I hate to admit it but I have become a bit of an expert on moving. My husband and I have moved five times since we married three years ago! This experience combined with my compulsive desire to organize (yes…I am a Virgo) has generated a great little list of tips that I am happy to share with you:

-Pack a suitcase for each family member and yourself. Pretend that you are headed out for a trip away from home and pack everything you would need on your vacation. Toiletries, clothing, and toys for the kids should all be included. Keep these suitcases with you and deliver them to the room where you will be spending your first night in your new home. You can also pack up a clean set of sheets and pillows for each bed in a big duffle suitcase.
-Don’t forget your pets! Pack a special box full of everything your pet will need on its first night in your new home. Food and water bowls, treats and a collar and lead are important. Moving can be very stressful on a pet so include a favorite blanket, bed or toy to provide something familiar for your pet.
-Set up “Moving Headquarters” and keep it with you at all times! A basket or medium size container should do the trick. Fill it with all of the supplies you might need from scissors, labels and tape to your Polaroid camera and some bottles of water.
-Stay organized with a system that works for you. I recommend numbering each box and writing a short description of the contents in a notebook. For more valuable things, take a photo with your Polaroid camera and number the back of the photo with the corresponding box.
-Be specific about the contents of the box on the labels. Writing “Kimberly’s shoes and belts” on the label is much better than simply “Master Bedroom Closet.”
-Never wrap your items in colored tissue or newspaper as it could stain your things. I learned this the hard way! Always use white tissue or blank newsprint.
-Develop a color-coding system for your new home. Use colored dot stickers from the office supply store to designate which room each piece of furniture and box should be placed in. Make a sign for each door that states which color dot goes in that room. Cover the sign in the dot stickers too so that there is no confusion. Using a marker in a corresponding color on the labels can’t hurt either.
-Use clear plastic baggies to attach remote controls, wardrobe keys or cords to the items they go with. Tape or tie the baggies to the item so that it doesn’t get lost in the box.

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