You have gone through the packing drills: “Boxes? check; Tape? check; Precise type of boxes? check. Ready, set, go! Start packing!” Wait a second! Hold it! Before you pack every tea cup and toy car in your home; take a break and step back. There are some items you should first set aside; these items should not be packed. Certain valuables should always be kept close to you during a move, other items can be dangerous and some items simply should be left to the pros to pack to prevent injury and breakage.
Here are some of the items NOT to pack and move with the rest of your belongings:
- Money, securities, valuable papers and jewelry: Keep your treasures with you. If they are already tucked securely in a safe deposit box in the bank, don’t forget to get a new safe deposit box close to your new home and transfer the items there before your move.
- Flammable items such as aerosol cans, paints, and gasoline: Ask the local hazardous waste organization in your community how to dispose of these items properly. The local fire department can point you in the right direction.
- Perishable items such as frozen foods and produce: You can donate food to your local food bank. Move for Hunger is a great organization for linking you to a food bank near you. Or, have a very eclectic left over dinner: ice cream and frozen waffles, anyone?
- Plants and flowers: Some states don’t allow plants to cross state lines so a moving company won’t be able to transport them for you. Moving locally? Way in advance of moving day, ask the moving company if they can move plants, and how long it will take. If they can’t move them in one day, you might be better off moving them yourself. You don’t want those plants in the dark without water too long!
- Soap and polishes: Check with the water department and fire department on proper disposal.
- Medications: Speak to your pharmacist, get your prescriptions transferred to your new home and find out how to transport them safely. Don’t forget your pet’s medications too. Talk to your vet and get those records and prescriptions transferred to your new home.
- Guns, firearms, fireworks, explosives, and toxic substances: I really hope you don’t have these, but if you do, check with your local police department. Many cities have a no-questions-asked “turn-in your firearms” policy. Don’t under any circumstances leave them unattended. Children get very curious during a move and the last thing you would want on moving day is a horrible accident.
- Children, special need individuals, elderly family members and pets including fish and reptiles: Now, I know you aren’t packing these loved ones! BUT it is very important to make sure they all have a safe, cool and secure place to be on moving day, away from all of the boxes and movers. Make those arrangements way in advance of moving day and make sure everyone knows where everyone is going during the moving process.
The Ultimate Lifesaver Packing Tip: Other items you want to have easily accessible and close by your side on moving day is a suitcase for each family member so they have their pjs, a change of clothes, phone/computer chargers, toothbrush, toothpaste, meds and favorite teddy bear. Also, make sure each family pet is microchipped, tagged and has a backpack full of food meds, treats and toys to keep them settled whereever they will be babysat during the move. If you’re moving a long distance, make sure each family member has enough to get them through until the moving van rolls up to the new home. You really don’t want to start that new school or job in your polka dotted pjs!
About Laura McHolm
Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving and storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.
Updated on July 15th, 2019