: Judy DiForte is a professional organizer for The Betty Brigade, an Ann Arbor-based concierge company specializing in move coordination, organizing and event planning. Email her at Judy@BettyBrigade.com, or leave a comment here.

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