Entries tagged with “packing”.

An empty cardboard moving boxA bit of organization and forethought not only makes packing easier, it makes unpacking a breeze as well. Here are some packing tips from the pros:

Gather packing supplies before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop half-way through a packing session in order to get more supplies.

Pack one room at a time. Avoid mixing things from different rooms in the same box; it will make unpacking more time-consuming.

Pack clothing, shoes and linens in your suitcases. Also, most moving companies will let you leave clothing in dresser drawers, but be sure to remove anything that is breakable or will slide around in the drawers.

Pack small, breakable items in small boxes and place them into a large box. Clearly label each box (large or small) with your name, its general contents, an arrow indicating which side is up, “Fragile” if contents are breakable, and which room each box belongs in. Refrain from noting anything valuable (silver, jewelry, etc.) on the outside of a box.

Have area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They will return from the cleaners rolled, wrapped, and ready for shipping.

Use different colored labels for family members or corresponding rooms to make unpacking quicker.

Use small boxes for heavy items (books, small appliances), large boxes for light ones (pillows, lampshades), and medium boxes for everything in between. Heavier items should be placed at the bottom, lighter ones on top. A good rule of thumb is for packed boxes to weigh less than 50 pounds.

When disassembling furniture, put hardware in a sealed plastic bag and affix it to the corresponding piece (however, do not apply tape or any adhesives directly to polished or painted wood surfaces). Keep tools you’ll need to reassemble furniture in a separate box that is clearly marked.

Do not use standard garbage bags! They rip and tear too easily. If you’re going to pack linens and clothing in garbage bags, purchase the thicker, heavy ones to ensure they don’t burst during the move. Or double up.

Never pack flammables or combustibles.

Keep an inventory list of each box and its contents. This will be necessary if a box goes missing and you need to make a claim.

Of course, if all this seems like a lot of work and you’d like some help getting packed up, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves. :-)

Our thanks to nuttakit at freedigitalphotos.net for the photo, about.com and Martha Stewart.com for the information used in today’s blog.




Moving can be stressful. Sometimes in the rush and commotion of a move there are things we forget to do or to pack. Aside from the obvious filling out a change of address card with the post office, here are a few things to consider:

Don’t forget to return library books, transfer or cancel gym memberships and pick up things at the dry-cleaner or shoe repair shop.

What about the spare keys you left with the neighbor or any hidden valuables? Be sure you collect all your records, including medical, dental, vaccine and veterinarian, school and a prescription list from the pharmacy.

Gather all personal files (marriage license, passport, birth certificate, wills, insurance papers), home movies, photo albums, tax records, car keys, safe deposit box keys, deeds, checkbooks, jewelry, stocks, school records, medicine, etc. These items should travel with you to ensure they don’t get lost in the move.

On moving day for a local move, use travel coolers for refrigerated/frozen items or line small boxes with a plastic bag.

Tape the remote for the cable TV to its box for easy return to the cable company. Check inside the washer, dryer, oven, microwave and dishwasher to ensure nothing is left behind inside them.

Make up a HARDWARE BOX to put all hardware in when packing–shelf pins for bookcases, special picture hanging items, small tool kit, hardware for dressers, etc. so that everything is handy when you arrive at your new home.

Designate one box or drawer in the home you are leaving for items that need to stay behind and add to it as you come across things when packing, e.g., appliance manuals that stay with home, mailbox keys, access codes for garage opener, etc.

Can you add anything to this list?

Moving your home and belongings can be very stressful, so why not have your electronic friends help you out? While you won’t find an application that will organize and de-clutter for you, or pack up your stuff, here some apps you might want to check out:

Moving Planner (Android) – Configurable moving planner with everything needed to plan your move. Comes pre-populated with more than 210 moving related items. Easy and very intuitive thumb friendly check/uncheck options. This app comes with FREE lifetime updates.

Moving List (iPhone/iPod) – Features 95 pre-populated To-Do List task items to get you started, to which you can add your own. Edit and track existing items and organize tasks by category or due date.

iMoving (iPad) – is a unique application designed primarily to help you in calculating a moving estimate and can help you gauge how much stuff you have in your household. It allows you to easily create a list of the contents of your home, providing you with estimates in weight and cubic feet and, with this information in hand, get reliable quotes from a wide selection of moving companies.

Moving Day (iPhone/iPod/iPad) – Easy cataloging of your items as they are packed; easy to print item labels, including a barcode and to which room it belongs; and value tracking, photos, and damage reports to simplify insurance claims.

Moving Checklist (Blackberry) - Choose from suggested list entries or add your own. See your progress immediately with the background bar. Note: This app requires an SD-Card.

And, in case you want to hang your pictures straight in your new home, there’s the  iHandy Level Free (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad).

These are just a few of the many free and low-cost apps available to help you move. Which are your favorites?

As if moving to a new home isn’t stressful enough, add in a baby or toddler and you can have REAL chaos and life can be downright EXHAUSTING!

Thanks to Baby Zone for some helpful hints on making the move easier:

Get Help: Enlist the help of friends, schedule some play dates to help you get things done. Or (shameless plug), you can call Seamless Moves and we’ll pack up for you while you take the kids to the park.

Help Your Child Feel Secure: Even if you think that your baby can’t understand, talk to him. Using simple phrases, such as, “The truck is coming today,” or “Soon we’ll be driving to our new home.” An infant will  be reassured by the tone of your voice, even if he can’t understand your words.

Make the Move Special: Having a favorite Elmo doll or well-loved afghan on hand can go a long way toward helping your child settle in to a new home. Try to pack up your child’s room last and unpack it first. Consider including a surprise box containing new toys and knick-knacks for your child to open along with her familiar belongings.

Moving can actually be fun for toddlers. Empty boxes offer hours of excitement. Children can decorate the moving boxes with colored markers or watercolor paints. With a little imagination, large boxes can be turned into castles, cars, or firehouses.

The Day of the Move: Moving day will be frantic no matter how well you’ve prepared. If at all possible, have someone watch your children at another location. Kids can get hurt or lost among piles of boxes and stacks of furniture. And having a rambunctious toddler on the loose is one thing you just don’t need when there’s an enormous moving van jockeying around your driveway.

Remember to set aside some key items that you and your children will need in the short term. Pack a separate bag for your shampoo, brushes, makeup and an extra change of clothes for yourself, along with pacifiers, bottles, and can’t-live-without toys for the kids. Even if you’re only moving across the street, hand-carrying these essentials to your new home will ensure that you won’t have to unpack endless boxes looking for a precious blanket.

“Spring is here! The Masters Golf Tournament is right around the corner, but my garage is such a muddle that I can’t reach my golf clubs.”

The garage is where we toss everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. Although you have plenty of room, sometimes it can look like an obstacle course. If you find yourself using your garage as if it were a public storage unit, here are some organizational tips.

Time ~ Set aside enough time to work on the project. Try to plan for a dry weekend, because you’ll have to pull many items out of the garage. If you want the project to go quickly, with a minimum of  disruption to your regular  routine, hire an expert or round up a team of helpers. Otherwise, it may turn into an overwhelming task that will be abandoned halfway through.

Assess the clutter ~ Start by creating three categories: keep, donate, and toss. Discard items that haven’t been used within two years. Once you know which items that will live in your garage, begin grouping them into categories. Only after this step will you know the correct sizes and types of containers or bins to buy to store your things in.

Pick plastic storage bins ~ Cardboard boxes, no matter how strong, bend and dent with frequent use and eventually succumb to dampness. Waterproof containers protect their contents better, seal tighter, and are easy to carry or move.

Think Visibility ~ Consider metal shelving such as those sold at Costco. It’s affordable, easy to assemble and you can add wheels if you want it to be movable. Ventilated shelves also allow visibility and prevent dust and dirt from collecting. If necessary, store items in clear boxes or bags to keep them clean. Give anything that is not easily identifiable a clear label.

Overhead Storage ~ The area above your garage doors may be wasted space. An overhead storage rack is great for out-of-season storage and Holiday decorations.

Keep it at your fingertips ~ Assemble a quick-fix kit consisting of a hammer, screwdriver, nails and screws and keep it near the door to the house so you can access it easily for quick fixes.

Now back to those golf clubs… The standing organizer above would be at home in any well-appointed garage, or this wall-mounted system could turn your golf bags into a piece of interesting art.

We asked a golf pro where is the best place to store our golf clubs. Should we keep them in the trunk of the car? His recommendation: Is to avoid keeping your clubs in the trunk of your car, for any length of time, the temperature changes and  jostling can cause damage.

Did you know that proper storage and well maintained golf clubs may even improve your game? :-)

So, I was getting ready for a recent party and I COULD NOT find the outfit I wanted. After tearing out the entire contents of my closet, when I did find it, I realized that it no longer fit or even looked good on me.

Sound familiar? Then you know it is time! Have you ever looked into your stuffed closet and said “Oh jeez, I forgot I even HAD that”?

Most of us can think of 100 things we’d rather do other than sort out our clothes that are packed in our drawers or stuffed in the closet, but believe me ladies (and gents!), if you put just a little bit of time into organizing your closet it makes life so much easier and makes you enjoy your clothes so much more.

As luck would have it, March is “Clean Out Your Closet Month” and so we present our Top 5 Clean Out Your Closet Tips:

1.  Use a pad and pen, so as you go thru looking at your clothes thinking, only if I had that, or this would work really well with this, you can jot down what you need to put it all together to fill in the gaps you may have noticed.

Pop the list into your purse so next time you are out shopping, you won’t get persuaded into buying mistakes (like the ones you’re getting ready to toss).

2.  Collect some bags, boxes or bins to pack for charity giving. Get them into the bedroom and use them because if they are not close by, you will be quite tempted to just throw things back into the closet.

3.  I’m afraid you will need to get real and be sure you have a full length mirror. Without it,  you will struggle to know if those clothes are right for you. Do they flatter you? Do they make you feel good? Did 1980 call and want its shoulder pads back? Be realistic–do they really suit you? Then you will know what goes into the bags and what goes back into the closet.

4.  Make it FUN…invite a friend, pour a glass of wine, play some great music.  Create some ambiance and play! Put together new combinations. Once you get going, you will start to enjoy yourself.

5.  As you go through each garment one at a time and ask yourself: Do I love it or do I want to love it?? Does this flatter me? Does it reflect who I am? Have I worn it in the last year? Why not? If the answer is no to any of those questions, then out it goes! Whether it goes to charity or whether you hand it down to friends or family, just get it out of the closet so all that remains are clothes you love; the things that really flatter you.

So let’s get going, clean out and organize that closet and let us know: What was the most surprising thing you found in your closet? Does it have a story behind it? Did you dump, keep it, and store it?  What did you throw out? What can you just not bear to part with?

P.S. If you have gently-used, interview-appropriate clothing that you no longer need, consider donating the items to Washington Women’s Employment and Education program or Dress For Success Seattle.


Last time you said, “Never Again!” Remember?

You took a week off from work; begged, borrowed and scavenged from the liquor store as many cardboard boxes as you could source, packed up all your cherished possessions and loaded them in the U-Haul van; goaded 2 of your strongest friends into helping you muscle the hide-a-bed down 2 flights of stairs (and then had to patch the ding they made in the wall); made 6 trips to your new home; cursed at those too-small those liquor store boxes that don’t stack worth beans; jammed your furniture and boxes into the garage; and barely made it back the rental office before midnight to avoid being charged an extra day’s truck rental.

But you saved money, right?

Three years later, you still have unpacked boxes in that same garage and it’s time to move again. Really?? Can your back take it? Is your wife pregnant with baby #2 and #1 is already a full-time job? Will the only other person left in your department after the recent layoffs cover your job for a week as well as theirs?

or This??

We invite you to picture this:

Monday morning: You go to work as usual. When you come home, everything is packed up and ready to move EXCEPT the coffee maker, your personal bathroom items, what you want to wear to work tomorrow and the TV and remote. Hmm, mildly annoying, but not too bad.

Tuesday morning: You go to work, but instead of going home to your old home, you go to your new home. The furniture has all been placed where you want it and your bed is made. The coffee maker, your personal bathroom items, what you want to wear to work tomorrow and the TV and remote are unpacked and in place. Your bedside alarm clock has been set 10 minutes fast, just the way you like it.

Wednesday morning: You go to work again, only tonight when you come back to your new home there are no boxes (no paper, no crates, no bubble wrap!). All of your belongings have been unpacked and put neatly away. Your paintings, artwork and decorative items are unpacked and ready for your decorator (or ours) to place in their new locations tomorrow.

Thursday: Decorating day. When you come home tonight, you feel like you’ve lived there for years. You change your clothes and go watch your child’s soccer game.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Relax and enjoy your Seamless Move! Have a housewarming party; invite friends over and brag about how you got it all done in less than a week (we won’t tell!). No back ache, no calling all over town several weeks before you move to source boxes, trucks, labor, etc. No wondering what is falling through the cracks at work or at home.

Relax! We’ve done this before. Hundreds of times. We would LOVE to help you and your family, too! Just tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest.

photo courtesy of Mike Nakamura Photography

Laurie Lamoureux, Founder and Chief Box Opener of Seamless Moves, will present a Downsizing Seminar Saturday, June 12, 2010 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in the Lakeview Dining Room at The Lakeshore, an ERA Living community located at 11448 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98178 (near the Renton airport). The information presented will be helpful to people moving right away, those who want to be ready for a future move as well as individuals helping friends or family with their moves.

  • Learn how to begin the downsizing process
  • Hear tips on how to find and interview movers
  • Learn more about organizing, packing and more
  • Dessert, coffee and lots of useful information about beginning the process for a seamless move

Feel free to invite a friend! No cost to attend, but please RSVP to The Lakeshore 206.772.1200 by June 10th.

Printable flyer (.pdf) here: LKS Downsizing Seminar_061210