The Inventory of Packing
Above all, start packing in good time before you move – at least a month or so in advance. Everyone who has house removals knows that it is a time-consuming task. Each weekend, set aside a time to do one part of the moving operation: books, shoes, clothing, and objet d’art. Soon you will see the house emptying itself.
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When packing your home contents, you need a two-pronged approach. Pack what you will need immediately, but also pack what you seldom need but have to keep. These are the two distinct areas for contents retrieval. For the current needs, pack several large bags or cases with all the items you will need on the day of arrival and throughout the first week. Make sure you include personal effects like diaries, documents, instructions leaflets for tuning in TVs for example – all the printed matter which is not computerized that you need in your daily life. It is no good searching for a passport especially if you need it in a hurry. In another case put your work outfits, leisurewear, current shoes, nightwear, toiletries, contact lenses, glasses, shaving equipment, as if you were going on a holiday. However, do not forget the case with the curtains – you do not want to sleep in a room without these. So also, include an instant case of bed linen, towels, slippers, alarm clock. Pack your immediate needs by activity and you will not forget anything.
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If you have a pet, pack a case of food, litter, trays, and cushions – all the equipment you will need to have ready for the pet as soon as you open the door. Head to the bathroom with the pet when you arrive as this is often the safest place, as all the other rooms will be busy with people unloading and loading. Put a note on the door – ‘Cat or Dog in here’ to avoid the pet escaping, and do not forget to tell all the others who are moving you that this is what you are doing. Remember that pets need some time to get to know their new surroundings when everything is more or less in place.
Do not forget yourself in the culinary department. Stock up on pulses, rice, pasta, flour, pickles, and pack a week’s shopping so that an urgent trip to the shops can be avoided. Better still; get the numbers of some local takeaways so that tired out after moving you could order an Indian curry, a Chinese meal or a pizza. Make sure you also have a bag of cutlery and saucepans. Not the whole kitchen, but just the necessities to get you through the first days, and make everyone a cuppa as soon as you arrive.
These days, plastic storage boxes of all sizes can be purchased at the High Street. In them, you can pack books, photos, CDs and DVDs, electrical equipment, kitchenware, shoes, clothing and small items of furniture. Gone are the days of cardboard boxes from the supermarket, which have to be remade into boxes. The whole procedure is so much easier, and if you are storing long term in a loft or garage, the items are waterproof and damp-proof. For large projects, such as TVs, musical instruments without hard cases, lamps, china, and glass, you can always use pillows and duvets. These are cheaper than tea chests, and you will find that padded and sellotaped in this fashion, they can be safely tied or sellotaped in the removals van.
During your packing, you will be making decisions about what to include and what to send to the charity shop. Keep an inventory book of which box contains what. Write a list of each box’s contents, put it in an envelope, and tape it to the box. Are the boxes numbered, color-coded? Write it all down in the inventory book. How will you find everything? Continuously pose this question to yourself. Finally, travel light but be practical – there is no point in rebuying things, which you will need again.
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