The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, September 9, 2001
Sunday Activity

Plan now to shoo away shifting blues

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiSUFFERING from shifting jitters? Intimidated at the thought of moving home? Take heart! Even if you’re the one who’s constantly on the move, having to shift from one rented house to another, don’t despair. You needn’t sigh in exasperation, "Oh no! Not again", at the prospect of moving if you can get yourself organised and plan well in advance for the day of the big move. Here are some tips to dispel your shifting blues:

  • Plan it out: Do yourself a favour—write it down! Before you pack even one box, plan a simple record keeping system. Number each box, and make a list of the box contents in a notebook, or on a computer-printed a list of consecutive box numbers. Keep the list in one central location with all of your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. Be specific in your descriptions e.g "A-D files" is better than "files", and label "bone china" not just "kitchen".

  • Get the cartons: Having enough cartons and boxes is essential to get yourself organised. Get many more than you think you'll need. All those cold drink or milk crates can really come in handy, especially for piling in all those stacks of magazines or books. Try hiring them from your local grocer or provision store. Set aside about 10 to use on moving day for bedding, clothing, cleaning supplies, and other last-minute items. Buy several rolls of strong plastic packing tape, and use old newspapers for wrapping items.

  • Clear the clutter: This is a golden opportunity to dejunk all those unwanted and unused articles before moving to a new house. For hoarders this is the ideal time to chuck away all that clutter they’ve been stocking in the hope that it’ll be of use some day, never mind if that day never comes! So, throw away all that paraphernalia that’s not been used for a year or more and start afresh.

  • Colour coordinate: Designate a colour for each room of the house(yellow=kitchen, orange=dining room, etc.) Add coloured stickers next to the box number on the box and the labourers will know where to put everything. In your new home , put a matching sticker on the door to each room. You can also direct them to place the boxes in a designated room, away from the heavy furniture.

  • Put related items together: Things that have to be fixed or used with each other should be packed together . Keep light bulbs with lamps, extension cords with appliances. Keep larger items (such as a cable TV cord) in small bags, and tape these to the underside or back of the item. You can demarcate a separate bag for such odds and ends like cables, cords, parts, nuts or nails that are removed from any items of furniture.

  • Get packing in advance: Don’t wait till the last few days to pack your stuff. You can even pack your little personal knick-knacks like shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed while you switch to using plastic garbage bags .

  • Minimise packed luggage: If you’re moving locally, the best thing is to fill some sturdy shopping bags or skybags with items such as shoes, sweaters, suits and linen and ferry them across in your car. Hanging clothes can be moved as it is in the car or you can place the delicate items in dry cleaning bags. Else, you can fill the bottom of big cartons with some of the shopping bags and top them with other stuff.

  • Handle-with-care items: Safeguard your prized or delicate possessions like crockery, silverware, crystal collection, antiques,etc, by packing them separately in special cartons and not bunching them with the heavy boxes.

  • Keep important papers with you: Your list of "important" papers might include: birth certificates, school records, insurance policies, tax papers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, etc. It is best to carry them with you in briefcases.

  • Personal boxes: Use separate coloured skybags for each family member to fill items which they'll want 'right away' in the new home, like slippers, towels, shaving kit, comb, night suit, etc.

(Compiled by Chetna Banerjee)

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