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April 10, 2005



Congrats on the new condo!

If you're not concerned about appearances (i.e.: you're not someone who *must* have name-brand moving boxes), hit the layaway section of Wal-Mart and ask for all their bleach boxes. Ask them to save them for you, and pick the next batch up each time they get a new shipment (usually once a week). They're insanely sturdy, and just the right size to where even if they're filled completely with hard-back books you'll still be able to lift them without too much strain. Plus, they're free. We've moved our entire house in bleach boxes before, and it helps when all the boxes are the same size (makes packing the truck a cinch!).

Or, if you're *really* not concerned about appearances, ask the local liquor stores for boxes. Your new neighbors will talk when you move in with a truck full of liquor boxes, but you'll *never* find a sturdier box for moving! And these boxes usually have handles! =)

Oh, and *never* just label a box "misc". 'Cause even if you think you're going to remember what's in it, you never will...

(Yeah, I've done this moving thing quite a few times! Good luck!)

amy s.

congratulations jessamyn! we moved in october. one of the best things we did was have the movers put olivia's room stuff on the truck LAST. that meant it was unpacked first - so I was able to quickly get her room set up right back to normal - or relatively so. that meant she was able to feel more "at home" in her new home, because at least her room looked very familiar. have a great move!


When you start unpacking, set up the beds first (if the movers haven't done so) and make them up with linens. The last thing you want to do after such an exhausting day is get the bed ready.


When you start unpacking, set up the beds first (if the movers haven't done so) and make them up with linens. The last thing you want to do after such an exhausting day is get the bed ready.


Get free moving boxes on Craigslist from people who don't want to just throw them out. I did a search for boxes in the "free" section of CL Chicago, and look at all I found: http://results.searchscout.com/content/429/33266-1/content21097-0.html?b=28682&m=MzM1MTA2NDY1&t=1000234370&d=0&k=baby+gifts&c=33266

Mmm, long link. I don't know if that will work. Boxes can cost a fortune, so get 'em for free and then you can use CL to pass them along if they are still in good shape.


Something to consider if you're not moving far or will be moving some items yourselves: I find it such a pain to take all the hanging clothes out of the closet, fold them up in suitcases, only to have to unpack them all at the new place. So, what I do is, gather together a bunch of clothes on hangers. Secure the hangers together at the top with a rubber band. Cover the whole thing with a garbage bag.
When you arrive at the new place, all you have to do is remove the garbage bag and rubber band and hang the whole lot up in the new closet!

Label boxes very specifically. Not just "kitchen stuff." Take the time to list things: "Muffin tins; rolling pin; canisters, measuring cups and spoons." Then when you're in a hurry looking for something after you've moved, you don't need to open every last kitchen box to find it.

I've also seen people have success with assigning a colour for each room, and labelling each box with a sticker/piece of paper in that colour. So the movers know that all orange boxes go in the living room.


Checkmate Movers, on Peterson (I think?). They've moved me twice, and nearly everyone I know at least once. No one has had a bad experience with them. They're efficient, pretty cheap, and always friendly. I went from the city to a near west 'burb, with two bedrooms of stuff plus china and crystal and more books than should be legal, and it cost $100 less than they quoted me.

(And you don't know me at all, but I've moved a lot in my many years in the Chicagoland area, so I figured I'd toss in my $.02.)


Wow, thank you, everyone, for all your suggestions! I had never considered getting packers - I'm not sure if we will or not, but at least we'll check into the cost of it and figure out if we want to do it. I probably should have mentioned that our closing date is at the end of May and we won't actually be moving until the first weekend in June. Also, I'm going out of town this weekend. So I think our goal will be to purge as much as we can this week and next week, and to start packing after that, when we still have over a month before the move date. We should be ok with that amount of time, right? I think you're all right, though - purging and packing in advance are two things that would really help us!

And Amy, I'd love to know what movers you used!


I think it's a great idea to use movers, get a recommendation and go with it, you'll love it! I would move breakable and/or awkward before your move. That way you know where it is and you won't get charged out the wazoo for extra tape that the movers use to box it. The first time I moved using movers, they taped about a roll and a half of tape around my pillows! I would leave just the boxes and big furniture to the movers. And of course, the earlier you can start packing (and PURGING), the better. I have really changed the kind of packrat that I used to be by moving as often as I did in the last 10 years. We really don't need as much stuff as we have, I found. And my house is a lot neater now!


Ugh, we did this about a year ago, and yes, moving sucks. You have made the very best decision in hiring movers. No matter what it costs, I will always do that from now on. If you're looking for a moving company, we were extremely happy with ours. They move the Chicago Bulls! They charged by the hour (I think most do), and our guys worked quickly, were friendly and polite, and didn't break or steal anything.

We did all our packing ourselves, to save money. (Plus, I felt weird about having strangers go through my stuff.) I have no regrets about doing that. We just started way in advance and did a little at a time almost every day. We threw a lot of stuff out. We layered breakable things with dishtowels, blankets, and pages ripped from catalogs and magazines. We left our clothes drawers full--your movers will move dressers that way. We moved our computer, TV, DVD player, etc. ourselves... yeah, we were a little paranoid about theft. We labeled all our boxes with "living room," "kitchen," etc., so the movers would know where to put them.

And we supplied our movers with plenty of Gatorade! :)


Packers, definitely. They were so thorough (robot-like box-stuffing monsters) we even found trash that had been neatly packed in boxes. It made the move almost stress-free.


I can definitly relate! We recently moved across country with a toddler. Not my idea of fun!

Hire movers to do everything you can afford to have them do. It is WORTH IT! And possibly tax deductable. Don't try and save money by hiring movers over the internet. Too many con artists out there! Ask about getting used boxes. Check out your local freecycle group http://www.freecycle.org/ to see if anyone is offering boxes and moving supplies.

The nice thing about moving with a child is that it will feel like home sooner. Our daughter was calling our new house "home" after the second week. She had a really big smile on her face when she saw all of her things come off the truck.


Purge, purge, purge, purge, purge! Lose it or move it.

Have your daughter involved as much as she is able. No sneak packing! Let her pack a box of her toys while you pack the rest. Talk this up big. Berenstain Bears has a story about moving. Use that as a starting point. Make sure to mention exactly who is moving. Talk about feelings. Remember, your daughter can understand more than she can say.

When we moved we said "good bye" to the truck and everything in it and said "see you in KY!" We also said goodbye to the house and "we'll miss you but we're excited to see our new home."

Best piece of advice I got from the movers: At some point you're just going to have to let go and realize this isn't your home anymore. Forget about trying to keep the rest of the house livable. You're moving; neatness does not count!

Second best piece of advice: Think weight, not volume. In your previous moves, you probably rented a truck and tried to get by with the smallest truck possible. With movers, in most cases, you pay by the pound not the square foot. You'll find yourself inclined to throw away really light plastic things because they are big. So give away the contents of your pantry, dump out your flour and start fresh, but keep the pantry organizers and containers that weigh next to nothing.

If you do your own packing: Get a really large container of the thickest hand salve you can find. Udder balm, Aquaphor, etc. Use it constantly. That packing paper really sucks the moisture out of your hands! It literally took weeks for my hands to recover.

Your mover (not the sales person who writes up the bid, but the actual guy who will drive the truck) will probably come check the place out a few days in advance. Ask him to show you how to pack the dishes and other difficult items. There's an art to this that can't be explained in writing. Ask about their rules on what must be in a box, what can and can't go on the truck, etc.

My best move memory: I walked into the bedroom of our new house and found my daughter sitting on a box on our bed, wearing nothing but a diaper and a smile, singing at the top of her lungs to her reflection in a mirror.

Best of luck!


Labels, labels, labels. Also, be REALLY stingy about you choose to move - have a charity that comes to your door pick up stuff you don't need to take with you. If you are going to hire movers, keep the mindset "Do I really want to pay for someone to move *this*?" Maybe you'll find that you don't really need 6 muffin tins or that cute stuffed frog. :)


HUGE tip:

Take it one room at a time! Start with the one that gets used the least-- like a spare bedroom-- and pack that sucker within an inch of its life. You can't do this with every room, but just focusing as much as you can on one room at a time really helps!

And I'll be sending you karma about finalizing the sale!


We're looking at moving in a couple of months and I'm debating the packers issue. I hate the idea of a stranger packing my belongings, but it would be handy. On the other hand, I need to clear so much of the clutter out of our house right now so we can put it on the market. Once I do that, it may be easy to pack the rest.

In terms of tips, if you do decide to pack, get started IMMEDIATELY. Set yourself a goal of 5 boxes a day and just get it done.

Good luck!


Yup, we've hired packers too. And it didn't cost as much as I thought it would. Absolutely worth the money.


hiring *movers*? jessamyn, you need to hire *packers*! best money I spent in the course of getting into our new home.

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