Packing can be stressful time for every member of the family. To ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible, try the following tips!
Pack a "Red Box"
Since one in five American families moves every year, that means 22 million families may be searching for their TV remote controls!
One of the pitfalls of packing for a move is you can't always anticipate what you'll need when you arrive at your new home, and movers typically list only the obvious such as dishes, glasses, bedding, etc. The miscellaneous items you need in the first few hours invariably wind up on the bottom of a random box.
To start, you may want to create your own "red box" as some moving companies ("Removers") do in Great Britain. This is the last box loaded and the first one off the truck. The one universal item in the red box is the tea kettle (perhaps this would be the coffee maker in the U.S.). This is also the place for miscellaneous but crucial items such as scissors, pens, paper, hammer, nails, hooks, screwdriver and tape measure.
Packing a suitcase for each family member as though you were going on a short vacation is another good idea. Include a few sets of clothing and sleepwear, footgear, outerwear, personal toiletries, medications and eyeglasses. Make sure to bring starter family toiletries like soap, toilet tissues and paper towels as well.
Children's Toys and Play Dates
New York child psychologist Dr. Cindy Linde placed the school directories from both their old and new schools in an important box when she moved with her own young children. That way they could keep in touch with their old friends and classmates, and she could make play dates with her childrens' new classmates.
Carol O'Leary recently relocated from London to New York with her family. She found she urgently needed her children's immunization records, and had no idea which box of papers they were in. While her husband's relocation liaison had told her to carry school records, no one had told her the children could not begin school without proof of immunizations. She also found that while she always remembered foreign currency for a vacation, it hadn't occurred to her to carry American dollars to tip the movers and buy pizza.
While your childrens' most cherished toys go at the top of a box, you may want to bury outgrown toys they just can't give up at the bottom. Hopefully, out of sight will mean out of mind!
Comforts of Home
Framed photos may not seem like the first thing to unpack, but familiar photos scattered around your new home can reinforce a feeling of family. Parents of young children may want to keep some samples of their artwork handy to immediately hang up on the refrigerator.
One mom found that her teenage daughter was horrified to sleep with uncovered windows the first night. If there are no shades or curtains in your new home, an easy trick is to bring spring rods (like those in many showers), over which you hang sheets for temporary privacy.
Perhaps Dr. Carol Pluzinski, a college professor and the mother of two small boys said it best in reference to her own move "we never could have done it without the help of my sister and teen niece who came from Chicago to assist before, during and after the move. I guess that's what parents need to pack first,a loving, fun aunt and cousin to help!"
Hopefully, the whole family can to relax together the first night in your new home, so remember to pack TV cords, remotes, and manuals together in a box that is clearly marked. Computer cords, attachments, etc. should be packed together as well.
Use these tips to help transition after your move and good luck on your new start!