I had an interesting conversation with a seller today. We're into our inspection period and everything is going well. (Knock on wood!) I called this morning to chat about requested repairs and, once we finished that conversation, she said, "I have a weird question. How do I pack?"
Ya know, that's a darn good question. We get going on the transaction - inspections, repairs, forms, etc., and, quite honestly, we might not even think about this question. Especially if your seller isn't doing this for the first time.
Here's what I told my sweet, first time seller:
First and foremore: Pick a room in your home - could be a loft, your current office or a spare bedroom. Clean it out. This is your Do Not Pack Room. Put a big sign on the door. This can also serve as your pets' 'jail' on moving day or an activity room for your little ones. The following things will go in there.
1. Get all of your important papers together - medical records if you have them, pet medical records, banking information, childrens' records and so on. Put it all into an accordian style folder.
2. Pack up your jewelry, good silver, watches, and change pots. With the latter, I'd go ahead and exchange that at the bank or one of those change machines.
3. Grab a shoebox and label it REMOTES. Put the unused remotes in there now, then, when the entertainment stuff is packed, put the rest of them in there. Trust me. You'll thank me later.
4. Electronic accessories like chargers, plugs, headsets. Make sure that you save out at least 1 power strip.
5. For the kids - have them pick a moving buddy or two in the form of a stuffed animal. If they've got a favorite blanket, that gets put in the room as well. Set rules on what can and can't come out of the room.
6. For the pets - bowls, leashes (get an extra one or two), food, any medication they are taking. Take a current picture of each pet with your cell phone in case they get spooked and run off during the transition. PDF a copy of their vaccination records and keep that on your phone as well. Make sure your pets are MICRO CHIPPED and are wearing their collar(s).
7. This one is important. Ask for one of the moving boxes and inside that put the following: 1 towel per person, bar soap (NOT LIQUID!!), toilet paper, 1 blanket per person and/or 1 set of sheets per bed. Think about the necessities you're going to need from your goods should your transport get delayed. Purchase those vaccuum storage bags for the towels and sheets to help save room.
8. If you are taking presciption medications, get with your physician to plan ahead in case you need a refill during the transition.
9. Take care of any weapons ahead of time by storing them and securing them in storage cases. Make sure you have records of serial numbers and photos, especially if they are vintage. If you're driving, and have these in the vehicle, remember to keep them out of reach like in the trunk or towards the back of your van. It's wise to bring them inside with you at each nightly stop. If you're flying, check with your mover on what they can/can't take with them.
Clothes - that's the biggie right there. How much should you pack per person? My military clients tell me they pack for at least a week but it's WHAT they pack that's important. A couple of pairs of jeans/shorts and about 3 tshirts per jeans/shorts. Sandals, flip flops, Berkies - that style of shoe is perfect because you don't have to worry about socks taking up room. Remember - pack in case your shipment is delayed.
The key here is to pack smartly and not over do it. My mantra when going to conventions where I'll be gone a week is this: If I forgot it, I can go get it somewhere.
One last moving tip: My father has been in the insurance business for 50+ years, working exclusively with moving companies. His tips to me:
1. If you are moving interstate - go with a national carrier like Mayflower or Allied. Local moving companies might not have the correct insurance to go over state lines. Their coverages are important in protecting you and your belongings in case something happens like theft or an accident.
2. Go to a Protect Your Move and learn about your rights and responsibilities. Check into moving company reviews as well.
3. Photograph valuables, collections, art work. Create a notebook with serial numbers and keep all paperwork in a file folder that goes with you.
4. Talk to your insurance agent and the moving company in regards to moving insurance.