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When I moved a few years ago, I stumbled upon a system that kept me sane before, during and after the move. When packing a box, put a large pad of lined paper next to it. As I wrapped and put things in the box, I wrote down precisely what I had packed. When the box was full, I put the piece of paper on the very top of the items before I sealed the box.
I also packed absolute necessities separately, particularly kitchen items, so I'd have easy access to them right up until they went on the truck. This box was labeled "necessities," of course. When unloading the truck, I was immediately able to tell where each box went and what was in it. I do suggest packing the more important, but not absolutely necessary, items into each box last so they're easier to get to once you're moved it but not unpacked.
I use masking tape to label items, writing on it with crayon instead of permanent marker. I have two small children who leave stray crayons everywhere, and a permanent marker is a potential disaster if they get a hold of one. Masking tape is inexpensive compared to purchased labels or label makers. Crayons write smoothly on masking tape, do not smudge or need to dry, and the available color palette is huge.
Each member of the family can have their own color (green for Dad, pink for sister, purple for brother), or similar items can be marked with the same color (all craft supplies labeled with blue writing, kitchen items labeled in orange). This is especially key when packing or organizing for children sharing a room. All of one child's drawers can be labeled with her favorite color and the name of the item that goes there. The tape can be easily peeled when something changes without damaging most surfaces and because these are common household items, making a new label is easy. When packing or organizing I have a few colors of crayons in my pocket and a roll of masking tape around my wrist like a bangle.
By Antoinette from Okinawa, Japan
Just before you move, pack a suitcase for you and your family as if you were going on vacation. That way, you can live out of your suitcases for a few days, and not have to have everything unpacked to bathe, dress, etc.
Also a good idea is to set up your bed first thing, sheets and all. That way, you have a comfortable place to crash at the end of your long day.
By Bobasita from Grosee Pointe Park, MI
Here are the basic items needed for an organized move:
When you move, many places will allow you to have access a few days early. If this is possible, before the major move, bring enough kitchen tools to the new place to be able to fix a simple meal.
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My husband's work requires us to move every 4 to 6 months. The entire house and my car is in storage. I am looking for ways to be more organized, so when it's time to move again, I know where things are for the nights we have to stay in hotels. We are usually on the road 3 days before we get to the provided rental home.
Maybe get 3 boxes +/- and fill them with what you know you like to have those nights in motel. Maybe get spares from garage sales, the way some people keep things aside for camping.
I got rid of the suitcase and started using rubbermaid bins for clothing (this works if you are driving I'm not sure about flying). I have one for each me and my husband. I have a smaller bin for our cosmetics. I have pared the cosmetics down to what is needed. I have streamlined my beauty care. I'm not taking anything that motels supply such as iron or hair dryer. My bins only contain for the season. In my bin I have large gallon size ziplock bags that I use to keep up with small items such as underwear & socks.
Holy Cow! I can only imagine how hard this must be for you! Do you have children? Is it absolutely necessary that you travel with your husband from job to job? Can you just set up home 'somewhere' and he visit you or you visit him when possible? I've known lots of people who were/are long haul truck drivers and they simply keep a 'home base'! If you could share more information it would make it easier to give realistic advice to help you.
Just pack your bags as you would normally do, including toiletries, etc. Then when you get to your new home, launder everything, pack it right back up, and set the packed luggage aside, ready to go again. Then when it is time to move again, just grab the bags and go! Since you will be wearing the same outfits, just in a new city. You can also wear the same jewelry, shoes, etc.