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Designing your home and moving: Move fast, pack fast using these 12 tricks


The day that was promised has arrived. I'm moving. Again. The weekend following, and three times in the span of three years. This is the result of being a live-in stager at home.

While packing and unpack, I contemplate like Plato on the important question What am I doing this? Yes, I don't have a loan or mortgage. I am able to live in a completely flexible housing and the opportunity to live in some really nice houses with a lower cost than what I would pay when I own or rent them.

The offer sounds snooty until the day of packing comes around. Then, the attraction of the gig fades as does the appeal of a luxurious nightclub as the lights turn on.

As I again wrap bubble-wrapping baubles in bubbles and pack books, I offer myself this motivational speech: "Self," I declare, "as long as I've signed on to this vagabond life, I might as well embrace the process, find the Zen in packing and turn moving into a serious sport, where the goal is maximum speed and efficiency, and minimum inconvenience and cost."

I tighten my spine, discover my most determined voice, and say: "I am going to become a moving machine!"

To discover the most effective shortcuts and cost-saving strategies I contact U-Haul International spokesman Dain Howell. U-Haul pretty much owns the do-it-yourself-moving market.

Howell begins by reminding me that I'm a one of the many people who are part of an American custom: "Nearly 20 million Americans move between Memorial Day and Labor Day," the author declares. "Almost half of the nation's moves take place in these three months."

"Oh, I love a parade!" I tell you, "especially being in one!"

"That's not how most people see it," the author states.

Howell said that he's moved six times in the span of three years, believes that we can make our move quicker as well as smarter and more affordable and take some of the burden out of the turmoil with these simple steps.

1. Begin in the early hours

However good you are at packing, it always takes longer than you imagine. Start packing two to three weeks prior to the day you move. The things you are most likely to use first. It is always the books and china.

2. The pack should be strategically placed

Label the boxes that you know that you'll require first with an asterisk or another symbol. Place the items you'll need on Day One sheets towels, toiletries, sheets, and a change of clothes in a bag or hamper to make it easy to access.

3. Have a place to store your bags

A supply of moving supplies including boxes, tape and markers will help you maintain moving forward while packing.

Pick a room that isn't used often or a the corner of your house to be your storage area. Create boxes of various dimensions so that they are easily accessible. The speed of your response is crucial. Have a supply of sturdy marker, packing tape and packing supplies like popcorn, bubble wrap, or newsprint that is not printed there.

4. Save money on boxes

Find used ones. To be greener, U-Haul launched the Take a Box Leave a Box program, explained Howell. After moving you can drop off boxes that are still good at the nearest U-Haul which will allow others to collect them and reuse the boxes at no cost.

5. Do not be a burden

Many self-movers think that a huge box is only for heavy things however the reverse is the case. Large boxes should be filled with lighter things and then put heavier items such as books in smaller boxes. "You'd be shocked by that people will fill huge boxes to the point that they weigh 100 pounds and then break. This can slow things down," said Howell.

6. Don't pack air

A lot of people empty their chests and dressers prior to their move. Don't. This increases the time spent packing and also takes up valuable space in the truck. Keep dressers filled. If a chest isn't full then fill it up with clean linens, according to Howell. It will also reduce load shift. Don't forget to pack empty suitcases. They should be filled with.

7. Trash bags are treasures

Boxes are fantastic for stacking, however the same is true for trash bags that are strong as they are squishy. The trash bags can be filled with soft , non-breakable materials. They can be put into vehicles and transform to shapes which boxes aren't able to.

8. Hang 'em high

Don't take hanging clothes with you. Hang them on clothespins and store their clothes in your vehicle. flat. After that, hang them in the new location.

9. Pad stack, pad, and stack, and then pack

Do not pack beach towels. Use them for pads to save on boxes. Wrap and secure blankets around the lamp bases and artwork. Also, stack and store lampshades. They can get beaten in the course of moving. Remove each shade, stack them from small to large and then place them in one container so that they can are in good condition when they arrive.

10. Two sides of the label.

Note every box's contents and its destination (kitchen) in more than one place. Be sure to note whether the contents are fragile. Although movers won't be concerned but you'll be able to take it with them.

11. Get ready.

Make sure everything is packed prior to when the mover arrives or even before you can get your truck. Take apart furniture that needs to be removed. (Tape nuts and bolts tightly to furniture pieces.) Then roll the area rugs tight and then tape them. The more organized you are, less time you'll have to spend on moving companies -- who charge per hour as well as truck rental.

12. In sections, load.

If you're loading a truck for moving yourself, you should maximize space and prevent the items from shifting by placing them in sections starting from the floor up. The largest items should be loaded first, then in front and in the middle. Then, pack them tightly and up to the top. After that, you can proceed to another section.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I'd better get packing.