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Once you have found a new home for yourself or your family, the next step is planning for the move itself. Before you start packing everything in your house, just sit back for a moment and plan everything out.

We have put together these tips and techniques to help make things go more smoothly and reduce the chances of something either going wrong or your valuable belongings being damaged.

1) Set aside any thing you may need between the time you pack and unpack. Items such as medications, toothbrushes, soap, important papers, etc. If you will need to make overnight stops along the way, make sure you make a list of the things you will need. Pack these items separately and pack them last - this way they're not boxed away and you can easily find them.

2) It may be a good idea to do the same thing with some items you might need on the same first day in your new home.

3) Before starting to pack, make sure you have made an inventory list of most expensive items such as computers, cameras and other electronic equipment. Make sure you also write down the serial numbers of your electronics items and keep them with you.

4) Make sure you have the following handy as you get ready to start packing - a supply of different size boxes, tape, scissors, markers, bubble wrap, newsprint(preferably blank), packing peanuts and maybe some stretch film.

5) Make sure you pack one room at a time, keeping the weight of boxes at a reasonable level. Try not to make boxes heavier then 40 pounds. Mark each box with its proper room and contents.

6) Always pack books in small boxes and keep the weight no more then 30 pounds.

7) Use stretch wrap or film to hold doors and drawer in place, this will avoid any damage to your furniture.Don't forget to empty all drawers. Use the stretch film to also wrap rugs, fishing rods, golf clubs and other long items that need to be kept together.

8) Pack valuables such as jewelry, coin collections and any other important documents separately and keep them with you.

9) Think about how you would want to unload everything at your new location. Keep in mind first on, last off the truck. Therefore, make sure that you pack items in separate boxes that you will need first at your new home. When movers are unloding the truck, the items you will want and need first and/or most will be right there, ready to come in.

10) If anything needs to be disassembled to make the trip, bag the hardware and attach to the item or put in a drawer.

11) Foam or cardboard can be used to wrap around table and chair legs or arms to protect the finish. NEVER apply tape directly to furniture surfaces as the finish can be ruined.

12) Depending on the distance and time that will be involved in your move, you may want to also have a short term provisions plan. Things such as paper plates, paper towels, plastic knives, forks and spoons, snacks, beverages, trash bags, first aid kit including pain relievers and some moist towelettes can go a long way in getting you through to the end.

A little common sense and some pre-planning will not only help reduce the stresses of moving but will also help get everything to its new location in one piece and without incident. Take some time to plan out as much of the move as possible and have what you will need at hand when the time comes. Plan for the packing and pack with a plan!
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