We probably moved eleven times when I was a child and young adult. I remember nine of them. As a small child I just remember the jumble of boxes and adults were inclined to be grumpy when pestered. As I got older I found myself helping with the packing.
Over the years since our last move (nearly 30 years ago) I’ve learned a thing or two. Grocery stores don’t like to keep their boxes, and those that are available have probably already been broken down. This can make the bottoms treacherous. In fact, the bottom of any used cardboard box can give way. There had to be a better way.
Bins: The bins we use aren’t cheap. They cost between $7 and $12 each. However, you can usually skip the duct tape, the bottoms will hold and they are reusable. They’re also a lot easier to label and relabel. Being of a uniform size, they stack better and with less of a chance to fall over. They hold more than the grocery store boxes and they have hand holds, making them easier to carry. They are worth the expenditure.
Bubble Wrap: For some things I use items like pillow cases, towels and sheets. They have to be packed anyway so they might as well serve a purpose. However I’m leery of packing china and crystal with a washrag. While it is another expense, if you want your dishes to arrive unbroken the bubble wrap is worth it.
Moving Blankets: We used quilts, which sort of served the purpose. However, they aren’t as thick as a moving blanket and many of our quilts are either antiques, works of art or both. They don’t hold up well as a moving blanket nor do they do as good a job. If you’re moving heavy items or antiques a quilt just won’t do.
Tie Downs and Cargo Nets: When one of us is going to be on the freeway I watch the highway patrol’s incident page. There is almost always at least one thing that flew off of a truck. Sometimes it’s obvious that someone was moving because the items are bins, boxes and even furniture. There is a way to avoid the problem.
The tie downs help keep things like furniture securely in the bed of the truck. They also keep the items from banging other items in the truck and the truck itself. The cargo net helps prevent lids from flying off bins, papers from being scattered and so forth. With these we are less likely to be one of those folks on the CHP site watching our belongings spread across the 405.
Moving is hard work. It’s messy, it takes a long time and even if you’re moving to a nicer place it’s a pain. However, if you use the right tools you can get your belongings from one place to another without damage to them, your truck or too many of your nerves.