PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
When Your Family Moves: Packing Up

"I've moved twice. The hardest part is packing and unpacking the stuff."

"I've experienced this a lot of times. Most of all I HATE putting furniture and stuff like that in the moving truck and packing it back out!"

Stuff, stuff, stuff! Everyone's got it. Now you have to move it. Here are some tips:

  • Collect packing materials. You'll need lots of packing materials to keep your stuff stored and in one piece as it travels to your new home. In the weeks leading up to the move, keep your eye out for strong packing boxes, bubble wrap, and Styrofoam peanuts. Grocery stores are a good place to ask for boxes.

  • Sort through your belongings. Instead of just tossing everything into boxes, use the move as an opportunity to really go through everything you own. Try separating everything into categories, like what you absolutely need, what you want to keep, what you aren't sure about, and what you don't want anymore.

  • Have a yard sale. The less stuff you have, the less you have to move. Try getting rid of the things that don't mean that much to you. Work with the rest of your family - and maybe even some neighbors - to hold a big sale. It could mean some nice pocket money! If a sale won't work, consider donating your belongings to a charity shop.

  • Take photos. If an object holds a memory for you, but you just can't bring it to your new home, take a picture of it. This way you'll always have the memory without having to lug along the actual object!

  • Pack smart. Make sure all breakables are protected by bubble wrap, layers of cloth, or lots of soft paper. Any box that contains breakables should have a big label saying "FRAGILE: GLASS." Even if it's not really made of glass, at least movers will treat it that way.

  • Use labels. Don't want to search through 14 boxes to find the remote control? Label every single box with exactly what's inside. This will save you LOTS of time and trouble once you get to your new home. Labels also tell the movers how to handle the box, as they'll treat a box of stuffed animals different than a box of dishes. Here's a fun idea: If you have a Polaroid or digital camera, take a photo of the inside of the box before sealing it, then stick the photo on the outside.

  • First to use, last to pack. Save the things you use every day to pack last. School notebooks, pajamas, medicine, and toothbrushes are all things you'll need right up to the day of the move-not to mention as soon as you get to your new home. If your family is using a moving truck, make sure these boxes go in last.

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