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Gert's Dirt: Moving day

From Donna Bellino

One of my “Gertie Girls” is moving away. I am excited and happy for her to be going on to other adventures and gaining opportunities for growth and success. We at Gertie’s will miss her, but wish her all the best.

Moving is a daunting task. It is an amazing amount of work. Organization is a must.

• Resist the temptation to reminisce as you pack. You’ll have time for that later! Shred unwanted paperwork and use it for filling in spaces to protect items in boxes. Have a garbage pile and a donation pile as you clean out each room. Get those items out of the way as soon as you can so you can get down to the serious business of packing the things you need for your new home.

• Pack a bag filled with necessities for each family member as if you were going on vacation. It would be frustrating to need something that is already packed in the bottom of a box somewhere.

• Use garbage bags to pack pillows and blankets. Choose clear bags so there will be no chance to confuse them with actual garbage. They work great to pad furniture and fragile belongings in the truck or trailer. Leave clothes on hangers. Use garbage bags to cover several at a time by cutting a slit in the bottom of the bag. Pull the hanger hook through the slit and pull the bag over the clothes.

• Take the drawers out of the dresser, move the dresser into the moving van, replace the drawers and tape them shut.

• No need to wrap each dish in newspaper. When packing dishes, use Styrofoam plates in between to protect them from damage. Use linens and kitchen towels to wrap other breakables in the kitchen. Slide knives into oven mitts.

• Leave cabinet and closet doors open as you go so you won’t worry that you have missed anything. Don’t forget to check the dishwasher and clothes dryer!

• Put fitted sheets on both sides of mattress and box springs to prevent them from getting dirty while in transit.

• Let’s talk boxes. Heavy things belong in small, strong boxes. Always pack heavier items on the bottom of a box. Pack a box so it is full and snug. Leaving too much room in a box allows items to jostle and potentially become broken or damaged. Label the box on several sides. Include an arrow as to which side should remain up and with the word “fragile” if applicable. Try not to mix items from different rooms in the same box. When you pick up a box, bend at the knees, keep your back straight and hold the item as close to your body as possible. Use your leg muscles to stand. If it is too heavy or awkward, get help.

• If you disassemble furniture, put the screws and washers in a ziplock baggie and securely tape it to the piece it belongs to. You may want to take photos as you take things apart to help you put them back together later.

• Do a quick sweep of your yard, shed and garage to be sure you have not forgotten any items there.

• The vacuum and cleaning supplies will be the last thing you use as you leave your old house and the first thing you’ll want to use in your new house. Pack them last. Once your house is empty, you can wipe out drawers, cabinets, window sills and countertops. Don’t forget to clean the oven and the refrigerator. Scrub the bathrooms. Vacuum and mop the floors. If you don’t have time for this terminal cleaning, you may want to arrange for cleaners to come and do this for you.

• Lastly, leave warranty information and books on appliances in a conspicuous spot for the new owner. It may be nice to leave a list of local vendors, pizza places, emergency numbers including utility company and garbage service. If you know they have kids perhaps the name and number of daycare options, too. It is good karma.


Donna Bellino is a Registered Nurse and owner of Gertie's Cleaning and Home Service. I care for you, your health, and your home. Gertie's: Naturally Clean!