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Friday, January 7, 2011

Becoming Home Owners: Packing

Oh packing, how I love thee!  Well packing can be fun for some or a pain for most.  I belonged in the fun category because packing built up the excitement for the next chapter in our lives.  I was beyond exhausted of living with my now in laws.  They were wonderful to let me stay in their home for 2 years, but H and I needed our independence.  Neither one of us had moved into a place of our own, which would prove to be a huge disadvantage.  We needed to do it someday, and that day was coming up very soon.

I'll admit that I started packing as soon as we started looking at houses in the beginning of our search.  Why?  I was just beyond excited with the possibility of moving out.  No worries.  I didn't pack all of my clothes or anything silly like that.  I only packed the things that I could live without using or seeing until we found our home.  I don't recall packing like a mad woman for the first house that didn't work out in the end.  Maybe it was a sign that the house wasn't meant to be?  This time around, I was ready to pack and pack like no other.  Muahaha!  H and I lived in a small space between the two of us, and it's amazing how much stuff we had in there.

Packing and putting your belongings into boxes is not rocket science.  Although I will have to admit that we could have been more organized to make it easier.  Like I've mentioned before, I still can't find some of my belongings, even a year later.  Make sure your boxes don't get too heavy.  It's easy to stuff a box with all of your heaviest books, but it's not going to be easy for the person who has to carry the box from point A to point B.  Keep a good balance.  Young House Love suggests using different colored painter's tape to indicate what room boxes go into to make the transition of boxes into the house much easier.  I think that is a fabulous idea!  I made sure to label the boxes with as much detail as possible for my own absentmindedness.

Try to recycle boxes too!  H collected a huge amount of computer boxes from work, and they sure came in handy for our big move in day.  Buying cardboard packing boxes can get pretty expensive, and recycling is the best way to reuse and save a few buckaroos too.  Over the years I also tried to keep as many boxes as possible, such as the box our television came in.  It made it a lot easier to safely package those items, and it doesn't hurt that the box was easy to identify.

Since you're already packing, why don't you look through your stuff and sort to see what you do and do not need?  You're already sorting through your belongings.  It only takes a few seconds to decide whether or not you want to bring everything with you into your new home.  If you have clothes you haven't worn since high school, then it is best to de-clutter and donate it.  You don't want to start your new life in a new house with too much stuff that will never see the day of light.

Sometimes you don't realize the essential items you may need for a house.  This is where H and I failed miserably and scrambled to get everything together.  Let me name a few items and see if they ring a bell:
  • toilet paper
  • cleaning products
  • dish soap, sponges
  • salt, pepper, cooking oil, condiments, etc
  • set of silverware & dishes
  • pots & pans
  • lamps with light bulbs
This is where we were at a huge disadvantage.  We were living with his parents, and we didn't have a lot of those essentials on hand for our own house.  Being prepared as humanly possible, H and I went to Costco to purchase some of these essential items before moving into the house.  Eeks!  Here is a big mistake.  You don't want to lug around a 5lb bag of sugar, a gallon of cooking oil, and a 20 lb bag of rice.  It is much easier to make your list and go to the store the day you move in (or even a few days after if you need the time to get settled).

I'm sure you will want to look into renting a truck for move in day.  I actually wasn't sure if we needed it at first.  We're just two people who lived in a very tiny space, and we were moving 20 minutes away.  Of course I didn't factor in the hand me down furniture we would inherit, which would be a pain in the butt to fit inside a van or truck.  It was much more convenient to rent and not have to worry about making multiple trips in multiple cars.

Packing is a lot of work, but it is well worth it.  Don't do it alone!  Get your family and friends to join in on the fun.  They will be eager to help with the transition.  Just make sure to treat them well and provide them with yummy food and drinks to thank them for their help.  At the end of the day remember that packing leads to moving into a new home, which is one of the best feelings ever.



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