Preparing for your move is the most important part of relocation. Last week I shared with you a few tips for making your move more efficient. I was with a group of men that moved a mutual friend from one three-bedroom house to another located five miles away in less than three hours. Here are some more tips to make your local move work quickly and without injury:

Padding and Tape

Just like you can't have too many boxes, you can't have too much padding. Use your blankets and sleeping bags to help cushion items that need protection, such as mirrors, fine furniture, beds and other pieces of furniture you want to keep from scratching or breaking. Once you run out of blankets, rent as many pads as you can. They're not expensive, but they may protect those items that are.

Don't forget the tape, either. It's nice to have blankets and pads to wrap around the dresser, it works even better if you can use duct tape to wrap the pads around your belongings. Tape your mirrors, as well. In addition to the tape, don't forget some twine, rope and bungee cords. Duct tape doesn't strap a couch into the back of a pickup very well -- the bungee cords work just fine.

Tools and Necessities

I don't know who brought it along, but it was a great idea to have a simple toolbox with adjustable screw drivers, nut drivers, wrenches, etc., handy in case we needed to fix or remove something quickly -- like the front door, for instance. The toolbox was left out in plain view so any of the volunteer movers could get access to it to work on a quick project.

Other necessities would include your food -- lunch, for instance. Make sure to supply some breakfast or snack grub for your workers. It keeps everyone on the premises instead of stopping to go get big gulps and chips to get through your short-term project.

Leave the cleaning products for last. Once you're moving out, most leases and contracts require that the property be turned over "broom clean," meaning you should be expected to conduct a courtesy cleaning of the premises.

Don't Pack Everything

There are some things that you really shouldn't pack up for a short-term move. Your clothes, for one. I remember a new employee of mine who had just moved into a new house, walking in to work on his first day decked out in his suit, tie, nice shoes -- but no socks. He couldn't find which box they were in.

Other items you should maintain close watch over include your legal and financial papers, such as the will, insurance, and checking accounts. Be sure to keep these close by where you can get access to them quickly.

Moving Meister

Designate someone as the lead packer. One person needs to direct all the volunteers as to what's coming into the truck at what time and where to place it. Obviously, the most experienced self-mover should be this person -- not necessarily the person who's moved the most. I found it humorous to have to show a military officer how to open the moving van -- I forgot that while he had moved every three years over his career, he never had to pack it up himself.

Once at the new destination, the lady/gentleman of the land should be the one to tell everyone where to get off the truck. Don't feel guilty at this point for standing at the entrance telling everyone where to go with boxes in their hands as if you're not doing anything. You are, you're keeping the flow of your stuff moving into its new place.

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